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Emitters in California’s carbon market surrendered 8.1 million offsets against their 2015 emissions, compliance data released on Friday showed, equating to a higher usage limit than seen during the 2013-2014 trading phase and revealing that the use of ‘golden’ credits has topped the 3 million mark.
Most EU member states want more ambitious ETS reforms than those proposed by Brussels, but delays to finding a common line indicate that not all agree, documents and sources suggest.
European lawmakers are pushing Brussels to be clearer about whether the bloc’s carbon market is being undermined by other EU and national policies.
Officials from 24 Republican-controlled US states on Thursday wrote to the incoming Trump Administration, as well as GOP House and Senate majority leaders, urging them to ensure a quick death for the Clean Power Plan and to introduce legislation that would block similar policies in the future.
EU carbon prices convincingly bounced back after hitting a four-day low on Friday to record a 10.5% weekly rise, which was largely spurred by lawmakers backing ETS reforms that were more ambitious than many expected.
The Sichuan United Environment Exchange in China on Friday launched voluntary trade in carbon offsets, with deals for just over 360,000 credits announced on the opening day.
Spot allowances in the New Zealand carbon market fell on Friday to their lowest levels since Nov. 22, with volumes shrinking as traders geared down for the coming holiday season.
The Queensland state government in Australia on Friday unveiled a new fund to help indigenous communities develop land-based projects to earn carbon credits.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Rockin’ the boat – The Port of Rotterdam Authority, operators of Europe’s largest seaport, said it supports MEP efforts this week to include shipping in the EU ETS from 2023 should the sector fail to impose sufficient CO2-cutting measures before then, with the port’s CEO Allard Castelein calling the IMO’s current decarbonisation strategy “not challenging enough”. However, on the other side of the debate are the International Chamber of Shipping and the Danish Shipownders’ Association, which have slammed the ENVI committee’s move, saying it “risks polarizing the international community and impeding IMO’s global efforts”, Seatrade Maritime News reports. ICS argues that emissions trading has been developed primarily for large-scale industry and is thus “completely inappropriate” for international shipping, which mostly comprises small companies operating fleets of 10 ships or less. Also, shipping’s inclusion in the ETS would lead to “market distortions” and risk generating trade disputes with China and other Asian countries, as already happened when the EU tried unsuccessfully to include aviation in the scheme, the Chamber adds.
Australia lobbies for coal… – The Australian government is carrying out a lobby campaign to ensure the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank includes coal among its lending priorities, reports the Financial Times. The AIIB has said it wants to be a green bank though a draft strategy opened for lending to coal projects in certain circumstances. However, Australia earns billions of dollars each year from selling coal to the Asia-Pacific region, and is worried its fossil fuel exports will be hurt if the bank ends up adopting a strong low-carbon profile.
… while India doesn’t need it – The country needs no extra coal power stations until at least 2027, according to the government’s latest draft National Electricity Plan, Climate Home reports. The plan, released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for public consultation, makes no room for further generation capacity beyond the 50GW coal fleet that is under construction. The plan covers two five-year periods beginning in 2017 and 2022. The first period allows for the completion of those plants already being built. But after that, the CEA is planning for zero new thermal power generation before 2027.
Listen to your voter base – A majority of Americans and about half of all Republicans would support a carbon tax if it meant taxes were reduced elsewhere, according to a survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted by researchers at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. Overall, two in three registered voters support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax so long as income or other taxes are reduced, CNBC reports. Democrats were the group most likely to support such a policy, with 81% in favor. About 60% of independents and 49% of Republicans said they would also support this type of policy.
Arriving ahead of schedule – All large car and van manufacturers in the EU met their CO2 emissions target in 2015, according to data published today by the European Environment Agency. The report confirms preliminary findings that the EU fleet average of new vehicles is well below its 2015 emissions target. The data shows that, based on laboratory tests, the average emissions level of a new car sold in the EU in 2015 was 119.5 grams of CO2/km, significantly below the 2015 target of 130 g. A new van sold in the EU in 2015 emitted on average 168.3 grams of CO2/km, which is already below the 2017 target of 175 g. Manufacturers will have to reduce emissions further to meet the target of 95 g/km by 2021 for cars and 147 g/km by 2020 for vans.
More Olympic-sized offsetting – Korean companies continue to cancel CERs to help the government offset emissions from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The Korea District Heating Corporation this week voluntarily cancelled 301,687 CERs from a N2O emission reduction project in Brazil, a UN website showed.
Shanghai forward trading – The Shanghai carbon exchange and the Shanghai Clearing House have been readying a forward contract for the local carbon market for over a year, and the contract will finally be launched on Monday, Dec. 19, the exchange said Friday. A two-week simulation exercise for the contract was finalised earlier this month to help local traders prepare.
PEI’s carbon tax exemptions – Fuel used by Prince Edward Island’s fishermen and farmers will be exempt under the Canadian province’s upcoming carbon tax, Premier Wade MacLauchlan said, as reported by the CBC. Agriculture and transportation accounts for around 65% of PEI’s GHG emissions.
And finally… Come for the laughs, stay for the science – TV satirists are regularly pulling double duty as America’s ambassadors to science - whether geeking out with astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson or riffing on the latest climate science, Popular Science reports. Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Jon Oliver, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah and (until recently) Jon Stewart have lent valuable airtime to a vital issue that garners too little attention in traditional news programmes, according to Rutgers professor of communications Lauren Feldman. Last year, ABC News devoted just 13 minutes of airtime to covering climate change in its nightly and Sunday news shows – about as much as CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “This may be as much an indictment of ABC’s news coverage as it is a testament to Colbert … [But] what’s more remarkable than the sheer amount of time given over to climate change is the fact that late-night comics are actually able to make the research accessible – serving up the latest science with a side of humour,” Popular Science writes.
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