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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order Tuesday announcing the US state’s first ever GHG targets, coming ahead of an updated climate plan that may reveal further information on a possible cap-and-trade strategy.
US energy-related CO2 emissions rose markedly in 2018 as natural gas-fired power output outpaced both renewables growth and declines in coal use, and as other sectors ramped up production, analysts said on Tuesday.
New Hampshire state legislators are drafting a bill to install the post-2020 RGGI Model Rule, while an additional measure could funnel auction revenue back into energy efficiency projects, multiple sources told Carbon Pulse.
European carbon prices rebounded on Tuesday following Monday’s sell-off, though some traders grew more bearish by the light volumes and lack of sustained buying.
A Swiss agency tasked with acquiring Paris-era carbon credits for the country is advancing its sourcing efforts despite uncertainties both on the domestic front and on global rules covering emission trade after 2020.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Fourth figures – Last year marked the fourth warmest year on record, according to the EU-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). It concluded that average global surface air temperatures were 14.7C in 2018, or 0.2C below warmest year 2016 but also 0.4C above the 1981-2010 average. (Reuters)
Get off gas – A New York City councilman is preparing to introduce a bill that the city come up with a plan to replace its nearly two dozen gas-fired power plants with renewables. The legislation, which will be introduced on Wednesday by Queens lawmaker Costa Constantinides, would require the city to carry out a study on replacing New York City gas plants with renewables using battery storage, and it would have to develop a plan by Dec. 30, 2019. Data shows 21 of the Big Apple’s 24 power plants burn gas, contributing to roughly 30% of New York City’s emissions from the utility sector. The Ravenswood Generating Station in the Long Island City neighborhood was also the state’s largest carbon polluter in 2014. (The Huffington Post)
No excuses – The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has given the Trump administration until Feb. 1 to file its opening brief in its attempt to short-circuit the landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, launching an expedited schedule to consider the government’s extraordinary appeal. The judges denied a request by the administration to delay proceedings due to the government shutdown, setting in motion a schedule requiring the young plaintiffs to respond by Feb. 22, with a hearing to be held at the Ninth Circuit’s earliest available date. (Climate Liability News)
Lobby move – Recently retired Republican Rep. Ryan Costello is joining an advocacy group that promotes a federal US carbon tax. He has become managing director of Americans for Carbon Dividends, which was established in June to lobby Congress to support a revenue neutral carbon tax plan proposed by the Climate Leadership Council. (Washington Examiner)
Spin speed – Storm winds that battered Scotland this week averaged up to 67mph in the north-east, causing the world’s most powerful turbine blades to hit a top speed of 192mph. It’s understood the 262 foot rotor blades at the site, also known as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), managed to complete a six second rotation, Energy Voice reports. Kevin Jones, head of Vattenfall’s EOWDC, said “The eleven turbines – the most powerful in the world – are designed to operate in these conditions and the blade tips can rotate as fast as 230mph.”
And finally… Rolling green – Hydrogen-powered trains could run on UK railways as early as 2022. France’s tech major Alstom and UK rolling stock operating company Eversholt Rail Group unveiled the design for a new hydrogen fuel cell train for the UK market that will bring zero-emission technology to parts of the country that still run on diesel. The British government is aiming to eliminate diesel rolling stock by 2040. (Telegraph)
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