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EU ETS emissions fell by 0.4% in 2015 to narrowly ensure that emissions under the scheme fell for the fifth straight year, while the market’s massive surplus was reduced by 14% to 1.78 billion due to Backloading, the European Commission said on Friday.
Oregon is launching a study into how it can use a market-based mechanism to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, with a view to presenting the findings to state lawmakers when they reconvene next February.
Trading activity has picked up in most of China’s seven pilot carbon markets as compliance deadlines approach, but a vast permit surplus is depressing prices even though some observers say unanswered questions about the transition to the national ETS is helping to prop them up.
Allowances in New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme on Friday drifted below the NZ$14 level for the first time in three weeks as market participants held out for news on the ETS review, which is expected next week.
EU carbon prices dipped just below €6 on Friday in calm, thin trade to post a slight weekly rise in what has been a stable month for prices.
Fortum, Statkraft and Vattenfall, the largest Nordic utilities, are urging for three major reforms to the EU ETS that they say will better reflect the high climate ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.5% last year as oil and gas firms expanded operations, taking the country further from its 2020 target and increasing the likelihood that it will need to buy more CERs.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, based on voluntary market data provided by Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX).
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Glencore feels the heat – Shareholders in the world’s largest coal exporter voted 98% in favour of requiring the Swiss-based resource giant to give more information on its climate risk, the latest in a series of resolutions that has included BP and Shell. “The board fully supports this resolution. We want to engage and work with the coalition on what we all recognise will be a multi-year journey,” said chairman Tony Hayward. He added that while the US and Europe are burning less coal, there’s a “strong probability” of rising demand in Southeast Asia, where the fuel is a growing part of energy use due to low-cost natural gas not being available. (Bloomberg)
CPP: Cons and Pros of the Plan – A pair of new studies look at the forecast effects of the US Clean Power Plan. The EIA predicts electricity prices will be modestly impacted by the regulations, growing by around 3% in the later years compared to a BAU scenario, ClimateWire reports. However, the body claims that rejection of the rules by a US court could see 40,000 megawatts of coal-fired power remaining online, causing the country’s CO2 emissions to be 25% higher than expected by 2030. And according to Utility Dive, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) found that average natinoal electricity demand growth will decline from 0.61% to 0.31% annually under the plan, while combined wind and solar capacity will rise by an additional 10 to 20 GW over the next 15 years as coal capacity falls by as much as 27 GW. NERC added that carbon trading under a national scheme, the creation of which is spurred by the CPP, could also result in more coal use and less natural gas use.
US best, Japan worst on coal – The US is doing the best of all the G7 countries in terms of getting rid of coal, with the UK and France tied for second, according to a new report by green group E3G. In their last assessment, Japan is bottom of the pile, and the only G7 country still putting up new coal-fired power plants. (Bloomberg)
Campaigners boil over on 1.5C of warming – Climate Home reports on tensions between activists at UN climate negotiations in Bonn, which involved Climate Analytics founder Bill Hare walking out of a media briefing and later branding “unscientific” claims by ActionAid’s Teresa Anderson that it was possible to meet the 1.5C temperature goal in the Paris Agreement without bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Anderson warned that this untested technology raises the risk of land-grabs and food insecurity among the world’s poorest, and said alternatives should involve addressing the carbon-intensive lifestyles of the wealthy.
Rated G for ‘green’ – The Climate Action Reserve, an environmental nonprofit organization and one of North America’s main carbon offset registries, is developing a rating programme to assess the greenhouse gas impact of climate investments. CAR said it will first be applied to the rapidly growing green bonds market, and will work towards one of the organisation’s fundamental goals of ensuring environmental benefit, integrity and transparency for market-based solutions to global climate change.
And finally… In price we (should) trust – Critics have slammed Ontario over its C$7 billion climate plan, which was leaked earlier this week, not because it’s too ambitious or too weak, but because it may overlap with, and distort the effects of, the province’s cap-and-trade scheme. Chris Ragan, McGill University economist and chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, urged Ontario to let the carbon price do the “heavy lifting” towards cutting emissions efficiently and inexpensively. “While there is a role for some complementary regulations around the edges, the carbon price should serve as the focal point of the policy,” said Ragan during a webinar, as reported by Ecolog.com. A blog by Exchange Magazine goes a step further, claiming the patchwork of CO2-reducing initiatives and regulations will directly interfere with the carbon market. “The climate policies proposed in the plan are a serious impediment to its success and demonstrate the government’s little faith in the programme,” it adds. The province’s proposed climate measures include retrofitting buildings, incentivising the purchase of electric vehicles, and phasing out the use of natural gas for heating.
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