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China has officially withdrawn its intention to participate in the UN’s CORSIA aviation offsetting scheme, Carbon Pulse has learned, dealing a massive blow to efforts to rein in the sector’s rising emissions.
Ontario entities saw access to their cap-and-trade accounts restricted on Tuesday as new Premier Doug Ford officially cancelled the province’s carbon market.
Power sector emissions in California surpassed 2017 levels over the first four months of the year, though fuel consumption for both gasoline and diesel fell simultaneously to possibly counteract the overall impact on the state’s cap-and-trade emissions.
A California Assembly committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 2030 and set a goal for 100% renewable energy by mid-century.
A US project developer has introduced a new bundled offset product designed for voluntary market buyers looking for offsets “a little more tangible” than current offerings.
China outlined new targets in its extended anti-air pollution action plan on Tuesday, according to a State Council statement that included restrictions on industrial projects in heavily polluted cities that are also aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
EU carbon prices inched higher for a second day on Tuesday, buoyed by record high power prices that overshadowed the bearish impact of a weak auction.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Gift governance – The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) governing council on Tuesday agreed to set up a working group to allay concerns about industry influence that could threaten the body’s climate goals. The decision follows a proposal from 12 countries and research from watchdogs Influence Map and Transparency International, which cited the fact that industry representatives outnumber civil society advocates by nearly five-to-one as observers to committee meetings. It also flagged that 10 states provide two-thirds of the IMO’s funding and nine of them hold elected seats on the council. The watchdog report also flagged a lack of mechanisms to ensure the public that states are not buying influence, with a note from IMO officials confirming that receptions and gift giving are common practice for council election campaigning every two years. (Climate Home)
The opposition forms – In response to Washington state campaigners submitting enough signatures to put a $15/t carbon tax on the November ballot, a new political-action committee has formed to oppose the initiative. The ‘No on 1631’ Committee counts oil giants BP, Chevron, and Phillips 66 amongst its contributors. While BP did not take a position on the failed I-732 carbon tax initiative in 2016, a company official says that it does not approve of I-1631 because it is not economy-wide and does not treat equivalent emissions across different industries the same. A representative from Shell also said that I-1631 lacks a convincing argument for how emissions would be reduced, but noted it has not continued its participation in the opposition campaign. (The Seattle Times)
Time to get digging – A US District Court has given the EPA more time to hand over scientific information in a court case that relates to agency head Scott Pruitt’s assertion that human activity is not “a primary contributor to global warming that we see”. The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the EPA to produce information backing up Pruitt’s comments on financial network CNBC, with the court having rejected the EPA’s refusal to search for corresponding records backing up Prutt’s statement last month. After the EPA appealed for more time, stating that the agency “and its counsel are still working on developing an appropriate search methodology”, Judge Beryl Howell ordered the EPA to complete its search by July 11 and produce the information by Aug. 1. (Politico)
Warming warning – New analysis from Carbon Brief looks at the distribution of global warming effects based on the regional distribution of populations over the globe. Through the present day, nearly the entire global population has lived through warming of 0.5 C and 68% have experienced temperature increases of 1 C, with greater warming patterns exhibited closer to the poles. While limiting global temperature rise to “well under” 2 C would only result in 14% of populations experiencing temperatures above 2 C by 2100, nearly the entire global population would see warming exceed 2 C if temperatures surge to 2.7 C higher on average than the period from 1900-1920. Moreover, an average 4.8 C increase globally would not only see 44% of the world’s population bear a 5 C rise in temperatures, but 7% of those people would face 6 C of warming.
And finally… When Chick-fil-A doesn’t pay the bills – New details collected by investigators from the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee late last week have revealed even more possible conflicts of interests for, and violations of federal ethics law by, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The Washington Post reports that Samantha Dravis, former EPA associate administrator for the Office of Policy, told Republican and Democratic staffers during a Thursday interview that Pruitt had sought out a job for his wife with an annual salary greater than $200,000 per year. Eventually, GOP lawyer Cleta Mitchell helped Marlyn Pruitt land a job at the Judicial Crisis Network, but the conservative group said it paid her less than six figures before her contract ended earlier this year. Dravis also described how Pruitt asked her and another former aide to review a rental agreement that he had wanted to break. In another instance, according to former EPA deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski, then-executive scheduler Sydney Hupp was stuck with a $600 bill for putting a hotel reservation for Pruitt’s family during his transition to agency head on her personal credit card rather than his own. Hupp reportedly approached chief of staff Ryan Jackson about the issue, after which Chmielewski said that Jackson left the $600 in cash in Hupp’s drawer. Additionally, Chmielewski tells CNN that EPA staffers met routinely to “scrub” Pruitt’s official calendar of meetings and appointments that might “look bad”, amounting to a potential violation of federal law by “falsifying records” or hiding public records. CNN’s review confirms that over two dozen meetings, calls, or appointments were missing from the Pruitt’s public calendar compared to internal EPA schedules and emails, including a dinner at Trump International Hotel in Australia hosted by coal producer Alliance Resource Partners and another dinner with Vatican official and Cardinal Pell, known for his denial of climate change and allegations of sexual offences.
One adviser to Trump described getting rid of Pruitt as a Kelly priority before he ends his chief of staff term (if one believes it’s really over). Increasingly Trump is said to have become exasperated by the daily Pruitt corruption allegations. Some expect action soon
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) 3 July 2018
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