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California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices soared to a new all-time high on Friday morning, with traders attributing the gains to additional speculative demand coupled with few sellers on the secondary market.
Switzerland’s updated climate plan is being put to a referendum on Sunday, with experts deeming the vote too close to call despite wide political support for proposals including less reliance on foreign offsets and innovative flight taxes.
EU energy ministers on Friday agreed their common position on the EU’s cross-border energy infrastructure regulation, leaving the door open to blending hydrogen with natural gas in a transitional phase despite opposition from several member states.
EUAs fell by more than €1 and UKAs shed £1 on Friday to give back some of the week’s strong gains, as supply concerns mounted and confidence faded that prices might see a near-term return to their recent all-time highs.
Speculators’ California Carbon Allowance (CCA) positions sailed higher this week, with financial firms taking additional length on future vintage allowances, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
US biofuel credits (RINs) careened as much as 15% on Friday morning after a news outlet reported that President Joe Biden’s administration is considering relief for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligated parties to alleviate continued record prices under the programme.
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 Colorado, the New England Independent System Operator, and North Carolina.
A pair of Missouri-based dairy digesters previously registered under California’s compliance offset programme applied for fuel pathways under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), with only one having previously generated compliance-grade credits, according to documents published Thursday.
An absolute cap on ETS emissions and allowance auctions that would generate revenue for a new fund are among proposals released by Shenzhen’s government as the city seeks to overhaul its carbon market to align it with China’s national climate ambitions.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
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G7 cash creep – G7 leaders meeting in the UK’s Cornwall this weekend are discussing whether to ramp up climate aid contributions, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg. The paper includes a commitment for each member to increase its financial contributions, with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau expected to announce new funding, according to a person familiar with the matter. In 2009, developed countries pledged to collectively devote $100 bln annually to climate transition in poorer countries by 2020. The latest data show they reached nearly $80 bln by 2018, but concrete action this week could rally other countries to step up their ambition at this year’s COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow.
Still diggin’ it – The Norwegian government is planning to continue to expand its oil and gas industry by handing out more licences for fossil fuel exploration, Climate Home reports. In a policy paper on the long-term value of energy resources submitted to the Norwegian parliament, the minority government said it will “facilitate long-term economic growth in the petroleum industry” and “pursue its exploration policy with regular concession rounds”. It added: “The petroleum sector will remain a significant factor in the Norwegian economy in the years to come, although not on the same scale as today.” Minister of petroleum and energy Tina Bru said the future Norwegian oil and gas sector will be “capable of delivering production with low emissions within the framework of our climate policy”. The policy proposal also includes measures to develop offshore wind, hydrogen, and CCS. Norwegian lawmakers are due to vote on the policy following the summer recess. The government will need the support of either the left-wing Labour Party or libertarian Progress Party, which sits on the right of prime minister Erna Solberg’s conservative party.
Green wave fading? – Germany’s Green party delegates tabled over 3,280 amendments to the party’s draft manifesto ahead of the federal election in September, some of which will be discussed at a party congress over the weekend and are likely to trigger fiery debates. These include an even sharper rise in Germany’s CO2 price for transport and heating, which the draft manifesto says should rise to €60/t in 2023 from the €35/t currently in the law. The Greens have led the polls since the announcement of Annalena Baerbock as candidate for Chancellor in April, but the party has suffered a recent slide in the past weeks following a fierce public dispute over the effects of carbon pricing on the petrol price. Baerbock had spoken out in favour of a faster rise in the CO2 price, a strategy also backed by many other politicians, industry representatives, and other stakeholders. But opponents and parts of the media went on the attack, arguing that the Greens were neglecting the social consequences of climate policies. (Clean Energy Wire)
Keep your distance, take your time – Participants in Guangdong’s emissions trading scheme were meant to hand over allowances to cover their 2020 carbon emissions by June 20, but that has now been extended until July 20, because a recent COVID outbreak in the province has sparked prevention measures that have made it hard for participants and government officials to carry out some of the tasks required.
Safe travels – In Australia, the New South Wales government has announced that the state’s train network will run purely on renewable energy by 2025, while there is also a push to retrofit some harbour ferries with electric engines. The initiatives could shave some 1.3% off the state’s emissions, though there is also talk about purchasing offsets to bring GHG numbers down. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Hoover DAMN! – The severe drought in the American West, a result of this winter’s historically bad snowpack, has worsened after another dry week, according to the US Drought Monitor. Huge swaths – 88% – of the western US are in drought conditions, with 26% experiencing “exceptional” drought, a figure expected to grow as summer gets underway. Forecasters warn the lack of water and above-average temperatures are likely to lead to another extreme fire season. “Much of the western snow melted one to four weeks early, including three to four weeks early in the Sierra,” NOAA forecasters reported Thursday. “Low snowpack, rapid melt out, and poor run-off efficiency have led to significant water supply concerns going into summer of 2021.” More than a week before summer officially arrives, Nevada’s Lake Mead – the nation’s largest reservoir by volume – is at its lowest level recorded since it was created by the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s, exceeding a record low set in July 2016. Drought conditions have prompted a tense stand-off between farmers and Indigenous tribes over dwindling resources in the Klamath Basin, near the California-Oregon border. (Climate Nexus)
Not on our watch – Canada will not approve new thermal coal mining projects or plans to expand existing mines because of the potential for environmental damage, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said on Friday. In a statement, Wilkinson said thermal coal – primarily used for generating electricity – was the single largest contributor to climate change. Canada produced 57 Mt of coal in 2019, just 1% of the overall global total. Canadian output in 2019 comprised 47% thermal coal and 53% metallurgical coal, which is used for steel manufacturing, according to official data. (Reuters)
We don’t need roads – Passenger planes could see their wings clipped by the rapid spread of flying taxi startups such as Germany’s Lilium or the UK’s Vertical Aerospace (VA). Irish aircraft leasing firm Avolon is among the launch customers for up to 1,000 of VA’s electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVOTL) aircraft, with VA planning to go public through a merger with a blank-cheque firm. Safety certification is expected as early as 2024. (Reuters)
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