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Entities should be able to continue buying voluntary carbon credits in the Paris Agreement era, though exactly how those claims will be reflected is still up for debate, a cross-stakeholder group has said.
There remains more than 860 million unused CERs – a massive supply of offsets that could potentially be tapped by airlines to comply with ICAO’s CORSIA scheme or which could find its way into the Paris Agreement era.
California’s Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee (IEMAC) at its Friday meeting outlined a potential metric methodology to determine the exact number of surplus allowances in the WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme, and it intends to ask state regulator ARB about the feasibility of that calculation.
New Jersey will complete its cap-and-trade amendments for the northeast US RGGI programme this month, setting up Garden State entities to participate in the Mar. 2020 auction, according to the state’s Energy Master Plan (EMP).
A summary of legislative and regulatory action on carbon pricing and clean energy at the US subnational and federal level taken this week, including a New Jersey plan to get to 100% carbon-free energy, Nevada finalising legislation to coordinate GHG reduction policies, and Maine passing a state-level ‘Green New Deal’ and rejecting proposals related to a cross-border hydro line.
A California Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee (IEMAC) member has resigned his post with the ETS monitor after taking a new position at the state’s Independent System Operator (CAISO), the chair of the committee said Friday.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has awarded over 770,000 carbon credits in the past three days as a growing number of project owners seek to get their issuances before the June 30 end of the financial year.
New Zealand carbon allowances on Friday halted their recent price slide as the spot contract climbed back above NZ$23 ($15), though experts said a lack of fundamental drivers suggests a serious comeback is unlikely for now.
Tianjin will auction 2 million carbon permits on June 27 to help struggling emitters acquire sufficient allowances to be in compliance for 2018, the municipal government said Friday.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
European carbon prices were flat on Friday, receiving little direction from fundamental or non-market influences ahead of an upcoming full auction week.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Europe waits – EU leaders are unlikely to agree on a net zero emission goal at a June 20-21 EU Council summit, according to a draft statement that doesn’t include a new political mandate necessary for the EU’s regulatory arm to start drafting legislation, Bloomberg reports. While a group of mainly western countries endorses the goal, several predominantly Eastern European nations demand further talks, while Germany has no clear stance yet. Read Carbon Pulse’s latest on how the Council meeting is the final scheduled opportunity for the EU to raise its ambition ahead of a September UN summit, where several member states will be able to set out national net zero commitments they have made for 2050 or earlier.
Holy pricing – Pope Francis has said that carbon pricing is “essential” to stem global warming, his clearest statement yet in support of penalising polluters. In an address to oil major executives at the end of a two-day meeting convened in The Vatican, the head of the Catholic church called for “open, transparent, science-based and standardised” reporting of climate risk and a “radical energy transition” away from carbon to save the planet. “We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward, or of prioritising short-term economic benefits,” he said, speaking in favour of more climate action. (Reuters)
Don’t call it a comeback – At the end of her term in office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel aims to resume her former self-styled role as “climate chancellor”, motivated by the Fridays For Future student protests and the EU election outcome, reports Die Zeit. “Like the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan in 2011, the 2019 European elections have been a catalyst for changing the course of the debate. And Merkel is changing course and her party’s course once again.” Merkel’s government reversed legislation to phase out nuclear power in 2010, only to put it back in place again in 2011 under popular pressure after the Fukushima accident. (Clean Energy Wire)
Balkan bolstering – Romania is considering introducing indirect compensation for its EU ETS-covered industries, following 15 jurisdictions that already offer the support within state aid guidelines amid a fivefold increase in EUA prices over the past two years. The concept is aimed at industrial manufacturers that may face double carbon costs – charged once for their own process emissions and again via their electricity suppliers. An inter-ministerial committee has been set up to propose a compensation scheme. (Balkan Green Energy News)
