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A number of MEPs have urged EU lawmakers to speed up the pace of CO2 cuts under the bloc’s carbon market next decade to ensure Europe contributes to global climate goals.
European carbon rose for a third straight day on Thursday, fuelled by more short-covering, another well-bid auction, and a supportive energy complex.
South Korea on Thursday released new guidelines making it easier for emitters to qualify for Early Action Credits (EACs) eligible in the nation’s emissions trading system, in a move that might further increase market supply.
Primary energy consumption in Germany rose by 1.6% year-on-year in the first six months of 2016, with higher natural gas and oil use accounting for most of the rise, a report has shown.
The EU has confirmed import tariffs on some types of Russian and Chinese steel, locking in for five years anti-dumping measures introduced in Feb. aiming for a level-playing field for its big-emitting producers.
Australia plans to expand a methodology for generating carbon credits from coal mines, allowing mining firms to earn offsets by cutting more methane emissions.
Energy exchange EEX has appointed a second liquidity provider for its EUA derivatives market, it announced Thursday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
More trouble – The Democratic leader of California’s Assembly has not thrown his weight behind a bill to extend the state’s climate targets to 2030, according to CALmatters. “For us, it’s not imperative that it get done this year,” said Anthony Rendon, who has a background as an environmentalist but rose to speaker this year with support from a powerful bloc of business-friendly Democrats. Senate Bill 32, which was passed over last year amid intense lobbying from the oil sector and doesn’t explicitly extend the state’s carbon market beyond 2020, is shaping up to be the biggest fight lawmakers are likely to tackle in what remains of the legislative year, which ends Aug. 31.
More research – The IMF has expressed concerns that South Africa’s proposed carbon tax would add a further tax burden on oil and gas companies, according to Tax-News.com. A report by an IMF staff mission concluded that “as currently drafted, the carbon tax would have the effect of a royalty instrument on petroleum rights holders.” As a result, the country’s high-level government tax committee requested further illustrative analysis on the impact of the carbon tax on petroleum projects.
More delays – Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall’s sale of its German lignite coal operations is facing a new delay, according to Handelsblatt. The necessary approval by the European Commission was pending and will probably not be ready before autumn, the company said. A critical question could be whether Vattenfall has supported the deal with Czech utility EPH by giving them illegal state aid. Vattenfall sold the lignite operations for a symbolic price and will pay the buyer a billion-euro premium for the obligations of renaturalising former mines. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Australian government – Australia’s newly-elected PM Malcolm Turnbull has directed the country’s main science body, the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), to reinstate climate science as a key priority. Previous PM Tony Abbott had eliminated most of the climate change division. “It’s a new government and we’re laying out a direction that climate science matters,” new Science Minister Greg Hunt said, adding the new policy will bring 15 new jobs and research investment worth $28 million over 10 years.(H/T Climate Nexus)
Meanwhile, in Japan – Japan’s bilateral Joint Crediting Mechanism is just that – bilateral – meaning separate deals have to be worked out with each of its 16 partner countries on how the mechanism is supposed to work. Guidelines have now been sorted out with Mongolia for how that mechanism will function. Documents available here.
And finally… Crimes for humanity – In a recent study published in The Journal of Industrial Ecology, researchers at the Center for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey estimated the annual carbon footprint of crime in England and Wales, and found that reducing crime could actually cause society’s overall carbon footprint to increase, the New York Times reports. While there is an energy cost to operating prisons, the study notes, inmates generally consume less than an average citizen in the country, so fewer prisoners might mean higher overall energy consumption. Additionally, the money saved from reducing crime might be spent on projects that increase energy use or emissions. The researchers tried to quantify the consequences of reducing domestic burglary by about 5%, and determined a rebound effect of 2%. That may sound small, but it would translate into 10,000 more tonnes of CO2e, equivalent to the emissions of around 2,250 UK households.
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