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Within what seemed like minutes of Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president on Friday, a notice appeared on the White House website announcing that his administration will eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies” such as former President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan.
The lawsuit threatening California’s cap-and-trade programme, and specifically its auction system, will go before the state’s Court of Appeals on Tuesday, but the upcoming ruling over the five year-old case is unlikely to be the final word on the debate.
Chinese coal production fell 9.4% last year, dropping for a third straight year and pushing up prices, thereby making life hard for coal-fired power generators that are also facing impending environmental regulations such as the launch of a national cap-and-trade programme.
The European Commission will host a series of roundtable meetings this spring over how it plans to disburse billions of euros to help decarbonise heavy industry next decade, admitting there was “enormous room for improvement” from current methods.
European carbon prices posted a second day of strong gains on Friday on the back of a higher energy complex, ending with a weekly gain of 7.5%.
The EU has begun looking for private sector actors to head up the €10 million second phase of its emissions trading partnership with China.
In the run-up to the Ontario Cap and Trade Forum on April 26-27 at the Allstream Centre in Toronto, Canadian Clean Energy Conferences is producing a series of article and interviews featuring the key topics concerning regulated entities under Ontario’s program. This first article focuses on the key challenges and opportunities presented by the province’s new carbon regulations.
Brisbane City Council in Australia has bought and cancelled nearly 400,000 CERs from Chinese wind projects to help offset its total emissions for 2017/18.
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
Warning! – Taking Britain out of Europe’s energy market could stymie development of new power links designed to help avert a looming supply crunch and also drive up the cost of imported European electricity, National Grid warned on Friday. Prime Minister Theresa May did not comment on the implications of a hard Brexit on Britain’s energy market during her speech earlier this week, but National Grid said any change could have major impacts on the development of Britain’s electricity supplies, around 9% of which come from European imports. (Reuters)
Carrying more, emitting less – Despite carrying 20 million more passengers than a decade ago, UK-based aviation has expanded without delivering an increase in carbon emissions, GreenAir Online reports, citing the findings of a report by Airlines UK, the trade body representing UK-registered airlines. It cites government data showing that in 2015, jet fuel deliveries to UK airports – for both UK and non-UK airline operations – were 10% lower than in 2006. By investing in more than 470 new aircraft since 2005 at a cost of £37 billion ($45 billion), UK-based airlines had helped the industry to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 million tonnes, it says.
Green light – German utility Uniper has been legally authorised to finish construction of a hard coal plant that a court stopped in 2009, the company said in press release. Authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia issued the permission after resolving questions concerning air pollution caused by the Datteln 4 plant near Dortmund. According to news website Welt Online, environmental organisation Friends of the Earth Germany criticised the decision in favour of the company that split off from utility E.ON last year as a “genuflection to the coal lobby” and is considering filing a new lawsuit against the €1 billion plant. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
“Straight-up crazy” – Germany’s energy transition (Energiewende) must be steered more intelligently, and the key is a price on CO₂, according to an opinion piece in Handelsblatt. While it might be naïve to bet on this instrument – because it has been neglected over the past years – “it would be straight-up crazy to add further questionable versions to all the contradictory, inefficient and costly instruments that are supposed to enforce the Energiewende,” it says. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
And finally… Money not well spent – A parliamentary watchdog has criticised the British government for spending £168 million on two failed initiatives to help to fund CCS technology. The report by the National Audit Office said a £100-million competition unexpectedly cancelled by the government in 2015 had not provided value for money. An earlier competition costing £68 million collapsed in 2011 when a consortium including National Grid and Iberdrola’s Scottish Power pulled out. In a statement published alongside the report, the Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts said “the government will have to work hard to restore investor confidence in carbon capture and storage, or come up with cost-effective alternatives to meet the UK’s decarbonisation target.” (H/T Carbon Brief)
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