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A government-backed roundtable on Northeast Asian carbon pricing is convening next week as the imminent launch of China’s national emissions trading scheme raises the issue of a common approach across China, Japan and South Korea.
The South African government on Thursday published a second draft of its long-delayed carbon tax bill, making a number of amendments based on stakeholder comments received following the release of the previous iteration in 2015.
European carbon prices ended higher on Friday as a strong auction lifted the market following a brief drop below €7 that attracting more bargain buying.
China on Friday asked all eight sectors originally intended to join its emissions trading scheme to submit 2016 and 2017 CO2 data verification by the end of Q1 next year as the government lays the groundwork for the new market, which is expected to be launched next week in a narrower format.
Developers Terra Carbon received more than 100,000 Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) this week from a project type the Climate Change Authority has defended against claims of non-additionality.
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee has once again proposed a carbon tax to help fund education spending.
Below is a table of the closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week. All prices are in RMB, and volumes in tonnes of CO2e. Data sourced from local exchanges.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Reprieve – Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has said a national price on carbon won’t be imposed on any province or territory for at least another year, local media reports. McKenna said federal legislation, which will include Ottawa’s ‘backstop’ carbon pricing option, will be introduced sometime in 2018 and provinces will have until the end of next year to submit their own carbon pricing plans before a national price is imposed on those that don’t meet the federal standard. A year ago, McKenna said provinces would have to impose at least a C$10/tonne price in 2018 and increase it by a minimum C$10 annually to at least C$50 by 2022, but it now appears some provinces will make it all the way to the end of next year before they have to actually do it. However, it’s understood that provinces that wait until 2019 to implement their programmes or the federal backstop will have to do so with a C$20/tonne price, though Environment and Climate Change Canada was unable to immediately confirm this to Carbon Pulse. (iPolitics.ca)
Cash call – Separately, McKenna’s ministry on Friday announced that the federal government will provide over C$1 billion from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund over the next five years to the provinces of BC (C$160m), Alberta (C$150m), Ontario (C$420m), Quebec (C$260m), New Brunswick (C$51m), and Nova Scotia (C$56m). The fund is tasked with helping Canada hit its 2030 Paris Agreement target. It includes a C$1.4 billion Leadership Fund, which will help provinces and territories deliver on their commitments to reduce carbon pollution as part of Canada’s climate plan, and a C$600 million Low-Carbon Economy Challenge, which will support ambitious projects that can be submitted by all provinces and territories, as well as municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations.
The plan – California regulators on Thursday adopted the 2017 Scoping Plan, which maps out a path to reducing the state’s GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 in part through its cap-and-trade programme. The plan, which was revised in October, lays the foundation for policies and programmes to help California achieve its 2050 target of an 80% reduction in emissions, outlining strategies to reduce emissions from energy, transportation, industrial processes, water management, waste management, agriculture and “natural and working lands”. It also includes measures to increase renewables to a 50% share of total energy consumption by 2030, cut methane emissions, extend and tighten California’s low-carbon fuel standard to 2030, and encourage the sale of more EVs and zero-emission trucks.
Brexit breakthrough – EU leaders agreed to move Brexit talks into a second phase, after deeming sufficient progress had been made on settling the UK’s divorce bill. European Council president Donald Tusk said the EU would now start “exploratory contacts” with Britain on a future trade relationship, as well as starting discussion on the immediate post-Brexit transition, Reuters reports. The UK is seeking a two-year implementation phase which would retain its current EU relationships, including participation in the EU ETS until the end of the current trading phase in 2020. Whatever the outcome, London is on track to help ‘Brexit-proof’ the ETS without the disruptive invalidation of its allowances by passing a law in the final days of this year, which would bring forward the UK’s 2018 compliance date to before its scheduled Mar. 29, 2019 EU exit date.
Slammed storage – The Australian National Audit Office on Friday released a review of the government’s carbon capture and storage programme, leaving it little credit. The country has spent A$450million but not a single tonne of CO2 has been saved, no technology is ready for deployment, and the government has shown no strategic direction, no oversight over the projects, and little accounting for the spending, reports RenewEconomy.
Shifting sector – Oil major BP is to invest $200m for a 43% stake in Europe’s largest solar power developer Lightsource after six years away from the sector. A BP executive tells the FT the firm has learnt from past failures and is entering a more attractive part of the solar market as a developer and manager of solar farms, rather than low-margin solar panel manufacturing. (Financial Times)
And finally… Refugee renewables – When Rohingya refugees began arriving in Bangladesh after violence erupted in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State in August, local residents were puzzled to see some toting small solar panels on their shoulders. Some said the panels helped save their lives as they helped keep mobile phones charged during the 5-to-15-day trek to use to help find safe passage. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
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