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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday won the support of provincial premiers to introduce nationwide carbon pricing, but sorting out details was saved for later and there are already signs that the process will be volatile.
Environment ministers from Germany and several other EU states called for the bloc to immediately deepen the EU’s 2030 goals in response the Paris Agreement, but plenty of their counterparts said the current targets were adequate.
European carbon prices nudged slightly higher on Friday to round out a week of relatively stable prices near €5, but still lost ground for the eighth week out of nine so far this year.
Spot NZUs ended unchanged at NZ$10.05 ($6.79) on Friday, as the market slowed down after 5.8% of gains earlier in the week that saw the contract break through the NZ$10 level for the first time since December 2011.
Austrian chemicals, plastics and fertiliser maker Borealis on Friday reported marginally higher emissions in 2015 compared to a year earlier.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, based on voluntary market data from Carbon Trade Exchange.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
The energy intensity of China’s economy fell 13.5% over 2013-2015, the National Bureau of Statistics announced Friday, which most likely means China met its target of a 16% cut over 2010-2015. (Announcement in Chinese)
South Korea’s coal demand is set to rise 6.3% this year to more than 140 million tonnes, according to a government think-tank forecast, Reuters reported. That is likely to bring with it increasing CO2 emissions, which would further deepen the shortage of allowances in the Korean carbon market, unless the new ETS regulator increases allocation.
In an interview with German media outlet Handelsblatt, the head of Norway’s Statoil Jens Okland said he didn’t think Germany would fulfill its climate goals with its current political approach. Okland said that the political situation is unclear, which is hurting gas power plants and reducing their use. Nevertheless, gas still plays a big role in the heat sector and in industry, and demand is very stable in those areas, he pointed out. Okland said he would like to see emissions trading reform to raise the price of CO2 and create more demand for gas by cutting demand for coal. “Germany will not reach its climate goals if it doesn’t force a coal exit and put forth a convincing plan,” he said. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
The New Jersey Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee has released yet another bill that would require the state to rejoin RGGI if passed and signed by the governor. The bill is the latest attempt by lawmakers to get the state back in the regional cap-and-trade market after Governor Chris Christie withdrew it in 2011. Christie has vetoed two previous bills, and a separate attempt is now likely headed to court after the administration chose not to comment on a December Assembly resolution stating that the RGGI exit was unlawful.
Peru has completed development of a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to tranform the country’s cement industry, which emitted more than 6 million tonnes of CO2e in 2010, and accounts for around 8% of national GHG emissions when LULUCF is excluded. The NAMA aims to promote low-carbon development in the industry while raising its competitiveness at the same time, and is expected to cut emissions by some 3.5 million tonnes of CO2e per year compared to BAU levels. (namanews.org)
British investment bank Barclays has reduced its carbon footprint by 37% since 2012 through sustainable development funding and carbon offsetting initiatives, far exceeding its 10% target. The bank has also reduced energy consumption across its operations by 148GWh over the past three years, adding that it will now shift focus to supply chains and scope-three emissions, which is currently limited to air travel, private and hire cars for UK and South Africa operations and taxi and rail travel in the UK. (edie.net)
And finally… It’s not only carbon – Having made between €5 billion and €10 billion through carousel fraud in EUAs over the past decade, VAT fraudsters have moved on to other commodities including chocolates and polymers, according to a EurActiv report, which highlighted a European Court of Auditors report published this week. The report found that EU member states’ unwillingness to cooperate leaves them wide open to VAT fraud, which is costing them as much as €168 billion per year.
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