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Deep divisions are emerging between global powers over a UN deal to curb aviation emissions that is set to cover less than 40% of airline pollution and do little to answer airlines’ pleas to avoid a patchwork of regional measures.
Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is skewed towards paying for low-quality carbon cuts that would have taken place anyway and is less efficient than a broad emissions trading scheme or a CO2 tax, according to a report by the Australian National University.
Utility E.ON, Europe’s third biggest emitter, advanced its forward hedging over the first quarter even as its electricity sales dipped, its quarterly results showed on Wednesday.
European carbon prices gained for a second straight day to return to €6 and extend its distance from the previous session’s three-week low of €5.65.
Singapore-based CRX Carbonbank will auction 2 million voluntary carbon offsets on June 7, the company announced Wednesday.
California’s Air Resource Board handed out more than 68,000 offsets in its latest issuance, with all of the credits going to four new livestock projects.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
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Eyes to the floor – France’s environment minister Segolene Royal is focused on getting Germany’s support for its ETS carbon price corridor idea to help build support EU-wide. “My idea is to bring Germany on board first,” Royal told Bloomberg. “We’ll more or less set the price at €30 per ton; the idea is that we decide on it together with Germany, and that we create a momentum for other European countries.” She added that Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel is “not necessarily” pushing for a floor price.
No coal, no problem – For the first time since the 19th century, Britain’s National Grid sourced no electricity from coal on Tuesday between midnight and 4am due to a series of power plant breakdowns. Coal has become extremely unprofitable in the UK due to its carbon floor price, expanding use of renewables, and low-priced gas. The UK intends to phase out coal entirely by 2025. (H/T Climate Nexus)
Storm brewing – The Ontario Cabinet is expected to debate its climate change plan at a meeting on Wednesday, with several ministers reportedly concerned about the plan’s impact on electricity prices and manufacturing, according to the Globe and Mail. The province’s Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli and Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid are both concerned about potential negative impacts, the paper reported.
Climate in the courtroom – The New York Times profiles the various lawsuits brought by citizens – often children – around the world that are aiming to force governments to do more to tackle climate change. It details actions in the US, Pakistan, New Zealand, Netherlands, and a Peruvian farmer suing German utility RWE. It notes the success some have had in triggering government action, with legal experts noting that while most such novel arguments sink without trace, some also soar.
Too cheap – The average price in Australia’s latest ERF auction fell 16.5% and that is now beginning to have an impact on market participation. The Jawoyn Association, an aboriginal group, said its savannah burning projects are no longer profitable at current carbon prices of around A$10.20 per tonne. Jawoyn will continue to operate projects, but will be hoping to sell its offsets online to voluntary buyers instead of to the government. (ABC)
Too expensive – Local and state government institutions in the jurisdictions where REDD+ is being implemented are bearing financial burdens, says a forthcoming study from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which might threaten the scheme’s viability to scale up in the coming years. “Many REDD+ initiatives have been working under the assumption that the costs of reducing deforestation will be covered by incoming funds from the international community and that REDD+ would also generate a surplus that could be equitably shared between different stakeholders,” said Cecilia Luttrell, a senior associate at CIFOR and one of the authors of the paper. The study found that 84% of subnational government institutions involved in the REDD+ initiatives that were studied are putting more in than they are getting out.
Carbon market mini-series – In the first instalment of ClimateWire’s six-part series about the highs and lows of carbon markets, dubbed America’s most complex export, John Fialka maps the ‘epic journey of a modest proposal’ from an obscure Canadian economics professor.
And finally… Mmmm… Carbon-free chocolate – Mars Inc. has signed a contract with a Scottish wind farm to buy enough power over the next 10 years to offset all GHG emissions from its UK operations. The M&M’s producer aims to carbon neutralise all of its global operations by 2040. (Bloomberg)
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