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A number of EU environment ministers on Tuesday backed a 2030 EU-wide emissions reduction target of 55% below 1990 levels, with some nations even wanting to raise the bloc’s ambition still further.
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to weigh on ETS prices worldwide for the next two years, with price expectations for the coming decade also dropping, according to an annual survey of carbon market participants and observers published on Tuesday.
Two carbon specialist firms have partnered to develop cookstove carbon offset projects with co-benefits in Africa and Asia – investments for which they are still pursuing funding.
California regulator ARB is expected to publish guidance shortly on the criteria for offsets to be classified as having a direct environmental benefit to the state (DEBs), potentially giving clarity to emitters before the provision’s implementation in 2021, a regulatory source told Carbon Pulse.
California’s cross-border ETS linkage with Quebec does not present any conflict with the Trump administration’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, and the federal government’s Foreign Affairs Doctrine challenge to the programme is rooted in unsupported speculation, according to court filings released late Monday.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) granted an extension on Monday for regulators to craft an ETS rule aligned with the Northeast US cap-and-trade programme, with a state agency slated to use the additional time for collecting feedback from environmental justice and affected fossil fuel communities.
Imposing a border carbon adjustment (BCA) on EU imports can be combined with continued free ETS allowances, an EU trade body said on Tuesday, seeking to soften the EU’s apparent hard line on the issue.
EUAs surged almost 4% on Tuesday, racing to a new four-month high above €25 as wider markets rallied on better-than-expected economic data and reassurances about the US-China trade deal.
An Australian project developer has delivered the first batch of carbon credits under one of the biggest contracts for the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), nearly four years after the deal was signed.
California officials on Monday removed a budget provision to require a cap-and-trade rulemaking by next year as part of a compromise between state lawmakers and Governor Gavin Newsom (D), though they will reassess changes by the Scoping Plan update, a legislative source said.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Bonn off – The UNFCCC has opted to postpone its two-week intersessional climate negotiations in Bonn, pushing the event to a yet-to-be-decided date in 2021 due to coronavirus concerns. The meeting – usually held every June – had been pencilled in for Oct. 4-12 following the decision earlier this year to postpone the Nov. 2020 COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow. The COP26 meeting has since been rescheduled to Nov. 2021.
Billions and trillions – US House Democratic leaders on Monday unveiled the text of a broad $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that includes billions for clean energy and clean water. The legislation would extend the 30% Investment Tax Credit for solar projects until 2025, after which it would gradually step down to 10% in 2028. The Production Tax Credit would also be extended to 2025, as would the ‘45Q’ tax credit for carbon capture and sequestration projects. The Transportation Department would also be required to issue an annual report ranking states by their CO2 emissions reductions, with the top 15 states able to use federal funds to pay for state-approved parts of the transportation projects. House leaders expect to bring the bill to a vote before July 4, but it faces an uncertain path forward amid opposition from Republicans, who call it a Democratic wish list. (Politico)
And more billions – Amazon has announced its $2 bln Climate Pledge Fund to invest in sustainable technologies and services that will help the company reach its commitment to be net-zero carbon in its operations by 2040. Late last year, the company set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2040, even for its Prime one-day shipping service. Amazon said it would work toward using 100% renewable energy by 2030 and had placed a big order for electric vans. It’s a sizeable pledge from a company that has been criticised for its contributions to carbon emissions in its own operations and the work that the company has done for some of the world’s largest polluters like ExxonMobil (through its Amazon Web Services business). It comes on the heels of CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement earlier this year that he’d be committing $10 bln of his personal wealth to investments in initiatives that mitigate global climate change. (Tech Crunch)
Good neighbours – Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) on Monday announced his state plans to adopt neighbouring California’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and tailpipe emissions rules even as President Donald Trump’s administration has moved to strip states of the right to implement such requirements. Nevada is proposing to require ZEV rules beginning in the 2025 model year and to allow automakers to earn credits toward meeting requirements starting in the 2023 model year. California’s vehicle emissions rules, which are more stringent than rules advocated by the US EPA, are currently followed by states accounting for more than 40% of nationwide vehicle sales. (Reuters)
Return to reporting – Environmental reporting requirements for Alberta emitters paused by the provincial government during the COVID-19 pandemic will resume on July 15, according to ministerial orders issued Tuesday. The temporary suspensions, which took effect in early April, will now end four weeks earlier than planned, the Alberta government said in a press release. Ontario earlier this month also reinstated environmental protections it suspended during the pandemic, the National Observer reported. ($)
Vroom vroom – Britain’s automotive industry is set to benefit from a £73.5 mln government investment to develop green technologies and safeguard jobs, Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi announced Thursday. Ten projects across the UK will receive a share of this new investment to develop cutting-edge technology for the next generation of electric taxis, cars, and vans – including recyclable batteries, advanced electrical systems, and ultra-lightweight components. This funding will contribute to the automotive sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by safeguarding more than 14,000 UK research and manufacturing jobs. It will also enable the manufacture of a greater volume of low-emission cars, commercial vehicles, and components in the UK.
Deal deforestation – The buying up of tropical forests by private companies and foreign governments enhances deforestation in the majority of cases, new data confirms. The assessment, published in the journal Nature Geosciences, explores the consequences of more than 80,000 land deals made from 2000 to 2018 across 15 countries in South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and south-east Asia. (Carbon Brief)
Tree troubles – Large-scale tree-planting could do more harm than good as providing financial incentives can backfire and reduce biodiversity while having little impact on carbon emissions, according to a study published in the journal Nature Sustainability. It focuses on government incentives given to private landowners to plant trees in Chile over 1974-2012. A separate paper found that the amount of carbon that new forests can absorb may be overestimated after examining planting efforts in northern China. (BBC)
And finally… Mortgage malady – The 30-year home mortgage may not survive the climate crisis as the risks and costs of sea level rise and extreme weather are internalised into the costs of home ownership, the New York Times reported. US taxpayers may end up footing the bill for these loans as banks are increasingly selling climate-risky mortgages to government backed-buyers like Fannie May. Climate impacts are already pushing down home values in coastal regions, where some lenders are requiring up to 40% down payments. In parts of the West, wildfire risks are also making getting homeowners insurance difficult. Additionally, flooding across the country could have devastating impacts on housing markets, even worse than the 2008 housing crisis. (Climate Nexus)
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