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UN agency ICAO has proposed to defer much of the responsibility for ensuring the environmental integrity of carbon credits eligible for its CORSIA offsetting scheme to the credit standards themselves, according to a preliminary draft of the rules seen by Carbon Pulse.
Virginia’s outgoing governor and governor-elect on Tuesday announced proposed legislation that would see their state formally join RGGI.
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday released details of his proposed $20/tonne tax on carbon emissions from energy and transport that would raise $3.3 billion over four years, with most of the revenue set to be invested in additional mitigation efforts.
Project developer Bluesource has agreed to acquire all ozone-depleting substance (ODS) offset supply and project development contracts from San Francisco-based EOS Climate.
Poland has fired its environment minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle by new Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and on recommendations from President Andrzej Duda, less than 11 months before the country is to host annual UN climate talks.
EU carbon prices rose in light volume on Tuesday, recovering all of the previous day’s losses to rebound from a three-week low.
New Zealand carbon permits rose 1.9% on Tuesday to hit their highest levels since Dec. 2010 as buyers returned from their holidays and compliance requirements were increased.
China’s Fujian province is nearing launch of its pilot energy consumption trading scheme for 67 cement companies and 21 power generators, according to the government, which said another five sectors would be gradually brought into the market.
The China Carbon Emissions Exchange in Guangzhou on Tuesday launched a new platform offering financing and rating services for renewable projects, saying it plans to establish a fund company to catalyse clean investment partially leveraged by a 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) government fund.
When one Ghanaian worker demonstrated her cookstove, she first overfilled it and then used a carcinogenic plastic bag to start the fire. Observers gasped. “Does she know that’s bad for her health?” asked several of them. According to Ecosystem Marketplace, this incident reminds us that there’s more to clean cookstoves than the machines themselves.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
RGGI reprieve – As expected, New Hampshire lawmakers on Tuesday voted to keep the state in RGGI, while backing a separate bill to expand the use of auction proceeds for energy efficiency investments rather than increasing ratepayer rebates. House Bill 592, which was defeated in a 165-180 vote, had initially sought to completely repeal the state’s participation in RGGI, but it was rewritten in committee after lawmakers deemed that withdrawing would hurt ratepayers by ditching their rebates. Votes on both bills were postponed from last week. Previous proposals to repeal New Hampshire’s RGGI membership have failed in the past, leading experts to correctly predict that the latest attempt would meet a similar fate.
Recuse yourself – Twelve US states and a handful of municipalities are charging that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should recuse himself from participating in the agency’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan because his long-standing opposition to the rule compromises his ability to conduct a fair and open proceeding and be an impartial decision-maker. (InsideEPA, $)
Counterpunch – Oil giant ExxonMobil has launched a counterpunch to the lawsuits filed by San Francisco and other communities that seek damages for climate change, alleging that the California jurisdictions conspired to vilify and taunt the oil industry. In a filing submitted in a Texas court on Monday, the company alleges the California communities quietly met in La Jolla six years ago to concoct plans to use government investigations and legal action to force oil producers to respond to climate change. The document said the so-called La Jolla playbook was politically motivated and an abuse of power. It said that if the communities were genuinely concerned about the costs of climate change in their jurisdictions they would have disclosed the threat in their bond reports, which they did not do, according to the filing. ExxonMobil is seeking permission to question and obtain documents from leaders in the communities suing the company. Seven cities and counties filed lawsuits last year against ExxonMobil and other big oil companies, demanding they pay billions to cover losses from rising seas. (SF Chronicle)
Change of plans – The UK will only need to build a small number of new gas power plants over the next two decades as it continues to shift to low-carbon sources of electricity. This is according to new energy and emissions projections published by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which see renewables overtaking gas by 2020 to become the UK’s number one source of electricity generation. The projections include less than half as much new gas capacity by 2035 as expected last year and a quarter of the 2015 figure. In contrast, by 2035 BEIS now expects twice as much renewable capacity as it did in 2015 and twice as much battery storage as projected last year. Carbon Brief takes a detailed look at the new projections.
More British shuffle – Meanwhile in the UK, climate minister Claire Perry kept her role as part of a faltering reshuffle started on Monday, but her post was upgraded so that she will attend cabinet alongside business and energy secretary Greg Clark, who retained his role amid reports of ministerial intransigence.
We’ve got a deal – Project developer Aera Group, previously known as Ecosur Afrique, has signed a deal with Mauritanian state-owned grid operator SOMELEC. The framework covers offset certification support services and a 10-year credit purchase agreement for three projects: the 30MW Nouakchott wind farm (operational), the 50MW Nouakchott solar PV installation (under commissioning), and a 100MW wind farm (under development). “These projects avoid the use of fossil fuel and save 350,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year,” said Aera, which advises more than 40 carbon offset projects in 18 African countries.
Protocol update – Natural Capital Partners has released the 2018 version of its CarbonNeutral Protocol, which it says is the leading framework for achieving carbon neutrality around the world. Used by hundreds of companies and first published in 2002, it is revised every year in accordance with the latest business, environmental and scientific standards. The Protocol lays out the requirements to achieve CarbonNeutral certification for their products, services or entire operations, and includes requirements for GHG assessments, emission reduction planning, eligibility of carbon credits and other environmental instruments including renewable energy certificates, management of other environmental instruments through registration and retirement, and communication of CarbonNeutral programmes.
And finally… Concerning claims – A representative from the UN’s REDD Programme said it would be concerning if recent claims were true, that Cambodia’s military was systematically clearing protected forest in Oddar Meanchey province that was covered under the scheme. Offsets from the project were bought by Virgin Atlantic to neutralise passenger emissions. The claims were made by UK-based environmental campaigners Fern, though Natural Capital Partners, which facilitated the deal with Virgin, dismissed the accusations, saying they were based on outdated information. A spokeswoman for NCP, speaking to the Phnom Penh Post, declined to answer how the firm carried out its investigation and how it concluded that the claims were false. Fern’s Julia Christian countered that NCP’s comments on its study were a “strange critique”, adding “if the forest was destroyed, it is still destroyed, and the credits sold for protecting it during that period are [and] will always be bogus.”
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