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The South Korean National Assembly’s environment and labour committee has approved a climate bill that would increase the nation’s 2030 emissions target by almost 50% and write into law its ambition to reach net zero by mid-century.
Carbon prices stabilised on Friday after two days of extreme volatility and high trading volume, as traders assessed the outlook for prices into the autumn and energy markets consolidated.
Allowances in China’s national emissions trading scheme fell 9% over the week, with traders waiting for access for all market participants and clarification from the government on when the offset programme will be back up and running.
Entities regulated in the California-Quebec cap-and-trade scheme unloaded California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) in the days leading up to the Q3 WCI auction, while financial firms kept their holdings nearly unchanged, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
US biofuel credits (RINs) markedly declined for the second consecutive day on Friday, as market participants said refiners were on the offer and as news outlets reported the EPA might soon propose lower biofuel volumes for this year under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
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 and California.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Resilience resistance – South Africa is proposing a quantitative global climate adaptation target to counter the “unacceptably vague” nature of what Paris Agreement goals mean in practice. The nation wants to increase the climate resilience of the global population 50% by 2030 and at least 90% by 2050. There are currently no universal metric to assess resilience to climate impacts globally, and a UNEP official said it is almost impossible to come up with a simple quantitative way of measuring adaptation that would be meaningful and help guide countries. (Climate Home)
Green rinse – Germany’s financial markets watchdog BaFin says tough regulations it’s preparing to prevent greenwashing in investment funds will help shape the next chapter of Europe’s efforts to make capitalism more sustainable. BaFin’s Thorsten Poetzsch said his organisation found several ‘sustainable’ funds where the terms are so vague it couldn’t be sure they’re sustainable. Its planned rules call for a minimum 75% threshold for assets that help reach ESG goals, which is tougher than in other countries that use scoring systems or qualitative requirements.
Capture deadline – The UK has extended a deadline to a deadline for applications its competition for funding late-stage CCUS innovation projects to Sep. 26, though the mid-stage deadline remains at Aug. 29. The government has put up £19.5 mln of grant funding to support the deployment of advanced CCUS technologies domestically.
Blue carbon loan – China’s Industrial Bank has approved the country’s first loan to a blue carbon project, lending 18 mln yuan ($2.77 mln) to a wetlands projects in Jiaozhou Bay in coastal city Qingdao. The funds will be used by a local development company to buy plants that will be planted within the wetland area in order to store more carbon. The size of the loan was based on the wetland area’s carbon sequestration capacity as well as the price of CEAs in the national ETS, though its announcement did not specify under which standard any potential offsets would be generated. (Tanjiaoyi)
Getting rid – Japan’s JERA has sold its 14% stake in the Paito coal project in Indonesia, it announced Friday, as it is trying to reduce the carbon content of its portfolio. Its share in the 815MW coal project was bought by a subsidiary of Indonesian power company Medco Daya Abadi Lestari.
Thanks for the Chatterjees – Republican Commissioner Neil Chatterjee will step down from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Aug. 30, he tweeted on Friday. Under Chatterjee’s chairmanship, FERC announced that it will consider subnational proposals to incorporate carbon pricing into wholesale electricity markets. This reportedly drew the ire of former President Donald Trump, who demoted Chatterjee as FERC chair in November. Chatterjee’s departure will leave FERC split between two Democrats and two Republicans, with President Joe Biden yet to nominate a fifth commissioner for Senate approval.
Colombian certificates – The Colombian energy ministry planning unit UPME has published new guidelines for the issuance of clean energy certificates as part of a broader plan to accelerate investments in decarbonisation. UPME said the changes widened the certificate regime for non-conventional renewable energy developments and energy efficiency management initiatives, as well as developers of CCUS projects. Holders of Colombia’s clean energy certificates are afforded a series of tax breaks and other fiscal incentives such as accelerated depreciation of assets. (bnamericas)
Have cake, eat cake – The UK’s net zero 2050 target can be reached with small reductions in flying and driving and continuing to eating meat and dairy, according to think-tank Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. The report suggests that average kilometres travelled per person by plane would need to fall by only about 6% between 2019 and 2035, while meat and dairy consumption would have to be cut by 20%, but not everyone needs to become vegetarian and living standards would not need to be impacted.
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