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China’s national emissions trading scheme might be ineffective in reducing coal-fired power demand until 2026 due to extensive hand-outs of free CO2 permits, according to a government-led think-tank.
Sweden-owned utility Vattenfall is to cut back on its hedging of forward electricity sales because its recent sale of German lignite assets has helped secure a more stable financial position, the company said in quarterly results on Thursday.
Shanghai officials are considering slashing the limit on offset use in its emissions trading scheme to just 1% and banning all pre-2015 projects in a bid to reduce the surplus that haunted the market in the first trading period, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Blackrock, the world’s largest fund house, is calling on governments to co-ordinate to provide higher and consistent carbon pricing, adding weight to similar calls by investors.
EU carbon prices dipped on Thursday to give back all of the previous session’s gains and keep in step with declines in power and coal prices.
New Zealand carbon prices fell 10 cents in Thursday trade to hit a fresh 2-month low as even severely limited supply was sufficient to meet the scant demand in the market.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
A slight miscalculation – Australia’s GHG accounting assumes that several potentially major sources of methane emissions from unconventional gas fields is zero, while emissions from others are reported at levels that have been proven to be 170 times higher when measured in the US, according to a new report by the University of Melbourne Energy Institute. If measured properly, Australia’s GHG emissions could be 92 million tonnes of CO2e – or around a sixth – higher than previously thought, making its Paris target very difficult to meet, the report said.
Zeroing in on 2050 – The outgoing US administration will unveil its 2050 decarbonisation plan at next month’s UN climate talks, according to negotiator Jonathan Pershing. He said the work will outline various scenarios and feature the capture and storage of gas. Such long-term plans will eventually be a requirement for all nations under the Paris Agreement. (Bloomberg BNA)
Trees down, emissions up – Brazil’s GHG emissions rose 3.5% last year to 1.92 billion tonnes, according to researchers at the Climate Observatory. The hike came amid a deep recession and was primarily the result of a jump in deforestation, which accounted for 884 million tonnes of CO2e. (Reuters)
Nothing to hide – A handful of fossil fuel companies including Rio Tinto, Glencore and BHP Billiton have voluntarily shared their defence submissions in a Philippines probe into their role in causing climate change. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines has charged 47 coal, oil and gas majors based on a petition by Greenpeace and other NGOs. It has yet to publish the responses, but Climate Home peruses the nine submissions made available.
At full capacity – Poland’s National Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest independent business organisation, has warned against further measures by the country to combat climate change, Radio Poland reports. Poland “cannot, due to threats to the economy and society from high electricity prices, accept new commitments,” members of the chamber told a conference on climate change policy this week. Referring to the EU ETS, they added “we are calling for deep reflection about the costs and effects of the current system,” while also presenting data showing Polish households spend 9% of their budgets on energy – twice as much as the majority of Europeans and three times the amount of people in Luxembourg and Finland. Deputy Energy Minister Michal Kurtyka, also speaking at the conference, said Poland’s transition to renewable energy should be done over “several decades” and that Poland requires a “specific, dedicated approach to implementing climate change policy.”
IMO a go-go – The UN’s shipping body IMO was applauded by green groups for sticking to a 2020 date to impose a much tougher cap on sulphur content in ship fuels, rather than delaying to 2025. The decision will cut early deaths due to SO2 air pollution and force refineries to make cleaner blends or shipowners to install scrubbing equipment. The IMO’s environment committee concludes tomorrow with parties still split on whether to accelerate the sector’s climate action.
Is 12,400 the magic number for SK? – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall signalled this week what would be the baseline for when he’d feel comfortable introducing a carbon levy. “As a starting point, we’d need to see all the jobs that have been lost in the resource sector recovered,” Wall told reporters Monday. It’s still unclear what that number is, but an estimated 12,400 resource-based jobs were lost over the course of 2015 alone in Saskatchewan, according to the Regina Leader-Post. In 2010, Wall’s government passed environmental legislation that required large emitters to pay into a fund that would be used to invest in low-CO2 technologies, but it was never put into force. The “starting point” he referenced this week is reportedly the closest he has come in recent memory to signalling when the time may be right to put the law into force.
PEI in the sky – Prince Edward Island’s minister of communities, land and environment says revenue collected through a provincial carbon tax will not be returned in the form of tax breaks as it is in BC, CBC reports. Robert Mitchell said he wants to help low income Islanders with the costs, but otherwise the money collected will go to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
And finally… And the award for the least slime goes to… – Leading global logistics company Grimaldi Group has received nearly 110,000 VERs, the largest number of carbon credits issued to date for emissions cut using an anti-slime marine coating developed by AkzoNobel s business.
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