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China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has finalised the allocation plan for the national emissions trading scheme and is awaiting approval by the State Council, but has already begun implementation talks with provincial leaders, a senior official said Thursday.
EU industry concerns over possible exemptions granted to Chinese manufacturers under the country’s upcoming emissions trading scheme are valid, but it is too soon to compare as regulators of both markets are in the process of finalising rules, a senior EU official said Thursday.
It would take just over a quarter of total EUA auction volume to fully compensate industries for indirect ETS costs next decade, a study showed on Thursday as lawmakers moved closer to a compromise on an EU-wide approach to the issue.
EU carbon prices slipped towards €5.50 on Thursday in a second successive session of losses tied to weaker energy prices.
New Zealand carbon allowances dipped 0.6% in Thursday trade to a six-week low in thin trade as buyers and sellers continued to disagree on price direction.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Who’s the greenest? – The World Bank’s climate Policy team has released an online tool on the 189 NDCs that maps and compares all the different national climate commitments agreed last December.
Debatewatch – Contrary to some hopes and expectations, last night’s third and final US presidential debate failed to feature a question on climate change, leaving the issue virtually untouched over the whole series. Only 2% of the total time in the three debates was spent on climate and energy policy, due mostly to an audience question in the second debate. None of the moderators asked a climate question. (H/T Climate Nexus)
What I meant was… – On Wednesday evening, moderator Chris Wallace brought up a Clinton campaign email released by Wikileaks that contained a transcript of a 2013 speech she gave to a Brazilian bank, in which she called for a “hemispheric common market.” The clip has caught on among her critics, who say it’s an example of a globalist economic agenda, but Clinton last night explained that it had been taken out of context and that she was really referring to trading energy with neighbouring countries. “If you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy,” she said. “We trade more energy with our neighbours than we do with the rest of the world combined, and I do want us to have an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be of great benefit to us.” (Utility Dive)
Exxon on CO2 pricing – US oil major Exxon supports a price on carbon and already uses a shadow carbon price of $80/tonne, double that of Shell, CEO Rex Tillerson told the Oil and Money conference in London. “We have long used a proxy cost of carbon… there’s a range depending on the country, depending on the tax that we think would be appropriate,” he said, adding that the Paris Agreement will not limit near-term oil and gas consumption. (Climate Home)
MEPs begin non-ETS work – Dutch MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy has set a timetable for scrutinising the Commission’s post-2020 non-ETS proposal around six months behind the corresponding ETS legislation. He plans to publish his draft report by year-end, with other key dates: ENVI’s initial debate Jan. 23/24 2017, deadline for suggested amendments Feb. 1 with an ENVI debate on them on Feb. 27/28 and an ENVI vote 29/30 May.
Hard waterbed? – Additional EU policies in ETS sectors almost always result in permanent reductions rather than merely displacing emissions elsewhere under the cap, according to a report by environmental campaigners Sandbag, which dismisses the so-called ‘waterbed effect’. Sandbag says this means policymakers can be confident that these additional policies can therefore make a valuable contribution to tackling climate change.
German coal counting – Germany’s last lignite power plant likely will be switched off between 2040-2045, according according to state secretary Rainer Baake, who said Germany’s consensus for a nuclear phase-out should serve as a blueprint for a coal phase-out. (rbb, H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Happy accident – US researchers have accidentally discovered a way to reverse the combustion process, using complex nanotechnology techniques to turn Co2 back into a fuel, the Independent reports. The researchers had hoped the technique would turn the gas into methanol, but ethanol came out instead. Because the materials used are relatively cheap, the finding that could aid the development of new methods to fight climate change, for example to store excess electricity generated by wind and solar power. (H/T Carbon Brief)
And finally… A Titanic discovery – Scientists led by Titanic wreck finder Robert Ballard have found 500 seabed vents bubbling methane into the Pacific Ocean off the US, roughly doubling the number of known US seeps of the powerful greenhouse gas. The scientists are trying to see if rising ocean temperatures cause more leaks. (Reuters)
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