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Debates over a nationwide US carbon tax are heating up this week as a Republican lawmaker’s proposal to phase out environmental regulations in favour of a CO2 fee circulated on Tuesday, while other GOP lawmakers moved closer to voting on a symbolic anti-carbon tax resolution.
New Zealand carbon allowances rose to fresh record highs on Tuesday as the lack of available supply in the market continued to push up prices.
ACT Climate Minister Shane Rattenbury has thrown fresh doubt on the Australian federal government’s ability to pass the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), saying his state won’t sign up to the scheme unless its emission reduction ambition is raised.
Britain should impose an economy-wide carbon tax with border adjustments should it exit the EU ETS along with the wider bloc from at the end of 2020, according to an influential UK think-tank.
EU carbon prices lifted back above €16 on Tuesday as buyers stepped in despite another weak auction and lower energy prices.
The UK’s partly-devolved Scottish government has fined two installations operated by energy majors Shell and Engie a total £75,000 for non-compliance under the EU ETS.
Share index compiler S&P Dow Jones has launched a series of equity market indexes to measure the performance of companies against their valuation at risk from predicted 2030 carbon prices.
CARBON FORWARD 2018
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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
World first – Europe’s massive free trade deal with Japan is the first the EU has struck with a specific provision on the Paris climate agreement, Climate Home reports. The deal, finalised at a meeting of leaders in Tokyo on Tuesday, will create the world’s largest open trade zone. In a first for EU trade deals, the world’s second and fourth largest economies agreed to work together to uphold the Paris climate deal. Trade could make a “positive contribution” to the fight to stop global warming, the agreement noted. The deal also said Japan and the EU would “strive to facilitate” trade in renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions. Europe’s commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmstrom has previously said participation in the Paris climate deal was a prerequisite for striking free trade deals with Europe.
Disappointing trend – Global investment in energy efficiency and renewables dropped 7% in 2017, a trend that the International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol called “disappointing” in expanding clean energy to meet climate and air quality goals. According to the IEA’s annual report published Tuesday, investment in nuclear also reached its lowest level in five years, and combined investment in the oil, gas, and electricity sectors dropped by 2% to $1.8 trillion overall. While electricity investments outpaced those of oil and gas for the second time, the gap narrowed as the latter sector bounced back from a price collapse several years ago. (Axios)
Gone long – The European Commission has launched a 12-week consultation on revising its long-term low-carbon development strategy. The executive has pledged to publish a draft version in November, ahead of the year-end UN climate talks, but the final version might take as long as two years to finalise. Read our take on what’s in store here.
CCS contribution – The industry-backed investment firm OGCI Climate Investments has made an $11 million (C$14.5 mln) contribution to advanced CCS company Inventys for its 30 tonne/day demonstration facility in Saskatchewan. The plant, owned by petroleum company Husky Energy, features Inventys’ adsorbent technology for taking in and sequestering CO2, rather than chemical solvents called amines that are usually used in the process. Inventys is aiming for the project to begin in Q1 2019, with commercialisation to follow the next year. Inventys also manages the CO2MENT project in British Columbia, one of two ‘innovation clusters’ around the technology in Canada that combine the participation of various fossil fuel industries, government bodies, academic institutions, and private sector start-ups to expedite the development of CCS technologies.
Bet on wind – Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trader, is launching a new fund to invest in wind farms in Europe, joining a string of oil majors making moves into renewable energy. The Rotterdam-based trader will invest 200 million euros ($234 million) into offshore and onshore wind farms through its VLC Renewables arm, run by a joint venture together with Low Carbon Ltd. The company is planning to buy minority stakes in projects, working with developers and financial investors. (Bloomberg)
Bus block – A series of amendments made by the US House Rules Committee on Monday evening to the EPA and Department of Interior portions of the spending ‘minibus’ H.R. 6147 (115) focused on blocking a number of Obama-era regulations, even as the Trump administration moves to roll those back. Included in the amendments are blocks on enforcing methane emissions from new oil and gas sectors, using the social cost of carbon in studies, and the EPA’s 2015 tightened ozone standard. (Politico)
And finally… Real life Jaws – Shark species that were previously limited to warmer waters around the Mediterranean may migrate north towards the British coast as climate change increases ocean temperatures. The new inhabitants off the coast may include hammerheads, blacktips, and great whites, with a former administrator of the UK Shark Tagging Programme saying that there is “no reason why” the latter group wouldn’t spread northwards. However, while the influx of sharks may increase the total number of shark species around Britain to 60 from around 40 presently, pressure from climate change, fishing, and plastics pollution could actually contribute to a decline in the overall population. (The Independent)
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