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President Joe Biden (D) nominated a Washington DC utility regulator to the vacant position on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday, whose confirmation would give Democrats a majority in the federal agency that could help to advance climate change initiatives.
A proposed new European carbon market for buildings and transport could hit the poorest the hardest, MEPs said in a hearing on Thursday, with several calling for a faster phaseout of free EU carbon allocations for industry and airlines under the bloc’s main ETS.
EU carbon nudged higher on Thursday along with the wider energy complex, with near-term power and gas prices extending their record highs.
An influential environmental advisory body has become the latest to call on China to put an absolute cap on CO2 emissions under its carbon trading scheme.
The Korea Exchange on Thursday recorded its first transaction of carbon credits sourced from projects abroad, signalling the entry of a new source of supply from an emissions market already battling overallocation.
Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) held in the national registry increased by almost 25% in the three months to June, as quarterly issuance levels rose to record highs, outstripping demand, the Clean Energy Regulator said Thursday.
An agreement between the Port of Townsville and Ark Energy could see the export of renewable hydrogen to South Korea in the next decade, the Queensland state government in Australia has announced.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) rose week-on-week after seeing another volatile stretch, while RGGI allowances (RGAs) increased ahead of the Q3 auction that participants anticipate will settle at or above secondary market levels.
A new fintech company has introduced a feature on its ‘green’ investment app that allows users to offset the carbon emissions of their holdings.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Warning sign – According to leaked documents seen by the Daily Telegraph, the COP26 climate talks set to begin in the UK at the end of next month are at risk of “failure” over “China’s refusal to slash its emissions”. It notes that UK COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma held talks in China this week to “push Beijing to stop increasing carbon emissions well before their current deadline of 2030”. The newspaper says that the documents, which “reveal” China’s negotiating position, show Beijing saying that its current commitments represent its “utmost efforts” and are “consistent” with the Paris Agreement. The article continues by noting that the documents “reveal the gulf between China and the West, just two months before the summit”. (Carbon Brief)
Fossil furlough – Some 90% of global coal reserves and 60% of oil and gas reserves should remain in the ground if there is to be even a 50% chance of keeping global heating at below 1.5C, the stretch goal of the Paris Agreement, according to research published in the journal Nature. The findings suggest that fossil fuel production must have already peaked and will decline at 3% a year from now. The researchers used a complex model of global energy use that prioritised use of the fossil fuels that are cheapest to extract, such as Saudi oil, in using up the remaining carbon budget and virtually no fracking or oil from tar sands. (Guardian)
Farmer forcing – Netherlands politicians are considering forcing hundreds of farmers to sell and cut livestock numbers by 30% to reduce damaging ammonia pollution, in one of the most radical plans of its kind in Europe. Two proposed scenarios include forcing some farmers to sell emissions rights and even their land to the state, if necessary. (Guardian)
Helsinki sink – Finland’s government has proposed a budget deficit of €6.9 bln together with public spending of €64.8 bln for 2022 that includes measures to reduce carbon emissions by at least 14 Mt by 2035, the year the nation aims to hit carbon neutrality. The emissions control measures are aimed at road traffic, agriculture, manufacturing, waste management, and F-gases. (Reuters)
Trussed up – UK ministers agreed to bow to pressure from Australia and drop binding commitments to the Paris Agreement from the recent UK-Australian trade deal. The leaked email from a senior official shows that both trade minister Liz Truss and business minister Kwasi Kwarteng decided the government could drop both of the climate asks including a reference to Paris Agreement temperature goals from the text of the deal. The UK government will argue that it still references the Paris Agreement – although not its targets – in the text, but this is unlike the EU trade deal, in which temperature commitments are mentioned explicitly. (Sky News)
Hotter than the Dust Bowl – The average temperature during June through August for the contiguous US was 74.0 degrees F (23.3C), 2.6 degrees above average. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed today that this technically exceeds the record heat of the 1936 Dust Bowl Summer, but the difference is extremely small (less than 0.01 of a degree F). A record 18% of the US experienced record-hot temperatures, with California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah each reporting their warmest summer on record, while 16 other states had one of their top-five warmest summers on record. Precipitation was also above average making it the eighth-wettest summer in the historical record. The release also notes the devastating flooding disasters and California wildfires taking place this summer.
Inching along – The Illinois House of Representatives’ Executive Committee advanced a clean energy bill on Thursday that would cut coal-fired emissions by 45% by 2035 and also provide support for nuclear power plants. The 9-6 vote would send the proposal to the House for a full vote, but legislators had not taken action on the proposal by Thursday afternoon. Officials are reportedly working on the final details before a full vote is taken.
Trillion dollar plan – The Democrat-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee outlined Thursday a $150 bln programme to provide grants to utilities to increase the clean energy supplied to customers. The proposal would give grants to utilities if they see renewable energy increase by 4% YoY, while electricity providers who fail to meet that threshold would have to pay money to the Energy Department. The proposed plan would begin in 2023 and run to 2030, but its implementation remains in doubt as it would be part of a wider $3.5 bln reconciliation bill. The proposal could be approved by a simple majority, but it would require all Senate Democrats to back the proposal. Some moderate Democrats, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, have expressed doubts about the spending plan. (The Hill)
Telus more – Radicle, Canada’s largest developer of compliance-grade carbon credits, is targeting global expansion in announcing an investment of undisclosed size by VC fund TELUS Ventures and others as part of its debenture financing round. The company said this cash injection will enable Radicle to enter new markets beyond its current operations in Canada, the US, and Brazil, to boost offset supply, and also advance the firm’s proprietary corporate climate risk software.
Farm fresh – US offset developer Indigo Ag has disbursed initial payments to its inaugural cohort of 267 farmers, which implemented on-farm practice changes and provide the data required to audit their emissions under CAR’s soil enrichment protocol. The firm said that final credit calculations are due to result in the world’s first crop of agricultural carbon credits generated at scale in spring 2022. It plans to expand eligibility to 28 states and 78% of US cropland. (Successful Farming)
Gaze into the future – NewScientist fast-forwards to 2050 to imagine what an average day will be like when we have slashed our carbon emissions – a picture informed by the latest research, ongoing trials, and expert opinion. ($)
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