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The German Parliament voted on Friday to pass a sweeping act signalling the end of coal power in the country by 2038 and teeing up the cancellation of EUAs to offset the impact.
In the latest edition of our Carbon Pulse Conversations podcast, we chat with Eduardo Piquero, general director of Mexico City-based environmental consultancy MexiCO2, regarding carbon pricing developments at the national and subnational level in Mexico.
EUAs recovered from an early drop on Friday for the second straight day, moving back towards this week’s 11-month high above €28 as buying remained incessant and largely unexplainable by traders despite more bearish news.
Utility EDF on Friday upped its French nuclear generation target for 2020 by 5-8%, projecting shorter planned outages at its fleet of 58 plants in the country through the rest of this year.
The European Commission on Friday launched the first call for projects under the Innovation Fund, after the timeline for auctioning the initial 50 million EUAs to finance the scheme was released this week.
The EU must start paying attention to research and development for CO2 removal methods if it wants to reach its climate neutrality target, a study presented on Thursday found.
Switzerland has proposed introducing a reverse charge mechanism for VAT on more types of emissions trading in an effort to prevent tax fraud.
South Korean carbon allowances on Friday fell below the 30,000-won mark for the first time since last September, as a bearish outlook and a steady stream of supply weigh on prices.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Awkward accounting – The European Commission has overstated the current 2014-20 EU budget’s contribution to tackling climate change and warned the same was likely to be true in 2021-27, according to a European Court of Auditors (ECA) report. The EU’s executive wants 25% of the bloc’s 2021-27 budget — setting aside roughly €320 bln at current prices — to help the 27-nation EU become “climate neutral” by 2050. “The anticipated contributions to climate-related spending, in particular from some agricultural schemes, are likely to be overstated,” ECA member Joelle Elvinger told Reuters.
Smoke on the water – The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) overtook Ryanair in the top 10 rankings of Europe’s biggest CO2 emitters in 2019, a list that is still dominated by big coal-fired power plants, EU data showed. Data compiled by Brussels-based think-tank Transport & Environment showed MSC emitted an estimated 10.72 Mt in 2019, ranking it seventh in the EU, rising above Ryanair at No. 8, which produced an estimated 10.53 Mt. Shipping companies are not yet included in the EU ETS, but the European Commission plans to add them in 2021 in a bid to bring the industry into line with the bloc’s efforts to cut GHGs. (Reuters)
Wind on the water – The construction of two giant offshore windfarms is poised to go ahead off the Norfolk coast, The Guardian reports. UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma gave the green light on Wednesday evening to the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard project and said he was “minded to approve” the 2.4GW Hornsea 3 proposal later this year. Together the two new projects would generate enough clean electricity to power almost 4m UK homes, according to Renewable UK.
Steel quenched with lifeline loan – The UK has agreed to provide an emergency loan to Celsa Steel with a string of unspecified climate change and net zero target conditions attached, BusinessGreen reports. The deal marks the inaugural loan made under a COVID-19 era rescue programme geared at bailing out “strategically important” companies that have exhausted all other options. Media reports have suggested it is worth in the region of £30 mln. The bailout will help secure more than 1,000 jobs at the company, according to the government, including some 800 positions at the company’s sites in South Wales.
Swap slot – German utility RWE has taken over the activities of innogy as of yesterday, marking the conclusion of its asset swap with E.On. The energy company sold its remaining stake in innogy to E.On as part of the deal, but has now integrated innogy’s renewables and gas storage businesses into its own operations, with over 2,700 employees switching over. (Current)
Activists court the courtroom – Lawyers are increasingly filing lawsuits demanding action on climate, in light of the slow pace of international negotiations, with new legal arguments are being used to challenge companies and governments. Two decades ago, only a handful of climate-related lawsuits had ever been filed worldwide. Today, that number is 1,600, including 1,200 lawsuits in the US alone, according to data reported Friday by the London School of Economics. (Reuters)
Coal rebound – India’s coal imports, which have slowed so far this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, may recover in Q4 in line with an expected upturn in power generation demand, according to market participants. Coal imports by Indian utilities in the first five months of the year totalled around 25 Mt, down 16% on the year, the country’s Central Electricity Authority data showed. (Montel)
Green-houses gambit – The NZ government has announced a new programme for the country’s construction sector. Changes will be made to current building laws, targets set for energy use and carbon emissions, and incentives introduced to encourage innovation in the construction, design and operation of buildings according to Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa. Consultations on the first initiatives on insulation and glazing requirements in new homes are expected in early 2021.
And finally… Hot as hell, on Earth – Heatwaves have increased in both length and frequency in nearly every part of the world since the 1950s, according to a Nature study. The paper found the escalation in heatwaves varied around the planet, with the Amazon, North-Eastern Brazil, Western Asia (including parts of the subcontinent and central Asia), and the Mediterranean all experiencing more rapid change than, for example, Southern Australia and Northern Asia. The only inhabited region where there was not a trend was in the Central US. (The Guardian)
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