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The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is grappling this week to secure an initial strategy to address shipping emissions, with countries edging towards agreeing a carbon-intensity goal initially and only later committing to absolute emission cuts and potentially using carbon markets.
Cement companies must double their rate of emission reductions to align with the 2C goal of the Paris Agreement, according to a report on Monday from non-profit CDP, which found EU ETS-regulated firms in particular lagging some rivals with operations in uncapped emerging economies.
Green group coalition CAN Europe is urging the EU to eliminate billions of euros in subsidies to support energy intensive industries such as steel and cement, which they say are continuing to pocket public money while doing little to cut emissions.
European carbon prices lifted on Monday as observers eyed a resumption of gains ahead of the annual compliance deadline in the wake of the first weekly price decline of the year.
China’s climate change office has asked for assistance from the power industry to develop realtime CO2 emissions data reporting for power stations covered by the national emissions trading scheme, a move that if successful would make it the world’s first carbon market to deploy such equipment.
Australia has issued nearly 1.1 million carbon credits over the past two weeks, with around 40% of them going to landfill operator LMS Energy, data from the Clean Energy Regulator showed.
A government-funded financing vehicle in China’s second-biggest coal-producing province has teamed up with the local carbon exchange to leverage public and private capital targeting carbon trading and clean industrial projects in a bid to cut its reliance on coal.
The nine RGGI member states submitted comments to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) website on Monday, suggesting that the state’s cap-and-trade-programme include a tighter allowance budget and share more regulatory alignment with the Northeast US carbon market.
Achieving newly-proposed emission reductions goals as part of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) remains uncertain due to both market and regulatory concerns, which could impact the viability of the clean fuel standard as a whole.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed new amendments on Friday for its electricity sector cap-and-trade programme intended to operate in parallel to RGGI.
CARBON FORWARD 2018
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Bank it – Central bank governors from the UK, France and the Netherlands are “considering increasing regulatory oversight to address climate-related risks to the financial system, including carbon stress tests for banks”. Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned of the “catastrophic impacts” of climate change and the dangers that could result from an abrupt transition to a low-carbon economy. (Financial Times)
Virginia Veto – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) has vetoed HB-1270, which would have required majority approval in both the House and Senate to implement or link to a cap-and-trade programme. The bill passed narrowly along party lines in both chambers this winter, and Republicans are not expected to acquire the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto. A government spokesperson confirmed last month that Gov. Northam intended to veto the legislation, having pushed hard for the start of a carbon market in Virginia since taking over the governorship in January. (Washington Post)
Waiver danger – A group of five Midwestern Republican senators sent a letter to President Trump on Monday to urge him in preventing the EPA from granting refiners any more waivers to be relieved of their compliance obligations under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2). The letter comes after the EPA reported granted waivers to three facilities of refiner Andeavor last week, which the senators argued benefitted a company that achieved $1.5 bln in profits last year. An additional 25 small refiner exemptions were reportedly issued by the EPA to facilities last year, which the senators said was undermining the integrity of the federal clean fuels market. President Trump was scheduled to meet with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Monday about ongoing efforts to reform the programme, with the latter cc’d on the senators’ letter (Reuters).
And finally… Not another Pruitt story – The latest controversy involving Scott Pruitt comes from an AP report which says that the embattled EPA head only flew first class when the bill was footed by taxpayers, instead opting for coach when travelling on his own dime. An EPA official cited in the report says that Pruitt’s security detail, totalling nearly $3 mln and triple the size of past administrators, involved pulling department officials away from field work to provide 24-hour security coverage, even on vacation. (Climate Nexus).
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