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The Canadian environment ministry on Thursday released a shortlist of project types for development under the federal offset system, as it clarified several other aspects of its protocol work under the ‘backstop’ output-based pricing system (OBPS).
Japan is planning to close or mothball up to 100 coal-fired power plants, according to unconfirmed media reports Thursday, a move observers say could slash the nation’s CO2 emissions by as much as 9%.
Australia has made it easier for plantation forests in high rainfall areas across five regional hubs to register as offset schemes and earn carbon credits under the Carbon Farming Initiative.
The Tamaulipas Congress passed an $11/tonne carbon tax this week that will take effect in 2021, continuing the recent trend of Mexican states installing CO2 levies in response to the federal government’s energy policy.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) values stagnated below the WCI floor price on the secondary market this week, while RGGI allowances (RGA) rose to a 14-month high above the Emissions Containment Reserve (ECR) despite thin demand.
US biofuel credit prices (RINs) unwound some of their recent gains on Thursday after a news outlet reported the EPA will indefinitely delay publication of next year’s biofuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
EUAs recovered from an early drop to hold above €27 on Thursday, staying in touch with the previous session’s 11-month high and shrugging off news of a supply injection over the rest of the year.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Future now – IEA chief Fatih Birol has called for governments to triple their innovation spend on clean energy technologies by 2030 if they are to have a chance of meeting their net zero goals by mid-century. As Bloomberg reports, over half the emissions reductions required will need to come from technologies that are currently at the prototype or early-adoption stage, such as coal-free steel production or hydrogen electrolysis.
Signatures of the sick – Climate-related ballot initiatives in the US are having a quiet election year, E&E News reports. The pandemic made signature gathering difficult and dangerous for activist groups that try to shape public policy by placing environmental initiatives in the hands of voters. Some of those efforts were facing tough obstacles even before social distancing. The race for president and congressional contests have absorbed much of the energy that activists might apply to getting climate-related questions on ballots. And with pandemic conditions likely to persist into the 2022 election cycle, creating climate policy through petitions and referenda could remain even more challenging than normal.
Mission methane – CNPC, China’s largest oil and gas producer, is aiming to cut its methane emissions intensity by half by 2025 compared to 2017 levels. The country’s methane emissions were around 9.1% of its total annual GHGs, according to its latest inventory. (Reuters)
Equinor musters up a green cluster – The Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor has sketched out a plan to reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 900,000 tonnes per year at one of the UK’s largest industrial complexes in the Humber, according to Reuters. The plans replace the existing gas-based supply for chemicals production with a supply based on ‘blue’ hydrogen produced from gas combined with carbon capture, transport, and storage infrastructure. A final investment decision could be expected by 2023. Equinor’s corporate venture fund has also invested equity in CCUS firm Carbon Clean Solutions Limited, which just closed its series B investment round with $22 mln.
Another clock is ticking – Banks and insurers in Britain must implement by the end of 2021 plans they have drawn up to deal with risks to their businesses from climate change, the Bank of England said on Wednesday. The BoE previously told firms to establish a plan by Oct. 2019 to mitigate climate-related risks, such as rising flood claims, or risks caused by a shift to net-zero emissions that will hit investments in activities with heavy emissions. But the bank did not previously give a deadline for implementing those plans. (Reuters)
BoJo’s moon shot – British PM Boris Johnson and his Transport Minister Grant Shapps have announced their ambition for the UK to produce the world’s first zero-emission long haul plane to cross the Atlantic, Reuters reports. Johnson surprised some in the aviation sector on Tuesday when he promised the UK would produce the world’s first zero emission long haul passenger plane. “We’ve set up the JetZero council specifically to take forward the objective of being the first country to develop a jet commercial airliner to fly zero carbon across the Atlantic,” Shapps told the British parliament. “That will involve not just investment in sustainable aviation fuels, of which money has already been invested … but also work on electric planes, hybrid planes and hydrogen planes as well,” he said. “You can expect to be hearing a lot more.”
Eye in the sky – Satellite data is showing the extent of timber harvesting and biomass loss across Europe’s forests, according to a study in Nature. Compared to the years between 2011 and 2015, the rate of harvesting in the period 2016-18 has increased by 49% and the biomass loss rate has increased by 69%. Forests account for 38% of the EU’s land surface area and offset around 10% of its emissions. (The Guardian)
All clear – Relaxed legislation since 2017 has coincided with an increase of almost 60% in the clearance of woody vegetation in the Australian state of New South Wales. Around 60,800 hectares were cleared in 2018, compared to the previous yearly average of 38,800 between 2009 and 2017. Some 73% of this clearance was not subject to any environmental assessment, according to the Guardian.
And finally… Economic Protection Agency – US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler called House Democrats’ new climate plan, which targets 100% clean car sales by 2035 and net zero economy-wide emissions by 2050, unrealistic during an appearance on Fox Business Wednesday. “They’re actually going to turn around the economic growth that President Trump has delivered to the American people,” he said, adding that it will force US car manufacturing jobs to China and other countries.” Wheeler also said the plan would decimate the biofuels industry, though the Democrats’ roadmap actually calls for transitioning the Renewable Fuel Standard into a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard in the coming years. (Politico)
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