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Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party and leader Doug Ford won a majority government in Thursday’s provincial election, threatening the future of the province’s cap-and-trade programme and its WCI linkage.
New Zealand on Friday issued a public consultation paper aimed at improving the emissions trading scheme’s workability for forest-owners, plugging a loophole that has inadvertently encouraged foresters to avoid replanting for four years after harvest.
Over 300,000 local forest carbon offsets were sold in an auction on the China Emissions Exchange in Guangzhou Thursday at 37% above the price floor, but marginally below the daily secondary-market closing price for allowances.
South Korean CO2 permits lost another 2.25% on Friday to hit their lowest levels since January, even as volumes remained far above average levels as emitters race to meet the June 30 compliance deadline.
New offset issuances in Australia this week fell to 102,300 as most eyes were focused on the seventh Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction, which closed Thursday.
Australian airline Qantas and carbon project developer GreenCollar Group have partnered up to generate and market credits from projects that cut greenhouse gas emissions and help the threatened Great Barrier Reef.
EU ETS carbon allowances need to reach €28 to incentivise utilities to switch from burning coal to cleaner gas on a large scale and in turn generate substantial emission reductions, an analyst said Friday.
EU carbon prices slipped back below €16 on Friday, with prices shedding almost two-thirds of the gains built up during this week’s run to a fresh seven-year high.
California carbon prices dropped sharply on Friday after Ontario’s general election returned a majority for the Progressive Conservatives, who have pledged to end the province’s participation in the WCI cap-and-trade system.
The number of projects that have been deregistered from the CDM has doubled, according to UNFCCC data.
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
G6 vs G1 – The G7 summit has kicked off in Quebec, with Trump’s positions on climate change already becoming a contentious issue. French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants to make progress in discussions on the Paris Agreement, as well as tariffs and the Iran nuclear deal, before the countries sign their usual joint communique. But Trump has announced he will leave the summit early, skipping some sessions focused on climate change, while expectations are that the US again protests to the use of the term in the final group statement.
Tougher oversight – The Chongqing municipal auditing bureau will closely monitor the management of the local carbon trading exchange and the emissions trading scheme to ensure the market operates in a healthy manner and effectively cuts carbon emissions, it announced this week. The market, one of China’s pilot cap-and-trade programmes, is occasionally marred by price swings of several thousand percent on minimal volume. The auditing bureau will review the performance of the exchange’s CEO and determine whether liable companies have fulfilled their duties under the scheme. It will also run checks on allocation design, MRV and penalties in a bid to normalise trading behaviour, it said.
Aiming for zero – A new analysis suggests that policymakers should consider using alternatives to the social cost of carbon when developing CO2 taxes and clean energy subsidies. Instead, carbon prices should be calculated based on what cost-effectively puts countries on the path to long-term “net zero” emissions, according to economist Noah Kaufmann of the Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Kauffman says that there is less uncertainty involved in creating carbon prices to achieve a specific emissions outcome, such as a 10-year emissions target leading the way to the net zero goal. (Axios).
Out of power – The largest coal plant in the western US moved one step closer to shuttering on Thursday when a key supplier chose not to renew its agreement with the facility. The Central Arizona Project (CAP), which supplies water from the Colorado River to central and southern parts of the state, will not re-up its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the state’s 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station. While CAP said that its decision was largely based on diversifying its power purchase portfolio, it also added that cost played a factor, with a CAP official attesting that one analysis showed a PPA with the Navajo Generating Station would have raised water rates by $14 million. The station is scheduled to close by the end of 2019 unless a buyer steps in to take over the lease. (Utility Dive)
And finally… Lotion commotion – The latest in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s saga of using public resources and employees to achieve personal gains (including the used mattress and Chick-fil-A controversy this week) continues as new reports say that Pruitt asked members of his 24/7 security detail to run errands for fancy toiletries and artisanal snacks. The security personnel – who cost taxpayers $3.5 million during Pruitt’s first year in office – were asked to fetch the EPA head’s dry cleaning and even find a specific lotion from a Ritz-Carlton hotel that was on sale. Additionally, aides were also requested to collect specific treats during the day, including Greek Yogurt, Dean & Deluca snacks, and pour-over coffee. (Climate Nexus)
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