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Governments at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed to a provisional deal on Thursday for an initial strategy to address international shipping emissions, including a 50% long-term emission cut target, with the resolution due to be signed-off officially on Friday.
European carbon prices are expected to retreat somewhat by mid-year as the market corrects following the massive 60% rally posted in Q1, according to a poll of analysts.
EU carbon prices climbed to their highest for two weeks on Thursday in choppy trade, rebounding strongly after a weak auction result and despite analyst projections of a near-term correction.
A Chinese environmental NGO is suing the country’s State Grid Corp., claiming 310 million yuan ($49 mln) in damages for the company’s failure to comply with a 2006 law obligating it to purchase all the renewable energy generated within its area of operation.
New Zealand’s government on Thursday moved to burnish its environmental credentials by announcing a ban on all new offshore oil and gas exploration permits in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) finalised two offset protocols for use in the province’s cap-and-trade programme on Thursday, while also updating a third.
California regulator ARB this week released Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits for electric forklift charging in 2017, while monthly data showed that prices sank as volume picked up in both the California and Oregon clean fuels standards in March.
Prices on both coasts increased moderately this week and trading activity picked up in the as participants returned to their desks after the NACW industry conference.
The Hawaii state senate on Tuesday approved two bills that would create a voluntary carbon offset programme and make permanent a task force designed to bolster carbon sequestration efforts in line with the state’s climate goals.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Speeding up REDD+ – Myanmar will release its REDD+ strategy before the end of 2018, a year ahead of schedule in a bid to kickstart carbon offset projects that can help the South East Asian nation halt its rapid deforestation rates, reported Myanmar Times. In the past fifteen years, its annual deforestation rates have at times been as high as 500,000ha, some 1.6% of the nation’s total forest coverage.
World first – Australia is launching a world-first pilot project in Victoria to turn brown coal into hydrogen, which PM Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday labelled “a fuel of the future”. The hydrogen will be shipped to Japan under an agreement with a host of buyers, including the Japanese government. The project is branded a “clean energy” initiative, although involved parties admitted the process will create a huge amount of CO2 emissions. (ABC)
Cleaner infrastructure – In a cleaner move, Australia’s state-owned Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has invested A$150 million ($116m) into the nation’s biggest infrastructure fund, the Guardian reported. The move is targeted at driving emission cuts in some of Australia’s largest infrastructure units, including the Melbourne and Brisbane airports, Sydney’s Port Botany, the Port of Brisbane and Ausgrid. This is the first investment of its kind by the CEFC, and is expected to drive emission cuts of around 70,000 t/year.
Next in line – The US Senate voted by a 53-45 margin on Thursday to confirm Andrew Wheeler as the deputy administrator for the EPA. Wheeler formerly served as an advisor to climate sceptic Sen. James Inhofe from Oklahoma and currently works as a lobbyist for the coal industry. Three Democratic senators from coal states crossed the aisle to approve the vote, while environmental groups have criticised Wheeler for his past work with the fossil fuel industry. (The Washington Post)
Someone’s gotta do it – Green group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is developing a satellite to monitor methane emissions from over 50 oil and gas-producing regions worldwide, which the group says are not accurately tracked by companies presently. The satellite, MethaneSAT, will also map emissions of the highly potent GHG from dairy operations and rice paddies. EDF is in the process of raising $40 mln for the satellite, with hopes to launch it by early 2021. (Climate Nexus)
And finally … need nuclear – Possible US nuclear plant retirements will jeopardise an Obama-era goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050, according to new analysis. Think-tank Third Way looked at three scenarios where 20%, 50%, and 66% of nuclear plants are retired early by 2030, finding that in every case the US would fall off track in meeting its goal, with natural gas expected to replace the shuttered nuclear power. In response, Third Way says that more state-level policy efforts and the expansion of zero-emissions credits programmes could help prevent possible closures and incentivise growth in the clean energy source. (Axios)
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