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The prospects for allowance holding limits in the EU carbon market seem limited as officials have already passed up several chances to curb investor power, even after lawmakers flagged warnings.
Despite some positive developments, nations’ pledges to beef up climate action fall far short of what is needed to limit global warming to 1.5C, a UN report showed on Friday.
The first UK ETS allowance auction will be held in mid-May, with a tradable futures contract to be launched the same day, hosts ICE Futures Europe announced Friday, publishing the full calendar for this year’s sales.
EUAs lost almost a euro on Friday to end the week near-flat, weighed by weakness across wider financial markets and testing the resolve of bulls seeking a rapid return to records levels above €40.
Two of the EU’s largest cement producers have flagged signs of recovery and output reaching pre-COVID levels in Q4 2020, the ETS-covered firms said in results this week, while expecting a 2021 demand increase from government stimulus packages.
Developer dismisses need for California ODS protocol expansion, as stakeholders back controversial revisions
A leading ozone-depleting substance (ODS) developer has opposed the expansion of California’s compliance offset protocol, while many stakeholders backed a task force’s recommendations to reduce the invalidation period for credits and enable cap-and-trade emitters to transact their unused utilisation limits, according to public comments.
California cap-and-trade regulated entities and speculators kept positions largely unchanged on the secondary market over the past week as they waited for the results of the first WCI auction of the year, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
A summary of legislative and regulatory action on carbon pricing, clean fuel standards, and clean energy at the US subnational and federal level this week, including developments in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and California.
Four of China’s biggest state-owned energy companies have revealed plans to raise up to 10.5 billion yuan ($1.6 bln) through carbon neutral bonds, though observers question the helpfulness of the initiatives without firm guidelines.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
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Summit stalemate – UN climate negotiations could face further delays as the pandemic risk remains too high for meeting in person and key officials do not agree to taking formal talks online. A stalemate emerged on Thursday evening at a meeting of the 11-member UN Climate Change bureau on how to proceed with preparatory negotiations ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November. Members agreed to consult further and defer a decision to the next meeting at the end of March. The biggest resistance to holding talks online comes from the “like-minded” group of middle-income countries, sources with knowledge of the meeting told Climate Home. The main objection is that poor internet connections could make it hard for negotiators in developing countries to fully participate. Time zone differences are also an issue, as some participants will have to work in the middle of the night.
Portugal pushing – Portugal’s largest utility EDP announced plans to invest an unprecedented €24 bln over five years mostly in renewable power and grids in the US and Europe as it seeks to accelerate by 20 years its push to go “completely green” by 2030, reaching carbon neutrality 20 years earlier than its previous goal. This means adding 50 GW in clean energy by 2030, going from the current share of renewable sources in the overall output of 74% to 100% at the end of the decade. EDP said it wants to abandon coal-fired power generation by 2025.
Craving connection – A largely CO2-free German and European power supply by 2050 with renewable energy as the mainstay is possible and affordable, and a well-connected power market is key, says a report by Connect Energy Economics commissioned by the German Environment Agency (UBA). “The great renewables potential across Europe can be used in combination with a comprehensive expansion of the power grid,” the report says. The results underline the potential of the European grid as a cheap, effective, and flexible option for the decarbonisation of power supply. (Clean Energy Wire)
Mixed bag – Australia on Friday released its quarterly GHG emissions for the 12 months to Sep. 2020, showing carbon output fell 4.4% – or 23.3 Mt CO2e – compared to the previous 12-month period. However, national emissions were up on a quarter-by-quarter basis, rising by 2.8% in the three months ending Sep. 2020, as Australians returned to normal routines, with transport emissions surging 11.7% in the quarter, reports RenewEconomy.
Clean country – Many US congressional districts with the most clean energy potential are current fossil fuel hubs, potentially reducing political barriers to a just transition away from the energy sources that cause climate change, a new report by the Brookings Institution says. Of the 155 congressional districts with high renewable energy potential, 91 are currently represented by a Republican. Although fossil fuel companies have laid off well over 100,000 workers in the last year alone, in some cases while their executives raked in bonuses funded by government bailouts, the Brookings researchers describe a fear of transitioning to renewable energy in geographically concentrated regions and communities historically dominated by the fossil fuel industry. The Brookings report did not address the billions of dollars spent by fossil fuel companies over decades to deny the science of climate change and fund politicians who support their industries. While many workers in the fossil fuel industry are finding their skills transfer easily to renewable energy, oil and gas workers could also be employed plugging orphaned wells. (Climate Nexus)
Planemaker reveal – Europe’s Airbus claims it has become the first planemaker to report its Scope 3 emissions. For the 863 jets it delivered in 2019, Airbus estimated lifetime emissions of 740 MtCO2e based on an average aircraft lifespan of 22 years. That includes 130 Mt related to the production of fuel burned in flight. In 2020, it delivered 566 aircraft with estimated lifetime emissions of 440 Mt, including 80 Mt for fuel. Environmental groups say that flying itself needs to be curbed to have a meaningful impact on climate change. (Reuters)
K-COP – British PM Boris Johnson has invited K-pop starts Blackpink to be advocates for the COP26 summit in the UK this fall, reports the Korea Herald. The invitation came after the popular girl group in December released a video talking about the importance of climate change and urging all their fans to support COP26. That was sufficient to earn them a gushing letter from Johnson. Blackpink has the second most YouTube subscribers of any pop artist, trailing only Justin Bieber.
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