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China aims to begin allocating CO2 permits for its national emissions trading scheme in April and to have the system ready in late July, sources said, adding that they see November as a realistic start date despite government officials not yet committing to a launch date.
The UK’s hardline approach to leaving the EU has upped the chances that British emitters will also exit the bloc’s carbon market, and the government’s recent track record suggests a move away from emissions trading altogether.
Governments are wrongly assuming that burning wood for power is carbon neutral, according to a new report adding to mounting evidence that could have drastic consequences for meeting Paris Agreement goals and for utilities counting on the fuel source to hit emission targets such as those under the EU ETS.
California lawmakers float bills to protect against Trump climate regs rollback, shield whistleblowers
California lawmakers have introduced a trio of bills aimed in part at maintaining the state’s current environmental standards should the Trump Administration attempt to weaken or cancel federal rules.
A new network of CO2 pipelines could reduce US oil imports by 22% and increase domestic production by 375 million barrels of oil per year, according to a multi-state white paper published Thursday.
EU carbon prices jumped 5.5% on Thursday, emphatically breaking above a technical downtrend under which they had been pinned since the start of the year.
At least five Polish cities are in the running to host the UN’s COP24 climate talks in 2018, but a pair in the country’s coal-mining hub of Silesia appear to be the leading candidates.
**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
Pocket change – Ireland can just about feasibly reach the 2030 carbon emission reduction targets set by the EU, but to do so would require an investment of €35 billion over the next 13 years, according to the Irish Academy of Engineering. In a new report, the IAE said the actual bill could be significantly higher as it is not possible to estimate the cost of reducing emissions in particular sectors due to a lack of data. (RTE)
Turkish delight (for green groups) – Turkey’s Izdemir coal power station opened in Apr. 2014. Now, a Turkish court has revoked its environmental permit, and without it the 350MW generator cannot legally run, Climate Home reports. The judge cited its impact on the ancient Aeolian city of Kyme, a nearby archaeological site that has yet to be fully excavated. Three other coal power projects in the Aliaga region have been shelved or cancelled in the face of local opposition. It is part of a wave of litigation campaigners hope will stop Turkey’s dash for coal in its tracks. Straddling Asia and Europe, the country has around 70 coal plants in planning and construction, the world’s third biggest pipeline after China and India.
Singapore ding – Oil majors Shell and Exxon could see a 10-15% hit to profit margins at their Singapore refineries when the city state imposes a S$10-20/tonne carbon tax in 2019, according to Sushant Gupta, refining and chemicals research director at Wood Mackenzie. Gupta told CNBC the “increase in cost from this carbon tax regulation could be between $0.40 and $0.70 per barrel coming from the refining sector. By 2019, we expect gross refinery margins to be $4 to $5 per barrel, so the profit margins could be impacted by 10-to-15%.”
Still anti-tax – After almost two months of living with the province’s carbon tax, some 64% of Albertans remain opposed to the new C$20/tonne levy and about half say it’s had a major impact on their lives, according to a new poll. The Mainstreet Research survey shows that opposition to the tax has actually ebbed slightly compared with a similar poll in Dec. 2015, shortly after the climate plan was unveiled, which showed 66% opposition. The latest poll reveals 34% of respondents support the tax, compared to 29% in late 2015.
And finally… Different CEO, same tax – In his first blog post since succeeding Rex Tillerson, the new head of Exxon Mobil has called for a carbon tax to help combat climate change. Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said a revenue-neutral carbon tax “would promote greater energy efficiency and the use of today’s lower-carbon options, avoid further burdening the economy, and also provide incentives for markets to develop additional low-carbon energy solutions for the future,” Bloomberg reports. The comments, which mirror statements made by Tillerson during his time at Exxon’s helm, are the first from the new company boss since he took office last month, and are not overly surprising as a carbon tax would benefit Exxon’s natural gas operations at the expense of the coal industry.
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