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EU negotiators will have another attempt to strike a deal on a post-2020 EU ETS reform bill on Nov. 8, the EU Presidency confirmed on Thursday, a week after the previous marathon trilogue negotiation round ended in stalemate.
The Netherlands’ move to impose a carbon price floor on its power sector may give the Dutch a clearer conscience on climate action, but it is unlikely to prove effective at reducing EU emissions because neighbouring countries are not expected to follow suit.
European carbon hit a fresh 21-month high on Thursday before profit-taking and jitters linked to the EU’s Brexit-proofing amendment set in and knocked more than 5% off prices.
The UK has scheduled three further EUA auctions before the end of the year, sale hosts ICE Futures Europe announced on Thursday.
New Zealand’s coalition talks concluded Thursday with a new government led by a Labour Party that went to the polls promising to reform the nation’s emissions trading scheme, but it is unclear if this will happen because coalition partner NZ First wants to ditch the scheme.
Offset prices are likely to be far higher after 2020 than they have been so far and won’t necessarily provide a low-cost option for electricity retailers covered by Australia’s proposed energy policy, an industry group warned.
Carbon market supporters are rallying in Ontario to attempt to prevent the Progressive Conservatives from scrapping the province’s cap-and-trade programme if they win next year’s election.
RGGI prices edged lower this week as buyers appeared to retreat, while a small rally in California looked stalled on Thursday.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Bogus bonhomie in Bonn – The US administration will arrive at next month’s UN climate talks in Bonn aiming to negotiate the terms of a deal they say they’re walking away from, the New York Times reports. “Like a spouse who demands a divorce but then continues to live at home, the relationship between the United States and other parties to the Paris Agreement is, at best, awkward.” The two-week session promises to be a volatile mix of anger toward the US for declaring its intention to withdraw from the accord, coupled with lingering hope it might stay. Whether the US will indeed leave the international accord will probably remain unanswered for some time.
Procuring passion – California is making groundbreaking moves to cut emissions from building materials like steel, glass and insulation via the AB 262 law signed this week. It requires state agencies to consider embedded emissions in building materials used for state projects and for contractors bidding on these projects to submit emissions data for construction materials. Around 6% of US CO2 emissions are due to embedded emissions from imported materials. Supporters say California’s move sets an example for other jurisdictions on how to consider cutting these embedded emissions. (LA Times)
Renewing access – The number of people globally who lack electricity is shrinking, despite rising population levels, according to an IEA special report on energy access. The report shows the number of people without access to power will shrink by another third by 2030, with 60% of these gains supplied by renewables. Furthermore, if the world commits to providing universal access by 2030, then renewables would bridge 90% of the remaining gap, the IEA added. (Carbon Brief)
Dutch miss – The Netherlands will miss its 2020 EU renewables and emissions targets despite new investments in wind power, according to a government review. Based on current projections, green schemes will produce 12.4% of the Dutch energy supply by that year, below a 14% target agreed with the EU. Emissions are due to fall 23% from 1990 levels, missing a 25% agreed in the Kyoto Protocol, it added. Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp said the projections had improved since last year, due to “the successful roll-out of wind energy on the sea”. (Reuters)
Amazon gone – Brazil’s Temer government claimed a victory as the country’s deforestation rate declines slightly, but green groups said the announcement was no cause for celebration as the Brazilian Amazon lost 6,624 sq km of forest between Aug. 2016 and July 2017, an area about twice the City of London. Temer’s administration said the 16% reduction from the previous period was a victory against illegal clearing, but environmental groups cautioned against such optimism and criticised the government for stripping protections from forests to aid farmers. (Climate Home)
Acquisitions – French energy company ENGIE has agreed to purchase Fenix International, a pioneer in Africa’s solar home system (SHS) market. Founded in 2009, Fenix employs over 350 people and has its main activities in Uganda where it is the leading SHS player with more than 140,000 customers. Separately, Italian energy giant Enel is seeking new acquisitions in energy storage, CEO Francesco Starace told Bloomberg. Energy storage technology is quickly becoming “commercially viable,” Starace said, added that the US, European and Latin American markes have the most energy storage potential. Enel could also be weeks away from making an acquisition in the energy management sector, Bloomberg noted, citing confidential sources. (Utility Dive)
And finally… Their day in court – Seven Portuguese children have hit their initial $26,000 crowdfunding target to bring a lawsuit against governments for their weak climate action through the European Court of Human Rights. The Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), which is coordinating the effort, has set a new “stretch target” of £100,000. It comes as the death toll in Portugal from forest fires in June and October exceeds 100. (Climate Home)
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