Montenegro-wing closer – Montenegro has made some progress in harmonising its legislation with the EU in the field of energy, especially regarding renewables, the European Commission said in its latest report on the country’s progress in aligning with the EU acquis. However, it said more work is needed to align with the EU’s 2030 climate and energy policy framework, with a law to incorporate elements of the EU ETS still pending. The commission noted that Montenegro, which aims to achieve a target of 33% of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020, achieved 40% in 2017 largely due to a revision of biomass data. On energy efficiency, the report notes that Montenegro has not adopted amendments to ensure further alignment with the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, nor has it established an energy efficiency fund. The commission has labelled Montenegro’s level of preparation for EU membership in the area of energy overall is as “good”. The accession negotiations with Montenegro began in 2012, with the country a possible candidate for joining the bloc in 2025. There are five recognised candidates for future membership of the EU: Turkey, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, and Serbia. (Balkan Green Energy News)
Awaiting ACE – The US EPA is looking to release its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the replacement for the stayed Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), on June 19, E&E News reports. In contrast to the CPP’s goal of stimulating a sector-wide transition to cleaner renewables and natural gas use from coal-fired power, the ACE rule would limit the definition of “best system of emission reduction (BSER)” for coal plants to on-site, heat-rate efficiency improvements (HRIs). That has led Democratic politicians and environmental and public health groups to warn that the ACE rule could actually incentivise coal plants to run more efficiently over longer periods, leading to more CO2 emissions and air pollutants. However, E&E noted that next Wednesday’s planned release might be held up by a review from the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Clean boast – CO2 emissions from thermal power generation in China stood at 841 g/kWh, down 19.4% from 2005 as a result of huge investments in cleaner coal-fired power plants, the China Electricity Council said Friday. Emissions from power generation counting all sources were 592 g/kWh, down 30.1% from 2005. The industry body argued China’s power industry had avoided 13.7 billion tonnes of CO2 over the past 14 years from the steps it has taken to clean up electricity generation. Meanwhile, separate data from the National Energy Administration this week said China has shut down 810 million tonnes worth of coal-production capacity from old and outdated facilities over the past five years. The NEA also said that in 2018, new energy capacity – which is non-hydro renewables and nuclear – for the first time exceeded hydro capacity in China.
Expensive trash – With the increase in NZ carbon prices in recent years, the annual ETS bill for the Timaru district council in the southern part of the country has risen to NZ$700,000 ($460,000), according to Stuff. The council runs a landfill that forces it to buy some 28,000 NZUs per year. It is now identifying potential investment options for planting forests that would offset some of the costs from the landfill site.
Fair dos – German non-profit offsetting firm atmosfair increased revenue by more than 40% in 2018, as more flight passengers used its services amid a summer heatwave that made the effects of climate change more palpable. However, data shows that fewer than 1% of all passengers offset their flight emissions. (Tagesspiegel, Clean Energy Wire)
Target’s target – Multinational retailer Target this week announced that it will power 100% of its US operations with renewable generation by 2030, including stores, distribution centres, and offices. That will include an interim target of 60% by 2025, up from the company’s current renewable profile of 22%. (Utility Dive)
Tender time – The EU has launched a tender to provide support to the European Commission and member states on harmonised and cost-effective EU ETS Monitoring, Reporting, Verification, and Accreditation in 2020 and 2021. Click here for info.
And finally… Bitcoin? Bit much – The global use of bitcoin takes up around 0.2% of global electricity consumption and emits as much carbon per year as the city of Las Vegas, new research shows. A study released this week in the journal Joule conducts one of the most thorough accounting of the carbon footprint of bitcoin to date, calculating how much power is used by computers in bitcoin transactions and comparing those figures with carbon emissions from countries where bitcoin computers are located. Including three other types of cryptocurrency “more than doubles” the emissions figure, the researchers report. “There are bigger factors contributing to climate change,” study author Christian Stoll told the AP. “However, the carbon footprint is big enough to make it worth discussing the possibility of regulating cryptocurrency mining in regions where power generation is especially carbon-intensive.” (Climate Nexus)
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