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Airlines face the prospect of rapidly rising prices for carbon offsets to meet their CORSIA goals as regulators dither on agreeing rules and countries forge their own climate policies.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday issued a joint statement on climate change, pledging to intensify their cooperation on climate change and clean energy issues, including carbon markets.
California’s Air Resources Board has hit back against the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), which claimed in draft emergency regulations in last month that cannabis licensees would have to comply with the cap-and-trade programme.
The number allowances to be allocated to California emitters next year will be 6.5% below 2017’s total, amid a smaller 2.5% drop in the number of covered entities, according to data released by the state’s Air Resources Board on Tuesday.
EU carbon prices slipped slightly on Tuesday after a slightly weaker auction, but remained within their recent narrow range amid strong buying support around €7.40.
Australian airline QantasLink this week opened two new domestic routes for which it will offset all associated emissions through buying carbon credits generated from tree planting.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Who’s in? Around 50 world leaders are expected to attend the One Planet Summit in Paris next week, but US President Donald Trump won’t be one of them as he’s reportedly not invited. China and India’s leaders won’t attend though each will send a minister to the event, which is being billed as a follow-up to the 2015 Paris meeting that struck the landmark climate accord. Around 100 leaders were invited following Trump’s announcement that he would withdraw the US from the agreement. (AFP)
On second thought – The leaders of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) have agreed to enter into talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the SPD’s executive committee says in a draft resolution seen by Clean Energy Wire. In the draft, the party’s leadership says that an “ambitious climate protection policy”, a “consistent expansion of renewable energy sources”, and “financial support” to find economic and industrial perspectives in negatively affected regions should be “essential points” in the talks. The SPD insists that the country’s new government should not adopt a “carry on” approach to the previous Grand Coalition between the two parties, and says that its leaders will decide whether the SPD enters into formal coalition negotiations or accepts a conservative minority government after sounding out “if there’s enough trust” in the potential partner. The move marks a U-turn by the SPD, who had ruled out another partnership with the CDU/CSU following September’s election.
Potentially devastating – Clean-energy developers are learning the hard way that every line of the US tax code is connected. According to Bloomberg, while the bill passed by Senate Republicans over the weekend would preserve crucial credits for wind and solar farms, it also imposes a minimum tax on foreign transactions for JPMorgan, Bank of America, and other large investors that threatens to erode the value of those credits. The issue hinges on an arcane but critical source of clean-energy financing that’s expected to reach $12 billion this year. The funding, known as tax-equity, comes from renewables developers selling their tax credits to banks, insurance companies and others that apply them to their own bills from Washington. If those big lenders wind up with a minimum tax on foreign transactions, they may have less need for clean-energy credits. “The impacts are potentially devastating,” American Council on Renewable Energy President Gregory Wetstone said. “It seems clear that none of this was intentional. Key folks are looking at how to fix it, and we are hopeful that they will.”
Not on our watch – Exxon Mobil is coming out against an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) proposal that would push the Trump administration to rescind the EPA’s endangerment finding, which labelled GHGs as harmful. According to The Hill, ALEC’s draft resolution, which will be voted on by the lobby group’s members on Wednesday, goes after the 2009 finding that requires the EPA to take actions under the Clean Air Act to restrict emissions and which served as a lynchpin for climate regulations under former President Barack Obama. ALEC’s resolution calls the finding “flawed,” specifically taking issue with the science that it cited, and calls upon the EPA to “reopen and review” it.
How to spend it – Alberta’s NDP government is creating a new C$1.4 billion fund to help industry reduce the province’s GHGs, the Calgary Herald reports. The biggest chunk of the funding, which will be doled out over seven years, sees C$440 million earmarked for oilsands innovation to help companies increase production while reducing emissions. The new fund will also see C$225 million available across sectors for projects that support climate change technology, C$240 million for industrial energy efficiency measures, C$63 million for bioenergy and C$400 million in loan guarantees to support efficiency and renewable energy measures. The funding comes primarily from revenue collected through Alberta’s economy-wide carbon tax and levy on large industrial emitters, both of which will be aligned at C$30/tonne starting in January.
Raise n’ ban – Ireland’s domestic carbon tax should be raised and the burning of coal and peat banned to help cut emissions, the independent Climate Change Advisory Council, an influential state advisor, has said. The country is not on track to meet its 2020 targets to cut GHGs by 20% below 2005 levels, or to decarbonise its economy by 2050, with emissions rising by 3.7% in 2015. The tax was introduced in 2010 and applies to kerosene, gas oil, liquid petroleum gas, fuel oil, natural gas and solid fuels at a rate of €20/tonne. (Belfast Telegraph)
Survey says – Nearly 1 in 2 companies expect climate change to have an impact on their value chain within the next five years, but only 1 in 4 is taking action to adapt or increase resilience. That’s according to a new international survey conducted by global quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL with support from GFK Eurisko, which investigates whether companies are resilient enough to climate change. The study involved more than 1,200 professionals from Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Good for the people – Gisborne district council is among those that have benefitted from the recent surge in New Zealand’s carbon price. It holds around 20,000 NZUs stemming from local tree planting. Those permits were only worth some NZ$40,000 in 2013, when prices dipped below NZ$2/tonne to hit record low levels. However, now that NZUs are pushing NZ$20, the council has NZ$1 million on its hands. The finance and audit committee has now instructed the council chief executive to obtain the sale level for post-1989 forests and look at realising some of the pre-1990 credits, reports the Gisborne Herald.
And finally… You emit what you eat – The UK could shed close to a fifth of its GHG emissions from food production if every Briton stuck to a healthy diet based on government guidelines, a new study concludes. The research finds that in the UK, a switch from the “average diet”, which is rich in meat and dairy, to a nationally recommended diet that includes more fruit, vegetables, and nuts could cause food-related emissions to fall by up to 17%. And if other wealthy countries, including the US, Canada and Australia, swapped their current eating habits for a state-endorsed diet, their emissions could decline by between 13 and 25%. (Carbon Brief)
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