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Big-emitting industries pass on some of the cost of being regulated under the EU ETS, according to long-awaited research tasked by the European Commission that environmentalists say weakens the case for future free EUA allocations.
The UK, as part of government-wide spending cuts announced Wednesday, scrapped plans to award up to £1 billion ($1.5 billion) to kickstart CCS, putting two advanced projects in doubt and dealing a severe blow to the nascent technology’s future in Europe.
Australia on Wednesday released revised CO2 forecasts that cut expected emissions by 2020 by 264 million tonnes – including the purchase of 22 million CP1 CERs – meaning it is on track to over-achieve its goal by 28 million tonnes.
European carbon prices ended lower after hitting a one-month high earlier on Wednesday, as a weak auction result and slightly bearish fundamentals weighed.
Spot NZUs broke through the NZ$8 barrier for the first time since Feb. 2012 in Wednesday trade, closing at NZ$8.20 ($5.40) as traders saw the ETS review document released Tuesday as a bullish signal.
The state government in South Australia on Wednesday set a target of aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050, but rejected a recommendation from a policy review panel to explore a state-based emissions trading scheme linked to California, saying instead the federal government should consider a nationwide ETS.
China has this week published another 54 projects approved to generate offset credits for the nation’s emissions trading scheme, swelling the portfolio by nearly 20% to 339 projects.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
EU climate chief says US must consider binding Paris pact – Miguel Arias Canete turns screw on US counterpart Todd Stern, insisting COP21 must legally enforce national emissions cuts. (Climate Home)
Poland’s new environment minister Jan Szyszko said he would work to shelter coal-reliant Poland from the impact of any new climate regime. He also said he supported global action “as soon as possible”, in a softening of tone compared with previous warnings from the government that it was prepared to veto climate action. (Reuters)
The World Bank launched a $16 billion Africa Climate Business Plan aiming to help meet the countries’ INDCs by driving more funding into efforts to help them withstand climate change impacts and boost clean energy production. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
The tiny Pacific Island of Niue, with a population of about 1,200, submitted its INDC to the UN on Wednesday, pledging unconditionally to increase the share of renewables in electricity generation to 38% by 2025, up from 2% currently. With support it would raise the target to 80%, contributing to annual GHG cuts of 3,100 tonnes of CO2e.
With the Netherlands on track to miss its EU renewable goal for 2020, 64 climate scientists called on the Dutch government to close all 11 coal-fired plants. Junior coalition partner has endorsed the move but senior partner conservative VVD Party has suggested closing only the oldest five. (Reuters)
Meanwhile, New Zealand submitted an addendum to its INDC, outlining its assumptions and methodologies for accounting for GHG emissions from forestry, one of the nation’s key sectors in climate issues. NZ intends to continue using Kyoto Protocol accounting rules, it said.
A host of new climate policies are coming out of Canada these days, both on federal and provincial level, but the Business Council of British Columbia is swimming against the tide. In its submission to the government’s public consultation process ahead of the upcoming climate policy rewrite, the Business Council urged that BC must lower its emission reduction target as it is too expensive. (Vancouver Sun)
And finally… A rise in world CO2 emissions almost stalled last year for the first time in almost two decades without a recession, in a promising step towards cleaner economic growth, the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center said. (Guardian)
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