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A coalition of 29 US states and cities on Tuesday sued the EPA over its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to replace the stayed Clean Power Plan (CPP), arguing that the regulation violates federal law by banning carbon trading and will perversely incentivise higher CO2 output.
EUAs hit a five-week low near €26 on Tuesday, though prices rebounded to positive territory above €27 after a strong auction and amid bargain-hunting by buyers.
Czechia-based utility CEZ is lagging its historical carbon hedging rates, it said in financial results on Tuesday, suggesting that its EUA demand could rise over the rest of the year as it plans for higher thermal generation.
The record-breaking trend in South Korea’s emissions market continued Tuesday with KAUs hitting 30,000 won ($24.59) for the first time as the wide gap between demand and supply kept pushing prices up.
Australia this week will detail a A$500 million ($338 mln) climate aid package for the Pacific, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Tuesday, although observers were left unconvinced as long as Australia does nothing to stem its own rising GHG emissions.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that year-over-year inflation edged higher in July, setting up a potential WCI carbon price floor of $16.68 next year.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Coal cling – Germany’s governing CDU party chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has come out against demands for an earlier coal exit than the 2038 deadline proposed by the cross-stakeholder coal exit commission. The speed of the phase-out must be aligned with the structural economic changes in coal regions, the much-touted potential successor to Angela Merkel said during an election campaign visit to mining hub Saxony. Jobs first need to be created and the regions also need planning security, she said. The eastern state will head to the polls for regional elections on Sep. 1. Meanwhile, Der Spiegel reports that Merkel is rebuffing calls from some MPs that the government should take on new public debt in order to fight climate change and favours “balanced budgets”. (Handelsblatt, Clean Energy Wire)
NZ numbers – New Zealand’s official gazette on Tuesday released detailed numbers on how many NZUs industrials received for free for 2018, showing that NZ Steel (1.78 mln) and NZ Aluminium Smelters (1.32 mln) remained on top of the ranking, as usual. EPA data released last week showed that total industrial allocation in 2018 rose to 6.74 mln, up from 5.61 mln the year before, mostly because the compliance obligation rose to 83% of their emissions from 67% the previous year. New Zealand will slowly start phasing out industrial CO2 allocation in 2021.
Denver dealing – The Denver city council’s Finance and Governance Committee on Tuesday afternoon passed a carbon tax proposal by a 4-3 margin despite the opposition of the city’s mayor. The proposal, which would assign a 0.6 cents/kWh tax to electricity and 7 cents/therm to natural gas in the commercial and industrial building sectors from July 1, 2020, will head to voters for approval this fall if the full city council endorses the tax. However, ahead of the meeting Denver Mayor Michael Hancock urged council members to delay action, saying that the proposal had not benefited from a “true community and stakeholder engagement process”. Hancock also said he was creating a new Office of Climate, Resilience, and Sustainability and working with Governor Jared Polis (D). (Denverite, TheDenverChannel)
One by one – California’s economy-wide emissions fell by 1% to 424 MtCO2e in 2017, according to data released by state regulator ARB on Monday. That marks the second straight year where GHGs have fallen past the state’s 2020 GHG reduction goal of lowering emissions to 1990 levels, or 431 Mt. Emissions plunged by 9% year-over-year in the electricity sector, while rising by 0.7% in the transportation sector, both reflecting the trend seen under the state’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme in 2017. The emissions drop came as California’s economy grew by 3.6% in 2017, higher than the national average. (San Francisco Chronicle)
One in ten – More than 1 in 10 Americans – some 34 mln people – live in areas that have already warmed near or over 2C above pre-industrial levels, according to analysis carried out by The Washington Post. The regions include the major metropolises of New York and Los Angeles, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and stretches of the western Rocky Mountains. The only areas that have not significantly warmed or in some cases cooled are Mississippi and Alabama, which scientists have attributed to a “warming hole” driven by atmospheric cycles, along with particles of soot from smokestacks and tailpipes that can block the sun’s intensity.
And finally… Going backwards for progress – An Indonesian man who lives on a volcano in east Java is walking backwards for 700 km (435 miles) to the capital of Jakarta in order to raise awareness of the country’s rapid deforestation, AAP reports. The 43-year old Medi Bastoni has been on the trip, doing 20-30 km per day, since mid-July and is expected to reach Jakarta later this week, where he hopes to get an audience with the president. He has tied a rear view mirror to his backpack to avoid any collisions. By walking backwards, he is hoping to spur his fellow Indonesians to reflect on the past and how national heroes have fought for the good of the country.
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