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(Free read) – Carbon Pulse has significantly strengthened its best-in-class news reporting team by bringing aboard two more expert hires – one previously the lead energy analyst with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and the other a lead negotiator for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
The EU ETS continues to function properly as allowance prices hit record levels above €60 this week, a senior European Commission official said on Thursday in comments that suggest little appetite from Brussels to attempt to dampen this year’s massive EUA rally.
EUAs shrugged off Wednesday’s reversal and advanced to within a few cents of their recent record high as natural gas also resumed its rally and the European Commission reiterated that it is not concerned about high carbon prices.
The UK has updated its “carbon values” – the societal cost of emissions that is used to evaluate government policy – with the new central figure set at an eye-watering £245 ($339) per tonne, or nearly six times the previous benchmark.
China will likely miss its target to restrict 2021 steel production to last year’s levels, and instead see an output increase that will add CO2 equivalent to the annual emissions of the Netherlands, a report released Friday said.
Australia’s Northern Territory announces GHG policy for large emitters, releases draft offsets policy
Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) this week outlined policy proposals set to drive additional offset demand as new and expanding large projects would be made to align with the government’s 2050 net zero emissions target.
New Zealand carbon allowances rose another 0.8% in Thursday trade, showing no signs of retreat even after gaining more than NZ$7 after Wednesday’s auction.
The Pennsylvania House Environmental and Energy Committee voted Thursday to disapprove of the final RGGI-modelled cap-and-trade regulation, with the GOP-led effort coming in direct response to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission’s (IRRC) recent approval.
NA Markets: CCAs rise week-on-week during volatile post-auction stretch, RGGI rises ahead of Q3 sale
California Carbon Allowances (CCA) rose week-on-week after seeing significant volatility over the five-day period following the August quarterly sale, while RGGI allowances (RGAs) edged up slightly ahead of the Q3 auction next week.
Two speculative trading firms opened new RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (COATS) accounts on Thursday, with data showing an uptick in financials registering in the Northeast US cap-and-trade system.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Don’t look back in anger – Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi has warned the US that political tensions between Beijing and Washington could undermine efforts by the world’s top two emitters to cooperate in the fight against climate change, Reuters reports. China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister told US climate envoy John Kerry via video link on Wednesday that the two sides’ joint efforts to combat global warming were an “oasis”, according to a foreign ministry statement published late on Wednesday. Chinese officials have warned the US that cooperation on climate needs to happen in lockstep with diffusing tensions in other areas. “The Sino-US climate change cooperation cannot be separated from the overall environment of Sino-US relations,” the country’s foreign ministry said. (Axios)
Amazon Amazon – Amazon announced Thursday that it will restore around 20,000 hectares of rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon, as part of a new nature-based climate solutions initiative that it estimates could remove a total of 10 MtCO2e by 2050. In partnership with the Nature Conservancy, the deal will support 3,000 farmers in agroforestry initiatives and aims to restore the area within three years. The tech giant says that it will use new satellite-based technologies for quantifying and monitoring progress and carbon removal. Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund was endowed with an initial $100 mln in 2019 and helps support their target of net zero by 2040 (Amazon news).
Not fair – A US EPA report released Thursday found the most severe harms of climate change are felt disproportionately by underserved communities that are least prepared for and able to recover from their effects. The analysis determined racial and ethnic minority communities are particular vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The report found Black and African American individual would face the highest burden, with those communities likely to see more childhood asthma and extreme temperature-related deaths.
