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The European Commission seeks to review upwards its 32% renewable energy target by 2030 in light of the bloc’s desire for higher climate ambition.
Global shipping emissions increased 9.2% over the six years to 2018 as vessel efficiency improvements failed to keep pace with rising demand, according to a UN-commissioned study released Tuesday.
Spain’s climate ministry has launched a public consultation over its renewable hydrogen strategy, with plans to deploy at least 10% of EU-wide electrolyser capacity by the end of the decade.
EUAs lifted in light trade on Tuesday following another weak half-volume auction, with prices dragged higher in the afternoon by an energy complex that rose amid a massive explosion in Beirut.
Oil major BP does not plan on using offsets towards its voluntary climate goal through 2030, though it expects carbon credits to play a deeper role in its customer offering and for its own use in the longer term, the company said in its financial results on Tuesday.
Australian carbon project developers delivered over 1.2 million offsets to the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) in the second half of July, taking the total GHG cuts generated under the fund so far past 57 MtCO2e.
Massachusetts power generators remained significant below their annual Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) CO2 limits through the second quarter as power consumption continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (COATS) data.
A California-based project aims to be the largest ever US reforestation project, with the carbon offset credits produced by the initiative earmarked for the state’s cap-and-trade scheme.
California refiners’ gasoline sales at retail stores rebounded in May to align with broader statewide trends, while declines in oil production accelerated during this spring’s price collapse, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data released this week.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Bid farewell – Germany’s energy regulator on Tuesday set a Sept. 1 bidding date for a first auction inviting operators of hard coal-fired power stations to compete for compensation to close 4,000 MW of capacity under laws seeking to curb emissions. The auction system implements parts of a wide-ranging package of bills passed by the government in June to arrange the long-term exit from coal mining and generation activities by 2038. A series of tenders will be carried out between 2020 and 2027, in which operators will declare the price at which they would be prepared to shut their plants in return for funds to offset some of their financial losses. (Reuters)
Silesian hot-spot – Poland on Tuesday reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases for the fourth time in a week, with 680 infections detected and more than a third found in the southern Silesia region as a result of another outbreak among coal miners. The region saw a rapid spread of infections in June that led to a temporary reduction of coal output and work across 12 mines. Currently, more than 1,000 miners are infected, mostly from Poland’s biggest coal producer PGG. (Reuters)
Carbon bias – The Bank of England faces increased pressure from green groups amid a corporate bond buying programme favouring carbon-intensive industries, Bloomberg reports. According to a report led by the New Economics Foundation, the BOE’s Corporate Bond Purchase Scheme has pumped £11.4 bln – around 57% of the value of the bonds – to high emitters. The central bank’s bond programme seeks to have a neutral effect on the market, but the report said this approach lowers the cost of borrowing for carbon-intensive industries, reproducing existing market failures to price in climate change. (Bloomberg)
Hydrogen pipe dreams? – The EU’s hydrogen strategy is not a magic solution for the European Green Deal, former EU top official Jorgen Henningsen wrote in an op-ed for EUobserver. Henningsen said that although the versatility of hydrogen is unquestionable, the strategy presented on Jul. 8, which aims to deploy at least 40 GW of electrolyser capacity by 2030, falls short of addressing many obstacles, such as higher costs for end-users, and promotes “a lose-lose (pay more, get less) strategy”.
Don’t forget about gas – Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) sued the California Energy Commission (CEC) on Friday for failing to promote natural gas as required by a 2013 law. The Sempra-owned utility argued that the CEC was not complying with Assembly Bill 1257 that requires the commission to “identify strategies to maximise the benefits obtained from natural gas as an energy source” every four years. The commission released a 22-page appendix in 2019 to its 2015 report, leading SoCalGas to call the slimmed-down report “incomplete and legally deficient”. SoCalGas also faulted the state’s push to building electrification and increased energy efficiency, while a separate suit challenged California’s recently adopted clean trucks regulation that did not promote natural gas as an energy source. (Los Angeles Times)
Storage preppers – Dominion Energy suggested adding 250 MW of energy storage by the end of 2025, with the Virginia-based utility aiming to increase that to 2,500 MW over the next decade, according to comments submitted to state regulators. Legislators passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) this year that requires the state to bolster its energy storage capacity, but the guidelines have yet to be defined. The company urged the state to set “high-level parameters” rather than regulations for every term. State regulator State Corporation Commission extended a comment period until Aug. 14 on the issue. Virginia is slated to join the RGGI scheme next year. (Utility Dive)
Mile high tax – Denver voters will decide in November whether or not to increase the city sales tax rate 0.25% to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in city GHG emissions reduction projects. The Denver City Council voted 11 to 1 on Monday to refer the sales tax increase to voters and, barring an unexpected veto by Mayor Michael Hancock, it will appear on the municipal fall ballot. The sales tax would be expected to raise about $45 mln annually, based on shopping levels before the pandemic, or possibly $36 mln in a post-pandemic economy, a task force that formulated the climate tax estimates. The revenue, if passed by voters, would be used to start city projects such as energy efficiency programs, phasing out the use of natural gas in new buildings, electrifying and increasing public transit, community solar projects, and other efforts to reduce emissions in the city. (Denver Business Journal)
Going neutral – More than 4,000 residential and small business customers signed up to AGL’s certified carbon neutral electricity product in the first month after launch, the Australian utility said Tuesday. The company, which is Australia’s biggest carbon emitter, began offering customers carbon free power on July 1, and it will be purchasing carbon credits from domestic and international projects to achieve that. The company aims to offer similar carbon neutral options for its entire product portfolio by the end of FY2021.
And finally… Heat kills –Climate change-fuelled heatwaves could kill roughly as many people as all infectious diseases combined, including HIV, malaria, and yellow fever, according to a new study by the Climate Impact Lab. The study, written by a group of climate economists and researchers at several US universities, found 73 people per 100,000 by 2100 would be killed by heatwaves if nations do not curtail their emissions. Some areas, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sudan, could see some 200 deaths per 100,000. (MIT Technology Review)
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