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New Jersey approved its RGGI regulation with few changes from a prior draft on Monday, enabling the state to rejoin the northeast US power sector carbon market next year.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and the state legislature forged a compromise this weekend on an omnibus climate bill that now features weaker GHG targets, stronger zero-carbon electricity requirements, and softer language related to implementing an ETS or CO2 tax.
The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) opted Monday to dismiss a case challenging Virginia’s House of Delegates re-drawn voting map, potentially giving Democrats an upper hand as they hope to capture a majority in the chamber and give the state a path to join the northeast US RGGI carbon market.
China has for the first time laid out rules for carbon neutralising major events and activities, including defining which types of carbon credits would be eligible, a first step towards creating a voluntary GHG market in the world’s biggest-emitting nation.
EU leaders may strike a net zero 2050 emissions deal this week as several more nations including Germany backed the move, which would also advance work on upping the bloc’s 2030 target underpinning the ETS cap.
Ireland’s centre-right government has unveiled a climate plan that includes quadrupling the country’s non-ETS carbon tax to €80 per tonne by 2030 in an effort to avoid a hefty EU compliance bill.
European carbon prices ended little changed on Monday despite early weakness on a bearish auction result, as EUAs face a full week of sales.
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Job listings this week
- Senior Analyst/Senior Policy Analyst (Climate Change), NZ Ministry for the Environment – Wellington
- Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Policy and Programs, City of New York – NYC
- Non-Executive Director(s), The Climate Trust – London
- Director of Sales, Carbon Offsetting & Natural Climate Solutions, Redshaw Advisors – London
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- Head of Outreach, Conservation and Restoration, Lestari Capital – Jakarta/Bali
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Company shortfall – Only 15% of the world’s biggest 500 companies by market capitalisation are in line with the goals of the Paris climate accord, according to Carbon Delta analysis that measured their current emissions and the number of low-carbon patents they hold. It found utilities, oil and gas, mining are among those that appear to be doing the least, while the tech sector and healthcare the most. (Financial Times)
Article 6ing – UN climate talks resumed in Bonn today with a two-week session that has an unusual large focus on international emission trade, with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement the only element of the pact’s rulebook not agreed at last year’s negotiations. “It can be very difficult to understand what [Article 6] is really about,” UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa told journalists, adding that governments should concentrate on devising a “solid” mechanism for carbon markets, which business is waiting for, Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. Espinosa said climate change is an “existential issue” for humankind, and stepping up efforts to keep warming to the 1.5-2C globally agreed limits is urgent because said existing country pledges would heat the planet by 3C, leaving people sicker and result in battles over resources such as water and land, with coastal residents losing homes to rising seas. Read Carbon Pulse’s rundown on what the Article 6 process is expected to deliver in Bonn and all this year.
Taking up the slack – Generation of zero-carbon resources surpassed coal and gas individually in the US for the first time in 2017, according to a new Ceres report tracking air pollution from the 100 largest electric power providers in the country. But natural gas and coal combined still made up over half the country’s electricity generation that year. Carbon-free resources made up 35.4% of electricity generation, beating out coal’s 29.8% and natural gas’ 32.1%, driven largely by the uptick in renewable energy generation, which made up 22.6% of non-emitting electricity. Nuclear and hydropower made up the rest, at 56.3% and 21.1% respectively. Despite the broader progress on renewable energy generation, carbon emissions from the power sector saw a 1% uptick from 2017 to 2018, likely due to natural gas “taking up the slack” as more coal-fired power goes offline, Ceres’ Senior Director of Electric Power Dan Bakal told Utility Dive.
Five for fighting – Oregon’s House of Representatives debated the state’s landmark proposal to implement a WCI-modelled cap-and-trade programme in 2021 for five hours and counting on Monday afternoon and evening, with no end in sight. GOP legislators continued to deploy numerous counterarguments and stalling tactics, including five separate motions to refer the bill (HB-2020) to various legislative committees. As of 1900 Pacific time Monday evening (200 GMT Tuesday morning), the debate continued. (See Carbon Pulse’s latest article on HB-2020 from last week, when the Joint Committee on Ways and Means sent on the proposal)
Here comes the sun – Independent of carbon pricing or additional climate or air pollution regulations, a new Carbon Tracker analysis shows it will be cheaper for Vietnam to build new solar PV than to operate existing coal plants as soon as 2022, calling into question not only planned coal investments but also the economic viability of the entire operating coal fleet.
And finally… Italian COP-out – The UK is in prime position to host next year’s COP26 UN climate talks, with main rival Italy set to withdraw its candidacy. Under the terms of a partnership agreement negotiated by the two countries, Italy would hold a number of meetings to take place before COP26 gets underway in Nov. 2020, according to a British diplomat. Turkey has also expressed interest in hosting, though its bid is seen as unlikely to succeed. (BuzzFeed)
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