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New Zealand has submitted draft guidance to the UN on accounting procedures for international carbon trade under the Paris Agreement that would see annual publication of all transactions and tougher requirements for nations wishing to participate in a future market.
Restrictions on funding new coal-fired power plants using money from post-2020 EU ETS concessions to poorer member states are central to the European Parliament’s position on the bloc’s carbon market reform bill, the assembly’s lead negotiator told Carbon Pulse.
The EU Parliament on Wednesday urged Brussels to update the bloc’s low-carbon economy roadmap in 2018, putting pressure on officials to outline long-term climate targets that align with the requirements of the Paris Agreement.
EU carbon futures fell late to close at their lowest in nearly two weeks, despite rises across the rest of the European energy complex.
Airlines are divided as to whether the voluntary programmes they run to encourage passengers to offset their carbon footprint will dwindle or flourish as the international CORSIA compliance market takes shape.
Ontario on Wednesday proposed a regulation that would enable the creation of offsets for use in its provincial cap-and-trade programme, while launching a consultation on a revised draft of its landfill gas protocol.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Renewing forecasts – The world’s renewable energy capacity is set to rise 43% on today’s levels by 2022, the IEA said in a significant upward revision of its renewables projections from last year. This is largely because of increasing expansion of solar energy in China and India, it said in an annual report. Renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net capacity additions in 2016, with almost 165 GW coming online, the IEA added. A further 920GW of renewable capacity will be installed by 2022, though observers were quick to point out that actual growth in the sector regularly outpaces the agency’s forecasts. (Carbon Brief)
You were warned – The US EPA is on the verge of repealing the Clean Power Plan, according to a document seen by Reuters. Although expected, the move would put an end to previous President Barack Obama’s major climate policy initiative, though according to Reuters the agency will seek input from the power sector on what should replace it. According to a leaked document, the EPA will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ask for input as it considers “developing a rule similarly intended to reduce CO2 emissions from existing fossil fuel electric utility generating units,” though the consultation and subsequent rulemaking process could take years.
More pricing – The next German federal government should put a high priority on introducing a higher price on CO2 across all economic sectors and commence a fundamental reform of energy-related taxes and levies in Germany, if climate targets are to be taken seriously, according to a position paper (in German) by a group of scientists, economists and civil society actors. The group, which includes the heads of the German Energy Agency (dena) and think tank Agora Energiewende, proposes general reform guidelines such as a fairer distribution of costs to prevent carbon leakage, and to ensure reforms are compatible with EU regulations. The next coalition agreement should include a clear commitment to CO2 pricing based on these guidelines, and necessary measures must be implemented from 2018-19 on to ensure Germany reaches its 2030 and 2050 climate targets, the paper adds.
Changes in the northwest – The Washington state Department of Ecology is proposing updates to its greenhouse gas emission rate for power plants in order to align with state law and other regulations. Currently, this rule affects 10 facilities and can potentially affect any new facilities that meet specific criteria outlined in Ecology’s Greenhouse Gas Performance Standard rule. These power plants can emit up to 1,100 pounds of GHGs/MW. The DoE is proposing to reduce this to 970 pounds to align its standards with a lower emission rate already required by the Washington Department of Commerce. The 10 power plants would have to begin complying with the lower emission performance standard when they change ownership, undergo modifications, or sign new long-term contracts to purchase power or power plants. Other changes in Ecology’s proposal include testing calculations and technical clarifications. The public is invited to review and comment now through Nov. 14.
And finally… Welcome to Pruitt’s swamp – EPA chief Scott Pruitt is facing increasing scrutiny over his travel, spending and leadership styles following a series of damning media reports this week. The New York Times and The Washington Post both took a close look at a newly released version of Pruitt’s travel and meeting schedule through May, finding that his agenda was packed with industry meetings that often directly preceded industry-friendly policy shifts from the agency. And while the White House told Politico it’s not as concerned with Pruitt’s $58k taxpayer-funded travel bill versus former HHS Secretary Tom Price’s lavish spending, outsiders still see Pruitt’s penchant for private flights as suspect, especially as he moves to aggressively cut the EPA’s budget. The increased attention on his cozy relationship with polluters doesn’t seem to have fazed Pruitt: the agency announced Tuesday it will revive a program to partner with industries and allow input on regulatory policy that concerns them. (Climate Nexus)
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