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US-based non-profit The Climate Trust plans from next year to offer guarantees to US project developers that it will purchase their carbon credits regardless of future market demand.
Prices in South Korea’s emissions trading scheme have increased nearly 6.5% this week as buyers continue to have a hard time finding willing sellers.
The United States has transferred $500 million to the Green Climate Fund in one of President Barack Obama’s last actions before Donald Trump’s inauguration this Friday.
EU carbon prices dropped back below €5 for the second time this week on Wednesday as weaker power prices outweighed the bullish impact of a rare auction-free day in relatively steady trade.
The EU ETS’ Union Registry will be suspended for two hours on Jan. 30 to undergo maintenance.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Zinke on Zinke – In his confirmation hearing for the Interior Secretary spot yesterday, Ryan Zinke, the Republican lawmakers from Montana, called for increased fossil fuel development on federal lands in line with his “all of the above” energy platform, expressing interest in a review of the Obama Administration’s offshore drilling bans and approval for the Keystone XL pipeline. Zinke criticised the Bureau of Land Management’s recent regulations to reduce the release of excess methane from oil and gas installations. A judge allowed the regulations to take effect Tuesday, but a state and industry lawsuit and the GOP’s pledge to prioritize axing the rules may put their future in peril. Zinke also followed in the lukewarm climate-affirming footsteps of Secretary of State nominee and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson when grilled on the issue at his hearing, saying that climate change wasn’t a “hoax” but questioning “what [the human] influence is and what can we do about it.” (H/T Climate Nexus)
Disrupting CDM project – A CDM project in Uganda has come under fire after Finnish broadcaster YLE aired a piece showing villagers saying that the CER-generating forest plantation had driven them away and robbed them of land to grow crops. Governments and/or private firms from three Nordic nations – Finland, Norway and Sweden – are involved in the project.
Poland coal push – Poland wants to build five or six new coal-fired power plants at a total cost of €10-11 billion, deputy energy minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said, adding that the EU’s energy and climate policy package would not affect the move. (Politico)
Bank on failure – An investor-commissioned report led by Boston Common Asset Management investigating the climate-related risk practices of 28 of the world’s largest banks has found that, while these risks have been assigned more priority, financial institutions are not adapting fast enough to a world with a fast-changing climate. CleanTechnica reports that for 28 of the world’s largest banks, the report found that more than 80% of them are not yet integrating the results of their environmental stress-testing into their business decisions – raising the question of why they are being done at all. Meanwhile, environmental group Greenpeace International slammed HSBC bank for allegedly funding palm oil companies in Indonesia that it says have destroyed tropical rainforests. (Reuters)
And finally… O’Deary – Kevin O’Leary, a multi-millionaire businessman, TV and radio host and former host/investor on Canadian Dragon’s Den and America’s Shark Tank, has announced he is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. O’Leary, who has been called Canada’s Donald Trump due to his opinionated and sometimes abrasive nature, has been a vocal opponent of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pan-Canadian carbon pricing plan, as well as the new carbon tax introduced this month in Alberta, suggesting that he could facilitate the dismantling of provincial carbon pricing initiatives should be win the Conservative leadership contest in May and then the next federal election, scheduled to be held in 2019. O’Leary faces an uphill climb though as he is disliked by large swathes of Tory voters and the wider population and has a poor grasp of the French language, something that is frowned upon by many voters in Quebec and elsewhere in the officially bilingual country.
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