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The leaders of US and China on Thursday both vowed to put their name to the Paris Agreement at a signing ceremony later this month and formally join the pact later this year.
EU carbon prices soared to a one-month high above €5 in choppy trade on Thursday, with traders attributing the gains to a second day of short-covering ahead of Friday’s ETS emissions data release.
The fate of an initiative to introduce a carbon tax in Washington state will be put to voters this November after lawmakers failed to advance the proposal in the latest special legislative session.
The UK’s greenhouse gas output dropped by 3.4% in 2015 mainly due to less coal being used by the energy sector, according to provisional estimates published by the government on Thursday.
UK-based coal-fired power station Fiddler’s Ferry will remain open for an additional year after its owner utility SSE secured a contract to provide ancillary services to the country’s power grid, the second such plant to win a reprieve from closure in as many months.
EU member states collectively handed out just 17 million free carbon allowances to industry over the past fortnight, with Germany accounting for nearly all of that and Italy, Spain and Finland still having made no progress at all on their 2016 allocations.
The EU’s carbon market is “at best an irritant right now” with its current low prices and therefore must change, wrote Ian Duncan, the UK MEP steering ETS reforms through the bloc’s parliament, in a glossy feature for Parliament Magazine.
Two local cement companies have signed the first forward trade of Guangdong Emissions Allowances (GDEAs) in a deal negotiated by brokers Vcarbon, the China Emissions Exchange in Guangzhou announced.
Shanghai allowances fell another 5% on Thursday to close at 6.70 yuan ($1.04), a third straight day of record lows as excess supply keeps weighing on the market.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
China’s nationwide ETS can have significant implications for the future of carbon markets worldwide, according to Jeff Swartz of carbon trading business association IETA. In a paper published for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, he examines how the presence of a Chinese ETS may affect competitiveness and carbon leakage concerns in other countries, and, related to that, the further uptake and ambition of carbon markets.
The EU ETS reform proposal potentially endangers hundreds of thousands of jobs in Germany, according to a Prognos study commissioned by the German steel federation (WV Stahl). While steel might be facing a 60% loss in production and employment (37,000 jobs), the study predicts the service sector will suffer the highest losses with 252,000 jobs by 2030. Prognos assumed high emissions and energy costs resulting from ETS reforms for these calculations, and compared these to a scenario with no ETS costs. (Die Welt, in German, H/T Clean Energy Wire)
More than 40 US energy firms agree cut methane emissions – The EPA announced this at the launch of its Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program at the Global Methane Forum, with energy heavyweights like Duke Energy and National Grid signed on to help meet the administration’s goal of reducing US methane emissions by 40-45% by 2025. (H/T Climate Nexus)
China could export surplus power as far as Germany – China’s power grid operator believes the country’s proposed grid investments will pave the way for power exports as far as Germany at half the current cost of electricity there. (Financial Times, $)
And finally… France’s Royal blocks Tubiana bid for UN climate chief role – French Environment Minister Segolene Royal has allegedly blocked the application of top climate envoy Laurence Tubiana to succeed Christiana Figueres as UNFCCC Executive Secretary, French magazine Le Canard Enchaine reported. The move appears to have been last-minute, as President Hollande is reported to have authorised the move before environment minister Segolene Royal vetoed it. UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s climate advisor Janos Pasztor, a Hungarian diplomat and CDM veteran, is now considered a favourite for the job. (Climate Home)
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