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The Paris Agreement could come into effect in 2018, two years earlier than originally planned, according to UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, increasing the currently slim chances that nations will swiftly deepen their emission reduction pledges.
EU carbon prices extended a 10-week high to reach €5.67 on Tuesday, but slipped later to end little changed, consolidating recent gains.
Shanghai carbon fell further on Tuesday as small sellers continued to offload surplus permits, while some buyers were willing to pick up parcels in the hope that prices will bounce back.
The bullish momentum in the New Zealand carbon market continued Tuesday, as persisting demand pushed spot NZUs to yet another year-high.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Correction – Yesterday we reported that the Swedish Energy Authority had paid nearly €15 million to developer Carbon Asset Management (CAM) in an out-of-arbitration-court settlement in exchange for shares in the firm. What actually happened, according to the article published by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, is that the Authority reached an agreement and ended up paying the full settlement but never got CAM’s 95% share of the CERs the two organisations collectively bought, as CAM was about to go bankrupt. The bankruptcy was finalised in July last year, and papers show the Energy Authority still had unmet claims of nearly €15 million. ICYM – the entire article is available here (in Swedish).
Going underground – For Germany to attain its 2030, 2040, 2050 climate targets, about half of the lignite already approved for mining would have to remain underground, according to a paper by think tank Agora Energiewende, which is proposing a gradual lignite phase out by 2040. Members of the ruling parties in key mining state North-Rhine Westphalia have refused the idea of a medium-term phase-out. “We are an industrial state and want to remain one,” said Michael Huebner, deputy leader of the social democrat parliamentary group. (Clean Energy Wire)
Creative accounting – The UK’s creative accounting in meeting its five-year carbon budgets is something worthy of the Panama Papers, argues Damien Morris of environmental campaigners Sandbag in an op-ed for the Guardian. He said this is because half the effort is offloaded to the EU ETS, which is acting as a kind of offshore carbon haven. Morris is due to leave Sandbag this week after seven years, having recently become director of Futureproof, a research and public affairs consultancy specialising in climate change and carbon budgets. His former Sandbag colleague Alex Luta also left the UK-based green group last week.
This isn’t gonna fly – Environmental groups Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity, and Friends of the Earth today sued the US EPA for its alleged failure to set emission standards that curb GHGs the nation’s aircraft fleet, which they argue is contrary to the Clean Air Act’s requirement to act if public health is at risk. The move piles pressure on the US administration to act as it negotiates a global regulation of aircraft emissions, due to be signed in October at UN aviation body ICAO.
Climate coup – The political and economic crises now rocking Brazil could undermine the key role it played in shaping the Paris Agreement, environmental experts told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It is very clear that the federal government is struggling for its political survival. As a consequence, the climate change agenda is frozen,” said Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory, a Brasília-based coalition of 35 NGOs.
And finally… Movie night! – Former US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is backing the climate science denial documentary “Climate Hustle”, Variety reported. “People who do not believe in American exceptionalism have made this into a campaign issue, so it’s vital that the other side be heard,” Palin told the magazine. The film, which will screen in 400 movie theatres across the US on May 2, was made by Marc Morano, the director of website ClimateDepot.com. According to the film’s website, it “examines the science on both sides of the debate, digs into the politics and media hype” and also “shows what’s really behind this multi-billion dollar scam”.
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