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South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance has set out to reform its emissions trading scheme in a bid to boost market liquidity, a move that could include bringing in speculative trading and establishing a futures market.
The Guangdong government on Tuesday asked all its ETS participants to submit detailed applications by the end of the week for the offsets they intend to use for compliance, sparking concern among traders that some CCERs might be ruled ineligible.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s (NL) government on Tuesday unveiled legislation to put a price on nearly half of its carbon emissions and to create a fund to invest in low-carbon technologies in the Canadian province.
Two traders formerly with large European utility Vattenfall have set their sights on Ontario’s emerging emissions trading scheme, joining a Toronto-based carbon trading and advisory firm with a view to gaining early movers’ advantage in the market.
EU carbon prices hit a fresh one-month high on Tuesday but ended the day in negative territory amid softer power and coal prices and fears about upcoming auction supply.
The Climate Action Reserve, one of North America’s main carbon offset registries, has appointed a new president, its board of directors announced on Monday.
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group has appointed a carbon policy veteran and former UK government official as its new head.
Polish state-owned utility Enea has hired a sales director from Polish emissions trading consultants Consus Carbon Engineering to be head of carbon within its trading arm.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
India+US on climate+energy – The US and India have signalled they are on course to formally approve the Paris Agreement this year, boosting hopes it could come into force by 2017. Following meetings in Washington DC, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama today released a US-India joint announcement on climate and clean energy, which also agrees to finalise agreements on HFCs and aviation this year, to start work on 2050 emissions reduction plans, to cooperate on $440 million in renewable energy investments, and build six nuclear reactors in India. (Climate Home) Separately, African oil-giant Nigeria said it is set to formally join the Paris Agreement in September, according to national news site Today.
Norway advances climate neutral goal – Norway’s parliament has agreed on a goal to cut the country’s net emissions to zero by 2030, moving the target forward by 20 years in response to the Paris Agreement, Reuters reports. In 2008, Norway set a similar target of reaching so-called carbon neutrality by 2030, but later pushed the goal back to 2050 when international negotiations failed to reach a global deal to fight climate change. The oil-rich nation has barely dented its emissions levels over the past four years and has had to rely increasingly on buying international credits to meet its 2020 emission goals. The government aims to source credits from entirely within the EU from 2020.
Alberta’s carbon tax – Alberta’s government passed its carbon tax bill early Tuesday morning, with opposition lawmakers decrying the fact that only one of the 21 amendments they proposed was adopted. The ruling NDP party defeated amendments that would have disclosed the amount of the carbon tax on fuel receipts, set performance measures to test the effectiveness of the tax, and provided exemptions or rebates to charities, CBC reports. The tax will start in Jan. 2017.
US-China green spending spree – A US-China green fund focusing on investments in Chinese energy efficiency projects has been increased by 50% to $3 billion after recent talks between the world’s two biggest-emitting nations, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, China has approved more than $15 billion in green bond issuances so far this year.
Shut ’em down, say green Tories – Britain’s coal plants should be shut down by 2023, two years earlier than proposed by the government, says a report from the “Bright Blue” group of Conservatives. Current plans by the UK government announced in November are for unabated coal-fired power stations to close by 2025. In their report, the group – which includes former energy minister Lord Barker – argue that bringing forward the planned coal closure date to at least 2023 “would actually provide more certainty for investors in new gas, improving energy security”. The report dismisses fears that cutting coal would lead to supply shortages, even if the proposed new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant is never built. (H/T Carbon Brief)
Indonesia falling short – Indonesia’s efforts to cut GHG emissions are being hampered at the local level, and by 2013 the country had only achieved 2.25% of its 2020 emission reduction target, according to a new report by the World Resources Institute. (Jakarta Post)
GEF’s helping hand – To help developing countries monitor and report their progress under the Paris Agreement, the Global Environment Facility’s Council has introduced a new financial initiative and an associated trust fund called the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT). It’s aimed at helping countries build institutional and technical capacity towards meeting the pledges made in their NDCs.
And finally… Another chapter in the Netanyahu-Mimran chronicles – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged in a statement from his office that he received $40,000 from French businessman and international poker player Arnaud Mimran, who is currently on trial in Paris over €1.4 billion in tax fraud linked to the EU ETS. Mimran gave Netanyahu the money in 2001 when Netanyahu was a private citizen and travelling for public diplomacy, the statement said, as reported by the Jewish Journal. Mimran last month told the court that he donated €1 million to Netanyahu’s election campaign, a claim that Netanyahu denies but if true would break Israel’s campaign finance laws.
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