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EU political party leaders struck a deal on Thursday to resolve the political bunfight over which parliamentary committee will control the EU ETS reform file, Carbon Pulse has learned, ending months of deadlock that has delayed work on the bill.
European carbon prices climbed back above €6 on Thursday following a very bullish EU auction, rising by as much as 5% at one point on the back of a surge in oil.
China Carbon Futures, owned by UK-headquartered trading firm Carbon Trading Capital, has borrowed 2 million Shanghai Emissions Allowances (SHEAs) from one of the city’s biggest power generators to use for speculative trading before returning them in late May, the first publicly announced deal of its kind in the city’s carbon market.
The government of Spain’s Catalonia region this week introduced a carbon tax on road vehicles that is to take effect from 2018, local media reported.
Brokers Tradition has launched an expanded ‘green’ business hub that allows its clients to trade all of the firm’s environmental products on one platform.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
The US Senate has begun to debate the country’s first major energy bill in more than eight years. With the creation of both the Paris Agreement and the Clean Power Plan, much has changed since the last major energy law in 2007. This legislation has bipartisan support; it passed the Senate energy panel on a bipartisan vote of 18 to 4, a big change from energy bills of recent years. The bill aids both fossil fuels and renewables by including provisions for the creation of coastal terminals for shipping natural gas but also large-scale energy storage systems for renewable power. Senators are expected to start voting on amendments to the bill today and continue through next week. (H/T Climate Nexus)
France plans renewed climate diplomacy blitz to protect Paris deal – In an interview with Climate Home, Laurence Tubiana, France’s chief climate diplomat, says her top priority following the conclusion of the Paris COP last month is maintaining what she terms “political momentum”. A stuttering global economy and fears of a Chinese financial meltdown are a “new element,” she says. France and Morocco – which will host the 2016 UN climate summit in Marrakech – plan to organise a series of ministerial meetings throughout the year to maintain a spirit of cooperation. The first is primed for April, a month in which world leaders are expected to arrive in New York to officially sign the Paris agreement. (H/T Carbon Brief)
While Paris provided the backbone of a new global carbon market mechanism, UN negotiators face an uphill battle getting all the details in place this year against a backdrop of rapidly falling fossil fuel prices, Bloomberg reports.
UK climate policies inadequate for 2C limit, say government advisors – Committee on Climate Change says Britain should not deepen carbon cuts in line with 1.5C aspirational Paris target, but needs fresh policies to meet existing commitments. (Climate Home)
And finally… How an innovative take on cap-and-trade could benefit Canada’s oil industry – It’s a bad time to be an oil sands investor, but according to former Kyoto Protocol negotiator Chris McDermott what’s done is done and all you can do is hope that some of the damage will be undone “by trading good environmental stewardship for some pipeline permits”. McDermott argues that given the choice between the two options – a carbon tax and cap-and-trade – the latter both ensures emissions targets will be met and allows firms to keep their costs down by allowing imports of low-cost allowances and offsets from sources outside its facilities, including from other provinces and countries. “Cap-and-trade programmes have had ample emissions reductions available at, or below, $15 per tonne – a paltry $1.50 per barrel … And while environmentalists might be skeptical of cap-and-trade, [oil companies] could appeal to their sense of urgency for emissions reductions and their desire to incentivise projects outside of the fossil fuel sector.” Read his article in Alberta Oil Magazine here.
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