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Members of the EU Parliament risk being left without a say on ETS reform if they attempt to tinker with elements of the environment committee’s delicately “balanced” package, according to Ian Duncan, the lead lawmaker on the issue.
The UK won’t be able to stay in the EU ETS as it negotiates its exit from the bloc, according to UK MEP Ian Duncan, the EU Parliament lawmaker steering the market’s reform.
A trio of California state lawmakers has proposed legislation that would extend the state’s cap-and-trade programme but shift it into a complementary role to ‘command-and-control’ style regulations.
Chinese carbon offset issuances are likely to slow further in the next few months, which could push up CO2 prices in some of the pilot emissions trading schemes, analysts ICIS Tschach Solutions said.
Government officials in Fujian province, home of China’s newest pilot emissions trading scheme, are planning to introduce a host of financial products to underpin a scaling-up of the market to cover the whole economy by 2020.
The EU will need to phase out CO2 emissions from all of its coal plants in the next 15 years if it is to meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goals, researchers said on Thursday.
EU carbon nudged up on Thursday as a strong auction spurred speculative buying, but the market’s failure to break above technical resistance around €5.42-44 sent prices back down amid late profit-taking.
Prices in the Guangdong emissions trading scheme have fallen by the maximum 10% for three days this week, followed by a further 8% dip on Thursday in what traders say is a move by some institutional investors aiming to build market positions at lower price levels.
South Korean CO2 allowances appear to have hit a momentary ceiling with prices slightly down on Thursday after the recent series of record highs, although observers expect the pause to be temporary unless the supply situation is fixed.
New Zealand carbon allowances edged upwards to hit a three-week high on Thursday as the spot contract is slowly gaining back lost ground after dipping below NZ$17 last week.
Two companies have joined forces to develop carbon offset projects that replace traditional New York City street food carts with low-carbon alternatives.
Mandatory and voluntary participants of Ontario’s recently launched cap-and-trade market need to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. US-based Tracy Kayhanfar, the Senior Director or Environmental Management with ConAgra Foods, describes some of the challenges they faced at the launch of California’s program and what lessons they take with them as they prepare to voluntarily participate in Ontario’s newly launched program.
**Argus Emissions Markets 2017: Prague, Feb. 28-Mar.2 – Join Ian Duncan, Rapporteur of the EU ETS and MEP, the European Commission, CEZ, Commerzbank, BP, SinoCarbon and other industry leaders, compliance buyers, global experts, regulators and market facilitators in a discussion on the development of emissions trading systems and climate finance. Visit the website**
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Conscious decoupling – US GDP is up 12% since 2007 while energy use is down 3.6%, according to analysis completed by BNEF, showing that the world’s largest economy is becoming increasingly decoupled from energy consumption. The report, prepared for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), concludes the ratio of US GDP to energy consumed has grown 16% in the last decade, as the use of renewable power has risen. (Utility Dive)
Lawyers, prepare your briefcases – The Center for Media and Democracy, represented by the ACLU, has filed a lawsuit against EPA Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt demanding the release of his correspondence with fossil fuel companies before his Senate confirmation hearing. The suit, filed Wednesday in an Oklahoma court, alleges Pruitt is in violation of the state’s Open Records Act and presses him to respond to outstanding open records requests to make the emails public. Another legal attack for the Trump administration on Wednesday was targeted at the president’s executive order demanding federal agencies cut two regulations for every new one issued. The Natural Resources Defense Council, Public Citizen, and the Communications Workers of America filed a joint lawsuit alleging that the order exceeds the president’s authority under the Constitution and that it “will block or force the repeal of regulations needed to protect health, safety, and the environment, across a broad range of topics—from automobile safety, to occupational health, to air pollution, to endangered species.” (Climate Nexus)
G20 gee-up – Germany will press the G20 to reaffirm its commitment to fighting climate change, along with promoting free trade and resisting currency wars when finance ministers meet next month for the first time since the election of Donald Trump. But sources said there was far more uncertainty than usual surrounding the drafting of the G20 communique because of the Trump administration’s confrontational rhetoric on trade and currencies, and its scepticism about whether humans are contributing to global warming. (Reuters)
Wind blows past coal in Europe… – Nearly 90% of new power added to European electricity grids last year came from renewable sources, trade body WindEurope said. Wind power overtook coal for the first time to become the EU’s second largest form of power capacity, and investment in the wind industry hit a record of €27.5 billion. Despite the positive numbers, officials expressed some concern that political ambition towards renewables may slow past 2020 when renewables targets in the EU are set to end. (The Guardian)
… But maybe not in the US – Coal production and the use of coal-fired energy in the US will rise slightly this year and next, according to the Energy Information Administration, as rising gas prices allow coal a slight resurgence. According to Utility Dive, the agency estimated that coal production will increase most in the Western region, rising from 407 million short tons in 2016 to 443 million in 2018. Coal’s share of the generation mix declined from 2008 to 2016, leading to gas exceeding coal’s share for the first time. EIA predicts construction of new gas plants will likely lead to gas’ long-term dominance.
Longer hours – New Zealand-based online trading platform Carbon Match will extend its hours from Friday, Feb. 10, it announced Thursday. From that date trading will be available each day from 1-5 PM local time, compared to 3-5 PM currently.
And finally… Don’t be afraid! – In a move reminiscent of US Senator Jim Inhofe’s 2015 snowball stunt, Australian Liberal MP Scott Morrison on Thursday brought a lump of coal to parliament. “This is coal,” he said, holding up the morsel. “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared.” He then proceeded to accuse the opposition Labor and Green parties of having an “ideological pathological fear of coal”. The stunt came as the government in recent days has stepped up its campaign to pressure state governments to scale down their renewable energy targets while pushing for fresh investments in “clean coal” technology. The Guardian has the video.
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