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The UK is planning on host the COP26 UN climate negotiations as an in-person summit in Glasgow in November and is considering various ways of ensuring protection against the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting’s president Alok Sharma said on Friday.
Researchers responded this week to criticism of their report that questioned the emissions reductions attributed to California-registered forestry projects, while developers claimed the group’s conclusions may be the result of critical flaws.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices surged to new highs on Friday afternoon ahead of the May WCI auction next week, with traders pointing to increased speculative interest being the primary driver on the secondary market.
WCI compliance entities cut California Carbon Allowance (CCA) holdings this week as speculative interest continued to surge on the secondary market, while financial firms held their length roughly flat week-on-week, 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 California’s Scoping Plan process, North Dakota’s long-term climate goal and a major East Coast offshore wind project.
China is now just weeks away from offering companies in its national emissions trading scheme the long-awaited opportunity to trade CO2 allowances, after industry group China Electricity Council conducted final tests of the exchange and the permit registry over the past week.
Australia’s in-progress carbon credit exchange will likely over time expand beyond domestic credits to host trade in other emissions units as well as certified low carbon energy, steel, and aluminium for export, according to the Clean Energy Regulator.
EU carbon prices resumed their record-breaking run on Friday, leaping another €2 as wider markets recovered from inflationary jitters and gas continued to climb.
Carbon’s been on a bit of a journey in the last week, and to judge from the chatter in the market there really is no end in sight. How high can it go? What can stop it? Who’s going to call the top? Most of the reasons why carbon is rising are clear and not really new. But what *is* new, to me at least, is the “fine mess” that has developed involving natural gas and carbon prices.
Carbon finance is growing and countries are faced with an array of choices—including whether to pursue projects, nesting or jurisdictional REDD+, which standards to use in doing so, and what finance opportunity to pursue. The landscape can be a confusing array of options. In this contribution to the Shades of REDD+ series, targeted for forest countries, we try to demystify three opportunities to capture finance for jurisdictional REDD+ performance.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Netting out – Governments and companies should split “net zero targets”, separating emission reduction and carbon removal targets to increase transparency about their mitigation ambition. That’s according to 79% of 300 carbon removal experts across academia, removal companies, and non-governmental organisations surveyed last year by academics at Copenhagen University and writing in Climate Home. The main concern is that such targets might rely on unfeasibly high levels of carbon removal from the air, giving an excuse to delay or avoid cutting emissions.
Neutralidad de carbono – The Spanish parliament approved a clean energy bill on Thursday, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in line with EU-level ambition and banning the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. The law will see the sale of CO2 emitting vehicles outlawed by 2040 and their circulation stopped by 2050 in order for the country to meet its emissions target. It also sets a national 2030 target for reducing GHGs by at least 23% compared with 1990 levels. The law limits new coal, oil, and gas extraction projects and requires that, by 2030, renewables account for 42% of Spain’s total energy consumption and at least 74% of its electricity production. As well, it stipulates that within two years, all towns or cities with more than 50,000 residents must have low-emission zones such as those in Madrid and Barcelona. The ban on most petrol and diesel cars from the centre of the Spanish capital, dubbed “Madrid central”, was recently overturned by the courts.
Which eln? – German energy company Uniper has agreed to consider an earlier-than-planned shutdown of its controversial coal-fired power plant Datteln 4, Reuters reports. “Should future federal governments want to accelerate the coal phase-out to be implemented by 2038, we are always ready for solution-oriented discussions in order to find a fair balance of interests,” new Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said in a speech planned for the company’s AGM next week that was published in advance on Wednesday. Maubach said Uniper would operate the 1,100-MW plant, which was commissioned only a year ago, as long as economically possible and as long as German legislators allowed it. The Datteln 4 plant’s current closure date coincides with the end of coal-fired energy generation in Germany in 2038. The government this week agreed to cut GHGs by at least 65% compared to 1990 levels by 2030, up from the previous 55% target. According to climate think tank E3G, the new targets make a coal phaseout by 2030 inevitable. (Clean Energy Wire)
Asia’s got 99 problems – Of the 100 cities worldwide most vulnerable to environmental hazards all but one are in Asia, and 80% are in India or China, according to a risk assessment. More than 400 large cities with a total population of 1.5 billion are at “high” or “extreme” risk because of a mix of life-shortening pollution, dwindling water supplies, deadly heatwaves, natural disasters, and the climate emergency, the report found. Jakarta – plagued by pollution, flooding, and heatwaves – topped the ranking. But India, home to 13 of the world’s 20 cities most at risk, may face the most daunting future of any country. Delhi ranks second on the global index of 576 cities, compiled by the business risk analyst Verisk Maplecroft, followed in India by Chennai (3rd), Agra (6th), Kanpur (10th), Jaipur (22nd), and Lucknow (24th). Mumbai, with a population of 12.5 million, is 27th. Outside Asia, the Middle East and north Africa have the largest proportion of high-risk cities across all threat categories, with Lima the only non-Asian city in the top 100. (Guardian)
Bad outlook – US government officials are warning residents of another active wildfire season this year, with California’s drought conditions expected to contribute to those outlooks. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Thursday that wildfire experts were forecasting another extremely active fire season. California has increasingly seen longer and more active wildfire seasons, with state officials saying they are tangible effects of climate change. (Los Angeles Times)
Build it, they will come – A new analysis released Thursday by the American Council of Renewable Energy found 30 GW of renewable energy capacity could be spurred by the approval of an investment tax credit included in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The analysis found the tax credit would spur $15 bln in private capital investment, provide $2.3 bln in cost savings, and create 650,000 jobs.
Blue? Not for you – Green hydrogen (produced from renewables) should be used to fuel hard-to-abate industrial processes not to heat homes, while UK public funding for blue hydrogen (where the production emissions are captured) should be dropped, according to green groups including WWF-UK, Greenpeace and climate think-tank E3G. The groups warned the British government to ignore what they call “hype” over the use of hydrogen to provide heat. The UK government is currently working on a standard to define low-carbon hydrogen. (BBC)
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