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The European Commission has stressed it will examine whether to set a steeper EU ETS cap reduction as part of a future review of post-2020 reforms, which are just weeks away from becoming law after a legislative process lasting two-and-a-half years.
EU carbon prices notched a small gain on Friday to stay comfortably in positive territory for the week, but without testing the six-year high of €10.02 reached on Feb. 14.
The newest version of Washington state’s proposed carbon tax was approved by another Senate body late Thursday, but concerns over the regressive nature of the tax cloud the future of a full floor vote.
China will include green finance track records in its regular appraisal of domestic banks, a step on the way towards obligating financial institutions to increase lending to green projects.
New Zealand carbon permits fell 15 cents on Friday to a 7-week low after some fresh supply from foresters helped quell demand.
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
It’s for us – George David Banks – who recently resigned as Donald Trump’s senior advisor on energy and climate change – says that “the Paris agreement is a good Republican agreement.” He adds: “It’s everything the Bush administration wanted.” Banks says he stands by Trump’s decision last summer to withdraw the US from the global accord, despite having urged him behind the scenes to remain in. “A lot can happen between now and 2020 … He’s still thinking about it … I think he wants to keep the option alive.” (New York Times)
Fuel duel – Reuters reports that President Trump will hold a meeting next Tuesday with key senators and officials to go over possible changes to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) and RINs market, citing four sources. One source said that a focal point of the meeting will be to discuss how to keep Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) – a refiner that declared bankruptcy last month over allegedly insurmountable RINs costs – afloat in the short term. The other sources reported that members of the meeting will debate putting a cap on the cost of RINs and driving speculators out of the market. GOP Senators and officials from oil and agriculture states have consistently butted heads over the future of the programme, with Sen. Ted Cruz holding a rally at PES earlier this week in which he slammed the current RFS2.
Blocked – The US Department of the Interior’s attempt to delay key requirements of a methane waste rule was stopped by a federal judge Thursday night. Judge William Orrick, hailing from the US District Court for Northern California, said that the department’s move was “untethered to evidence”, and went on to note that Interior’s attempts to portray the delay as beneficial to the climate were in fact actually negative. Orrick also said that the petitioners of the case – New Mexico, California, and environmental organisations – are likely to win the case, having demonstrated that the continued release of methane from natural gas produces damaging climate pollution, and health impacts. (Politico)
And justice for all – California has created a new Bureau of Environmental Justice to combat the federal government’s efforts to rescind environmental regulations and protect the health of the state’s residents. Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday assigned four lawyers to the new team, which will attend to low-income Californians and persons of colour that bear the brunt of pollution and environmental hazards. Already, Becerra has sued the federal government thirty times over measures including the federal decisions to reopen California’s coast to offshore drilling and suspend or repeal the Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan. (SF Chronicle)