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A global temperature rise of 2 degrees C could be avoided if large emitting countries collectively adopt a carbon tax of $75/tonne by 2030, as well as other ambitious actions, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund.
Washington state’s Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) published a draft low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) regulation on Wednesday, with the four-county region proposing the most ambitious carbon intensity (CI) reductions of any North American clean fuels programme.
European carbon prices leapt back above €23 on Thursday afternoon on signs of progress in Brexit negotiations between the UK and Ireland.
The EU Parliament on Thursday confirmed its position on the bloc’s 2021-27 centralised budget, seeking a higher amount of climate-related spending to reflect the bloc’s net zero emissions ambitions.
Poland’s former Environment Minister Jan Szyszko died on Wednesday at the age of 75, the government announced.
RGGI allowance (RGA) prices rose by double digits this week after Pennsylvania announced plans to design an ETS compatible with the Northeast US carbon market, while California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) continued to decline on the secondary market.
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has dithered on rolling out the climate plan it unveiled nearly a year ago, with weaker industry carbon pricing standards and no progress on an emission reduction fund underscoring those delayed efforts, according to a report published Thursday.
Static year-on-year inflation kept the WCI cap-and-trade programme’s price floor on track for $16.67 next year, but a direct comparison with the Oct. 2018 rate suggests the price could slide further, according to US federal data released Thursday.
Oil major Shell will offer British drivers the chance to offset their carbon footprint, it said on Thursday, expanding from its Dutch initiative as part of a global commitment to invest $300 million in land-based emissions-curbing initiatives.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator issued over 460,000 carbon credits this week, surpassing 12 million offsets in 2019 as vegetation and waste projects continue to dominate the programme.
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Not so green – China’s efforts to position itself as a world climate leader keeps being undermined by fossil fuel investments through its huge Belt and Road Initiative. The state-owned Xinhua news agency reported Thursday that construction has now begun on the 1.3GW Hunutlu coal power project in Turkey, which in addition to releasing a massive amount of CO2 into the atmosphere is threatening a protected area of a turtle species. The project has gone through 20 court battles before finally starting construction, according to China Dialogue’s Tom Baxter on Twitter. The project is underpinned by $1.7 bln worth of investment, primarily from the Shanghai Electric Power Co.
Mayors’ major plans – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other mayors from around the world on Thursday unveiled a Climate Action Playbook from the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. It outlines a strategy for how cities can reduce GHGs from their transportation and building sectors. The authors calculate that if followed by 100 of the largest US cities, the measures would result cut their emissions by 28.5% or 224 Mt, thus meeting the US’ 2025 national reduction target under the Paris Agreement. The playbook highlights 30 “high-impact actions” that are currently in the works across 25 US cities, including decarbonising buildings, improving public transit speed, procuring renewable energy for municipal demand, and EV adoption through infrastructure and education. The mayors also released research this week that found the construction industry can cut the emissions generated from buildings and infrastructure by 44% by 2050.
What’s the plan? – Five previous members of Germany’s coal exit commission have said they fear that “the timely implementation of the commission’s compromise is at risk” in a letter to economy minister Peter Altmaier, made public by Spiegel Online. Although the panel’s recommendations were presented eight months ago, there is still no draft for a coal phaseout law, lament the signatories who represent Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth (BUND), the German Nature Conservation (DNR), the citizens’ initiative Buirer fur Buir, and the regional association for renewable energies NRW (LEE NRW). The German government has said it will introduce a law in November, but the five organisations assert this will be “too late to carry out the planned tendering and decommissioning procedures” in order for the first coal-fired power stations to be shut down in 2021. In the commission’s report, a capacity reduction of 15 GW for both lignite and hard coal-fired power plants was envisaged as the industry’s contribution to Germany’s 2020 climate target, they write. (Clean Energy Wire)
Progress plan – The left-leaning think-tank Center for American Progress on Thursday unveiled a new report outlining a framework for a 100% clean economy by 2050, and cutting US GHG emissions at least 43% below 2005 levels by 2030. The report both highlights local-level climate action and makes recommendations at the national level, and also considers emissions by sector. It recommends, for example, at least 65% of electricity must come from clean sources by 2030 and 100% no later than 2050. (Politico)
Agency offsetter – England’s Environment Agency has committed to reaching net zero carbon in its operations and supply chain by 2030 – two decades ahead of the UK government’s national target. According to edie, the delivery of the target would require the agency to reduce its absolute carbon footprint by 45% by 2030, against a 2017 baseline, before offsetting the residual 55% of its emissions.
Pathway plans – Bloom Energy and CalBio on Thursday announced a collaboration to deploy the companies’ commercial solution to the conversion of dairy waste into renewable electricity without combustion. The companies’ press release cites the potential of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to allow electric vehicle charging station operators to buy the renewable energy credits generated by dairy farmers to meet carbon reduction goals. Also on the LCFS pathway front, technology company Velocys, Inc on Thursday announced an agreement with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to capture CO2 from the former’s Bayou Fuels biomass-to-fuels project in Mississippi. The project, which will convert woody biomass into diesel for heavy trucks and sustainable aviation fuels, is targeting revenue from both the LCFS and ‘45Q’ federal tax credits for carbon capture, storage, and utilisation.
Mark your calendars – The UNFCCC has published the agendas for this year’s UN climate summit, which takes place from Dec. 2-13 in Santiago, Chile. Check it out.
And finally… Nobel endeavour – The Nobel Prize for chemistry has been awarded to three scientists behind the development of lithium-ion batteries. The £740,000 prize is split between three researchers: Stanley Whittingham, John Goodenough, and Akira Yoshino. The battery, used in mobile phones, laptops and electric cars, it viewed to have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind. Meanwhile, teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg is the odds-on favourite of bookies to win the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. (The Guardian)
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