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The EU should target a carbon sink of at least 490 MtCO2e by 2030 under its land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) regulation, a key European Parliament member said in a draft report published this week, a tougher goal than the 310 MtCO2e level proposed by the Commission.
The UK has cut the annual allocation of free allowances to installations covered under its carbon market to 2025, according to new data published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
EUAs dipped in very thin trade on Thursday, as many markets across Europe were closed for public holidays, while natural gas prices climbed amid social unrest in Kazakhstan and a halt to exports from neighbouring Uzbekistan.
RGGI Allowance (RGA) prices vaulted to new all-time highs above $14 this week as traders pointed to interest from both compliance entities and speculators, while California Carbon Allowance (CCA) values spiked in thin trade over the holiday period before retracing somewhat.
US biofuel credit (RIN) values trended up over the holiday period and into the new year, with traders pointing to the return of regular buyers and elevated commodity values among the contributing factors.
China’s environment ministry is proposing to reduce the number of CO2 allowances to be distributed under its national CO2 emissions trading scheme for 2021, but likely not enough of a cut to avoid another year of oversupply.
Natural capital specialist Climate Asset Management has hired a veteran international carbon market expert as its aim to deploy $1.6 billion of investments worldwide gathers pace.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Fakes on a plane – The EU is under increasing pressure to further ease rules on airport take-off and landing slots to cut the number of “ghost flights” airlines are running to retain them. Carriers say the requirement for them to use 50% of their slots — down from 80% in pre-pandemic days — or lose them is forcing them to operate empty or half-empty flights. As travellers shrink away from the Omicron COVID variant and quickly changing rules for passengers, a sluggish return to air travel is dragging out the practice longer than they planned. Belgium’s Brussels Airlines, for instance, says it will have to operate 3,000 under-capacity flights up to the end of March. Its parent company Lufthansa warned last month it expected it would have to run 18,000 “pointless flights” over the European winter. Belgium’s transport minister, Georges Gilkinet, has written to the European Commission urging it to loosen the slot rules, arguing the consequences run counter to the EU’s carbon-neutral ambitions. The currently reduced quotas were introduced in March last year in a nod to the hardship airlines faced as Covid washed over Europe for a second year running, shrivelling passenger numbers. In December, the commission said the 50% threshold would be raised to 64% for this year’s April-to-November summer flight season. (AFP)
Wilding winnings – England’s post-Brexit farm subsidy scheme will include payments for rewilding, according to government plans announced on Thursday. Bids are being invited for 10-15 pilot projects for a total of approximately 10,000 ha in the first two-year phase. These pilots could involve full rewilding or other forms of management that focus on species recovery and wildlife habitats. (Guardian)
Experts wanted – The European Commission has launched a call for experts to join the five Mission Boards, with the role of advising on the implementation of the EU Missions aiming to deliver more impactful research and innovation. The five Mission Boards will each have up to 15 independent top experts, with one of the boards advising on the full implementation of the mission Adaptation to Climate Change. More information on requirements and application can be found here.
Getting in on it – In Taiwan, the city of Taichung has announced a target of cutting GHG emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. Mayor Lu Shiow said the move will result in 8.34 MtCO2 being reduced by the end of this decade.
Hello gas – The US is now the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas as Europe’s energy crisis and shortages in China send demand for American shipments soaring. LNG exports from the US topped 7 Mt in December, according to ship-tracking data from ICIS LNG Edge, narrowly edging out rival producers Qatar and Australia for the first time. The YS only shipped its first LNG cargo from the lower 48 states in 2016, and has risen to become the world’s top exporter in just six years as a shale gas revolution boosted domestic production and turned the country into a powerful force in global energy markets. The US will be the biggest exporter in the world through 2022 as a whole, according to forecasts from ICIS and the US Energy Information Agency. (CNN)
Goodbye gas – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her backing Wednesday for what would be the nation’s first statewide gas ban for new buildings, adding fuel to a simmering national battle. Hochul’s policy blueprint, released before her first State of the State address, calls for the New York to pass legislation requiring all new buildings to use zero-emissions sources of heat by 2027. In practice, that would mostly require them to use electricity rather than fossil fuels, and it would follow in the footsteps of New York City, which became the largest US city in December to ban the use of fossil fuels for building heat. Hochul also laid out a new target of electrifying 2 mln homes by 2030, which would entail a tenfold increase in the current rate of adoption of electric heat. Other components of the State of the State address included earmarking $500 mln for offshore wind ports, manufacturing, and supply chains, awarding new contracts for 2 GW of offshore wind power, and doubling the state’s target for energy storage development to 6 GW making it the nation’s largest target. (E&E News)
Boaty boldy goes – A $50 mln joint US-UK expedition research mission has been launched using a fleet of underwater robots including Boaty McBoatface, the UK vehicle oddly named by an online poll, to further investigate Antarctica’s melting Thwaites ice sheet. The 80-mile-wide river of ice remains tentatively held in place by a floating ice shelf, but recent findings show the shelf is becoming rapidly destabilised and could collapse within 10 years. (Independent)
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