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New Zealand on Thursday launched a public consultation on how to achieve its ambition of net zero emissions by 2050, but revealed that the target might cover less than half of the country’s total GHG output.
Czechia-based firm EPH gained ground on German utility RWE as the biggest emitter in the EU ETS last year as it continued to build its portfolio of thermal power assets, according to a report published Thursday.
EU carbon prices again gravitated towards €16 following a second day of choppy trade, failing to scale new ground after another strong auction.
Two contrasting carbon fee proposals between Washington DC lawmakers and environmental coalitions have highlighted the political differences between the groups while delaying the formal introduction of a bill, according to campaigners speaking at a panel on Thursday.
**NOTE: This week’s North American market report will be published on Friday in order to capture reaction to Thursday’s Ontario provincial election**
South Korean carbon allowances lost another 2% on Thursday as last week’s government auction and a large amount of swap deals have taken some of the edge off compliance demand, which has been estimated to be as high as 30 million.
A fast-rising number of companies worldwide are using green certificates as part of a strategy to help demonstrate their climate credentials, elevating their efforts to levels sometimes more ambitious than those required by governments under the Paris Agreement.
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
Suck-to-pump – A Canadian company is sucking CO2 from the atmosphere and combining it with hydrogen from water to create a low-carbon synthetic fuel. Calgary-based Carbon Engineering said in an economic analysis that their form of geoengineering is inching closer to commercial viability, with their BC-based plant capturing and converting CO2 at a cost of $94-232/tonne, depending on a variety of design options and economic assumptions. That’s a large decrease from the roughly $600/tonne quoted by Switzerland’s Climeworks, which is also pioneering similar technology. (Nature)
Always be closing – Several major US operators of nuclear reactors and coal plants said they had not changed plans to close plants in coming years, even after the White House said it would take emergency steps to subsidise struggling operators. President Trump last week directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take steps to keep coal and nuclear power plants running, citing a decades-old national security law as justification. (Reuters)
Not so fast – This week’s rollercoaster ride of speculation on whether or not the White House would announce plans to reform the US Renewable Fuels Standard (see our pieces here and here) may not be over yet. Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R), who has supported refiner interests in the battle over the direction of the federal biofuels policy, said Wednesday evening that a deal to overhaul the RFS could be revived, adding that “the conversations are ongoing”. This comes after Trump reportedly nixed the prospective plan to allow year-round E15 sales, allow exported ethanol to qualify for biofuels credits, and reallocate waived compliance obligations from small refiners to large ones. (Bloomberg)
Storm slowdown – Tropical storms over the past 70 years may have become more likely to slow down due to global warming, increasing the risk of heavy rainfall once reaching land. The research, published in Nature, found that the speed of tropical storms has decreased by an average of 10% from 1949 to 2016, with even larger reductions in the Western North Pacific (30%) and North Atlantic (20%). While natural factors could also be playing a role, the study did not parse out the impacts of anthropogenic climate change and natural variability. (Carbon Brief)
New RECords – Spot exchange operator CBL markets announced on Thursday that last month saw the most trades for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on its platform in a single month, which was an 8.9% increase over April’s previous record and almost 30 times January’s volume. Additionally, four different US REC products were transacted for the first time over the course of the month, including Maryland Class I v2018, Texas Green-E Eligible Wind v2017 Back Half, Texas v2016, and Texas v2017.
And finally… Follow the leader – US coal magnate Bob Murray sent six sample executive orders to the Trump Administration last year aimed at exiting the Paris Agreement and rolling back coal regulations, closely mirroring steps the government has taken in the time since. The documents, obtained by E&E News, included several orders for Energy Secretary Rick Perry and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to review and consider that were aimed at removing environmental barriers to the coal industry, including language to remove the US from the 2015 climate pact. Additional emails showed the role that former Murray lobbyist and current EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler had in setting up the meeting between Perry and Murray where the CEO presented government officials with a four-page action plan for scrapping these regulations.
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