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More than 900 EU ETS-covered installations in Germany face a liquidity squeeze following the launch of the national emissions trading system (nEHS) next year as the two schemes will impose a ‘double burden’ that may not be compensated until a year and a half later, an analysis has found.
Germany is set to hit its domestic 2020 GHG reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels this year, a study released on Friday found, as coronavirus restrictions limited output to bring the goal back within reach.
EUAs recovered from a dip below €25 on Friday but remained down so far this month as wider economic worries and weaker power markets outweighed the effect of halved auction supply.
Northeast US electricity consumption returned to historic levels over the past several months as warmer weather increased residential usage, likely curtailing the impact of COVID-19 on RGGI compliance obligations, according to grid data.
British Columbia’s carbon levy and Alberta’s former output-based pricing system failed to stimulate GHG abatement over their respective histories compared to the success of the EU ETS and the linked California-Quebec WCI cap-and-trade programme, a study has found.
Compliance and financial entities held their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) positions mostly flat ahead of next week’s WCI auction, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
False economy – Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement does not make economic sense for the US, a group of economists has argued, as the cost of clean energy has fallen since the pact was signed in 2015 and the risks of climate catastrophe have increased. LSE Gratham Institute economists examined the economic case for the US withdrawal, which President Donald Trump announced in June 2017, and which will take effect on Nov. 4, the day after this year’s presidential election. They found that climate breakdown would cause growing losses to US infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth this century, adding that an increasing proportion of the emissions causing global heating would come from countries outside the US. (The Guardian)
Rapid regrowth – Restoring tropical forests through tree planting and selective plant removal can rapidly increase the speed at which they recover from logging, a new study says. The research, published in Science, finds that logged tropical forests in Malaysia that were actively restored increased their ability to absorb carbon 50% faster than logged forests that were left to regenerate naturally. Without any intervention, a tropical forest will typically take around 60 years to fully recover from a single logging event, the study estimates. With active restoration, this can be shortened to 40 years. (Carbon Brief)
Lobby pressure – Some of Australia’s most influential lobby groups have been put on notice over climate change, with mining giant BHP setting standards that require them to advocate for Paris-aligned emissions reductions and stop backing energy policies that favour fossil fuels over renewables. BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, updated its website on Friday with details of its new climate-related expectations of its industry lobbyists – including the Minerals Council of Australia, the Business Council of Australia, and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association – which have faced shareholder criticism for public-policy positions surrounding fossil fuels. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Showcase shipping – UK firms Malin Newbuild and Smart Green Shipping are working on a project to slash emissions across the shipping sector. The companies are developing plans for a full-scale, 40m high prototype vessel that could be showcased at the COP26 summit in Glasgow next November. Smart Green Shipping has also been in discussions with the Scottish Government about funding the demonstrator’s construction. The retrofitted demonstrator vessel would be partially powered by wind, with the intention to integrate other renewable energy sources, including green hydrogen, into future designs. (BusinessGreen)
Utility clean-up – Major German energy companies are making “rapid progress” with their green energy transition thanks to renewables becoming clear profit-makers that are attractive to investors, according to German newspaper Tagesspiegel. Despite the fact that energy giant RWE is publicly perceived as a traditional coal and nuclear company, its renewables section is expanding fast, as the company on Thursday called for a contracts-for-difference scheme for offshore wind like in the UK. Renewables also overtook fossil fuels in profit contribution for EnBW, and even Uniper – which recently opened the coal-fired Datteln 4 power plant – is aiming for climate neutrality in 2035. (Clean Energy Wire/Reuters)
Setting in stone – New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation proposed a draft regulation on Friday that would codify the state’s emission reduction goals from the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The proposal would require the state’s power sector to be carbon free by 2040, along with economy-wide GHG abatement targets of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 85% by 2050. The draft regulation itself does not set any compliance requirements, meaning it has limited near-term impacts on the Northeast US RGGI ETS.
And finally… Out of sight, out of mind? – New Pew Research Center polling shows that climate isn’t top of mind for the US electorate, but it also signals how the topic is likely to surface in the 2020 presidential race. The poll found climate change was only “very important” to 42% of the more than 9,000 registered US voters surveyed, ranking only above abortion for issues at the bottom of the list. However, 68% of supporters of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the poll said climate would be very import to their vote, compared to only 11% for supporters of President Donald Trump. (Axios)
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