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The northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme’s first auction of 2019 cleared above the secondary market price, results showed Friday, falling well outside of market participants’ expectations prior to the sale.
Italian oil major ENI will invest in forest protection as part of a voluntary pledge to achieve net zero upstream emissions by 2030, it said on Friday, but the firm’s plans to grow fossil fuel output mean its full carbon footprint is still likely to rise.
New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Friday said the government will bring the nation’s biggest-emitting sector into its ETS, causing NZU prices to jump to a new four-month high.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has raised CO2 emission caps for three coal mining companies, data released this week showed, including a 64% increase for Anglo Coal’s Moranbah North mine.
Australia on Friday released a new draft method to broaden and simplify generation of carbon offsets from animal effluent.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
Concerns that Ontario’s proposed emissions reduction system for large emitters could be weaker than Ottawa’s ‘backstop’ programme may not matter if the provincial government won’t commit to the policy in the long-term amid legal and political uncertainty, stakeholders said at a webinar on Friday.
California and Quebec will auction more than 75 million current and future vintage allowances at its May 14 sale, which will not include any California unsold permits for the first time in nearly two years.
A summary of legislative action on carbon pricing and clean energy bills at the US state level taken this week, including the passage of a 100% clean electricity bill in New Mexico, calls for higher GHG targets in Maine, and a carbon sequestration financial package in Washington state.
EU member states have handed out a further 57 million free carbon allowances over the past fortnight, with Germany and Italy accounting for the bulk of that.
European carbon prices eased back on Friday in relatively calm trade that remains stifled by uncertainty over how and when Britain might leave the EU carbon market.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Back-to-back – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) on Thursday vetoed legislation that would prevent the state’s participation in a regional transportation sector carbon pricing programme without two-thirds lawmaker approval. Virginia was one of ten US states and jurisdictions to sign on to the Transportation and Climate Initiative’s (TCI) plan to develop such a policy by the end of 2019. The veto came shortly after he rejected legislation for the second straight year that would prohibit a linkage to RGGI, which the Republican-controlled House and Senate has aimed to prevent.
Climate-proofing Manhattan – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has written a feature outlining his plan to protect lower Manhattan from the “national emergency” of climate change, in the New York Magazine’s Intelligencer. In addition to “a new $615m sea wall that will protect the east shore of Staten Island”, he announced the investment of half a billion dollars “to fortify most of Lower Manhattan with grassy berms in parks and removable barriers than can be anchored in place as storms approach”. De Blasio writes: “Over the coming years, we will push out the Lower Manhattan coastline as much as 500ft … The new land will be higher than the current coast, protecting the neighbourhoods from future storms and the higher tides that will threaten its survival in the decades to come.” He adds that the coastal extension – which “could cost $10bn” – will secure lower Manhattan from rising sea levels “through 2100”. (Carbon Brief)
Dispute over drivers – A meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ministers from her cabinet, and leaders of the country’s transport commission tasked with finding ways to reduce emissions in the sector has resulted in a dispute over basic principles of climate policy, according to Tagesspiegel Background. Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, along with the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) lobby group, are understood to oppose the inclusion of detailed emission reduction concepts and even emission reduction targets for the sector in the commission’s final report, which is slated for publication by Mar. 29. The pro-industry faction in the meeting only wants the report to “describe target systems”, according to the article. Proponents of a more vigorous climate policy, including Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, insist on including the sectoral reduction goal of 40-42% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels in the report. So far, the commission has only been able to agree on investments in public transport expansion and support of electric mobility to the tune of €160 billion – a sum the finance ministry has described as “unrealistic”. Meanwhile, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) said the envisaged emission reductions could only be possible “under ideal conditions” and “with utmost efforts”, and it argued that the goal should be given up in favour of a broader emissions reduction approach that does not pin down targets for individual sectors. Separately, the German government has agreed to install a “climate cabinet” to coordinate emissions reduction efforts across various ministries to reach the country’s 2030 targets. (Clean Energy Wire)
Not eligible – Campaigners Carbon Market Watch have pre-empted the role of the yet-to-meet CORSIA Technical Advisory Board in a briefing that assesses seven major carbon credit providers against one of the UN aviation scheme’s agreed eligibility criteria, the Program Design Elements. It found that all the programmes will need to adopt new protocols in order to be eligible, particularly on safeguards, sustainable development, and double counting.
Court demand – British demand response firm Tempus Energy has lodged a challenge in the EU’s General Court against the European Commission’s approval of Poland’s capacity market. Tempus was successful last year in a challenge Britain equivalent and says Poland’s scheme amounts to subsidies for fossil fuel generators and discriminates against technology designed to cut electricity demand during peak times. (Reuters)
Destination: India – Carbon Brief has launched its fifth edition of a series explaining how large emitters are positioned to tackle climate change. This time, it looks at the key policy developments, pledges and statistics of India, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and a country that is also “very vulnerable to climate change”.
Spring break alternative – Students in more than 100 countries around the world on Friday missed school to protest inaction on climate change. Inspired by Swedish 16 year-old Greta Thunberg, whose regular strikes earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination this week, young people at more than 1,600 events worldwide took part in the coordinated Youth Strike 4 Climate effort. Hundreds of thousands of students were expected to have taken part in the protest. (Climate Nexus, Politico)
And finally… Santia-No-Go – Chilean environment minister Carolina Schmidt warned that hosting the annual UN climate summit in December would occur during a “highly congested” month in the country, but was overruled, new documents show. Schmidt warned that hosting the UNFCCC’s COP25 climate negotiation would come at hectic time in the Chilean capital of Santiago, with the summit coinciding with the end of the financial and academic years and Christmas. Perhaps more significantly, the only venue large enough to host the summit is booked during the Dec. 2-13 conference period, meaning it may need to be split across two sites, with an estimated hour’s travel time in between. (Climate Home)
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