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The supply of California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) is forecast to balloon over the next few years regardless of looming post-2020 limitations on their use, according to analysts.
Carbon market analysts, brokers and project developers are upbeat on the outlook for offset projects across North America, with restrictions on credits from 2020 in the region’s largest market balanced by the prospect of demand from other jurisdictions.
The number of Colombian CERs voluntarily cancelled by emitters against the country’s carbon tax has surged over the past three months, following the introduction of new offset usage restrictions in January.
EU carbon prices unwound early gains on Wednesday after another weak auction kept traders cautious about whether the first quarter’s massive rally would continue in Q2.
New Zealand can save NZ$30 billion through 2050 and cut mid-century carbon prices by half if it launches a broad climate policy that includes agriculture in the ETS, according to bank Westpac.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Another Swedish carbon tax – Sweden has introduced domestic carbon tax on all passenger flights departing from a Swedish airport, New Mobility News reports. Passengers will have to pay 60 to 400 crown (€5.80 to €38.80) depending on their destination. Exceptions will be made for children younger than two, crew, and people in transit who don’t leave the airplane or airport. A recent survey shows 53% of Swedes in favour of the charge, though the country’s official opposition criticised the move and prefers to make biofuel partly obligatory for airplanes. Sweden was one of the first countries to impose a carbon tax, introducing a levy back in the 1990s that has since grown to around £150/tonne.
Ginger push for coal – A clique of right-wing backbenchers of the ruling Australian Coalition government referred to as the “ginger group” are trying to marshal opposition against the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), Fairfax media reported. The group, mostly consisting of MPs that have fallen out with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, including former PM Tony Abbott and former vice PM Barnaby Joyce, want to end subsidies to renewables and ensure the future of coal in Australia. However, sources speaking to Fairfax said the group is struggling to get serious numbers, with only around 10 of 85 MPs from the leading Liberal party signing up. One member of the group, former Defence Minister Kevin Andrews, drew ire when word came out that he wanted to name the group the “Monash Forum” after General John Monash, a World War I hero in Australia.
Lubricating the transition – The International Lubricant Distributors (ILD), the Australian distributor for Chinese-owned Sinopec Premium Lubricants, has become the latest Australian company to win carbon neutral certification. Emitting only 466 tonnes of CO2e in FY2016-2017, the company has bought a corresponding number of VCUs from a hydro power project in Chongqing, China, via Pangolin Associates.
No friend of ours – Green group Friends of the Earth Netherlands has threatened to sue oil giant Shell to “take responsibility for its part in causing global climate damage”. The potential legal action comes after Shell reported that it would put 5% of its future investments in sustainable energy, while directing the remaining 95% towards oil and gas extraction. This marks the latest instance of environmental organisations or governments suing oil companies for their role on contributing to climate change, with similar cases filed in New York and California. (Climate Home)
Blocking the sun – Scientists in developing nations plan to step up solar geo-engineering research, hoping to judge if a man-made chemical sunshade would be less risky than a harmful rise in global temperatures. Research is now dominated by rich nations but 12 developing nation scholars wrote in the journal Nature that the poor were most vulnerable to global warming and should be more involved. The new $400,000 Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI) research project is issuing a first call for scientists to apply for finance this week. The SRMGI is financed by a foundation backed by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz. (Reuters)
Refiner relief – The EPA has given three of US oil refiner Andeavor’s ten facilities waivers to avoid its 2016 compliance requirement with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), according to Reuters. While the waivers were designed for refineries that produce less than 75,000 barrels per day, biofuels groups have argued that Andeavor, who posted profits of $1.5 billion last year, is escaping its obligation to surrender Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the RFS2, which they worry could cause more small refiners to file for this waiver in the future and depress RIN prices. The waiver could also reduce Andeavor’s compliance costs by over $50 million this year.
And finally… The people want prices – More Canadians would prefer to vote for a political candidate who promised a price on carbon than a candidate who is opposed to it, according to Abacus data commissioned by Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission. Despite Scott Moe winning the Saskatchewan election on a promise to fight the federal carbon tax tooth and nail, and two other poll-leading candidates, Jason Kenney and Doug Ford, promising to join the anti-carbon price fight if elected in Alberta and Ontario respectively, data shows that over one-third (37%) of Canadians would prefer to vote for a candidate who promises to put a price on carbon, whereas only 26% who prefer a candidate opposed. The decision wouldn’t impact another 37% of Canadians, unsurprising given that 41% of voters do not even know how or if their province prices carbon, according to the survey.
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