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Europe’s climate chief Miguel Arias Canete said Friday he is pushing hard to include a deeper 2030 energy efficiency goal in next week’s EU winter package of policies, but was vague on how this goal will be taken into account under the bloc’s ETS.
EU carbon prices fell below €5 on Friday for the first time since September as sellers were emboldened by a weak auction, the prospect of more supply to come, and as the European Commission’s climate chief confirmed a policy push that could blunt the bloc’s carbon market.
The European Commission released the EUA auction calendar for 2017 after market close on Friday, showing that EU member state allowance sales will rise by 29% next year as Poland’s annual quota more than triples.
New Zealand carbon allowances have clawed back some lost ground in recent days as much of the speculative supply that fuelled the recent downturn has vanished.
Australia has spent 83% of the ERF budget achieving only 12% of the cuts needed to meet its 2030 target, and significant policy adjustments are needed to put national emissions on track, writes The Climate Institute’s Olivia Kember.
A Black Friday special review of After The Texans, the second novel in the Carbon Black trilogy from Declan Milling.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
No German end date for coal, but the rest of the world is “spineless” – German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel does not support setting an end date for coal-fired power generation in Germany, he said in the plenary of the German Bundestag, reaffirming his position that had held up the government’s Climate Action Plan 2050. “Yes, I did not name a coal-exit date on purpose … You know why? Because I think it decent to provide those affected with realistic outlook for them and their children first,” he said. Gabriel added that the importance of coal in the German power mix would decrease, but that the country needed to ensure that industrial jobs were kept. Gabriel praised Germany’s Climate Action Plan as the world’s most detailed. “In terms of climate protection, our wording is not as spineless as that of the rest of the world.” (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Downright paradoxical – Chairman of the Shell Companies in Germany Stijn van Els sees great potential for natural gas in the German power and transport sectors, he told Hamburger Abendblatt in an interview. “Using natural gas for electricity generation leads to half the amount of CO₂ emissions as from coal power plants. With this in mind, it is downright paradoxical that hard coal and lignite continue to dominate the German power sector at significantly more than 40 percent, and more money is spent every year on s ubsidies for renewable power generation while CO₂ emissions stagnate,” van Els said. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Made in Alberta – The Canadian province has struck a C$1.36-billion deal with three power producers to formally end coal-fired electricity in Alberta, the Globe and Mail reports. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the province will pay the generators a total of $97 million/year over the next 14 years to compensate them for the shutdown and to help them transition to cleaner energy. “This is a made in Alberta plan for Alberta’s electricity market,” Phillips said, noting the federal government’s recently announced plan to force provinces to phase out coal over the same timeframe. “There are two choices: we can either act on a made-in-Alberta plan or wait for policy to be imposed on us.” The money will come out of the carbon levy on heavy industrial emitters and payments will be spread amongst TransAlta Corp., Capital Power Corp. and Atco Ltd. All but six of Alberta’s 18 coal-fired plants are due to close before 2030. TransAlta on Friday said it will move ahead with a new hydro power project in central Alberta following the deal.
No fly zone – Lord Deben, the chair of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, has written to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark warning that the UK could break its emissions reduction targets if it continues with plans to build a third runway at Heathrow. In this case, aviation emissions could be 15% higher in 2050 than they were in 2005, the level at which the government has pledged to limit them. This would require “significantly more action” in other sectors to ensure the overall 80% reduction target can be met – additional cuts that the Committee has “limited confidence” can be achieved. (H/T Carbon Brief)
And finally… I don’t think this is what they had in mind – Protected forests are being felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife. Currently, up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output comes from bioenergy, but plants do not have to produce evidence that the wood products have been sustainably sourced, The Guardian reports. Birdlife found logging taking place in places such as Poloniny national park in eastern Slovakia and in Italian riverside forests around Emilia-Romagna, where it said it had been falsely presented as flood-risk mitigation.
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