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The World Bank is eyeing the use of auctions to fund green buildings and promote forest protection globally after viewing its Pilot Auction Facility (PAF) as a successful way of stretching public funds to fight climate change.
The EU ETS risks being turned a residual climate policy instrument unless the impact of other policies is examined more closely, business group IETA said Friday, extending its previous focus on EU-wide policies to also consider national measures.
European carbon prices were little changed on Friday, ending a volatile week exactly where they settled last Friday.
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
Legislators be legislatin’ – A bill to extend California’s carbon market beyond 2020 has been introduced by a group of Democrats in the state’s Assembly after Governor Jerry Brown called for legislators to pass an extension with a two-thirds majority. According to the LA Times, the measure – AB 151 – is only one paragraph long at the moment but it represents an opening salvo in the brewing battle over the future of the state’s cap-and-trade programme. The Western States Petroleum Association, which issued a statement on Tuesday supporting Brown’s move, appears wary that state regulators could pursue even more stringent policies if the programme is shelved.
More legislators be legislatin’ – Meanwhile to the north, a pair of Washington state senators have tabled legislation backing Governor Jay Inslee’s proposal, which would establish a carbon tax to facilitate the transition to a cleaner economy while helping to raise $4 billion in education funding. The tax would start at $25/tonne in 2018 and rise annually by 3.5% plus inflation. It would be levied on Washington’s transportation, electricity and natural gas sectors, applying to both sellers and consumers while complementing the state’s separate cap-and-trade plan.
The price of panic – Pulling out of nuclear power production in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster has been “the most expensive panic decision a German government has ever taken,” a statistics professor told manager magazin (in German). At €0.25/kWh, people in Germany now pay roughly twice as much for power as people in France, he said, adding that “about ten cents of the power price are pure panic, caused by the crazy nuclear exit and by an economically and ethically inefficient fight for renewables.”
Fossil fuels vs renewables in a €50/tCO2 world – By 2050, an electricity supply based on renewables could be either approximately as expensive as, or even cheaper than, a fossil fuel-based system under a CO2 price of €50 or more, according to a scenario comparison by the Institute of Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) and commissioned by think-tank Agora Energiewende. The analysis showed that the cost comparison depended mainly on future fuel and CO2 prices, which were difficult to foretell. However the analysis made clear: “Not to carry out an energy transition does not mean one doesn’t have energy costs – but different ones. And those could be higher than originally expected.” A renewable energy power system would have the added value of “shielding the national economy as a whole from increasingly volatile price developments for fossil fuels,” the analysis said, adding that emissions reduction targets cannot be reached under any of the fossil fuel-based scenarios. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Flight traffic flying over emissions growth – An analysis by German climate campaigners atmosfair of 32 million flights in 2014, covering 92% of global aviation traffic, shows CO2 emissions from the sector rose by 3% over the previous year, or about half the rate of traffic volume growth, GreenAir Online reports. The annual atmosfair Airline Index (AAI) compares airline emissions by city pairs of more than 200 airlines worldwide. It finds those airlines investing in new aircraft models with high seating configurations and load factors performed best in improving their carbon efficiency. As to be expected, regional and leisure airlines headed the AAI table, with a Chinese airline, China West Air, achieving the highest ranking. Atmosfair said China is now catching up with the EU in terms of efficiency with 10 airlines making the AAI top 50, compared to 16 from Europe.
Uni-purchased? – E.ON spin-off Uniper is a potential takeover target, according to investment bank Goldman Sachs. “There are a number of potential buyers and Uniper’s relatively small size makes it a target,” writes Reuters. E.ON currently holds 46.65% of Uniper shares and has said it plans to sell more of its stake in the future.
And finally… Cap-and-trade a matter of life and death? – A study released this week finds that RGGI has saved hundreds of lives within its nine US member states. Abt Associates used mathematical models to estimate the scale of the health benefits generated by the regional carbon market, and found that RGGI has averted:
- 300-830 premature adult deaths
- 35-390 heart attacks
- 8,200-9,900 asthma exacerbations
- 13,000-16,000 respiratory illnesses
Abt estimates that the avoided health problems have resulted in somewhere between 39,000 and 47,000 regained work days, saving the states some $5.7 billion in healthcare costs and restored productivity. (WCAI)
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