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California regulators on Wednesday released a draft plan mapping out how the state’s carbon market could be extended to meet the state’s 2030 emissions target, proposing post-2020 caps, looser rules for links to other markets and tightened rules on unsold auction allowances.
The European Commission is next week expected to propose letting a small club of richer member states cancel part of their post-2020 ETS auction volumes to help meet their non-ETS goals more cheaply, hiking costs for companies exposed to the bloc’s carbon market.
EEX grew its secondary emissions trading volumes sevenfold in the first half of 2016 compared to a year ago, the German bourse said, with its COO Steffen Koehler proclaiming that “the banks are back” in the European energy market.
Post-2020 EU ETS reforms should be agreed unanimously by all member states, not just a majority, according to Poland’s top climate envoy Pawel Salek and four Polish power and heat associations.
EU carbon climbed towards €5 to reach its highest in over a week after a strong UK auction spurred confidence, with prices defying a big correction in oil prices.
Prices in Hubei’s CO2 emissions trading scheme fell 10% on Wednesday to new record lows as long companies brought fresh batches of supply to market in anticipation that the government has mostly finalised adjustments to 2015 free allocations.
The RGGI states would benefit in the long term from broader participation and should clear the path to trading with new regions under the Clean Power Plan, according to a report by consultants Analysis Group.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Changing of the guard – Theresa May has taken over as British Prime Minister after a period of political tumult that has included the UK referendum and David Cameron’s subsequent resignation. But according to Carbon Brief, very little is known about the Conservative MP and former home secretary’s policy stance on energy and climate change. Last week, EnergyDesk noted: “May has been largely silent on the issue of climate change since becoming an MP. Meanwhile, her voting record on the environment while in government mirrors that of her party.” However on Monday, May said: “I want to see an energy policy that emphasises the reliability of supply and lower costs for users.” And in 2008, following the passage of the country’s legally-binding Climate Change Act, she said she was “thrilled to see that after years of Conservative pressure, we have finally passed a necessary and ambitious piece of legislation on climate change … To stay reliant on fossil fuels would mean tying ourselves to increasingly unstable supplies which could endanger our energy security.”
Wasted capacity – Despite new measures to cut the use of fossil fuels, China has expanded its coal sector and is building another 200 GW of coal-fired plant capacity, Greenpeace has warned. In 2015, the country’s thermal capacity grew 7.8% to 990 GW and outstripped a 0.5% increase in consumption. The supply glut has been, in part, caused by a measure last year that gave local authorities the power to build more power plants without seeking Beijing’s approval. If China continues to add new coal capacity, it could lead to a surplus of 400 GW and waste 1 trillion yuan ($150 billion) in the next five years. Xinhua reported on Monday that the Chinese government plans to ban all new approvals of coal-fired power plants until 2018 and cap coal-fired capacity at around 1,050 GW by end of 2020.(H/T Climate Nexus)
Slay the “many-headed dragon” – Before national attention turns to the political party conventions, a group of US Senate Democrats took to the floor this week to confront the “many-headed dragon” of climate change denial, Huff Post reports. The effort, which began Monday, is meant to call out more than 30 different organisations that are “either co-opted or created by the fossil fuel industry in order to propagate climate [change] denial while obscuring the true hand of the fossil fuel industry in their efforts,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who is leading the effort, told news agency. The senators are also hoping to capitalise on attention surrounding the investigation of Exxon Mobil by several state attorneys general over allegations that its scientists knew about climate change even as the company publicly disputed the science.
No money for you – The US House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted down a Democratic push to allow federal government contributions to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), The Hill reports. The measure, which was blocked by Republicans on the committee, was tucked into a broader amendment restoring funding for a wide variety of Democratic foreign affairs priorities, including those aimed that refugee admissions and rebuilding relations with Cuba. The Obama administration has pledged $3 billion for GCF by 2020, and was able to make its first $500 million contribution through the State Department earlier this year because 2015’s year-end spending deal didn’t include similar restrictions.
Release the PAFERNs – The World Bank has issued the second series of tradable PAFERNs (Pilot Auction Facility Emission Reduction Notes) to the winners of the second PAF auction, which was conducted on May 12, 2016. Winning bidders paid a premium of $1.41 to purchase price guarantees to sell their methane-based carbon credits for $3.50 each. The PAF Secretariat is also working to announce the eligibility criteria and timeline for the third auction.
And finally… Come for the Pokemon, stay for the climate – The Iowa arm of advocacy group NextGen Climate will hold events on Friday aimed at attracting “Pokemon Go” players, the Des Moines Register reports, targeting eligible votes in their teens and 20s – a key demographic for environmental campaigners. Unless you’ve been vacationing in a cave over the past week, then you’ll know Pokemon Go has become a cultural phenomenon, with players all over the world using their mobile phones to stake out public places in hopes of “catching” cartoon characters that appear within an augmented-reality version of the real world. NextGen said it will drop “lures” at specific locations in four Iowa cities, making rare Pokemon characters available for players who turn up to hear speeches about “the importance of being registered to vote and committing to vote for clean energy leaders this November.”
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