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Renewable energy producers in China are renewing their hopes in market mechanisms such as carbon offset trading after news emerged this week that the government plans to slash subsidies for wind and solar generators.
The cost-saving benefits of international carbon trade remain largely theoretical as a lack of ambition, political will and clarity over rules limit the opportunities for businesses and investors.
Saskatchewan on Tuesday unveiled its new strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, focussing on alternative actions to the Canadian federal government’s carbon pricing plan, to which the province’s Premier Brad Wall is vehemently opposed.
EU carbon sank on Wednesday as the energy complex turned south to reverse most of the previous day’s gains, in a volatile session that saw high volumes along the EUA curve.
New Zealand-based company Greenxperts on Wednesday launched a NZ$10 million ($7.2m) carbon credit fund seeking to certify high-quality NZUs and sell them at a premium price.
The CEO of Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation will leave his position, the CEFC said Wednesday, though he will remain in the job until the board has found a replacement.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Less intense – The energy intensity of China’s economy fell 5.2% in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, while use of clean energy rose 1.7%. Overall, power consumption grew by 3.6% over the period, but new investments in coal and oil exploration fell 19.8% and 11% respectively. For September alone, thermal power generation was up 12.2% year-on-year, but the increase so far this year is only 0.8%.
Morocco ups target – Morocco has upped its potential GHG emissions reduction target under the Paris Agreement to 42% below BAU levels in 2030, depending on international finance, the nation’s foreign minister said this week as he opened the pre-COP ministerial meeting in Marrakech. In its INDC last year, Morocco promised to unconditionally cut emissions to 13% below BAU, but said this could rise to 32% if it received international finance of up to $35 billion. (Xinhua)
Indonesia ratifies – Another major carbon emitter, Indonesia, on Wednesday ratified the Paris Agreement, according to the Straits Times. Counting deforestation, Indonesia has recently released nearly 2 billion tonnes of CO2e into the atmosphere, making it one of the world’s biggest emitters. Meanwhile, neighbouring Malaysia is set to ratify the treaty on Nov. 4.
All is lost – Australia’s proposed Adani coal mine would emit 79 million tonnes of CO2 each year, according to a parliamentary hearing. In comparison, the country’s flagship climate policy – the Emissions Reduction Fund – will have cut emissions 92 million tonnes by 2020, meaning the new coal mine would wipe out all the ERF’s gains in just over a year. (Fairfax)
Pricey stuff – Meeting its Paris Agreement commitment could cost New Zealand NZ$72 billion ($53b) over the 2020s if there is no international carbon market into which the country can tap to achieve cheaper emission cuts, a government official told a conference last week, according to Radio NZ. With a viable international market in place, the price would be around half that level, the NZ government has calculated.
Brussels’ EUA secrets – The European Commission should give materials firm Saint-Gobain information on its Phase 3 EUA allocation from the German government that the EU executive has held since 2012, an advisor to the EU’s highest court said. In an opinion, which is usually followed by the court, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar argued that the partially-withheld environmental information relating to the Aarhus Convention should be released.
And finally… Uprising! – John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, wanted to spur Harvard University students to protest against a law professor fighting President Obama’s climate change rule, Wikileaks emails show. According to The Hill, Podesta sent an email in March 2015 to environmental activist and ally Tom Steyer, asking if Steyer could get green activist Bill McKibben to organize protests against Larry Tribe at Harvard’s Cambridge campus.
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