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EU parliamentarians have voted that Europe should aim for net zero 2050 emission as part of an Energy Union governance bill, but snubbed efforts to explicitly adjust the ETS for overlapping policies.
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has eased restrictions on coal burning in 28 northern cities during the winter season after a recent outcry over heating cuts due to a gas supply shortage.
New Zealand should strengthen its ETS to help it achieve tougher climate ambitions and seek links to other established carbon markets, environment ministry officials have told the incoming climate minister.
South Korean carbon permit prices have picked up over the past two sessions following their 24% crash from last month’s all-time highs, which was triggered by government warnings over potential supply-boosting measures.
China’s big power conglomerates are seeking funding from fixed income investors to build renewable energy projects, and are increasing offerings of green bonds and other renewable-backed instruments.
California carbon prices edged lower this week, giving up last week’s gains as traders absorbed the result of Ontario’s final auction of 2017.
Governments and organisations in Ontario and Quebec have taken recent measures to develop and advance voluntary carbon markets in their provinces.
EU carbon prices turned upwards for the first time this week on Thursday, as buyers emerged after EUAs failed to drop below November’s low.
Germany has launched a tender seeking a platform for its EU carbon allowance auctions once the government’s existing contract with energy exchange EEX expires next year.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
ICAO’s a go – UN aviation agency ICAO has opened its consultation with its 192 member states by circulating among them its proposed rules for MRV and emissions unit criteria under the CORSIA offsetting scheme. States have been requested to forward their comments on the proposals to ICAO by Mar. 5 2018, an unusually short consultation period, GreenAir Online reports. ICAO’s initial recommendations on exactly what credit types and vintages should be eligible under CORSIA are due to be approved by ICAO in June next year, yet sources who have seen the tightly-guarded paper have said it focuses on wider governing principles for offset eligibility rather than setting out specific rules or approved certifications, vintages or project types.
Stranger endanger – Members of the lobby group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) pulled a draft resolution that would have urged EPA chief Scott Pruitt to challenge his agency’s bedrock endangerment finding that GHGs harm human health. ALEC’s approach to climate is increasingly driving a wedge between a hard-line denier faction in the organisation and its more mainstream corporate members such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Honeywell, UPS and the Edison Electric Institute. (The Hill, Climate Nexus)
Let’s hear more – The EPA will hold three additional listening sessions on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan following an outcry that only one hearing had been scheduled on the rollback. While the first session was held last month deep in coal country in West Virginia, the new locations represent a broader range: San Francisco, CA, Gillette, WY, and Kansas City, MO. The November session brought out stark viewpoints, as coal supporters and environmental advocates faced off. (Utility Dive)
Bag it up – Environmental campaigners Sandbag have released a report that considers the long-term future of the EU ETS and other options for carbon pricing in the bloc. It says despite the completion of substantial post-2020 reforms, more changes are needed for the market to become effective. Namely, current caps need to be aligned with the Paris Agreement, and complementary measures will continue to be necessary along with an ETS price floor and automatic cap adjustments.
Ahead of schedule – EU consumption of potent HFCs in 2016 was the lowest in terms of their global warming effect since reporting began in 2007, shows a new report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today. Last year’s consumption of HFCs, which fell by 2% year-on-year, was also 14% below the EU’s obligation for 2019 under the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, the European Commission said. While EU imports of all F-gases increased by 2%, bulk HFC imports decreased by 4%, it added.
Cheat checking – EU negotiators have agreed new rules that give Brussels the power to check up on national car approval authorities and set targets for emission checks in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The EU Commission had proposed rules on the new powers, including the capacity to fine manufacturers directly, following the 2015 Dieselgate scandal when German carmaker Volkswagen admitted to cheating on US diesel emissions tests. (Reuters)
And finally… Beware of bears – In an era of #fakenews, it can sometimes be tricky to work out what is legitimate scientific reporting and what is, well, fake. New research suggests there’s a handy rule of thumb for spotting the work of climate science deniers, however: look for the polar bears. One of the most glaring differences between legitimate science-based blogs and those that deny the science on anthropogenic climate change is how they write about polar bears and Arctic sea ice. Polar bears have long been a “poster species” for climate change. And as it turns out, a new study published by journal BioScience has found that on this issue there is almost zero overlap between climate science deniers and science writers. (DeSmog UK)
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