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Prices for RGGI Allowances (RGAs) tumbled to their lowest in 21 months as a combination of bearish sentiment surrounding the prospects for the Clean Power Plan and liquidation of speculative long positions triggered a wave of selling.
China’s five major state-owned utilities this week complained to the NDRC that the Gansu provincial government forces them to pay coal-fired generators to get their renewables onto the grid, a move that highlights obstacles facing the national ETS before it can make a real impact on CO2 emissions from the power sector.
Analysts at French investment bank Societe General on Tuesday slashed their EU Allowance price estimates by 24% across the board but said the recent price rout has been overdone, recommending that its clients buy with caution.
EU carbon prices got within 2 cents of their 22-month low of €4.62 on Tuesday as EUAs tracked oil and traders grew wary that industrial firms would add to supply later this month by offloading some their free 2016 allocations.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
Former French foreign minister Laurent Fabius will step down as president of COP-21 after being appointed head of France’s constitutional court, according to a resignation letter seen by AFP. Fabius had expected to stay in the one-year post until COP-22 in November, but drew flak in the French political arena for seeking to hold on to two high-profile jobs at the same time.
Todd Stern, US special envoy for climate change, has warned Republican presidential hopefuls including Donald Trump and Ted Cruz that any attempt to scrap the Paris climate agreement would lead to a “diplomatic black eye” for the country. Speaking to journalists in Brussels, Stern also said that a recent Supreme Court decision to stay the CPP would not affect US climate pledges or plans to formally sign up to the Paris Agreement later this year. (Guardian)
A little-used provision in the US Clean Air Act may give the EPA the authority to institute broad, market-based mechanisms to combat climate change in the event that current plans to let states design their own CO2-cutting strategies under the Clean Power Plan are scuppered. The provision, known as Section 115, was reportedly discussed by the State Department and international negotiators as part of the president’s statutory authority to regulate CO2 and meet the pledges the US made in Paris at COP21. NPR reports.
Nearly four months of environmental contamination and civic disruption in California’s Porter Ranch came close to an end last Thursday when work crews pierced the underground casing of the damaged Aliso Canyon gas well and started injecting it with a mud-like compound, plugging the leak that had been pumping as much as 60,000 kilograms of methane per hour into the atmosphere since last October. (LA Times)
The EU’s regulatory arm proposed more oversight of natural-gas contracts with Russia and other external suppliers as a part of a wider plan to boost energy security. (Bloomberg)
Canada, Mexico and the US signed a draft agreement on Friday to curb GHG emissions while increasing their energy interdependence. The deal will see the three nations working together to better coordinate their energy resources as they move “towards a continental approach to energy,” Canadian Resources Minister Jim Carr told a joint news conference with his US and Mexican counterparts. (AFP)
The Australian Aluminium Council has submitted its position paper to the Climate Change Authority’s ongoing climate policy review, noting that its “main concern is that Australian alumina refineries and aluminium smelters compete directly for markets and investment with facilities in other jurisdictions that are unlikely to face carbon costs for many years”.
And finally… US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has signed a deal with Vermont-based Native Energy to offset the emissions from his campaign, the Washington Times reports. Rival Hillary Clinton also bought credits from the company back in 2008 to offset her campaign’s footprint, but media reports note that she has so far failed to keep her promise to repeat those efforts this time around.
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