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MEPs co-ordinating EU ETS reforms are nearing agreement to push for two major changes to the bill that could sharply cut into the market’s surplus from 2020 and drive allowance prices significantly higher over the next decade.
California’s Air Resources Board handed out just over 584,000 offsets in its latest round of issuances, while cutting the invalidation period on a further 580,000 credits.
Sellers kept European carbon from ending higher for a fourth straight day on Tuesday, with the benchmark EUA contract closing back below the €4 mark.
The latest price hike in the New Zealand carbon market has petered out as buyers are hesitant to follow sellers above the NZ$19 threshold.
The UNFCCC on Wednesday launched a global survey to investigate the drivers behind corporate engagement in voluntary carbon offsetting and climate change mitigation strategies.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Battle for the EU ETS resumes – Lawmakers resume their grappling of ETS reforms in earnest this week, with lead MEP Ian Duncan posting a blog noting that carbon leakage “may well be academic” with EUAs at €6, but that industry was still bearing the brunt of EU climate policy while transport, housing and farming largely escape scrutiny.
Brussels embarrassment – In his annual state of the union address, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU’s delay in ratifying the Paris Agreement as other major emitters sign on “makes us look ridiculous”. Minus the UK, EU leaders will be asked to endorse a fast-track ratification process on Friday, though doing so might only be a matter of pride for the bloc as analysts still expect the required number of countries to sign up by year-end regardless of the EU.
IEA has renewables covered – Renewable electricity investment in 2015 was “more than sufficient” to cover the growth in global demand, according a report by rich nation think-thank International Energy Agency (IEA). It was the first time in history funding for renewables alone was enough to meet increasing demand, partly due to a slowdown in demand growth. Yet the report concluded that while the continuing strength of the sector was encouraging, it was not enough to avoid dangerous climate change or meet the decarbonisation targets set by many countries. (Climate Home)
Farmers want a say – Germany’s federal agriculture ministry wants to make further changes to the already watered-down Climate Action Plan 2050 by Social Democrat environment minister Barbara Hendricks, according to FAZ. An internal document, seen by the agency and yet to be agreed to by Christian Social agriculture minister Christian Schmidt, would significantly alter the draft that Hendricks published for coordination with other ministries last week. Changes include the removal of the provision that the sector would have to cut half of its GHGs by 2050, as well as the concrete target that 20% of all agricultural land should be used for organic farming by 2030. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
30 by 30 – Alberta announced on Wednesday that a firm target of 30% of electricity used in the province must come from renewable sources by 2030. To help achieve the goal, money from the province’s new carbon levy will be re-invested in sources including wind, hydro and solar. (CTV)
And finally… How much are Americans willing to pay to fight climate change? Not much – A wide range of public opinion polls point to a clear and growing trend: Americans of all political stripes are increasingly worried about climate change. But when asked by researchers how much they’d be willing to part with via their electricity bills, some 43% of respondents said they were unwilling to pay an additional $1 per month to combat climate change. And a 61% majority stated that they were unwilling to pay $10 per month, while more than two-thirds would oppose a $20 increase and 80% would protest a $50 charge. This is despite the fact that a whopping 77% said they think climate change is happening and 65% think it is a problem about which the government should do something. (WSJ)
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