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The UN could begin issuing carbon credits from former CDM projects under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6.4 mechanism as early as 2023, an event heard Wednesday.
South Korea on Wednesday sold just over half the allowances on offer at its monthly KAU auction, with prices coming in well below secondary market levels as expectations about oversupply tamed interest.
New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission is expected to recommend an increase in the country’s Paris target, according to climate minister James Shaw, adding to a challenge the government already thinks it will need to buy international carbon credits to achieve.
New Zealand carbon allowances have inched up to all-time high levels again as supply remains tight, with sellers happy to wait and see where prices go once the ETS reform kicks in next year.
Oil and gas firm Woodside told investors on Wednesday it aims to develop a large-scale carbon offset portfolio to 2030 to meet new emissions targets, and has identified the potential to store as much as 3.4 billion tonnes of CO2e underground.
Biden administration likely working on revised NDC as US eyes return to Paris Agreement, experts say
President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team may be already crafting a new GHG reduction target as the incoming administration works to swiftly return the US to the Paris Agreement, while Congressional bipartisan support for climate policy could still occur even with Republican control of the Senate, experts said Wednesday.
California granted nearly 1.2 million new compliance offsets this week as state regulator ARB pushed its streak of 1-mln plus issuances to five consecutive periods, according to data published Wednesday.
Colombia may not launch the pilot phase of its cap-and-trade programme under development until 2024, while the country seeks to finish the design of the ETS by year-end, a government official said Wednesday.
EU carbon prices rose nearly 4% on Wednesday to test Monday’s one-month high, but profit-taking and technical selling caused the day’s gains to completely unravel, traders said.
State-owned Romanian utility CE Oltenia has crafted a restructuring plan that envisages €1.33 billion in government grants to help pay its EU ETS bills for five years, the company said.
Power consumption in EU energy firm E.ON’s markets reached last year’s levels during the second half of Q3, the company said in its quarterly results on Wednesday.
Czechia has received EU clearance to begin paying partial compensation for indirect carbon costs to its energy intensive industries.
The coming decade will be crucial for mobilising funds for zero-carbon shipping fuels, an industry report released Wednesday said, renewing calls for the creation of a $5 billion R&D fund to help the maritime sector decarbonise.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
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Alumni, assemble! – US President-elect Joe Biden’s transition teams for the EPA and other agencies will be run by several agency alumni who served under President Barack Obama and helped craft regulations like the Clean Power Plan and tougher fuel economy standards for vehicles. The head of the EPA team is Patrice Simms, an environmental attorney at Earthjustice, which has filed over 100 lawsuits against President Trump’s administration. Biden’s Transportation Department team is headed by Phillip Washington, chief executive of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And on his State Department transition team, Biden named one of the key legal architects of the Paris Agreement, Sue Biniaz, as a member, signalling the agency will prioritise international climate diplomacy under the former vice president. (Reuters)
Working on the network – Federal Reserve Vice Chair of Supervision Randal Quarles said on Tuesday the US central bank has requested membership into the Network for Greening the Financial System, a global coalition of central banks and regulators that is dedicated to making sure the financial system is prepared to deal with risks posed by climate change. The Fed has been in membership talks for at least a year with the group and has already been participating in working groups, according to past statements by bank officials. But joining the network requires support for the Paris Agreement, which posed political hurdles for the Fed after the US withdrew from the deal under President Trump. It’s unclear whether the Fed will join as a full member or as an observer. (Politico)
Reverse the rollback – Oil major Shell will push for the reversal of President Trump’s rollback of methane emissions rules and the introduction of carbon pricing when Joe Biden moves into the White House next year. During a webcast hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership on Tuesday, Shell US President Gretchen Watkins said the Trump administration’s easing of direct regulation of methane emissions put the energy industry in a “backwards-facing position,” while the absence of carbon pricing makes it harder to incentivise new technologies like CCS. Shell joined fellow European fossil fuel major BP in September in calling for Texas regulators to end the routine flaring of natural gas, a by-product of the oil boom in the shale patch. (Energy Voice)
Not playing along – This week’s meeting of the world’s development banks in France is meant to produce a joint pledge to phase out coal-funding, but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are holding back, according to Climate Home. The two are resisting language on the draft text from the meeting, with ADB saying it contains language on policy that the bank has not yet decided on, while the AAIB claims that it won’t finance any more coal projects but just hasn’t made it official yet.
Marub-exit – Japanese resources company Marubeni Corp will pull out of the Thabametsi South African coal plant project, the group told Reuters on Wednesday, following the withdrawal of some South African investors this week. Marubeni’s exit from the 630MW project in the water-scarce northern Limpopo province also follows the withdrawal of South Korea’s state-run Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) last month. “As per our policy that we will not develop any new coal power project, we are in process of the withdrawal from the (Thabametsi) project with the Government of South Africa,” a Marubeni spokesman said in response to questions from Reuters. Earlier this week, South Africa’s biggest state pension fund manager the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), told Reuters they would no longer support the project, which was planned to come online in 2021.
Turbine shift – German engineering company Siemens Energy will no longer build turbines for coal-fired power stations, though will still honour existing contracts. The move makes it the latest firm to scale back fossil fuel-related operations, with coal turbines representing “a low single-digit percentage of the company’s sales, Reuters reports. Japanese rival Toshiba has also stopped taking orders for coal power plants and plans a fivefold increase in renewable investment, though the move comes months after the company began work on a $2.7-bln coal power plant in Vietnam, according to Global Construction Review.
Scrap the subsidies – If Germany gradually reduced 10 particularly climate-damaging subsidies in the energy, transport, and agriculture sectors, the federal budget could save some €46 bln annually, a study conducted by Green Budget Germany (FÖS) on behalf of Greenpeace finds. At the same time, emissions would be reduced by 100 Mt of CO2e per year. The researchers list the abolition of tax exemptions for kerosene, the phasing out of industry exemptions from paying the renewable energy surcharge on power, and tax reliefs for power generation as three particularly effective levers for linking climate action with budget savings. Other changes would include scrapping the VAT exemption for international flights, the tax privilege for commuters, and the reduced VAT on animal products. With the current climate measures in place, Germany will not achieve its 2030 GHG reduction target, falling short by around 71 Mt, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has calculated. The emissions reduction achieved by scrapping or phasing out the above subsidies could make achieving the target possible, the researchers argue. (Clean Energy Wire)
Oil’s well that ends well – As companies are flocking to net zero targets, European oil majors alone are on the hook to reduce annual carbon emissions by or some 265 Mt in 2050 – an amount equivalent to Spain’s footprint – according to a new report published by BloombergNEF. The report takes a snapshot of 30 companies that are amongst the ones with the most aggressive net zero targets to date. Companies included in the analysis are from five sectors: utilities, oil & gas, technology, consumer staples and materials. Taking stock of existing pledges the report also dives into various terminologies and clarifies terms such as carbon neutral, climate positive and zero emissions. The full report is available upon request.
And finally… Fracking fail – The Trump campaign’s efforts to attack President-elect Joe Biden and win Pennsylvania by claiming he would ban fracking failed, while Biden’s climate message appears to have boosted turnout, according to reporting from multiple outlets. Biden not only won Pennsylvania overall, but – while Trump still won in areas with significant fracking operations – Biden improved on former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance against Trump in eight of Pennsylvania’s top-10 gas-producing counties. “Climate change as a voting issue has soared in the past five years particularly among Democrats and among independents,” Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication, told E&E. “This absolutely was a crucial issue for constituencies he needed to carry him over the top: young people, Latino voters and suburban women, all of whom care more about climate change than other groups”. (Climate Nexus)
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