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Germany will need to buy intergovernmental carbon units to cover a shortfall in its EU emission goals in non-ETS sectors, according to environment minister Svenja Schulze, who called for an expansion of carbon pricing domestically to avoid having to source foreign credits again in future.
Governments could save almost $300 billion a year on emission reductions by 2030 if they cooperate rather than work alone, a conference heard this week.
The Canadian government will invest funds in Ontario emissions reduction initiatives after the province this summer scrapped its green programmes associated with its cancelled cap-and-trade programme, federal environment minister Catherine McKenna announced Thursday.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices declined on the secondary market ahead of next week’s auction, while traders showed little appetite to transact RGGI allowances (RGAs) this week.
California regulator Air Resources Board (ARB) will return to its twice-a-month offset issuance schedule after issuing credits on a rolling basis ahead of the WCI’s Nov. 1 compliance deadline, a state official told Carbon Pulse on Thursday.
European carbon rallied for a fifth day on Thursday, fully recovering from from the sell-off that sent prices to a four-month low a week ago, though experts say EUAs may face a tough challenge getting above €20.
Czechia-based utility CEZ caught up to its historical hedging levels over Q3, it said in quarterly results on Thursday that could be a bearish signal for EUAs.
The Carbon Fund successfully listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) on Thursday, having raised over NZ$1 million ($680,000) from investors by offering exposure to carbon allowances and credits.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Hard choices – A prominent US-based environmental non-profit has called for financially struggling nuclear plants to remain open to help fight climate change, despite concerns about the technology’s safety and radioactive waste. In a new report, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that more than one-third of America’s nuclear plants will or could be shuttered within the next decade and that they would be replaced by gas or coal. As a result, co-author and UCS’ director of energy research and analysis Steve Clemmer said that the current climate situation requires making hard choices and obtaining every low-carbon power source available. Although Clemmer said this isn’t a change in the group’s position, it is a change to become more vocal. (Axios)
Bullied for you – Following US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ forced departure on Wednesday, Matthew Whitaker was announced by President Trump as the acting head of the country’s Department of Justice. While Whitaker has already come under fire for his previous criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump, he’s also been a critic of the “environmental left” during his time as executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. In 2016, Whitaker penned an op-ed on Morning Consult blasting the attorneys general investigating oil giant Exxon Mobil’s climate change activities for launching an “unconstitutional and unethical” probe, asserting that they bullied opponents in an attempt to silence them. (Politico)
Batteries *are* included – PG&E Corp. plans to replace three natural gas-fired power plants in California with battery-storage systems as the state continues its push to squeeze fossil fuels out of the electricity mix. The California Public Utilities Commission approved Thursday four PG&E energy-storage contracts to support Northern California’s electric grid, including a project by Tesla. The commission in January ordered the state’s biggest utility to find a way to replace the power it gets from three Calpine gas plants that are at risk of retirement, and to consider battery systems. California has mandated that utilities add about 1.3 GW of energy storage to the grid by 2020 to help integrate the increasing amount of intermittent wind and solar power. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation in September requiring the state to get all of its power from carbon-free sources by 2045. (Bloomberg)
Clock’s ticking – The Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change has updated its Carbon Clock in response to the latest IPCC Special Report, which warns that global warming must be limited to a 1.5C increase in order to avoid dangerous climate change. Based on the report, this can only be achieved by limiting the total amount of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere to a maximum of 420 billion tonnes. However, since the world emits around 42 bln every year – the equivalent to 1332 tonnes per second – that budget is expected to be used up in about nine years. The budget for staying below the 2C threshold, for its part, of approximately 1070 Gt, will be exhausted in about 26 years.
Climate change ain’t good for the head – A new study finds mental health could be undermined by the indirect and direct impacts of climate change. The study used data from nearly 2 million randomly sampled US residents to find hotter temperatures and added precipitation worsen mental health. The analysis adds to the growing list of studies that have connected climate change with mental health conditions.
The scientists are coming – As of Wednesday afternoon in the US, seven candidates with science degrees had won seats in US Congress, Quartz says, with an eighth ahead of her opponent. “These eight candidates were part of a class of Americans with some training in science who attempted to fill seats in US House of Representatives and Senate in the midterm elections,” says Quartz. (Carbon Brief)
LCFS later – California regulator ARB has rescheduled a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) public workshop to Nov. 28 at 1030 Pacific time. The ARB had initially scheduled the LCFS workshop for Nov. 16 to discuss the implementation of the 2018 amendments to the LCFS regulations. Those amendments were approved in September, and they officially extended the programme through 2030 while making a suite of other changes.
Climate change art — A Dutch artist is using sea-level rising as an inspiration for an art exhibit. Daan Roosegaarde has used LEDs, lenses, software, and other elements to create a virtual flood as part of his art exhibit Waterlicht. The exhibit, he said, is meant to inspire innovation to solve climate change issues. (NRDC)
And finally… ManBearPig lives – TV show South Park has put to bed any doubts over whether it believes in climate change. In 2006, the show took on Al Gore and his dire warnings of climate change by creating a beast, which was dubbed “ManBearPig” and only existed in his imagination. However, the episode caught the ire of environmentalists for claiming the beast, which was clearly a metaphor for climate change, did not exist. However, there should be no question about the show’s views now, as the beast returns to the show this season. The kids discover Gore was right all along when Stan witnesses an attack, leading the boys to run to the former VP for help. Still, not everyone believes in ManBearPig; in one scene, a man questions whether the monster really exists, even as it attacks people directly behind him. (Vanity Fair)
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