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CARBON FORWARD 2020
Analysts expect EU carbon prices to exceed €50 by the end of the decade as cheaper abatement is exhausted, the Carbon Forward 2020 conference heard on Wednesday, with higher levels partly determined by how quickly lawmakers implement reforms.
Extending the EU carbon market to buildings presents a “frightening” risk of harming the poor, a senior Polish official said during the Carbon Forward 2020 conference on Wednesday, as Brussels unveiled bloc-wide renovation plans.
The European Commission appears to have ruled out introducing a price floor in the EU carbon market, according to a senior official, reversing a previous indication that the bloc’s executive body would reconsider a policy that it has historically opposed.
The European Commission will next year propose a system to monitor, verify, and report (MRV) methane emissions, a move that could pave the way for the inclusion of the potent greenhouse gas in the bloc’s carbon market.
EU carbon prices will more than triple to near €90 by 2030 as industrials are forced to start cutting emissions, a team of analysts has predicted, in the latest in a wave of updated forecasts to reflect higher climate ambition by the bloc.
European carbon prices rebounded after hitting a fresh two-month low on Wednesday, with dip-buying, short-covering, and optimism surrounding Brexit trade talks said to trigger the rise.
Utility EDF on Wednesday upped its French nuclear generation target for 2020 by up to 6%, projecting shorter planned outages at its fleet of 58 plants in the country through the rest of this year.
South Korea sold all 616,100 allowances on offer at Wednesday’s monthly carbon auction, the first time a sale has gone oversubscribed in half a year as KAU prices slowly recover after being slashed in half over the summer months.
The Shanghai government will auction an additional 2 million carbon allowances under its emissions trading scheme on Oct. 30, the deadline day for participants to surrender permits to cover for their 2019 emissions.
A group of 16 Australian institutional investors have banded together to help drive a 45% drop in national greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a move that would set the country on a path to reaching net zero by mid-century and cut carbon by 230 million tonnes of CO2e per year beyond the government’s target at the end of this decade.
US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan to eliminate the carbon footprint of the nation’s power sector by 2035 would slash emissions in the RGGI and California cap-and-trade programmes compared to a business-as-usual scenario, analysts said Wednesday.
California divvied out more than 1 million carbon offsets across 13 new and existing projects over the past two weeks, with nearly half of the credits featuring direct environmental benefits to the state (DEBs), according to data from state regulator ARB published Wednesday,
California will finalise post-2030 carbon reduction targets for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) by the middle of this decade following the completion of the state’s next Scoping Plan update, an official from regulator ARB said Wednesday.
Switzerland has clinched a bilateral agreement with Peru to purchase carbon offsets under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6, the parties announced on Wednesday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Purchasing principles – The European Central Bank will review a key rule forcing it to buy corporate bonds in proportion of their outstanding amounts in light of the market’s “failure” to reflect risks related to climate change, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday. “In the face of what I call the market’s failures, (there) is also a question we have to ask ourselves as to whether market neutrality should be the actual principle to drive our … asset purchases programme,” Lagarde told a UN-hosted event. (Reuters)
This one goes to 11 – The heads of government of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden have issued a joint statement urging the European Council to agree on increasing the 2030 climate target to at least 55% below 1990 levels, ahead of discussions starting on Thursday. “This increased target should be included in the EU’s updated NDC to be submitted to the UNFCCC before the end of this year and followed up by legislative proposals by June 2021, to make sure the target is delivered on,” the 11 EU leaders said. Council is not expected to agree a position this week, but rather at its next summit in December.
Battery boost – The EU’s ambitions to corner a significant chunk of the multi-billion-euro global battery market will take a step forward this year, when the bloc’s executive branch reviews the rules that underpin the manufacturing and recycling of power packs. The Commission will propose turning an existing directive on batteries into an EU-wide regulation and impose green standards, according to Vice-President Maros Sefcovic. The rules will include “performance standards” to phase out batteries from the European single market that “are not performing well from an environmental or energy point of view”, and well as to enable reuse for different purposes. (Euractiv)
Critical window – The decisions taken by businesses, investors and the government in the UK over the next six to 18 months will either lock the country into unsustainable systems or bring about a resilient future with intersectional benefits for the environment and society, a new report argues. Published by Forum for the Future on Wednesday, the report outlines how the system shocks created by the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting mindsets and cultural narratives, and uses four scenarios to explore how the changes might reflect decisions made by policymakers and the private sector in the short term. (Edie)
Aurora borealis buds – Tech giant Microsoft has signed a memorandum of understanding with Norway’s Equinor to explore the use of a CO2 storage facility as the tech firm seeks to erase its carbon footprint, it said on Wednesday. Microsoft will become a technology partner in the Northern Lights project, along with oil majors Total and Shell, as part of a wider Norwegian effort to develop CCS technology at industrial sites and store CO2 under the seabed. The Norwegian government is expected to cover about 80% of the NOK 6.9 bln ($751 mln) cost of the CO2 deposit’s first stage, which would be able to store 1.5 Mt of emissions per year. (Reuters)
Got aid, eh? – Canada’s struggling oil patch is seeking government aid to clean up its impact on the environment after the industry cut spending on green initiatives to weather the COVID-19 downturn. Suncor Energy is pushing for government investment in several projects, including a C$1.4 bln cogeneration project to replace boilers fired by petroleum coke with natural gas. The project would reduce Suncor’s emissions and displace some coal-fired power from Alberta’s grid. Additionally, Husky is courting federal investment in its West White Rose project off the Atlantic coast, describing it as potentially Canada’s first “net-zero facility.” Husky suspended the project due to economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. (Reuters)
And finally… I spy – Brazil’s spy agency has been accused of trying to intimidate its own government’s negotiators and Brazilian environmentalists at last year’s COP25 UN climate talks in Madrid, in a sign of President Jair Bolsonaro’s hostility to activists and the climate agenda. Brazilian newspaper Estadao revealed this week that four secret agents were part of the country’s delegation, and three sources confirmed to Climate Home they had seen evidence of spy presence at the summit. The Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) agents presented themselves as “analysts”, with one anonymous agent telling Estadao that the team’s goal was to pick up criticism of the country’s Amazon policy. Bolsonaro has sought to open the rainforest up to mining and ranching and removed environmental protections. There was also a rumour that the Brazilian civil society pavilion at COP was bugged, so some discussions were held outside of it as a precaution.
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