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An industry-funded research consortium on Wednesday backed the establishment of a new interconnected grid across north and east Asia, and eventually the world, that it said could bring CO2 emissions down to half of 1990 levels by 2050.
The introduction of South Africa’s long-awaited carbon tax looks doubtful this year after the government announced via its 2017 budget more delays and consultations for the bill.
Livestock facilities dominated in the latest issuance of California offsets, with all 149,200 credits handed out this week going to that project type.
EU carbon prices recovered from an early dip to stay above €5 on Wednesday as the market digested the last of four bloated UK auctions following London’s failed December sale.
Spain-based utility Iberdrola saw its thermal power output fall 1.4% in 2016, only slightly reducing its demand for EUAs after the closure of its Longannet coal-fired power plant in Scotland last March.
Carbon Pulse has hired a North American correspondent to help the news and intelligence provider establish a physical presence on the continent, which is home to a number of upcoming and burgeoning carbon pricing programmes.
**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**
**2017 Climate Leadership Conference: Chicago, Mar. 1-3 – Business, city, and organization leaders engaged in sustainability and climate action will share what they are doing to reduce emissions, deploy clean energy, and prepare for climate impacts. Come hear UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa as well as executives from AECOM, Apple, Bank of America, Edison Energy, Exelon, Ford, GE, GM, IBM, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, NRG, Pacific Gas & Electric, United Airlines. Visit the website**
**Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2017: San Francisco, Apr. 19-21 – NACW brings together the most active and influential players in North American climate policy and carbon markets to address the most pressing topics in domestic and international policy, subnational leadership, carbon markets, climate finance, and carbon management initiatives. Visit the website**
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cozy – While serving as Oklahoma’s attorney general, new EPA chief Scott Pruitt coordinated closely with fossil fuel companies and special interest groups working to undermine federal efforts to curb planet-warming carbon emissions, newly released emails show. More than 7,500 pages were released under court order on Tuesday after an Oklahoma judge ruled that Pruitt, who has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the EPA in his previous role, had for the last two years been illegally withholding his correspondence, which is public record under state law. According to AP, the emails show Pruitt and his staff coordinating their legal strategy with oil and gas industry executives and conservative advocacy groups funded by those profiting from fossil fuels, including the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch. Pruitt’s office was forced to release the emails after he was sued by the Center for Media and Democracy, a left-leaning advocacy group. Other emails are still being held back pending further review by the judge.
Wood would – High-rise wooden buildings are claiming a place on city skylines as the timber industry challenges the supremacy of concrete and steel. New, ultra-strong wood materials are creating a small but fast-growing market for timber used to build big, urban blocks. Production costs are currently 10-15% higher than conventional materials but proponents say this could fall under tougher climate policies as the method has a lower carbon footprint if derived from sustainable forests. (Reuters)
Rearguard action – US biofuels lobbying group Renewable Fuels Association said it is seeking to work with longtime rival the oil industry to fight the risk to both from subsidies for electric vehicles that threatens to cut demand for both renewable and conventional fuels. (Reuters)
US state rumble – California Senator Kevin de Leon has proposed legislation SB 584 that would require California to source all of its energy from renewables by 2045 and accelerate the state’s 2030 deadline of hitting 50% renewables to 2025. If passed, the legislation would put California in company with Hawaii, which is also seeking 100% renewables by 2045, and ahead of New York’s goal of 50% renewables by 2030. A similar bill was proposed last week in the Massachusetts legislature, which would transition the state to all renewable energy by 2050. (Climate Nexus)
That’s a lot of signatures – Nearly 550 health professionals, businesses, academics, elected officials, conservation, consumer and environmental groups and community leaders from nine northeastern US states have penned a letter calling on their governors to strengthen the RGGI market by doubling the current 2.5% decline in the scheme’s annual emissions cap.
And finally… Father help us – The ‘father of carbon trading’ Richard Sandor has a new book out, rehashing his monthly magazine columns under the title “How I See It”. In his fourth book, Sandor, a former Time Magazine “Hero of the Planet” who these days appears to be spending more time promoting his interbank lending exchange than saving the environment, “takes the reader on a journey from 1999 to 2005” and provides comprehensive historical analysis and commentary on environmental finance in the years following the signing of the Kyoto Protocol.
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