**Due to a hardware failure at our server hosts, our website was offline for several hours on Thursday and a handful of stories published on Feb. 7 were lost. We have managed to recover or rewrite most of those articles, so we have repeated them below along with the stories we filed on Feb. 8. Apologies if the server outage caused any inconvenience, and many thanks for your understanding and patience**
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New Zealand carbon allowances rose another 5 cents on Thursday on steady demand, adding to the record high levels hit in the previous session.
A hunt for a new leader for Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) party has shed more uncertainty on a possible shift from the province’s cap-and-trade programme to the federal government’s carbon tax scheme.
North American carbon prices turned lower on Thursday as RGGI traders reacted to the Virginia legislature’s attempt to block executive action to join the market, while participants in the WCI market are eyeing the largest-ever allowance auction, which takes place in less than two weeks.
A California state senator has put forth new legislation this week that would double down on the state’s recent efforts to eliminate the release of potent greenhouse gases in the state.
The Virginia House of Delegates moved on Wednesday to ban the state from participating in any statewide or regional cap-and-trade programme, attempting to prevent it from launching a carbon market or linking it to RGGI.
EU carbon prices could be at risk of a correction after making substantial gains over the past few weeks with little to back this up fundamentally.
European carbon prices marched back above €9 on Thursday, heading in the opposite direction to the wider energy complex amid plummeting coal.
German negotiators concluded a coalition deal on Wednesday that raises the country’s domestic climate ambition for 2030 and could bring to an end to five months of political uncertainty in Europe’s biggest emitter and economy.
A former carbon sales manager at Gazprom has joined London-based trading and advisory firm Redshaw Advisors.
China’s State Grid Corp. has pledged to change its dispatch system in order to put an end to coal-generated power largely blocking new clean energy sources from coming online in the country’s Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin triangle.
Australia on Wednesday released a new method for soil carbon projects, a move developers said could spark a 10-fold increase in project development.
Consumer goods company Unilever has hiked one portion of its internal carbon pricing by a third this year, the company revealed on Wednesday, as part of a two-pronged effort to green its global operations.
I was in Marrakesh, Morocco, for global climate talks when Donald Trump won the US presidential election, and within hours a consensus emerged: the Paris Agreement was as good a deal for the United States as it was for the rest of the world, and only a fool would “cancel” it, as Donald Trump had promised to do while on the campaign trail.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
On their way – The latest figures from the EPA’s Clean Air Markets database show that the US power sector emitted 1.913 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2017, down from 1.996 billion a year earlier. The sector’s emissions are now 25% below 2005 levels, putting it well on its way to meeting the target of a 32% cut by 2030 that would have been enforced under former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
New look review – The Canadian government unveiled a new proposal for conducting environmental assessments on Thursday, a move that the ruling Liberal party says will strengthen environmental protections and broaden public participation in major infrastructure projects. The new assessments are designed to be more efficient, predictable, and transparent than those under previous Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. During his tenure, thousands of environmental reviews were cancelled when the government rescinded the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in 2012. (The Globe and Mail)
Electrify LA – LA’s City Council adopted a resolution on Tuesday that aims to significantly decarbonise the city’s commercial and residential buildings over the next two decades. It instructs the Department of Water and Power to institute “aggressive 2028 and 2038 building electrification targets” that align with or exceed the city’s goal of reducing emissions by 60% below the 1990 baseline by 2035, a component of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Sustainable City pLAn”. (NRDC)
Extender bender – The latest iteration of proposed budget deal in the US Senate includes tax extenders for several types of energy tax credits, reports Utility Dive. The bill would scrub a 2020 deadline for new nuclear facilities to be eligible for tax credits to the tune of $0.018/kWh, essential for the scheduled post-2020 completion of the Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia. Combined heat and power technology (CHP), microturbines, and fuel cells would receive five-year tax extensions, with additional property tax breaks for select small gas and renewable technologies also included. Across the Capitol however, House leadership has remained opposed to the extenders, with House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady believing these should not be added to the final continuing budget resolution.
Creative lawyering – If Chevron has caused climate change and has to pay for its damage, so should pretty much every company that’s ever explored for oil and gas near North America, as well as manufacturers of cars and equipment that burn fuel, plus consumers. That’s Chevron’s response to lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland, California, blaming “the nuisance of global warming” on decades of fossil fuel production. So Chevron turned around and sued Oslo-based Statoil, calling it “one of many” oil producers that should help foot the bill if the industry is found liable. Several of the biggest – BP, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell – were already named by the cities as defendants. (Bloomberg)
Subsidy subtlety – Ending the world’s fossil fuel subsidies would reduce global CO2 emissions by 0.5 to 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2030, a new study says. The research, published by Nature Energy, concludes that the removal of subsidies would lead to bigger emissions reductions in oil and gas exporting regions, such as Russia, Latin America and the Middle East, than promised by their Paris Agreement pledges. In all other regions, removing fossil fuel subsidies would not have as large an impact as the Paris pledges. However, SEI cautioned that comparing the effects of subsidy removal to the Paris INDCs does not factor in the economy-wide commitments made in the latter. The authors of the study also warned that ending subsidies for oil and gas could backfire, with affected countries taking up more coal as a replacement instead of renewables. (Carbon Brief)
Dairy danger – Meeting China’s growing milk demand could increase global dairy-related emissions by 35% by 2050, according to new study by Global Change Biology. China has an ever-increasing thirst for milk, with a predicted 3.2-fold increase in demand by 2050 compared to 2010 production levels. However, meeting this demand will put considerable pressure on land use and animal feed, as well as drive up agricultural emissions, the study finds. (Carbon Brief)
And finally… The best people – US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s latest controversial remarks on the validity and threat of climate change came during a radio interview Tuesday, when he claimed that a warming climate could actually be a good thing. “We know that humans have most flourished during times of what? Warming trends,” Pruitt remarked. This would appear to run contrary to a 2017 draft federal report, written in part by his EPA, that by 2100 between 4,500 to 9,000 deaths would be attributed to global warming in the US every year, costing the economy between $60 billion and $140 billion. Pruitt doubled down on his positive spin on climate change later in the interview, calling it “arrogant” for humans to think they know exactly what the ideal surface temperature should be in 2100. The IPCC projects temperatures to rise to 3.7C above current levels by the end of the century, which would set in motion countless catastrophic environmental, socioeconomic, and humanitarian events (AP).
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