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France wants to include cement importers in the EU ETS after 2020 in a controversial move that could ease carbon leakage concerns but raise the hackles of the bloc’s trading partners.
The post-2020 CO2 cap trajectory and possible changes to the scheme’s cost containment reserve and offset mechanism forced by the Clean Power Plan are among issues that will be considered when RGGI begins its 2016 programme review in New York on Tuesday.
Thailand is set to become the 16th nation to join the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) later this week, as Japan continues to look for partner countries in which it can generate carbon offset credits by investing in clean projects.
Hubei plans to issue 281 million allowances under its emissions trading scheme for 2015, according to a draft plan seen by Reuters, 13% lower than in 2014.
European carbon prices climbed for the third consecutive session on Tuesday, topping €8.60 in defiance of a bearish energy complex as surging coal prices cut utility margins.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
Annex I countries have until tomorrow (Wednesday) at midnight CET to transfer into their UNFCCC retirement accounts enough carbon units to cover their emissions from the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008-2012). All 36 signatory nations were holding sufficient units as of the UN’s last registry update on Oct. 28, but just under half of them had yet to move their inventories into the appropriate account.
OECD countries struck a deal on Tuesday to restrict subsidies used to export technology for coal-fired power plants, ending months of wrangling. Representatives of the world’s richest countries agreed a deal to end export credits for inefficient coal plant technology to take effect from Jan. 1, 2017, with a review in 2019 that could allow the deal to be strengthened. (Reuters)
Three more INDCs were submitted on Tuesday:
El Salvador pledged to ready by end-2016 a plan to limit emissions from its land use sector, and by end-2017 from its power sector. Its recently approved Five-Year Development Plan 2015-2019 includes the objectives of promoting energy efficiency and renewables and the forming of NAMAs for urban coastal development and a REDD+ programme to restore forests. “The nationally defined contribution may be conditional on availability of appropriate means of implementation provided through mechanisms existing within the UNFCCC or through received support from other bilateral or multilateral sources.”
Somalia submitted a 47-page INDC to the UN, making it one of the bulkiest submissions filed to date. The LDC pledged no emissions reduction targets, but outlined plans to expand renewable energy while tackling deforestation. Battle-torn Somalia notes that a massive 8.7 million people have been killed by floods or droughts since 1987, with the death tolls rising and disasters becoming more frequent in recent years. It also said that large swathes of its tropical forests have been cleared for agricultural use and to produce charcoal for use in local cooking and for export to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for use in shisha smoking.
Nauru offered to reduce GHG emissions by installing a grid-connected solar PV system to replace the small island state’s current diesel-fuelled electricity generation if it receives international funding of $50 million. The INDC did not set out a firm emissions reduction target due to a high degree of uncertainty over BAU emission levels.
The US Senate is expected by this evening to adopt the first of two resolutions to reverse the Clean Power Plan. President Obama has promised to veto the bill that would scrap the rules for existing power plants, which was tabled by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). The vote is expected to highlight small splinter groups, as a handful of Republican and Democrat lawmakers have said they will vote against their parties. A separate Senate measure to block rules on new power plants is also anticipated to be passed and vetoed this week, but the emergence of both is meant to send a signal to negotiators in Paris, reiterating that Obama does not have the backing of the Republican-controlled Congress for his main climate policies.
On the eve of COP-21, US oil and natural gas producers say they want to be part of the climate solution, Bloomberg reports. The industry’s lobbying group in Washington said reducing emissions should depend on “market-based solutions” that leave a place for natural gas instead of regulations favouring wind, solar and other less polluting fuels.
Australia will reveal in Paris that it has met its 2020 emissions reduction target and is open to reviewing its 2030 commitment in five years in the event of an agreement for deeper global emissions cuts. Environment Minister Greg Hunt told The Australian that he expects new calculations of Australia’s cumulative emissions reduction task to 2020 to be “below zero’’ when they are revealed ahead of the Paris conference.
And finally… Marijuana growing in the US is becoming so mainstream – and is consuming so much energy – that utilities and their regulators from coast to coast are sitting up and taking notice. Utility Dive reports of increased outages and power demand, but many utilities, due either to ideological aversion to the industry or fear of running afoul of the federal government, have taken a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to handling marijuana-related load growth.
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