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California and Quebec sold 77 million or more than 88% of the 87.1 million vintage 2015 and 2016 allowances on offer in the most recent WCI auction held a week ago, injecting a degree of confidence back into the market after two previous lacklustre sale results.
Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has identified around 100 emitting facilities that could be regulated under a state-wide cap-and-trade programme, according to a draft report analysing design considerations and linking opportunities.
Ten large utilities known as the ‘Magritte group’ have called on EU lawmakers to agree more ambitious post-2020 reforms to the EU ETS than those proposed by the European Commission.
Utility Uniper has hedged more than 80% of its expected German lignite and hydro generation through 2019, it said on Tuesday in Q3 results that appear to leave little room for near-term EUA buying.
Front-year EUA futures on ICE closed up 3 cents at €5.51 after trading in a narrow €5.43-5.54 range, while coal and power prices surged much higher.
New Zealand carbon allowances on Tuesday dropped to their lowest levels since June 13 as some speculators continued to offload permits.
ICE Futures Europe is set to launch trade in post-2020 EUA futures in January, the exchange said on Tuesday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
UK floor or trapdoor? – Wednesday’s UK interim budget statement may feature changes to the country’s carbon price floor, which currently stands at £18/tonne. Some have called for it to be scrapped, while big emitting utility Drax is among those urging it to be extended to at least 2025 in order to ease the conversion of more of its units from coal to biomass.
Germany may get louder in ETS debate – Consultants at Ecofys have broken down what some the details in Germany’s recently-agreed Climate Action Plan 2050 mean for its views on post-2020 ETS revisions. The consultants note that Germany’s call to evaluate the success of the MSR may mean it doesn’t support calls to bolster the mechanism before its 2019 start date. They also said that Germany many favour co-ordinated national measures, which could mean the country is one of a handful of nations willing to follow Sweden’s “buy-back-and-burn” initiative to curb EUA supply should EU-wide reforms fall short.
But Berlin may be quieter on 2020 – Germany will significantly miss its domestic 2020 goal of reducing emissions by 40% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels unless the government quickly implements additional measures, according to a study by Institute for Future Energy Systems (IZES). The gap to reach the 2020 target is even bigger than current government projections predict, according to the study commissioned by environmental groups BUND, Climate-Alliance, Oxfam, WWF and Greenpeace. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Saved by the sun – The “only sensible option” is for UN-backed scientific panel IPCC to use its upcoming report on keeping warming below 1.5% “to help spark a critical conversation around solar geoengineering“, argue climate policy researchers Andy Parker and Oliver Geden. They said that how the panel chooses to deal with the option of solar geoengineering will test the integrity of scientific climate policy advice because the world will probably have only two choices if it wants to stay below 1.5C: deploy CO2 removal on an enormous scale or use solar geoengineering.” (Nature Geoscience)
Hard as a rock – Scientists have for the first time injected CO2 into ancient lava flows and watched it solidify, according to research published last week, demonstrating that capturing the gas and safely storing it underground may be a realistic way to help reduce GHG emissions to tackle climate change. Climate Central reports that scientists working at the Wallula Basalt Pilot Project in Washington State found that over a span of about two years, the CO2 solidified into a mineral called ankerite. The research was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
More Trump staff picks – Hopes that Donald Trump will adopt a pragmatic stance on climate policy could be fading as the US President-elect continues to load his transition team with fossil fuel hawks. Thomas Pyle, now the Energy Department transition head, is president of the American Energy Alliance (AEA) and has lobbied in the past for the fossil fuel industry. The Interior Department transition team lead, Doug Domenech, is the director of the Fueling Freedom Project at the Koch-connected Texas Public Policy Foundation, which works to “explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels”. State Department transition team chief Steven Groves co-authored an article last week outlining a quick US exit from the Paris Agreement. (H/T Climate Nexus)
And finally… Wait, he said what? – In an interview with the New York Times, Trump refused to repeat his promise to abandon the Paris Agreement, saying that, “I’m looking at it very closely.” But he said “I have an open mind to it” and that clean air and “crystal clear water” were vitally important.
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