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Concerns about the validity of California’s forestry offset protocol are adding tension between the legislature and regulator ARB, but those worries are not putting the WCI-eligible credits at risk, three sources told Carbon Pulse.
EU carbon prices lifted slightly for a second straight day on Tuesday as the energy complex rebounded, traders eyed a sharp drop in auction supply ahead, and British Prime Minister Theresa May offered MPs a chance to vote on a second Brexit referendum.
Trade associations representing many EU ETS-covered sectors have shied away from backing a 2050 bloc-wide net zero goal and instead are engaging in subtle lobbying that is increasingly at odds with some of the companies they represent, a report found on Tuesday.
California regulator ARB will not hold the first meeting of its Compliance Offsets Protocol Task Force (OPTF) until several months after it had originally planned, possibly delaying the development of new protocols aimed at providing direct environmental benefits in the state (DEBs) to just before the start of the post-2020 cap-and-trade programme.
Environmental organisations are calling on the technical advisor for the CORSIA global aviation offsetting mechanism to disclose more details in the coming weeks about its operating procedure and announce a call for programme applications.
China’s Fujian province has distributed a draft 2018 and 2019 allocation plan for its emissions trading scheme for public comment, proposing modest carbon reductions in major industries.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
June deal – Eight of the 28 EU nations are pushing for the June European Council leaders’ summit to commit to a net zero EU-wide emission goal, but some member states, including Estonia, Hungary and Poland, are less keen. A June commitment would allow the EU to relay its message of climate leadership at the September UN secretary general’s meeting but the Council is expected to be busy filling senior EU positions and a five-year work plan following the bloc’s elections. (EurActiv)
Oil reporting – BP investors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the oil major reporting in detail about how its investments are compatible with the Paris Agreement. The shareholder resolution was backed by BP’s management in a clear signal for both the company and the industry to come up with stronger green strategies as they’re put under increasing pressure by activists and investors to cut emissions and play a bigger part in the energy transition. A second more stringent climate filing to include customer emissions in reporting was not successful despite rivals Shell and Total including theirs. (Bloomberg)
Green plan – The South Korean Cabinet on Tuesday finalised its 3rd Green Growth five-year plan, according to a LinkedIn update by trading firm Ecoeye, although the plan hasn’t been published yet. According to the update, the plan among other things backs the continuation of the Korean ETS and confirms plans to eventually scale up the share of allowances sold through auctions rather than given away for free to 10%, from 3% currently (for around half the sectors, the rest remain at 100% free for now). It also backs provisions in the ETS rules to open the market up for third-party participation after 2020.
Coons for carbon tax – Delaware Senator Chris Coons (D) will re-introduce his $15 carbon tax and dividend legislation sometime in the coming weeks, he told Bloomberg in an interview Tuesday. Coon said he has met with “a number of Republican colleagues who are considering it”, as the Delaware senator previously co-sponsored the bill with then-Senator Jeff Flake (R). The “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act”, introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year, would see the CO2 tax rise annually by $10 until GHGs are slashed by 90% below 2015 levels.
Ready to reset – The US EPA delivered its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) “reset” rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Monday, the final step before being released for public comment. As part of the statutory provisions governing the RFS, the EPA is required to modify, or “reset”, the applicable yearly renewable volume obligations (RVOs) if waivers of those fuel volumes in past years meet certain thresholds. The summary on the OMB website also indicates “this rulemaking includes several regulatory amendments designed to provide clarity and increase opportunities for renewable fuel production.” The “reset” rulemaking is separate from the agency’s proposed rule to set RVOs for 2020, which was sent to the OMB on May 6. (Biomass Magazine)
Credit clarity – A bipartisan group of US senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday calling for interim guidance on implementing the carbon capture utilisation and storage tax credit programme. The signers of that letter, many of whom sponsored a law last year that raised the ’45Q’ tax credits for these projects, wrote that it’s been well over a year since the law’s passage, but “taxpayers remain unable to claim the revised credit.” The US Internal Revenue Service in early May requested comment on how it should write the rules to implement tax credits for carbon capture. (Politico)
Nordic cash – The Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) offers grants between €250,000-500,000 for innovative climate change projects in 21 developing countries. This year’s call for proposals is open between June 5- Sep. 5. At least one of the project partners should be an organisation registered in a Nordic country.
And finally… Six feet under – Global sea levels could rise by as much as 6.5 feet (2 metres) – around twice the upper limit set out by the UN’s scientific body IPCC – by the end of the century in a worst case scenario, experts cautioned in a new study. The research, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on expert estimates from 22 scientists and assumes the ongoing melt of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. While the 6.5-foot figure is based on unchecked emissions leading to an additional 5C of warming, the study’s authors caution that planners should factor in this scenario as they prepare for the future in a warming world. (Climate Nexus)
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