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China wants assurances including that its airlines can use domestic carbon offsets to meet obligations under the UN’s global aviation carbon market, a senior government official said Monday, revealing that his country was not yet fully in support of the ICAO deal despite having signed it two months ago.
Senior MEPs from across the political spectrum struck an early compromise deal on the post-2020 EU ETS reform bill late Tuesday and are confident a committee vote will take place later this week, two sources said.
China’s State Council has approved an overall cap on CO2 emissions for 7,000 companies that will be brought into its carbon trading scheme next year, a senior NDRC official said Tuesday.
A wide range of groups representing electricity suppliers, energy consumers and industry on Tuesday issued a statement warning the government of an impending energy system crisis if it keeps a closed mind on climate policy options.
EU nations spent around 85% of revenues raised from auctioning ETS allowances over 2013-2015 on tackling climate change, but loose reporting requirements make it difficult to see exactly how the money is spent and allows states to include cash that may be helping to subsidise big emitters.
European carbon eased on Tuesday following the previous day’s stellar 9.2% gains and after failing to break through a technical level just south of €5.
The head of EU carbon analysis at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon is to leave the company and return to Norway’s climate and environment ministry, where he has accepted a role as special advisor on climate policy and green growth.
Spot CO2 trading on the Hubei carbon exchange will be closed Dec. 15-23 due to system upgrades, the bourse said Tuesday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
T-Rex & the Rickster – It’s official: President-elect Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State, meaning that if appointed, the current Exxon CEO will also manage the US’ climate negotiation teams. As the boss of an oil & gas major, Tillerson has more moderate views on climate change and has previously supported carbon taxes (though likely as a way of hurting rival fuel coal). Meanwhile, former Texas Governor Rick Perry has been tapped to head the Department of Energy – an agency he has previously said he wants to cull but of which he forgot the name during one of the 2012 Republican presidential debates. Perry has called climate change a “contrived phony mess” and efforts to tackle it “hysteria”. “Another day, another climate change denier” on Trump’s list of senior- and Cabinet-level appointees, said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve.
No names, no regrets – The Department of Energy said Tuesday it will reject the request by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team to name staffers who worked on climate change programmes, The Hill reports. DOE spokesman Eben Burnhan-Snyder said the agency received “significant feedback” from workers regarding a questionnaire from the transition team that leaked last week.
Only $5.2 trillion – The value of investment funds committed to selling off fossil fuel assets has jumped to $5.2 trillion, doubling in just over a year. The divestment campaign began on university campuses in 2011, but a new report reveals that the concerns over fossil fuel investments have now entered the mainstream with more than 80% of the funds now committed to divest being managed by pension funds and commercial investment. (H/T Carbon Brief)
F-off – The production, import and export of fluorinated gases in the EU fell in 2015, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency. The EEA said production fell by 5% year-on-year, imports dropped by 40%, and exports slipped 2% by weight and 1% in CO2e terms. However, compared with 2013, exports in 2015 increased by 18% by weight and 23% in CO2e terms. The bloc introduced regulations in 2014 to drastically reduce the use of these potent greenhouse gases.
Secretive Spanish subsidies – The country is propping up old coal and gas-fired power plants with payments for staying open, regardless of how much they generate, Climate Home reports. The support, worth €1 billion a year and likely to fall foul of EU state aid rules, is a needless burden on consumers, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
No way, Norway – The country’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 1% to 53.9 million tonnes of CO2e in 2015, Statistics Norway reported. Norway’s emissions now stand 4% higher than in 1990, whereas the government has pledged to cut emissions 40% below that level by 2030. The Scandinavian nation is one of only a handful of countries that has said it will rely on buying international offsets to meet its Paris target.
Undeserved award – Turkey’s second largest private bank, Garanti, which is financing the country’s coal boom, has received the 2016 Climate Performance Leadership award from UK-based environmental disclosure organisation CDP. Green groups including CAN Europe and 350.org slammed the award and highlighted “the destructive impacts of the dodgy deals” in which the bank is involved. Garanti was included in CDP’s ‘Global Climate A-List’, which is used as basis for the STOXX Global Climate Change Leaders Index. However, the groups say this was based on the bank’s responses to CDP’s questionnaire and overlooks information on the share of coal in the bank’s portfolio.
Coal consultation – The UK government has opened a consultation seeking stakeholder feedback on proposals to put into effect an end to unabated coal generation by 2025. “It also tests proposals for a constraint on coal generation in the years ahead of that, in order to manage closures in an orderly way,” the government said. Read more about it here.
Credit swap – Carbon offset company Natural Capital Partners has cancelled 25,000 CERs from a Honduran wind project, converting the reductions into VCS VERs on behalf of a client. This is at least the sixth such conversion from CERs to VCS VERs to date, according to the UNFCCC, as prices for the UN credits have fallen back below €0.30/tonne in Europe following minimal progress towards deciding on the fate of the CDM at last month’s UN climate talks.
And finally… An Inconvenient Truth 2: Al’s Revenge – A sequel to the 2006 Oscar-winning film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the Washington Post reports. The as-yet-unnamed documentary will follow the former vice president as he travels around the world exploring advances and challenges in the fight against climate change.
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