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RGGI states are considering a combination of post-2020 measures to strengthen the power-only carbon market, rather than focusing solely on the annual cap cut, officials said Tuesday, mapping out what they hope will be the concluding stages of the long-running programme review.
EU lawmakers will continue trilogue negotiations to finalise the post-2020 EU ETS reform bill next month, with Estonia taking charge of the Council after four hours of closed-door talks on Tuesday failed to achieve a deal.
European carbon prices jumped back towards €5 on Tuesday afternoon in what appeared to be another bout of late-day speculative activity rather than reaction to negotiations over post-2020 EU ETS reforms.
China’s national emissions trading scheme is likely to be roughly in balance in its first year due to the planned allocation process, but there are some distortions that could leave companies vulnerable to carbon leakage, said analysts at Thomson Reuters.
New Zealand carbon allowances jumped 1.8% in Tuesday trade as diminishing supply forced bids higher.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Easy target – Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks has shunned calls for making a clear commitment to initialising the country’s exit from coal-fired power production. At a press conference by government members of her Social Democratic Party (SPD), Hendricks said it was “too easy” to look only at the power sector when it comes to fulfilling Germany’s emissions reduction goals. Germany had made significant progress in curbing emissions in the power sector while the “true laggards” in CO2 reduction could be found in the agricultural and transport sector, for which responsibility rests with the conservative (CDU/CSU)-led ministries, she said. But the Green Party, on which the SPD pins its hopes for forming a new coalition government after September’s elections, is campaigning on a 2030 coal exit and immediately shutting down Germany’s 20 most polluting coal plants. (Clean Energy Wire)
Building the market – China and Norway have signed a bilateral deal to cooperate on climate change issues, the Norwegian government announced Tuesday. As part of the agreement, Norway will continue its support in building the Chinese national emissions trading scheme, for which Norway has helped develop the permit registry. The two will also work together on emission cuts from sectors such as cement production.
Climate conundrum – Growth in atmospheric CO2 levels has slightly slowed in 2017 after record rates in 2015 and 2016. But scientists are concerned about the cause of the rapid rises because the amount of CO2 being pumped into the air seems to have stabilised in recent years, at least judging from the data that countries compile on their own emissions. That raises a conundrum: If the amount of the gas being emitted has stopped rising, how can the amount that stays in the air be going up faster than ever? Does it mean the natural sponges that have been absorbing CO2 are now changing? The New York Times explores.
Solar push – China’s Guangdong province has approved a second methodology under its PHCER programme. The move allows small-scale rooftop solar panels below 5 MW to earn carbon credits that can be used for voluntary purposes or in the regional ETS. To be eligible, reductions must have taken place no earlier than 2015, and the crediting period has been set to 15 years.
RIsing to the occasion – Rhode Island’s House Committee on the Environment heard two bills on June 27 that focus on climate mitigation. H6305 and S108 instruct the state Climate Change Coordinating Council to study a carbon tax and dividend program. However, bills (H5369 and S365) that propose a state carbon-pricing program have stalled in committee. (EcoRI)
And finally… Out of colours – With temperatures reaching a near-record high of 119F (48C) in Arizona last week, TV meteorologists were left with no option but to indicate extreme temperatures on the weather map using the colour green. “All of the orange and red shades are used. The next stage of heat, depicted by what I would call violet colours, is blown right through on this temperature map. I guess finally you get so hot you turn green,” said meteorologist Mark Torregrossa. Torregrossa explained to Quartz that maps typically use shades of warm, yellow-based colours (oranges, reds, earthy browns) to denote warm and hot weather, but with near-record temperatures in California, Nevada, and Arizona last week, meteorologists have exhausted their ‘colour box’. Australia faced a similar problem during a punishing heatwave in 2013 when the Bureau of Meteorology decided to add bright purple and hot pink to their spectrum to indicate areas cooking in 125-129F (52-54C) temperatures.
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