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European carbon prices continued to sell off on Thursday, plumbing lows below €7.50 not seen since Feb. 2015, as traders said more speculative selling triggered stop-losses while utility buyers remained on the sidelines.
The EU should revisit and consider tightening its energy and climate policies, including drastically reforming the ETS, to show it is serious about tackling climate change, according to senior Swedish lawmakers including environment minister Asa Romson.
State-owned Romanian utility CE Oltenia plans to buy 7.85 million carbon units over the first quarter to cover its 2015 EU ETS compliance obligation, the company said in a statement.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
German energy minister Sigmar Gabriel’s deal to pay utilities to shut down some of their oldest lignite power stations won’t result in the country meeting its climate target, writes Juergen Hacker, chairman of the German federation for emissions trading and climate protection (BVEK), in a guest article for the Handelsblatt. Reducing CO2 from German coal-fired plants won’t have a net effect on the climate because the saved emissions fall under the EU ETS, meaning the unused allowances will be used elsewhere in Europe, Hacker said. If Germany wants to achieve its 40% reduction target by 2020, the EU ETS must be extended to include the transport sector, he added. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
A majority of UK coal-fired power plants have refused to sign up to a scheme to close automatically, so they may be forced to shut under the government’s plan to phase out fuel from the country’s energy sector by 2025. (FT, $)
US utility NRG Energy Inc. has proposed scrapping RGGI in favour of individual state measures aimed at helping meet targets under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, it said in its submission as part of the regional carbon market’s programme review. The company appeared to stand alone in its views, as nearly all other utilities operating in the north-eastern US endorsed the RGGI model, favouring a mass-based trading approach to meeting the CPP targets. They also said they support expanding RGGI to include other states. (BNA)
ConocoPhillips Co.’s efforts to curb methane leaks resulted in major reductions to its GHG emissions in 2014, even as production continued to climb, according to an EnergyWire analysis.
Oregon utilities have agreed to back a bill that would phase out coal-fired generation by 2030 and boost the state’s renewable energy standards to 50% by 2040, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. The legislation applies to two of the investor-owned utilities in Oregon – Portland General Electric and Pacific Power – which together account for about 70% of electricity delivered in the state. (Utility Dive)
Sri Lanka should introduce a carbon tax to help finance rising government spending while “punishing” polluters, economist and Nobel Prize winnder Josepsh Stiglitz said during a visit to the South Asian island nation. (economynext)
And finally… The era of climate science denial is coming to an end, right? Not according to a new study. Conservative thinktanks in the US engaging in climate change have increased their attacks on science in recent years, a study of 16,000 documents found. (Guardian)
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