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Nordic nations should introduce a carbon price floor if EU ETS reforms fail to boost prices by enough to stimulate low-carbon investment, an advisory report found.
The Dutch government said it will explore ways of continuing its ROAD pilot CCS project without partner utilities Engie and Uniper, which said they would pull out.
EU carbon prices held on to the previous session’s gains on Wednesday to stay just below €5 as higher power prices and a late buying spurt lent support.
California’s Air Resources Board issued 220,000 offset to just two projects in the state’s latest handout.
New Zealand carbon prices jumped for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, pushing above NZ$17 ($12.36) for the first time in five weeks.
**Save €200 with the Super Early Bird discount – Register by Friday** – CARBON FORWARD 2017 takes place Sep. 26-28 in Canary Wharf, London. The two-day conference (Sep. 27-28) is being held at the 5-star Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel, while the venue for the pre-conference Training Day (Sep. 26) is nearby and will be announced shortly.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cash cow – Revenues from EU ETS auctions or high-emission car levies could be considered as revenues for the EU budget, according to the fifth and final reflection paper from the European Commission’s budget and regional policy chiefs. But ETS revenues are currently highly prized by member states, making this a thorny issue. The discussion papers are intended to frame talks between the commissioners due next year on the post-2020 budget, which will follow in the wake of the €1 trillion 2014-2020 budget but could be revamped substantially following the UK’s exit and new priorities of migration, security, and defense.
UK action – The UK government’s long-awaited “Clean Growth Plan” on how it will meet its 2028-2032 carbon budget will be made public after the summer recess, according to newly-appointed climate minister Claire Perry. She told Parliament the plan will be released after Sept. 5 and she suggested she will explore whether it can be made more ambitious. (BusinessGreen)
German levy – All German energy-related taxes and levies should be substituted by a gradually increasing national price on greenhouse gas emissions, according to a proposal by the newly-founded association for a national CO₂ levy. The association aims to feed into and advance the debate on a climate levy. Its membership comprises individuals and more than 40 companies. (Frankfurter Rundschau, Clean Energy Wire)
CO2-free steel – Vattenfall, steel manufacturer SSAB, and mining company LKAB have formed a joint venture to continue to drive the Hybrit initiative, which is seeking to develop a steel-making process that emits water instead of CO2. The three companies will each own one third of the company, which aims to replace the blast furnace process that uses coal and coke with a process based on hydrogen gas. The initiative is divided into three phases: a preliminary study up to the end of 2017, followed by research and pilot plant trials up to 2024. Finally, up to 2035 the plan is to perform trials in a full-scale demonstration facility. The JV has started a recruitment process to appoint a chief executive. (reNews)
Reprieve on the reservation – The Navajo generating station, the biggest coal-fired power plant in the western US, will live to see another two years, Bloomberg reports. On Monday, Navajo Nation leaders approved a lease with the plant’s utility owners that will keep the ailing, 2,250MW operating through Dec. 2019. The agreement was the Navajo Nation’s last hope in keeping the coal plant located on reservation land in the Four Corners area of Arizona running for a little while longer. The new lease would preserve more than 800 jobs at the power plant and coal mine that supplies it.
All clean, all the time – A Chinese province with a population of 5.8 million has run entirely on renewable energy for seven days in a row as part of a test to show if the electricity grid can cope without fossil fuels. Hydro-electric schemes provided more than 72% of the electricity in Qinghai between June 17-23, with wind and solar supplying most of the rest, according to Climate Action, a group which works with UNEP to share knowledge about new technologies that can help combat climate change. (Carbon Brief)
Green ambassador – Canada has appointed a new ambassador responsible for climate change, as the US readies to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed veteran diplomat Jennifer MacIntyre to serve as his advocate for Canada’s climate change priorities on the world stage, “including the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement.” MacIntyre will also be tasked with building Canada’s international relationships on the climate change file, including promoting Canadian clean technology businesses abroad.
Carbon creditz for kidz – Estonia has earmarked €12.1 million in proceeds from carbon credit sales towards renovating kindergartens to make them more energy efficient. It’s not clear whether the government was referring to AAUs or EUAs.
And finally… Want to work in coal? Best hone up on your video game skills – While on the campaign trail in West Virginia last year, Donald Trump donned a hardhat and pantomimed digging coal with a shovel. The coal miners in the audience would soon be back to work, he promised. The only problem: Coal miners no longer swing a pickax or wield a shovel. While coal companies are hiring again, executives are starting to search for workers who can crunch gigabytes of data or use a joystick to manoeuvre mining vehicles hundreds of miles away, Bloomberg reports. “If you do PlayStation, you can run a 300-ton truck,” said Douglas Blackburn, a fourth-generation miner himself who runs the industry consultancy Blackacre LLC. For an industry once notorious for its risks, “the worst that can happen is you sprain a thumb.”
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