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RGGI has withheld an estimated 18 million allowances from 2020 quarterly auctions for the programme’s upcoming surplus bank adjustment, as allowance prices hit an all-time high on thin volume Wednesday as Democrats secured a US Senate majority.
Setting a carbon border tax on imports is the preferred option among respondents to a key consultation on the EU carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), the results of which are meant to inform the European Commission’s design and implementation of the measure.
Romania’s president has requested a criminal investigation be launched against a former environment minister accused of bribery and instigating embezzlement, in a case involving the exchange of free EU carbon allowances for metal products.
EUAs jumped back above €33 on Wednesday, defying weaker energy prices in a late surge coinciding with wider markets rising in anticipation that Democrats would gain control of the US senate.
California gasoline and diesel consumption fell in September as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to temper demand across the Golden State, likely leading to lower fuel sector emissions under the WCI-linked carbon market, according to state data.
New York and Washington Democrats pre-filed low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) bills ahead of the start of each state’s legislative sessions, building on increased subnational momentum in recent months to enact the market-based clean fuels programmes.
Commodities trader Trafigura set its first emissions reduction target on Wednesday, aiming to cut its scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 30% under 2020 levels by the end of its 2023 financial year.
Most countries have missed a year-end deadline to update and enhance their GHG reduction commitments as the Paris Agreement took effect on Jan. 1, putting more focus on the need for greater climate ambition from large emitters this year to help close the gap to achieving the pact’s temperature goals.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Senate secured – Democrats captured control of the US Senate on Wednesday with a pair of historic victories in Georgia’s run-off elections, assuring slim majorities in both chambers of Congress for President-elect Joe Biden and delivering an emphatic, final rebuke to President Donald Trump in his last days in office. Raphael Warnock defeated GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler, becoming the first Black Democrat elected to the Senate from the South. And Jon Ossoff defeated Republican incumbent David Perdue, who managed just one full term as senator. Although Democrats and their allied independents now match Republicans with 50 seats each in the upper chamber, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D) can issue tie-breaking votes. Stay tuned for a Carbon Pulse analysis this week on what the Senate elections mean for the future of US climate legislation. (New York Times)
Great Ex-scope – US oil major Exxon has for the first time released Scope 3 emissions data, showing its petroleum product sales were equivalent to 730 MtCO2e in 2019, according to the company’s energy and carbon summary. That’s about the same as the entire country of Canada and is the highest of all major Western oil companies. Most Western supermajors already publish the information, and Exxon is doing so because “stakeholders have expressed growing interest” in it, the company said. The company said in December that it would set new, more ambitious targets to reduce emissions per barrel of crude but it didn’t make any pledges related to reducing its absolute emissions. (Bloomberg)
Fjord motors – Norway became the first country in the world where electric vehicles made up more than half of new car sales in 2020. Industry data showed 54.3% of new registrations were electric last year, up from 42.4% a year earlier. Oil-rich Norway is making fast progress in electric mobility thanks to heavy subsidies and is aiming for all new cars to be “zero emission” by 2025. (AFP)
Power rally – Japan’s government is investigating if any speculative actions are accelerating the record-breaking surge in wholesale power prices. The Japanese Electricity and Gas Market Surveillance Commission is launching an investigation after spot prices hit a historic high for the fourth straight day on Tuesday, along with a winter supply crunch. (Bloomberg)
And finally… Mine your business – Plans for the UK’s first deep coal mine in 30 years can progress after the government decided not to intervene in a local council decision for the £165 mln West Cumbria Mining plan to extract coking coal for steelmaking. The council still needs to consider permission again after the mining firm said further analysis of the coal meant it could “improve” the design of the operation, the BBC reports. Environmentalists say the mine is incompatible with the country’s 2050 net zero emissions target and not fitting for the host nation of this year’s UN climate talks.
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