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EU nations are broadly supportive of a measure to safeguard the EU ETS against an uncoordinated Brexit but will seek changes and further debate before adopting it, EU sources said Tuesday.
The EU Chamber of Commerce in China on Tuesday raised a number of concerns regarding issues it said might prevent China’s national emissions trading scheme from working properly.
China’s national emissions trading scheme is set to regulate around 70% of CO2 emissions from the nation’s rapidly expanding oil sector, according to an industry association.
Scrapping the New Zealand emissions trading scheme in favour of a carbon tax would still leave the nation’s GHG reduction achievements dependant on political will, while possibly delaying those cuts and damaging government credibility, a group of MPs have been told.
New Zealand carbon allowances fell 10 cents on Tuesday to close at a three-week low as traders have grown somewhat cautious over the outcome of the upcoming election.
European carbon prices recovered most of the 5% decline posted over the past two trading days, climbing on Tuesday on news of increased risks to French nuclear supply to close above €7 in a choppy, heavily-traded session.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cities, states take the wheel – State action and local leadership on climate is taking the spotlight in the UN talks this week in the absence of action on climate from the Trump administration. Following weekend reports that the White House could be wavering on its Paris position, White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn said he reaffirmed the president’s commitment to exiting the agreement in a breakfast meeting with climate ministers on Monday. Governor Jerry Brown of California, meanwhile, took meetings with several international officials and national leaders, while Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago also announced that the city had cut emissions by 11% over 10 years and will host heads of cities at a Dec. 4-5 climate summit. (Climate Nexus)
All’s not lost? – The Paris Agreement’s ambitious aim of limiting global warming to less than 1.5C remains in reach, a new scientific analysis shows. It was widely seen as impossible because analysis at the time indicated it required GHG emissions to fall to zero within seven years. However, an updated analysis using the latest data shows the global carbon emissions budget that meets the 1.5C goal is significantly bigger than thought, equivalent to 20 years of current annual emissions. (The Guardian)
Big difference – The Norwegian government is offering two tax breaks for petroleum firms that, at an oil price of $70 per barrel, will increase the country’s oil production by 8 billion barrels over the coming years while causing additional emissions of 2.3 billion tonnes of CO2, according to a report by the Stockholm Environment Institute. Even at $50, the tax breaks would cause production of an additional 6 billion barrels, SEI said, arguing that without the breaks, most new licensed fields in Norway would not be developed.
You’re blowing it for us! – Energy companies that stunned the world by offering to build wind farms with no subsidy may ruin the industry’s reputation by never actually delivering on their promises. That’s the warning of industry executives, who are cautious about the future of zero-subsidy offshore wind farms planned in Germany this year. Developers led by EnBW Dong are betting they can sell the electricity they produce from the wind farms at a profit without any help from taxpayers. “The offshore wind industry needs to be careful,” Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president at Statoil’s New Energy Solutions unit, said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in London on Tuesday. “They’re taking on these options, and when you get to the delivery date, if they’re not able to build the projects, it will ruin the reputation of the industry.” (Bloomberg)
Penned with oil – The previous BC government consulted with the oil and gas industry to modify recommendations made by the province’s Climate Leadership Team, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Former Premier Christy Clark unveiled the updated policy in Aug. 2016 after her government held several meetings with oil and gas companies in the Calgary offices of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. On BC’s carbon tax, which the CLT had urged the province to increase it so it would continue to lower emissions, the industry participants gave feedback on “how much, how fast,” with the final policy resulting it the levy remaining frozen at C$30/tonne. (Metro)
More blockchain – Another blockchain-based carbon credit venture has been launched this week, according to Business Green. Using blockchain platform stellar.org, Swiss organisation Poseidon will offer trade in voluntary carbon credits delivered by Ecosphere+, a project developer that offers VCS-accredited offsets.
Playing both sides – Twenty-seven major US businesses, including companies such as Google, Bank of America, Coca-Cola and PayPal, have earned praise for defending the Paris Agreement and championing the international fight against climate change. Yet they also fund the Republican Attorneys General Association, which was instrumental in killing off the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, the most comprehensive climate policy ever introduced in the US, according to this report from the Center of Public Integrity.
BHP breaks with minerals lobby – Australia-based global mining company BHP Billiton on Tuesday broke with the Minerals Council of Australia (and the right wing of the ruling government) to support the introduction of a Clean Energy Target. The company today committed to publishing a list of material differences in climate and energy policy between it and the industry associations to which it belongs, after pressure from a small group of shareholders, reported The Australian.
Les certificats blancs – Powernext has been appointed by the French government as the new operator of the National Registry of Energy Savings Certificates. Powernext takes over to Locasystem International, which has been the registry operator since the scheme was launched in 2006. The programme is based on three-year periods for which the government sets an energy saving objective and assigns individual shares to energy suppliers. Powernext’s term will run from 2018 to 2022.
Cancelled – Almost 416,500 South Korean CERs from two N2O nitric acid plants were cancelled this week by the UNFCCC to allow owner Hu-Chems Fine Corp to convert the units into credits for use in the country’s domestic ETS. A further 10,000 CERs from a South Korean wind farm were cancelled to offset the carbon footprint of the 2018 Winter Olympics being held in Pyeongchang. According to Carbon Pulse calculations, the move brings the total number of CERs voluntarily annulled to 943,000.
And finally… The Art of the Stall – By now, everyone and their grandparents know that President Trump is “open” to staying in the Paris Agreement if the US can secure better terms. However, what exactly that means is likely unknown to all except the man himself, as the Trump administration won’t or can’t elaborate, instead defaulting to the most general of generalities. According to Axios, the information void makes it impossible, for now, for the international community to assess whether there’s really a pathway here, and indeed whether it’s one worth walking down. “[Details] are not emerging behind the scenes either. Nobody [we have] spoken with has picked up on any signs of a tangible position behind the White House claim that the US is open to staying on more favourable terms (especially given that the agreement is largely non-binding and countries set their own emissions targets anyway).” Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis, who worked on climate policy at the State Department under Presidents Clinton and Bush II and later advised Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, added: “There’s no real evidence that they are actively pursuing that theoretical opening that the president provided … There has been no cabinet-level or high-level process to define ‘the ask’ of the international community.”
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