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There is growing scepticism amongst analysts that Germany will agree to cancel a sufficient number of EU carbon allowances, if any at all, to offset the emissions impact of phasing out its fleet of coal-fired power plants.
The price surge in California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) over the last month and a half is not likely to fade any time soon as new speculators bet that the WCI programme will tighten in the coming years, according to analysts.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices declined during the week as many traders were out of the office, while RGGI allowances (RGAs) failed to budge on the secondary market.
Ontario lawyers argued this week during a second provincial lawsuit against the Canadian federal government’s ‘backstop’ carbon pricing mechanism that Ottawa does not have the authority to impose its CO2 levy and large emitter programme on provinces.
A summary of legislative and regulatory action on carbon pricing and clean energy at the US state level taken this week, including the launch of Hawaii’s first forest-based offset project, a planned hearing on a revised California offset bill, and movement on a proposal to increase Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
Australia’s big emitters would have to buy carbon credits abroad to the tune of A$25 billion ($18 bln) if the opposition Labor party wins the country’s election next month, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Thursday.
New Zealand’s ETS consultation process has drawn support for allowing ETS companies to buy a limited amount of carbon credits from abroad, but a significant minority wanted restrictions such as having the government make the purchases or banning international units outright.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator again issued nearly 400,000 carbon credits this week, nearly twice the long-term average rate, but the influx of new projects has almost ground to a halt amid uncertainty over the domestic offset market’s future.
EUAs gave back some of the week’s strong gains on Thursday as bulls looked to take pre-long weekend profits after carbon hit an 11-year high this week.
Poland has increased the amount of free EU carbon permits it is granting to utilities this year, government data shows, reducing the number the country can auction next year.
French analysis and consulting firm Enerdata has hired a former Bloomberg New Energy Finance EU power and carbon analyst.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Sticky protest – Extinction Rebellion climate protests have gridlocked the core of the British capital, occupying landmarks, including Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, as part of a global civil disobedience campaign that demands government action on climate change. The movement is calling on the UK government to “tell the truth” about the extent of the crisis, slash GHG emissions to net zero by 2025 and establish a citizens’ assembly to oversee climate policy. The total number of arrests so far is around 400, including veteran international climate lawyer and diplomat Farhana Yamin, who charged through a police line, dived under the arms of an officer and superglued her hands to the pavement outside the London headquarters of oil company Shell. (Climate Home)
Survey says – The New York Times asked all 18 declared US Democratic presidential candidates for their views on a number of issues related to climate change, with the candidates unanimously supporting recommitting to the Paris Agreement, restoring President Barack Obama’s environmental regulations and increasing funding for clean energy research. However, their responses diverged on five other potential policies: increasing the United States’ emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement; setting a national renewable energy standard; putting a price on carbon; enacting new regulations beyond Obama’s; and expanding the use of nuclear energy.
Decision delay – Canadian Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi on Thursday said that the government has extended its deadline to make a final decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project until June 18. Ottawa said the extension on the project, which would transport crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to the British Columbia tidewater, was made in order to give more time for consultations with indigenous communities. Alberta Premier-designate Jason Kenney said he approved of the federal government’s decision, while outgoing leader Rachel Notley called the delay “disappointing”. (CBC)
Dirtier times a dozen – Emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost may be much times higher than previously thought, scientists have discovered. It has “conventionally been assumed to have minimal emissions in permafrost regions”, according to a study published in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics journal. However, the research team behind the study, led by Harvard University scientists, has found that nitrous oxide emissions are 12 times higher than previously thought and therefore more of a threat. The group used a small plane with a probe on its nose to measure GHGs over 120sqm of thawing permafrost in the North Slope of Alaska. They found that nitrous oxide emissions reached what was previously thought to be the expected yearly limit within just one month in Aug. 2013. (The Independent)
And finally… Mined and dined – The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday released a redacted version of the 448-page report from former DOJ special counsel Robert Mueller, which examined potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016 and whether President Trump obstructed justice. One portion of Mueller’s report analysed attempts by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian organisation founded by businessman and Vladimir Putin-tied affiliate Yevgeny Prigozhin, to influence the 2016 US election via social media. Those efforts included organising pro-Trump rallies within the US, including a “Miners for Trump” rally in Pennsylvania in Oct. 2016. The poster for the rally blamed Obama-era environmental policies for leading to job losses in the sector, building on Trump’s campaign promises to revitalise the coal industry. However, many economists and analysts have pointed out that drastically-falling costs of natural gas and renewables have made coal uncompetitive as an energy source over the past decade.
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