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German-headquartered energy exchange operator EEX Group and newcomers IncubEx plan to launch a suite of environmental derivatives products next year, including US carbon contracts and hurricane futures.
Australia’s Queensland state saw deforestation rates increase by 33% last year, causing greenhouse gas emissions of 45 million tonnes of CO2e, the state government said Thursday, exceeding the amount the country’s domestic carbon offset programme has saved since it was introduced six years ago.
New Zealand carbon permits notched a third straight day of gains on Thursday, reaching their highest levels since Sep. 25 as some buyers were slowly returning to market despite the fact that the election outcome remains unknown.
European carbon prices closed little changed on Thursday despite a strong auction and after climbing back from a one-week low.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Lifted by giants – Global clean energy investment jumped 40% year-on-year in Q3 2017, helped by seven giant wind projects in the US, Mexico, the UK, Germany, China and Australia, according to the latest figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). American Electric Power’s investment of $4.5 billion in Invenergy’s 2GW Wind Catcher project in the Oklahoma Panhandle, to be completed in 2020, was the largest investment last quarter. The project will have 800 turbines connected to population centres via a 350-mile high-voltage power line. On the downside VC/PE funding was down 79% to only $662 million from a very strong period a year earlier. July-September 2017 was the weakest quarter for this type of investment since 2005.
Big savings – Global investment in energy efficiency increased by 9% in 2016 to $231 billion, with China showing the strongest growth but Europe responsible for the largest share of funding, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report on Thursday. Absent efficiency gains since 2000, the world would have used 12% more energy, the “equivalent to adding another European Union to the global energy market,” it added. Improvements in energy efficiency helped households worldwide save up to 30% of their annual energy budget last year. Savings of between 10-30% were made around the world as global energy intensity – the amount of energy used per unit of GDP – fell by 1.8%, the IEA said.
Not giving up – A US federal court ordered the Trump administration Wednesday to reinstate an Obama-era methane rule it stayed this summer – the same day the Interior Department made a different kind of legal attempt to further delay the rule’s implementation. The Bureau of Land Management stayed the regulations on oil and gas producers in June, following a failed vote in the Senate to repeal the rule under the Congressional Review Act. However, a California judge ruled this week that the administration had not offered sufficient reasoning for the stay, and ordered the rule to be reinstated immediately. Despite this setback, the DOI is still working furiously to ensure emitters get plenty of leeway: the agency proposed Wednesday further delaying the rule’s Jan. 2018 compliance date under a different legal provision than the one in the judge’s ruling as it works to permanently rewrite or rescind the rule. (Climate Nexus)
New metric – Eight US Senate Democrats today are introducing a bill – the Transparent Pollution Accounting Act – that would standardize the metric used across the federal government to quantify the cost of climate pollution, Politico reports. The Trump administration suspended use of the existing social cost of carbon earlier this year, prompting the need for a codified value, the Democrats argue.
60 and counting – There are now 60 members of the US House Climate Solutions Caucus with the additions of Represenatives Pete Aguilar and Mimi Walters, though the group’s objectives remain unclear.
Highway CO2 rules take the off-ramp – The US Federal Highway Administration on Wednesday said it plans to rescind a rule designed to lower CO2 emissions on national highways, Law360 reports ($). The move comes after the agency recently agreed to reinstate deadlines for the rule, also called the greenhouse gas rule, in response to litigation from environmental advocates who claimed the administration illegally suspended the standard without notice. After the FHWA withdrew the deadline suspension, it promised to formally rescind the entire rule in short order.
Patent pending – CO2 emissions reduction technology firm dynaCERT has filed an application in the US for a patent on its ‘systems and methods for tracking greenhouse gas emissions associated with an entity’. “DynaCERT now has the state-of-the-art capability to accurately track, measure and report on greenhouse gas emissions associated with many proponents operating in a diverse set of trades such as residential, industrial, commercial, power generation, railway, marine, aviation, on/off road and agricultural applications,” it said in a press release. The data collected will be used to determine the amount of carbon credits that can be certified, and to do so more quickly than current methods to analyst and report emissions, which the firm said rely on receiving data from users. “Consequently, the conventional systems are typically inaccurate and inefficient and often cannot stand to audit nor reliability.” “This is another milestone achieved in our quest to be a global leader in tracking carbon credits and carbon emission reduction technologies.” Jim Payne, president & CEO of dynaCERT.
Shouldn’t it be ‘Fewer Emissions’? – Air Canada has announced a new partnership with offset provider Less Emissions, which will allow passengers to neutralise their carbon footprints. Flyers will be able to choose between Gold Standard credits from international projects, or Canadian-sourced offsets certified by VER+.
And finally… Didn’t they view the place beforehand? – For a group that champions fossil fuels, the American Petroleum Institute has chosen a pretty green place to live. The industry association said Tuesday it’s moving into a new eco-friendly HQ with a green roof and designated parking for fuel-efficient vehicles and bicycles. The LEED-certified building in downtown Washington DC also has a grey-water irrigation system, a centralized system to collect and store recyclables, and an “EchoChimney” to keep the building’s emissions clean, according to API, which lobbies on behalf of oil drillers, refiners and other contributors to climate change. “Our new home will be state-of-the-art in green and other technologies, and it will reflect our members’ efforts to innovate, improve the environment, and reduce emissions,” API CEO Jack Gerard said in a statement. (Bloomberg)
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