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EU lawmakers are on course to set 2030 renewables and energy efficiency goals of above 30% later today, Europe’s climate chief Miguel Arias Canete said Wednesday.
Global CO2 emissions from energy use climbed 1.6% in 2017 as output rose in both rich and emerging economies amid a pick-up in industrial activity, according to oil major BP.
Low abatement, high costs to characterise future of cap-and-trade in Ontario and Quebec, study warns
Achieving emissions reductions in line with Ontario and Quebec’s climate goals will not occur under forecast WCI carbon prices, though it will see billions of dollars sent to California or elsewhere by the two provinces, according to a study released Wednesday.
California regulator ARB handed out just shy of 790,000 carbon offsets across three different project types this week, as compliance demand helps boost prices.
China’s climate officials are eager to include offsets in the national emissions trading scheme as a means to fund forestry and renewable energy projects, according to a senior official, offering a glimmer of hope for beleaguered developers.
EU Market: EUAs climb further above €15 after bumper auction, as lawmakers close in on stronger energy targets
EU carbon prices inched higher on Wednesday after the market managed to absorb a large UK auction and as EU lawmakers were poised to set new clean energy goals.
A British man has received a maximum 15-year disqualified order for his role in a £7 million tax fraud involving emissions allowances.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Beginning of his end? – One of US EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s top congressional allies suggested Wednesday he may need to resign due to the many scandals surrounding him. Republican Senator Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma, where Pruitt was Attorney General, has been close with the EPA boss for years and agrees with nearly all of his policy positions, but said that something might need to change at the agency. “I see these things, they upset me as much as they upset you,” Inhofe told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. Pruitt has been beset by a litany of scandals during his tenure as EPA administrator, ranging from his travel and security expenses to his leasing of a DC condo from the wife of a prominent Washington lobbyist. “I’m afraid my good friend Scott Pruitt has done some things that really surprised me. And I’m the one to say this because frankly he’s a good friend of mine,” said Inhofe. His comments come following reports that Pruitt last year had a top aide help contact Republican donors who might offer his wife a job, eventually securing her a position at a conservative political group that has backed him for years, according to multiple individuals familiar with the matter. Separately, a conservative activist group is out with a new television commercial calling on President Trump to fire Pruitt, calling him a “swamp monster” and an embarrassment to the administration. The advert by the American Future Fund runs through some of Pruitt’s recent scandals before the voiceover says “Mr. President, you know what to do” and cots to a clip of Trump on “The Apprentice” saying “You’re fired!” (The Hill)
Not an emergency – Federal regulators on Tuesday disputed the Trump administration’s claim that struggles facing the US coal and nuclear industries threaten the reliability of the nation’s power grid. “There is no immediate calamity or threat,” the Republican chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told Congress. Existing power sources are sufficient to satisfy the nation’s energy needs, FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre added. Four other commissioners from both parties agreed there is no immediate threat to the grid. The comments before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee contradict a recent White House directive ordering action to keep coal-fired and nuclear power plants open as a matter of national and economic security. (AP)
It’s all about the money – Climate financing by the world’s six largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) rose to a seven-year high of $35.2 billion in 2017, up 28% on the previous year. The MDBs’ latest joint report on climate financing said $27.9 billion, or 79% of the 2017 total, was devoted to climate mitigation projects that aim to reduce harmful emissions and slow down global warming. The remaining 21% or $7.4 billion of financing for emerging and developing nations was invested in climate adaptation projects that help economies deal with the effects of climate change such as unusual levels of rain, worsening droughts and extreme weather events. (World Bank Group)
Nordic push – Nordic businesses and the region’s financial sector and NGOs are calling on the EU to set a target for achieving net-zero emissions at the latest by 2050 or earlier, to agree a corresponding binding carbon budget for the remaining GHG emissions, and to revise and align the 2030 and 2040 targets with the net-zero target.
And finally… Freeze game – Oil operations in Alaska are specially designed for freezing conditions. But as the climate changes, the state is warming twice as fast as the rest of the country. That poses a challenge for the oil industry, according to NPR, and a boon for Alaska businesses that are creating products to help it continue to extract fossil fuels from the ground. One innovation involves small monitoring stations that indicate when the ground has frozen to an adequate level, in order to help oil companies squeeze the longest possible exploration season into steadily shrinking winters. Another sees long metal tubes pump a refrigerant into the ground to keep the permafrost frozen and allow oil and gas companies to continue operating. One observer likened it to a cancer patient having a stoma inserted into his neck to allow him to continue smoking.
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