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Finland’s government has opted to ban coal in energy production from 2029, a move that the power sector branded “cosmetic” for reducing a tiny amount of residual emissions for €100 per tonne of CO2.
EUAs hit a one-week high on Wednesday as a stronger auction prolonged bullish momentum while traders played down prospects of a near-term correction.
California regulator ARB did not hand out any California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) on Wednesday, the first issuance round since June 2015 where no new offsets were distributed.
Several US senators expressed their concerns that a new bill to support the development of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies could undermine environmental regulations during a committee hearing on Tuesday.
Australia’s Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg wants the final rules of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) agreed by August and legislated by the end of the year, he said Wednesday, showing little interest in compromising on issues that critics have identified as shortcomings of the scheme.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Japan open – An advisory panel to the Japanese government, whose recommendations will feed into a review of the country’s 2030 basic energy plan and its measures to cut carbon emissions by 2050, listed nuclear as a future energy option. It still said Japan should reduce its dependence on atomic power, shift from coal to gas and boost renewable energy but did not give a proposed energy mix for future years. Nuclear shutdowns since the 2011 Fukushima disaster have boosted Japan’s reliance on coal and gas and endangered efforts to cut emissions. (Reuters)
Well wisher – North Dakota has been given the first licence to take waste CO2 from coal-fired power plants and store it in underground wells. The EPA approved this licence on Tuesday, with Administrator Scott Pruitt saying that it will continue to work with the state in ensuring the quality of the state’s drinking water after implementing the programme. However, critics have said that North Dakota may not be able to reliably manage the programme due to a decrease in tax revenues. (Climate Nexus)
Sayonara, solar – A South Carolina bill that would have removed a limit on the amount of solar energy used in the state fell short at a full House vote on Tuesday. While the chamber voted favourably on the bill by a 61-44 margin, opponents had labelled the bill as a property tax increase, which rendered the legislation nine votes short of a two-thirds majority necessary to approve tax raises. (AP)
Marine meltdown – Heatwaves throughout the world’s oceans are now happening over a greater amount of time and intensity than in the early 20th century, according to a new study. Between the periods 1925-54 and 1987-2016, marine heatwaves have grown 34% more likely and 17% longer, with the total number of days to experience a heatwave increasing by 54% over that time. (Carbon Brief)
And finally… Lost in base – A movement to oust embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt now has an additional base of support: the majority of his department. The American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, which counts roughly 8,000 of the agency’s 14,000 employees as members, has joined the “Boot Pruitt” campaign, started last month by green groups Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club to remove Pruitt after a series of scandals involving the EPA reached a critical mass this spring. (Bloomberg)
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