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There are currently more than 1.69 billion allowances in circulation in the EU ETS, the European Commission said late Friday, reporting for the first time the annual figure that will determine how much spare supply is to be absorbed by the bloc’s Market Stability Reserve.
The Dutch government has endorsed a domestic offsetting initiative that aims to develop carbon-cutting projects in non-ETS sectors while encouraging corporations, individuals and local governments to buy the voluntary credits generated.
EU member states have handed out a further 10.11 million free EUAs for 2017 over the past fortnight, with laggard Italy making up the bulk of that, data published by the European Commission on Friday showed.
EUAs briefly extended their 2017 low on Friday after Germany’s spot auction cleared at the biggest discount to the secondary market in more than two months, and although prices later swung to positive they still notched a 2.6% weekly loss.
Italian utility Enel reported a mixed hedging picture in Europe for the first quarter as an increase in thermal generation upped its overall demand for carbon units.
The Fujian Sanming Steel Group has signed contracts with two trading firms to handle 4 million CO2 allowances on its behalf as market participants look for profit opportunities in China’s newest regional carbon market just a month before its compliance deadline.
New Zealand carbon allowances on Friday closed in the lower end of their recent range as a lack of demand ahead of the upcoming compliance deadline has left the market feeling moribund.
The Clean Energy Regulator issued 451,811 new Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) this week as a lack of major projects meant volumes came down somewhat from last week’s spike.
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.
A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, based on voluntary market data provided by Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX).
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Thawing rhetoric – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a statement recognising the Paris Agreement on climate change at a meeting of Arctic nations in Alaska yesterday, but he said the US was not rushing to decide whether to leave or weaken its pledge. The nine-page joint Arctic Council statement renewed calls for the world to address climate change. Finland, which has taken over from the US as chair of the council, voiced concern over the US and Russia “not sharing the view that climate change is happening or is manmade”. But Tillerson said the Arctic “has been facing unprecedented change and challenges,” and added that the US is taking the time to understand the concerns of fellow members of the Arctic Council. (Carbon Brief)
Strong and early – The EU and China will bring forward their annual summit a few weeks and include a strong statement in support of the Paris Agreement, Reuters reported, judging that the news required confirmation from four separate anonymous EU officials. This year’s summit is planned for June 2, earlier than the usual mid-July slot.
Red alert – China has suspended the construction of new coal-fired power plants in 29 of its 32 provinces, Reuters reported. A government warning system for potential over-capacity issued red alerts for 25 of them and yellow alerts for another four, sparking the National Energy Administration to step on the brakes. Many of the regions were also in danger of missing government pollution targets.
Raising risk – The US intelligence community’s annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment”, published yesterday, warns that climate change is raising the risk of instability and conflict around the world, reports Mashable. The assessment makes a series of statements regarding known climate change impacts, despite the Trump administration’s hostility towards climate science. However, the report also says: “We assess national security implications of climate change but do not adjudicate the science of climate change.” (Carbon Brief)
Another phase-out – The German federal economy ministry plans to phase out support for heating systems that run entirely on fossil fuels by 2020 as part of its new “Energy efficiency and heat from renewable energies” strategy, with industry opposition to the plans inevitable, Handelsblatt reports. The government aims to “clean up the current parallel, and sometimes muddled” support for energy efficiency measures in buildings. In a press release, state secretary Rainer Baake said the plans “implemented an important measure of Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050,” but it remains to be seen if the strategy will be carried through by a new government after the federal elections in September. Meanwhile, utilities lobby BDEW said Berlin is taking the wrong approach, as modern natural gas heating systems have played a major role in reducing CO2 emissions. (Clean Energy Wire)
Cancelled – Australian Paper has cancelled nearly 61,000 CERs from a number of wind projects in India to offset its 2016 emissions.
And finally… How would you like your pintos grilled? – A ‘beans for beef’ policy in the US – in which beans replace beef in the national diet – could achieve 46-74% of the emission cuts needed to meet its 2020 target, a new study found. The researchers calculate the difference in GHGs resulting from the replacement of beef with beans in terms of both calories and protein. The shift would also free up 42% of US cropland – equivalent to almost 700,000 square kilometres of land. (Carbon Brief)
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