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Germany is considering supporting a minimum EU ETS price, according to a draft environment ministry document seen by Bloomberg, in what could be an easing of the country’s reluctance towards price controls in the bloc-wide emissions market.
EU’s biggest political party rules out faster ETS emission cuts, aims to boost industry’s free allocation
The centre-right EPP political group adopted a common line for post-2020 ETS reforms on Wednesday, ruling out steeper CO2 cuts and stressing the “need to create as much room for manoeuvre as possible” on free allocation.
Spot CO2 allowances in the Hubei emissions trading scheme fell 8.6% in Wednesday trade on industrial sell-offs, deepening the market’s huge contango as a small number of speculators kept trading millions of forward contracts at unchanged levels.
EU carbon turned upwards on Wednesday following four straight days of losses, bolstered by a strong UK auction in the face of analyst warnings of a dip in utility buying.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Point of principle – US government data shows virtually every state suing to block the Clean Power Plan has shifted toward burning less coal to generate electricity since 2007 on cheaper gas prices and anticipation of further regulation, according to the Washington Post. Yet these states still oppose in principle restrictions imposed from Washington, perceive they are disadvantaged compared to states with cleaner energy mixes and want the option to ramp up coal again should gas prices rise in future.
Meanwhile, The Hill reports that the government is asking a federal judge to end a lawsuit against the EPA before it goes to trial this summer. In a new filing at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, the Justice Department argues that the evidence gathered for Murray Energy Corp.’s lawsuit against the EPA supports the agency’s position. Murray, one of the nation’s largest coal producers, has sued the EPA over its regulatory agenda, arguing the agency doesn’t properly show how its rules will affect employment before issuing them.
EU ETS scapegoating – German steel companies and the country’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel are factually wrong to scapegoat the EU ETS for the crisis hitting the sector, while blocking moves for stronger climate protection and efficiency risks hindering the development of low-carbon solutions to secure their industrial future. That’s according to Annalena Baerbock, a German MP representing the lignite-mining region of Brandenburg for the Alliance 90/Greens coalition party, for which she acts as climate policy spokesperson. (EurActiv)
Pricing water – Price water or prepare for a thirstier, poorer planet, warns the World Bank in a report urging lawmakers to make water conservation a national and international priority or face shrinking GDP by mid-century. It said free access to water must be a right for the world’s poorest, but elsewhere at least 25% of supplies should be diverted away from water-intensive industries that deliver low returns. Impacts in North America and Europe will likely be limited with the main threat in regions already suffering from rising temperatures. (Climate Home)
Brown v Scott – It started out as a fight about which state had a better business climate, but then California Governor Jerry Brown shifted directions to skewer Florida Governor Rick Scott for refusing to act on climate change. “If you’re truly serious about Florida’s economic well-being, it’s time to stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change,” Brown said in a May 2 letter to Scott. “The threat is real and so too will be the devastating impacts.” Bloomberg BNA reports.
And finally… Trump off track – The election of Donald Trump would derail the Paris Agreement, according to its key architect, former France foreign minister Laurent Fabius. Trump is now virtually certain to be the Republican party candidate and is “not a great believer in manmade climate change”. Without naming him, Fabius said: ” If a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption.” (The Guardian)
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