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Airlines are urging governments to waive through the draft rulebook for the CORSIA international offset market without further changes, as regulators face tight timelines to ready the scheme.
This dossier provides an overview of the upcoming market to offset international aviation emissions, with details of the key elements already agreed by governments at the UN’s ICAO, as well as details on participation and scope, offset eligibility and implications for airlines’ voluntary offsetting programmes.
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New Zealand carbon allowances set a record high for the third consecutive session on Friday, as sellers continued to drip-feed to eager buyers while holding on to the lion’s share of their supply.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has issued nearly 216,000 carbon credits over the past two weeks, below average numbers as some of the major developers have been absent from the application process.
The World Bank-led Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) has agreed to spend $3 million helping Sri Lanka develop infrastructure that in time would allow it to participate in the international carbon market under the Paris Agreement and possibly set up a domestic emissions pricing mechanism.
As the Oregon legislature’s abbreviated five-week session began on Monday, lawmakers and stakeholders wasted no time in making their support or opposition known regarding a proposed carbon market for the state.
EU carbon prices climbed to their highest all week on Friday as strong auction demand signals eclipsed the effect of a retreating energy complex.
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.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Extended – The US Congress ended another brief government shutdown by passing a budget deal early Friday morning. The bill reinstates or alters several energy-related credits, notably for the construction of new nuclear plants, biodiesel and renewable diesel production, and CCS. A 9 cent/barrel tax designed to fund the clean-up of oil spills is also brought back into effect on Mar. 1, having lapsed at the end of last year. Inside Climate News also reports that the budget deal returns a credit for homeowners to install geothermal heating and cooling systems. The credit starts at 30% for systems installed between 2017 and 2019 before declining to 22% by 2021. (Politico).
Nous aussi – Paris could become the first city in Europe to try to defray the cost of climate change by taking fossil fuel companies to court. The City Council recently passed a resolution to look into suing oil and gas companies to pay for the costs of climate impacts. It also wants to explore lobbying other major cities to pull their investments from fossil fuel producers, who have historically generated good returns for investors. In its resolution, Paris cited New York City as one of its inspirations for considering more aggressive actions to build momentum toward reaching the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. That agreement was signed in 2015, with nearly 200 countries agreeing hold global warming within 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times. Paris has recently dealt with record flooding of the Seine, its main river. (Climate Liability News)
Half measures – California regulators have recommended a target that would see utilities cut their GHG emissions in half by 2030 from 2015 levels, Bloomberg reports, as part of a state-wide effort to combat climate change. Utilities and other electricity providers would have to secure 10,200 MW of renewable energy resources and 2,000 MW of new battery storage to meet the target that the California Public Utilities Commission recommended to state environmental regulators on Thursday. The commission began a two-year planning process for utilities to propose resources that can be used to reach the goal. California has already set a target of cutting its carbon emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. (Carbon Brief)
Getting by with a little help from their friends – After failing to win a bailout for cash-strapped coal plants, some Trump administration officials are considering emergency orders that could keep at least some coal generators online, people familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg. The approach would require Rick Perry to use his authority as US energy secretary to spur emergency compensation for coal plants run by FirstEnergy Solutions that may be at risk of shutting, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Some Energy Department officials are weighing this option after federal regulators rejected a proposal by Perry last month to pay coal plants more for their “resilience,” they said. FirstEnergy hasn’t formally requested the aid, one of the people said. When asked to confirm the talks, an agency spokeswoman said “that is not correct information” but declined to provide further detail. The Energy Department’s press department later posted on Twitter that sources were “misinformed” on the consideration.
Tough on polluters* – The EPA released data Thursday demonstrating billions of dollars in enforcements against polluters from fiscal year 2017, which includes the last three months of the Obama administration. The numbers posted include $1.6 billion in penalties to polluters, which the agency boasts is the second-highest in the past decade. However, $1.5 billion of that figure came from the Volkswagen settlement, and experts say many of the enforcement actions were initiated under the Obama administration. The data also shows Trump’s EPA opened around 20% fewer civil cases against polluters and 30% fewer criminal cases than the Obama-era agency did in the 2016 fiscal year. (Climate Nexus)
British capacity – The UK’s capacity power auction for 2021/22 supply cleared at £8.40/kWh, below the £15-20 range that analysts had forecast. Coal units secured less than half that of a year earlier, but the low price resulting in firms planning new gas plants miss out and 45% of the sale going to existing gas-fired plants. Drax said it secured 1.2 GW of capacity from its two existing coal units. SSE won 3.4 GW but did not get any for its Fiddler’s Ferry coal plant. SSE said there would be no immediate impact as three of the four units there have agreements for supply until 2019 but said it will consult with major stakeholders and make a final decision about the plant’s future beyond that date. (Reuters)
Super savings – Ontario Progressive Conservative party leadership candidate Caroline Mulroney has said if she becomes premier, she will find roughly C$4 billion in internal government savings to balance her opposition to a provincial carbon pricing scheme. Mulroney announced Thursday that she had changed her mind after speaking to party members, and that she would dismantle Ontario’s cap-and-trade programme and resist the federal government from implementing its backstop pricing regime in its place. Previously she had said she would support the party’s existing manifesto and replace the provincial market with the federal tax-and-trade scheme. Voting by PC party members will take place Mar. 2-8, with the winner to be announced a couple days later as campaigning ahead of Ontario’s June 7 election heats up. (Globe & Mail)
Going off the rails – The prospects of the mega coal mine and rail project planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin by Indian giant Adani have taken a fresh hit, after listed Australian freight company Aurizon said it was no longer seeking federal funding to build the project’s rail line, Climate Home reports. Aurizon said on Friday that it would be withdrawing its application for funding under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, or Naif, due to a failure to secure “definitive contractual arrangements with any proponent”. Aurizon was seeking the federal funding to assist with a rail solution for the Carmichael coal mine, a crucial ingredient to opening up the remote Galilee Basin to a potentially huge coal mining and export project.
And finally… Learning by laughing – The German state of Hesse, led by a coalition of the conservative CDU and the Green, has hired the comedian duo Badesalz to advertise the ‘Energiewende’ energy transition to young people, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Frankfurter Rundschau. Hesse’s Green economy minister Tarek al-Wazir says the three video clips with the famous Hessian duo had to “go viral to reach young people”. Comedian Henni Nachtsheim says he was criticised for taking sides and politicising his work by anti-wind power activists, but coming from “a Green dynasty”, he would not have a problem “being used” for promoting the transition to renewable energy sources. (Clean Energy Wire)
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