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Governments at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted on Friday an initial strategy to address international shipping emissions, including setting a 2050 target to cut emissions by at least 50% under 2008 levels.
EU carbon prices ended higher for the sixth straight session on Friday, briefly climbing above €14 and near their seven-year high, though some warned weak auction demand could soon signal a correction.
The Alaska government produced a draft climate change policy this week that instructs the US state to begin looking at how carbon pricing may help achieve the state’s climate goals, though the text remained sparse on details.
Both the New Jersey Assembly and Senate approved two bills on Thursday to expand the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for conventional and solar renewable energy, as well as establishing a Zero Emission Certificate (ZEC) programme aimed at supporting struggling nuclear plants.
A new draft of Australia’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) leaked this week addresses some technical concerns, but the federal government has yet to release an update on political issues of the scheme, such as its overall emissions target.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator this week handed out over 285,000 carbon credits, but no new offset projects sought registration despite the deadline for joining the next ERF auction being just a week away.
An experienced Singapore-based energy markets executive has left Engie Global Markets.
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.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cleaning out the closet I – Only a day after New Zealand banned future oil and gas exploration in its waters, the government released the nation’s first major climate finance report in a major push for corporate New Zealand to take stock of and disclose climate change risks, wrote the NZ Herald. The report includes a snapshot of key existing climate finance flows and a look at the instruments available to the government and private sector such as grants, debt and bonds, and can be downloaded here.
Cleaning out the closet II – PKA, the Danish pension fund, has ditched 35 oil and gas companies from its investment portfolio over what it claims is failure on their behalf to follow the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to a Reuters report. The $46-billion fund has previously booted out 70 coal companies, and will look at the auto industry next, it said.
Forest cover – Colombia has added 8 million hectares to its protected areas this month in an effort to stem forest loss and will give indigenous communities more say over their ancestral lands, President Juan Manuel Santos announced this week. This brings the total area of protected forests in Colombia to nearly 40 million hectares. Norway’s environment minister Ola Elvestuen said his government would extend a $50 million a year agreement with Colombia by five years to 2025 under which Colombia gets payouts for meeting verified targets to reduce emissions by slowing deforestation. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
The long game – While the challenge of tackling climate change tends to focus on immediate action, “we have to keep an eye on the future”, writes UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa to publicise the launch of “Long-term Climate Strategies”. In partnership with think-tank World Resources Institute and United Nations Development Programme, the UNFCCC aims to provide nations and stakeholders with a library of value resources to help develop long-term climate strategies and ensure they are successfully implemented. (Climate Home)
Dismissed, again – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Friday threw out a lawsuit by Exxon Mobil against the state’s Attorney General Maura Healy, arguing that the top law enforcement officer did indeed have jurisdiction to question whether the oil giant violated Massachusetts’ consumer protections laws by marketing and selling fossil fuels. Exxon said it did not have to hand over documents to Massachusetts related to its prior knowledge of fossil fuel production on climate change since the company is incorporated in New Jersey and Texas, a position which Justice Elspeth Cypher did not accept given Exxon’s control over advertising in 300 of its franchised gas stations in the state. The victory for Healy and climate advocates comes after a Manhattan court also threw out Exxon’s lawsuit against the New York Attorney General on the same issue last month. (Reuters)
And finally … Waiting out the waiver – Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said on Thursday that his agency would likely take some sort of action to keep struggling coal and nuclear plants from coming offline, but did not commit to a particular policy. Speaking before the House Energy and Environment Committee, agreed with West Virginia Representative David McKinley (R) that taking measures to prevent the retirement of ailing coal and nuclear facilities would be vital to national security. However, earlier in the week Perry said that the Department of Energy (DOE) would not issue an emergency cost support, or 202(c) request, to help a plant economically, with the waiver historically reserved for unexpected events like natural disasters. Perry’s statement comes after utility FirstEnergy asked DOE to grant its 202(c) request after it announced it would close all three of its nuclear plants. (Utility Dive)
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