Stepping up – The Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to set a decarbonisation goal of 2035 to align with President Joe Biden’s GHG target, while the city’s newly minted goal would speed up the transition away from carbon-emitting sources. The LA100 plan would replace natural gas electric generation with wind, solar, and battery storage, and it would also seek to make improvements in energy efficiency and transmission. With the new goal, the nation’s largest public utility Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would have to aggressive cut carbon-emitting sources and transition to renewables. (Utility Dive)
Bite the silver bullet – Environmental organisation Greenpeace takes aim at the growing calls in Germany’s election race for increased emissions trading and the use of CO2 pricing as a panacea for climate protection. It commissioned a report by research group DIW Econ that details the “narrow limits” of CO2 pricing and finds that, taken by itself, it is by no means sufficient to achieve Germany’s climate targets. (Clean Energy Wire)
Beamer boast – Carmaker BMW plans to reduce carbon emissions across the lifecycle of its vehicles – including the production process – at least 40% from 2019 levels by 2030, up from a previous target of a third. In order to achieve this, it intends to increase the proportion of recycled and reusable materials used in manufacturing its vehicles from 30% to 50%. BMW has been reluctant to set a hard deadline for phasing out fossil-fuel cars, pointing out limitations to the expansion of EVs including the sore lack of charging infrastructure across the EU and elsewhere. (Reuters)
Where to grow your green in the UK – Today’s new research from Oxford Economics and Lloyds Banking Group rates each region in the UK in a Green Growth Index tied to green innovation activities, training & skill development, and renewable energy infrastructure. Scotland received the highest score at 80.6, followed by Wales at 63.5. London came bottom of the Green Growth Index, with a score of 36.5, with Northern Ireland second bottom at 42.7. The research suggests that at least £1.4 trillion is expected to be spent across the UK between 2020 and 2050 as part of the move to a low-carbon economy and renewable energy. (BusinessGreen)
Survey says – German energy exchange EEX is conducting a survey to obtain views regarding the design of a possible secondary market within the country’s new domestic carbon pricing system (nEHS). The scheme launched this year and cover’s emissions from Germany’s transport and buildings sectors. The survey (available here) consists of eight questions, takes only five minutes and will help to build the market in accordance to your needs. nEHS certificates are allocated to the current calendar year and are only valid for covering fuel emissions in this and the previous calendar year – i.e. no “banking” allowed. Permits covering the previous year’s emissions must be surrendered annually by Sep. 30. However, obligated parties are allowed to purchase nEHS certificates with the previous year’s vintage and price until Sep. 30 of the following year. This so called post-purchase rule is limited to an amount corresponding to 10% of the inventory of nEHS certificates held in the company’s own compliance account at the end of the previous year. Any nEHS certificates required beyond that limit can only be purchased on the EEX at the respective valid price (which is higher than in the previous year). Hence, the need for an additional secondary market would be given, EEX added.
Blowing in the wind – The Australian government has introduced legislation that will allow the development of offshore wind and other clean energy projects to be developed in Commonwealth waters, Offshore Wind reports. Under the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure 2021 bill, a licencing regime to permit the exploration, construction, and operation of offshore renewable energy, as well as transmission projects, will be established. There are at least ten offshore wind projects that have been proposed in Australia, which this legislation is expected to help kickstart, including the proposed 2.2 GW Star of the South Project.
SCIENCE & TECH
It’s really bad-agascar – According to UN officials, Southern Madagascar is on the brink of the world’s first climate-induced famine as hundreds of thousands struggle with the effects of prolonged drought. The island’s semi-arid southern regions have seen the worst conditions, with yet another below-average rainfall exacerbated by deforestation and soil erosion. “These people have done nothing to contribute to climate change. They don’t burn fossil fuels…and yet they are bearing the brunt of climate change,” wrote UN World Food Program spokesperson Shelley Thakral. (OWP)
Sponsor snub – Sixteen European civil society organisations have said they would no longer attend media events sponsored by fossil fuel companies and hosted by outlets Politico Europe, the Financial Times, or EurActiv. The NGOs – including Greenpeace, T&E, and WWF – said the fossil fuel industry is “buying a platform to gain credibility and undue influence” through such sponsorships and called on the media outlets to drop fossil fuel firms as sponsors and are also lobbying policymakers not to attend such events. Politico Europe said event sponsors have no influence on the organisation’s objective editorial content, while Shell said its sponsoring of a Politico event series “aims to provide a platform for dialogue on the EU’s transition to climate neutrality among all stakeholders.” (Politico)
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