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EU carbon prices continued their very bearish start to 2017 on Friday, recovering slightly after briefly falling below €5 but still notching a 23% loss for the first week of the year as bigger EUA auctions loom.
Newfoundland and Labrador is considering converting its temporary C$0.165/litre gasoline tax into a carbon levy to help it meet the federal government’s carbon pricing requirements, according to the Canadian province’s environment minister.
Guangdong will soon issue a total of 34 million carbon permits to paper manufacturers and airlines to cover their 2016 emissions, expanding free allocation in China’s biggest carbon market by almost 10% and aligning the pilot programme’s coverage with the sectors due to be regulated under the national scheme.
Below is a table of the closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week. All prices are in RMB, and volumes in tonnes of CO2e. Data sourced from local exchanges.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Copernicus rising – Last year was the hottest on record by a wide margin, with temperatures creeping 0.2C higher to 1.3C above pre-industrial levels, close to the 2C/1.5C goal set by the Paris Agreement, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. It was the first report of the new year to confirm many projections that 2016 will exceed 2015 as the warmest since reliable records began in the 19th century. (Reuters)
Mixed results – Germany’s Energiewende – the country’s double shift to a low-carbon and nuclear-free economy – yielded mixed results in the past year, according to an analysis by energy think tank Agora Energiewende. Thanks to a partial switch from coal to gas and a continued rise in the share of renewables, the power sector of the world’s fourth-largest economy became more climate-friendly for the third year running. But because of “scarce evidence of climate protection in the industrial, heating, and transportation sectors”, the country’s total emissions grew, putting 2020 climate targets further out of reach. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Coal blown away – More UK electricity was generated by wind turbines than coal-fired power plants for the first year ever in 2016, according to analysis by Carbon Brief. Wind accounted for 11.5% of power generation in the UK across the year while coal declined to just 9.2%. It also means CO2 emissions from UK power generation will have fallen by around 20% in 2016, as coal was largely replaced by lower-emissions gas. This reduction will be enough to cut overall UK CO2 emissions by 6% for the year if other sectors’ emissions are unchanged.
Mryon’s Eurotrip – Donald Trump’s climate change adviser will make the first appearance by a key Trump team member on the EU political scene in February, Politico reports. Myron Ebell, a member of the president-elect’s transition team, will appear at an event organised by the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) on Feb. 1 in Brussels. ACRE, headed by prominent Euroskeptic Daniel Hannan, is promoting the event as a chance to explore market-based conservation initiatives. Other speakers include Lord Greg Barker, who served as David Cameron’s climate change minister.
REDD talk – Campaigners WWF will host a webinar on Jan. 25 at 1500 GMT to review forest and REDD+ highlights from COP22, and discuss next steps and priorities for forest and climate and present a draft of their new report Mapping REDD+.
Teach me! – Consultancy E Co. and the Netherlands’ University of Twente are running an introductory online/residential course for both public and private sectors on designing climate finance for the Green Climate Fund. It runs over Feb. 23-Jun. 23.
And finally… Kerry and out – Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry left a climate footnote for his successors in an exit memo. He said climate change is “no longer a niche issue to be addressed by experts far from the corridors of power” and that the “international community expects nothing less” than for the US to build on the foundation of the Paris Agreement by taking the lead on deploying clean technologies. Separately, EPA boss Gina McCarthy wrote a separate exit memo to President Obama touting the agency’s GHG standards for existing power plants while also recommending several climate policy steps, stopping short of addressing expectations that the incoming Trump administration will seek to reverse major climate rules.
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