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EU parliamentarians are divided across party and national lines over by how much to raise the bloc’s 2030 emissions reduction goal, while lawmakers from mostly eastern member states want more funding for their home nations via ETS-financed schemes.
California lawmakers are expected to decide Monday whether to advance a budget bill that would require regulator ARB to complete a carbon market rulemaking next year, though numerous business groups continued to vociferously oppose the idea.
The first ever transaction in a new type of Brazilian carbon credit has been completed, with a conference company buying 100 units from a biofuel producer under the country’s renewable fuels market.
A pair of California-based livestock offset projects are seeking eligibility under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), with the applicants vying for the transportation sector programme’s electricity pathway rather than renewable natural gas (RNG), according to public filings.
WCI regulated parties cut their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) holdings for the second consecutive week, while speculators’ held their net long position flat, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data released Friday.
EUAs slipped to their lowest level for over a week on Friday, declining below €22 as markets grew wary about the pace of the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic amid a resurgence in new cases.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Virus rebound – Global CO2 emissions have rebounded as lockdown conditions have eased. Daily emissions were down by as much as 17% year-on-year during the height of the restrictions in early April, according to a Nature Climate Change study published last month. However, the latest numbers show emissions are only down by 5% now, with busier roads to blame as workers shun public transport. Year-to-date emissions are 8.6% lower though, while GHGs for the whole of this year are likely to be down by 4-7%. And even a recovery that’s historically greener to economic rebounds seen over the past century would not bring the steep carbon cuts needed to ward off climate change, Nature adds. (The Guardian, Axios)
Just one more bite – In Australia, the New South Wales government on Friday gave the nod to a major coal seam gas project owned by Santos that could meet up to half the state’s future gas needs, according to the ABC, with a final decision to be made by the state’s independent planning committee within the next three months. The project could have Scope 1 emissions of up to 26 MtCO2e over its lifetime, with Scope 3 output reaching 120 Mt, but the state government concluded that because the emissions would be less than 1% of Australia’s total GHG output, they would not have a major environmental effect.
Piu veloce – Italy’s Enel will likely close its remaining coal-fired power stations around the world faster than anticipated, with worsening economics for the fuel leading to billions in write-downs and making an even stronger case to replace capacity with gas-fired plants and renewable energy. The company is still one of the largest owners of coal plants among European utilities and in May was placed on a watchlist by Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund for falling foul of new environmental guidelines, which require companies to own less than 10,000 MW of coal capacity. Enel’s head of global power generation said the company expects to reach that milestone by the end of this year — likely accelerating Enel’s eventual exit from coal, tentatively planned for 2030. Enel now wants to close its last plant in Chile years ahead of schedule, after which it will have only a small Colombian unit left in Latin America. The rest of its coal stock, roughly 11,000 MW in all, is in Europe. In Italy, the company just got permission to close a 660MW unit, while two of its five remaining plants in Spain also have the green light for decommissioning. In the case of at least four of its five coal plants remaining in Italy, Enel wants to convert units to burn gas instead. Enel wants to cut its direct emissions per kWh by 70% between 2017 and 2030, and get it to zero by 2050. So far, it has cut by about 28% to 296g CO2/kWh by the end of 2019. Enel has not decided how exactly it will offset emissions from its remaining gas-fired generation, but that this would likely include offset measures like reforestation rather than carbon capture technology. (S&P Global Platts)
And my eyes filled with sand – New oil sands projects in Alberta will no longer need government approval under a sweeping set of changes tabled in the province’s legislature on Thursday. If Bill 22 passes, the final decision on oil sands approvals will be made by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), reversing decades of government policy in the province and hastening approvals by up to 10 months, according to the Canadian province’s associate minister of red tape reduction. (The Globe and Mail)
Mandatory move – Corporate reporting on GHGs covering scopes 1, 2, and 3 should become mandatory “as soon as possible” for companies with more than 250 employees, argues Michele Lacroix, an EU expert who helped design the EU’s green finance taxonomy. She said climate-related reporting is currently not standardised enough, but standardisation beyond emissions is unlikely to happen as key metrics differ too widely across various sectors of the economy. (EurActiv)
Risk report ready – A first-of-its-kind report commissioned by a US regulator on climate-related risks to financial markets will be ready next month and will include specific policy recommendations for federal oversight, the head of the panel preparing it said Thursday. Bob Litterman, who chairs a 35-member panel formed last year by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to examine the threat that climate change poses to the stability of financial markets, said he expected the panel to wrap up its work in June, though the coronavirus delayed the publication date. (Reuters)
Good chat – For the fourth consecutive year, high-level policymakers from some of the world’s foremost carbon markets gathered, virtually this time, to discuss and exchange experiences. The annual Carbon Market Workshop, organised by the European Commission, brings together policymakers from carbon markets worldwide – California, Canada, China, the EU and New Zealand. Whereas in other years a two-day physical meeting is organised, consisting of interactive panel discussions led by leading experts and academics, the exceptional situation demanded a more limited group and a more focused discussion. “Even though the meeting was virtual, it has been a valuable exchange of views on the short- and the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, which has affected all of our carbon markets,” said Mauro Petriccione, Director-General for Climate Action at the Commission. “We also had a fruitful discussion on the recovery packages that the EU and all countries are about to set in motion, and the importance of them being in line with our climate ambitions.” The main objectives of the Florence Process are to collect and disseminate empirical knowledge and information on the functioning of carbon markets worldwide, establish a network bringing together ETS experts, and create a forum enabling interaction amongst policymakers and ETS experts.
And finally… Kafka-esque construction – A new rule issued this week by the Republican-controlled US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could delay construction of some gas pipelines, but critics argue it fails to protect landowners and is merely a manoeuvre by the regulatory body to better position itself in ongoing litigation. Currently, FERC allows pipelines companies to begin – and sometimes even complete – construction while repeatedly issuing “tolling orders” to give itself more time to adjudicate opponents’ claims. The new rule will prohibit construction of pipeline projects until it has resolved all appeals from landowners and other pipeline opponents, but would still allow companies to take land by eminent domain and engage in “pre-construction” activities before landowner challenges get a judicial review of FERC’s decision. Many observers, including Democratic FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, criticised the GOP majority’s retention of the “kafkaesque regime” and argued it is a “readily apparent” attempt to influence an ongoing legal challenge to FERC’s use of tolling orders brought by landowners. (Climate Nexus)
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