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Germany will invest €17 billion in a “broad campaign” to boost energy efficiency over the next five years, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Thursday, with an ultimate goal of halving energy consumption by 2050.
The US Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday published finalised standards designed to prevent methane emission leaks from new or modified oil and gas facilities, toughening up the measure from a draft last August.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has urged the provincial government to delay the start of its cap-and-trade system until Jan. 2018 as businesses await forecasts of the programme’s economic impacts.
EU carbon prices dipped back below €6 on Thursday but technical signals provided just enough support to prevent EUAs from falling to their three-month low hit earlier this week.
Utility RWE, the EU’s biggest emitter, joined other generators in ramping up its carbon hedging over the first quarter, while also selling more electricity than a year earlier.
A lack of certainty over supply is stopping the New Zealand emissions trading scheme from working effectively, and the government should introduce a fixed GHG cap and provide clarity over future international supply to help drive domestic carbon cuts, according to one of the market’s architects.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
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Gabriel rejects floor – German energy minister Sigmar Gabriel has rejected a French proposal for a EU carbon floor price. At a press conference on Thursday, Gabriel said it was necessary to reform the EU ETS, and that it made no sense to talk about a carbon tax at the same time. “I believe the ETS is the better system,” Gabriel said. (Clean Energy Wire)
The only way is up – Electricity demand in Australia increased for the fourteenth consecutive month in April, and with coal’s rising share of the generation mix, emissions keep increasing as well, according to the latest issue of Pitt & Sherry’s index over CO2 emissions from the national electricity market. Emissions in the year to April 2016 were 5.7% higher than in the twelve months before the government dismantled the carbon price in 2014.
Don’t think we haven’t noticed – Taking advantage of Brazil’s present political turbulence and President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, reactionary politicians are quietly rolling back environmental and indigenous protection laws in defiance of the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. Climate Home reports. Separately, new official estimates show the country’s emissions from land-use were 28% higher than previously estimated for 2005, meaning both historical records and future commitments need to be re-evaluated.
Queensland climate consultation – The government of Queensland, which accounts for around a quarter of Australia’s GHG emissions, has launched a public consultation to get stakeholder comments on how the state can slash its rapidly growing emissions. The questions put to the public were mostly open-ended and did not include any specific policy proposals, beyond potentially joining the Under2 MoU and setting a long-term emission target.
Make up your mind, Bill – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has sold off its entire holding in oil giant BP, the Guardian reported, a move welcomed by fossil fuel divestment campaigners. Bill Gates has previously called the selling off of coal, oil and gas stocks a “false solution” to climate change, but the known investments of his foundation in major fossil fuel companies has fallen by 85% since 2014.
Carbon market mini-series – In the second instalment of ClimateWire’s six-part series about the highs and lows of carbon markets, dubbed America’s most complex export, John Fialka recounts how Europe became the world’s reluctant carbon trading pioneer.
And finally… But what about Paris? – The US Energy Information Administration’s annual International Energy Outlook projects a 33.9% increase in global CO2 emissions from 2012 to 2040 – a trajectory at odds with international commitments to limit planetary warming. The agency’s head notes that technological developments and policy implementations could translate into reduced emissions, but the calculations do not take into account the global Paris Agreement or US Clean Power Plan. (Climate Nexus)
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