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Switzerland has begun talks with several developing nations to test pilot GHG-cutting initiatives, aiming to secure carbon credits that could be eventually used to help meet its Paris Agreement goal.
Once a bastion of EU carbon trading fraud, France has found almost a fifth of its burgeoning ‘white’ energy efficiency certificate market to be “problematic” since it relaxed auditing rules, delivering another stark warning over the potential pitfalls of market-based environmental policies.
Fossil fuel-based projects in developing and eastern European countries have been the largest individual beneficiaries from selling offsets to emitters in the EU ETS since 2014, while more than 75% of the credits came from just two countries.
EU carbon prices hit a new seven-year high near €15 on Friday, extending this week’s strong gains in thinner holiday trade despite next week’s return to normal auction levels.
Average credit prices in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in April marched back towards record highs set earlier this year, while data from the Oregon Clean Fuels Program (OCFP) revealed a credit surplus for the state’s clean fuel standard in 2017.
Over 60,000 forest carbon credits issued by the Guangdong provincial government have sold at a 10% premium to allowances in China’s biggest emissions market, the local exchange said.
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.
CARBON FORWARD 2018
Don’t miss the 3rd annual Carbon Forward conference and training day – Oct. 16-18, 2018 in London.
Spend two days with top experts, players, and decision-makers from the global carbon markets as they address today’s most attractive opportunities and pressing challenges. And join us for the EU ETS pre-conference training day organised by carbon market experts Redshaw Advisors, where you will learn how to effectively manage your carbon risk ahead of the looming overhaul of the bloc’s emissions trading scheme.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Job done – Australia has officially met its 2020 renewable energy target, with 6,553 MW of solar and wind power either finalised or under construction, the Clean Energy Regulator said Friday. The country needed 6,400 MW in new capacity to meet the target. A further 1,454 MW in projects subject to power purchase agreements are likely to be fully financed and under construction this calendar year, the CER added. (RenewEconomy)
Let’s make a deal – President Trump has directed US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to work on a deal with California over vehicle GHG and fuel economy requirements, according to two sources familiar with a May 11 meeting between Trump and a group of auto executives. (InsideEPA, $)
Taxless in PEI – Canada’s Prince Edward Island released its climate change plan today and it doesn’t include a carbon tax, PEI’s Guardian newspaper reports. The five-year plan sets a target to cut the province’s GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 – in line with the federal government’s goal under the Paris Agreement. While PEI’s ruling Liberal government said it is using incentives and other conservation measures – laid out in 32 action points – as a way to try to avoid imposing a carbon tax, the plan appears to be the latest in a series of provincial climate strategies that fly in the face of Ottawa’s requirement that all subnational measures include carbon pricing. According to Climate Change and Environment Canada, PEI emitted 2.1 million tonnes in 2005 and cut that to 1.8 Mt a decade later, putting the province half way to reaching its new goal.
Blow over glow – State-controlled utility PGE has abandoned its leading role in plans to build Poland’s first nuclear power station as it focuses on new wind farms in the Baltic Sea, Reuters reports. PGE announced a nearly $10 billion offshore wind project in March but has also been responsible for the nuclear project. Two sources said state-run refiner PKN Orlen could take on PGE’s role in the nuclear initiative.
#Coalexit commission – Germany is about to launch a highly anticipated task force on phasing out coal power. The government will likely nominate the coal exit commission next Tuesday. There was intense fighting over its makeup in the run-up to the announcement, because it is considered crucial to the path Germany will take to ditch the CO2-intensive fossil fuel. A well-connected coal industry expert in favour of ambitious climate protection, who did not want to be named, told Clean Energy Wire: “The more details I hear about the commission’s makeup and mode of operation, the more pessimistic I get that climate protection will be a priority.”
Green gas – German utility Uniper has launched a pilot scheme to produce methane from wind power as the country seeks wider uses for renewable energy, Reuters reports. The plant, set up five years ago in Germany’s wind-swept Brandenburg state, already produces green hydrogen by running wind power through water to split it into oxygen and hydrogen.
Clean aluminium – Rio Tinto, Alcoa, and Apple have joined forces to find a way to produce zero-carbon aluminium, the Australian Financial Review reported. A new joint venture company named Elysis aims to have a commercially viable product ready by 2024, after starting off with C$188 mln in funding from Apple and local Canadian governments.
No longer a problem – The Pentagon downplayed the threat climate change poses to national security and edited out multiple references to climate change in a report about US military installations, the Washington Post reported. An unpublished Dec. 2016 draft of the Defense Department document, obtained by the Post, directly discusses the impact of sea-level rise and other extreme weather patterns on military bases, many references of which were scrubbed out or downplayed in the final version. The final version, which was presented to Congress in January of this year, contains only one use of the phrase “climate change,” while the draft document used the phrase 23 times. (Climate Nexus)
Jungle love – The Mexican state of Yucatan has inked a bilateral agreement with California to explore mechanisms to develop projects to finance the preservation of the Mayan Jungle through the sale of offsets into the US state’s carbon market. Yucatan Governor Rolando Zapata met with California’s Jerry Brown prior to the annual meeting of the Governor’s Climate & Forest Task Force (GCF Task Force) to be held this September, together with the Climate Action Summit. Yucatan committed to providing seed capital of $200,000 to create the Fund for Research on Climate Change in Tropical Regions to facilitate the transfer of information between the members of the Under2 MOU coalition. Nearly 80% of Yucatan is covered in forests and jungles. Both states also agreed to devise a protocol for the production of organic agri-food and develop more strategies to accelerate the transition towards carbon neutrality in public offices and buildings. (The Yucatan Times)
Eye in the sky no more – The Trump administration has ended NASA’s monitoring system into greenhouse gases, a US journal has revealed. The Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10 mln/year project which remotely tracks the world’s flow of carbon dioxide, is to lose funding. Science magazine reports that its loss jeopardises the ability to measure national emission cuts – as agreed to by nations in the Paris climate deal. (BBC)
And finally… Walking on sunshine – The organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are backing a Scottish-based project to create sidewalks paved with solar panels. The international team, led from Glasgow Caledonian University, is developing solar pavements that are coated in a tough epoxy resin and have a scuff- and slip-proof finish in a range of colours. The idea has won an award from the Qatar 2022 organising committee, which is backing the ‘PVTopia project’ to create a prototype with the aim of demonstrating a full solar pavement during the tournament. Experts are looking for new ways to deploy solar energy resources as roof space is diminishing and cities are getting more dense amid rising electricity demand. (BBC)
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