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Allowances in South Korea’s emissions trading scheme fell nearly 10% on Friday after government officials said they would closely monitor the “abnormal” price levels to make sure there was no market manipulation.
Guangdong is eager to launch offset futures contracts eligible for the national emissions trading scheme as a first step towards setting up a carbon futures exchange, the provincial government said.
EU carbon prices dipped on Friday to leave prices slightly below last week’s levels as traders remained cautious ahead of a crunch EU Parliament vote.
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.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Survey says… – The majority of Americans oppose President Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate environmental regulations that combat climate change, according to a new poll, underscoring skepticism about an oft-repeated promise the campaign trail. According to Time Magazine, The Quinnipiac University poll shows that 61% of Americans oppose removing regulations that combat climate change, with remaining 29% supporting the rollback. Trump has aggressively pursued deregulation in the environmental area during his first weeks in office, working with Congress to undo a slew of rules recently implemented under former President Barack Obama. The Clean Power Plan, Obama’s most significant domestic measure to fight climate change, remains on the books, though Trump promised during the campaign to undo it. The poll also found that 50% of Americans oppose reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, compared to 40% who support the pipelines.
Green light – Work has restarted on the controversial Dakota Access crude oil pipeline in North Dakota, according to Energy Transfer Partners, the company leading the $3.8 billion project. The US Army Corps of Engineers granted a crucial permit, known as an “easement”, following an order last month from President Trump that work on the final section of the pipeline should get underway. Energy Transfer says it expects to have the pipeline in service by the end of June, having received all the federal authorisations it needs “to proceed expeditiously”. The pipeline, which will be able to carry up to 570,000 barrels of crude per day, faces further legal challenges and protests because of the long-term implications for GHG emissions and the risks of spills. New court action is expected from the Native American Standing Rock tribe on the grounds that the pipeline violates their treaty rights, though legal experts suggest they face long odds in convincing any court to halt work on the pipeline. (Climate Nexus)
Two schemes? – German Green MEP Michael Cramer, speaking during a panel session at the inaugural Airlines for Europe (A4E) Aviation Summit in Brussels on Wednesday, said it was likely the European Parliament would vote to continue with the EU ETS alongside ICAO’s new global offset mechanism CORSIA, raising the prospect of European airlines having to comply with two different carbon trading schemes, GreenAir Online reports. But Lufthansa’s Carsten Spohr said the A4E group’s expectations are that CORSIA will replace the ETS as of 2021. “European operators cannot, and shall not, be burdened and regulated twice,” he said. The European Commission has proposed to continue its scheme for intra-European flights until at least 2020. Meanwhile at the Vatican, Pope Francis has told an audience of 1,000 social economy entrepreneurs from around the world that paying compensation for air travel carbon emissions was hypocrisy. “Planes pollute the atmosphere but with a fraction of the ticket price, trees are planted to compensate for the damage inflicted,” German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. “If this logic was to be applied, one day it would get to a point when armament companies set up hospitals for those children who fell victim to their bombs.”
Vive en France! – The favourite to win this year’s French presidential elections has invited climate scientists and clean energy entrepreneurs to quit the US and move to France, in a message posted on Twitter on Thursday night, Climate Home reports. Emmanuel Macron, a former finance minister who has set up his En Marche party to run for the Elysee Palace, delivered a strong rebuke to president Donald Trump’s administration – which looks set to cull climate politics and funding.
Enough is enough – Clive Hamilton on Friday resigned from his role as member of the Climate Change Authority, an advisory body to the Australian government. Hamilton, an ethics professor at Charles Stuart University, slammed the Coalition government for its recent push to build new coal plants while trying to subdue state renewable targets. In a letter to Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg he called the plan “perverse” and said it is “crystal clear that the government has no interest in sensible climate change policy” and that it has “abandoned all pretence of taking global warming seriously”. (Fairfax)
No New Hampxit from RGGI for now – A New Hampshire bill that would force the state out of RGGI has been put on hold until the state gets further clarity about federal environmental regulations, the bill’s author Michael Harrington said Friday. The bill received little support during a hearing this week.
Revenues reinvested – Package and tissue product maker Cascades will receive $5.2 million in carbon market auction revenues from the Quebec government to invest in an energy efficiency project that will modify two of its residual forest biomass boiler units converted to cut down on heavy fuel oil consumption at its Cabano plant.
Cancelled – Nearly 160,000 CERs from three Chinese wind projects were cancelled this week by voluntary market form ClimateCare on behalf of oil & gas services provider Swire Pacific Offshore Operations.
And finally… Sailing by – Bloomberg profiles Ted Halstead, the ‘social entrepreneur’ who ended five years sailing around the world to helm the Climate Leadership Council, the latest attempt to get US Republicans on board with carbon pricing. (Read our take on their White House meeting this week). His team claim the plan would reduce emissions twice as much as Obama-era regulations.
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