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Japan will develop a new climate change policy plan by early 2016 and as part of that process will consider using an emissions trading scheme to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the government said Tuesday, though government sources said Japan is unlikely to introduce a carbon market anytime soon.
The UK power sector likely reduced its CO2 emissions by more than 10% this year compared to last due to less fossil fuel-based electricity generation, pointing to a drop in EU carbon allowance demand.
The RGGI market is heavily over-supplied but over 80% of the allowance surplus is being withheld by speculators, creating an artificial scarcity that will likely continue to push prices up next year and trigger the Cost Containment Reserve for the third year running, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said.
European carbon prices climbed to a seven-day high on Tuesday on the back of year-end buying amid firmer dark spreads and thin supply and liquidity.
Carbon offsets on the Korea Exchange have jumped 20.7% over the past two days to 13,400 won ($11.36), catching up with OTC prices as buyers stepped in to scoop up fresh supply after the government issued around 4 million new offset credits.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
And yet, Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt has approved the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in Queensland, which will allow some 1.1 million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the project would be dumped in nearby industrial land, both not in the Great barrier Reef marine park as originally planned. (Guardian)
The timing of the sale of Vattenfall’s lignite operations, only days after the end of the Paris climate summit, could hardly be worse, writes Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt. He says the good news for Vattenfall’s management is that several companies placed non-binding offers. The bad news is that some offers are quite low. German utility Steag only offered “a few hundred million euros” and asked for political clarification about how long the mines and plants can be operated, Flauger says. In addition, three Czech bidders also made an offer, he reports. Vattenfall told Flauger a decision on the sale could probably be made in mid-2016. “But even some bidders question whether Vattenfall will manage this. They said the offers won’t satisfy the Swedes,” writes Flauger. For a factsheet on Vattenfall’s asset sale, click here. (Clean Energy Wire)
Palestine has been upgraded to “party” status at the UNFCCC after six years on the periphery. (Climate Home)
The Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy today issued its ‘StrengtheNDC Climate Manifesto’, urging all nations to submit stronger emissions reduction targets. Doing so would allow ambitious countries looking to make use of the carbon trading platform in the agreement to get a head start, the manifesto noted.
Kentucky’s new top environmental regulator, recently retired from working for the coal industry, has filed a challenge to the Clean Power Plan. According to Politico, today is the last day to file court challenges against either of the EPA’s carbon rules. “The current count has 27 states opposing the CPP and 18 states supporting the rule. As of last week, there were 31 lawsuits involving 121 challengers and 49 intervenors defending the EPA.”
Eighteen states… and the the National League of Cities, which represents over 19,000 US cities. It, along with the US Conference of Mayors, filed a “friend of the court” motion in a federal court Tuesday to support the CPP. (Reuters)
Sponsors of a Washington state initiative to tax carbon say they have enough signatures to qualify the measure but are on the fence about whether to turn them in. Initiative 732 sponsors say that an alternative carbon proposal may be the best shot at climate action, adding that they will decide on the issue by Dec. 30. (KPLU)
A further 62,500 CERs have been voluntarily cancelled by companies and governments, UN data showed, bringing the number voided to date to 5.78 million, or roughly 0.35% of the UN’s total issuance of 1.646 billion. In the latest cancellations, the Sygenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture voided 25,400, Deutsche Bank annulled 25,000 to offset company emissions, and the government of Canada cancelled nearly 10,000. The country is a trustee in several carbon funds, but it is voiding all CERs generated by the underlying projects because it is unable to use them having pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2011.
And finally… Not only is cheese delicious, but a power plant in the French Alps is using leftover waste from nearby cheese production facilities to generate enough electricity to power 1,500 households. (Edie)
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