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China’s National and Development Reform Commission (NDRC) has proposed to ban financial institutions and trading houses from trading in the national emissions trading scheme in its early years, according to sources.
Italy will aim to phase out coal by 2025 and transition towards cleaner alternatives, its minster for economic development announced on Tuesday as part of the country’s new national energy strategy.
European Commission officials on Tuesday released a proposal for how they intend to change trading rules to protect the EU ETS from an uncoordinated UK exit, maintaining the pace to enact the measure before its intended Jan. 2018 start date.
Adding a new airport runway at one of London’s airports could increase the UK’s aviation emissions by up to 26% above 2015 levels by 2030, according to a new government report.
EU carbon prices halted a three-day decline on Tuesday despite another weak auction, as one analyst saw little chance that prices would slip much further this week.
The trading platform for China’s national carbon market is likely to become operational in Q1 2018, giving around 1,600 power companies a few months of active trade before an expected deadline to surrender CO2 permits for 2017 at the end of Q2, analysts ICIS said Tuesday.
New Zealand’s incoming coalition government will establish an independent climate commission that among other things will be responsible for the nation’s emissions trading scheme, including deciding whether to bring agriculture into the programme.
Australia urgently needs to implement a price on carbon and a clear emissions target for electricity, the government’s main economic advisory body said in a government-commissioned report.
Almost nine out of 10 large companies worldwide have set voluntary emission reduction targets, but only a fraction of them are in line with what is needed to meet the Paris Agreement, a survey found.
The American Carbon Registry (ACR) has approved a methodology to generate offsets from the restoration of peat soils – rules that were co-developed by environmental organisations The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and TerraCarbon.
Every few years, New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity surveys economists who have expertise on climate change, and it always finds overwhelming support for putting a price on carbon to drive down emissions — support that ideologues on the right routinely dismiss, usually on unfounded “economic” grounds.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Advisor alert – BC has appointed a team of environmental and industry advisers to help the ruling NDP government set and meet legislated emission reduction targets, the Canadian Press reports. The province’s Environment Minister George Heyman says he plans to introduce climate legislation next spring that aims to cut GHGs by 40% below 2007 levels by 2030. The measure will include targets to cut emissions from buildings and homes by 50%, and from industry and transportation by 30%. BC is also set to increase its carbon tax by $5 next April to $35/tonne.
German climate goals for dummies – Friends of the Earth Germany, WWF Germany and other environmental and development NGOs have presented a roadmap for Germany to reach its 2020 emissions goals. It includes concrete measures such as cutting coal-fired power generation capacity in half over the next three years, which it says is essential to reaching the target. Expansion of renewable capacity should be accelerated, energy efficiency improved, and the mobility transition pushed forward, for example by setting a deadline to phase out the combustion engine through “a clear regulatory framework by the federal government”. (Clean Energy Wire)
Come up with a plan already – Climate change is already costing the US billions of dollars per year and the Trump administration must create strategies to mitigate climate risk and help manage rising costs, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog office reports. In a new report released today, the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal government spent $350 billion over the past decade on extreme weather, and it projects that costs will continue to rise as the impacts of climate change increasingly affect the US. (Climate Nexus, Reuters)
Having another go – Connecticut Democratic Congressman John Larson, a senior member of the US House Ways and Means Committee who is also on the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, said last night that he plans to introduce a carbon tax amendment when the committee begins debating the Republican tax reform plan in the weeks ahead, according to ClimateWire ($). The chance of this passing the GOP-controlled Congress appears slim to none.
More lawsuits – California governor Jerry Brown said on Tuesday that his state would fight Donald Trump’s erosion of climate action through the courts, Climate Home reports. California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra has repeatedly sued the federal government this year over a number of issues, including the environment, and has said he would “everything in my power to defend the Clean Power Plan”. Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme on UK radio, Brown said California would continue to use this tactic in response to Trump’s anti-climate actions.
More renewables, less biofuels – MEPs sat on the parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) on Monday voted to raise the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target to at least 35% from the current 27% goal. The approved legislative text is part of the ongoing reform of the renewables energy directive, a central piece of the EU energy and climate change policy, which had already set a 20% target for 2020 with individual targets for each EU country. The draft legislation also states that the share of biofuels in this effort should be no more than 7% of final consumption of energy in road and rail transport. It added that food-based, first-generation biofuels linked to deforestation should be phased out by 2030, with those from palm oil excluded by 2021. The report was adopted by 32 votes to 29, with 4 abstentions. The EP’s industrial committee (ITRE), which has the lead competence on most of this file will vote on the matter on Nov. 28.
Do as we do – Separately, European parliamentary leaders on Monday adopted a more ambitious emissions reduction target for the legislature, aiming to cut its carbon footprint by 40% below 2006 levels by 2030. They said this will replace the previous 30% by 2020 target, reflecting the fact that the parliament was already exceeding this goal in most areas. The EP gets 100% of its power from renewable sources, it was the first EU institution to become carbon neutral, and it offsets 100% of its irreducible emissions. All food waste undergoes a process of biomethanisation, which produces usable biogas. No food waste is incinerated and unsold food is donated to charity, instead of being thrown away.
Blow at high dough – A wind farm in the mountains of southern Austria is the latest innovative renewable energy project supported by the EU’s NER300 programme to enter into operation, the European Commission announced on Tuesday. Windpark Handalm, consisting of 13 windmills at an average altitude of 1,800 metres, will produce around 76 MWh/year, while showcasing a range of innovative technologies designed specifically for the high-altitude location. Handalm, launched today ahead of schedule, will produce enough electricity for 21,000 homes, saving 46,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project, costing €58 million, was aided by an €11.3 million grant from the NER300 programme, which supports the development of innovative low-carbon technologies through the sale of EUAs.
Carbon neutral for 4 days – Tokyo has announced a plan to be carbon neutral during the opening and closing days of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The Japanese capital will offset its emissions during those four days between July and September using donated credits acquired through the city’s cap-and-trade scheme for big companies. Tokyo estimates total emissions of 720,000 tonnes during that period. (Jiji)
COP23 too – Following the completion of COP23 in Bonn next month, the UNFCCC said its Sustainability Taskforce will calculate the overall GHG footprint of all aspects of the conference, including travel, food, local transport and accommodation, which will then be externally verified under the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). All unavoidable emissions resulting from the COP will be offset, with the government of Germany committing to purchase offsets, preferably from CDM projects registered in small island developing states, in recognition of the Fijian Presidency of COP23. In a further effort to contribute to reducing emissions from transport, the UNFCCC has announced a partnership with Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd (EERL), aiming to promote the use of biofuels as lower-carbon alternatives to fossil fuels. EERL’s ‘Climate Ethanol Alliance’ of bioethanol producers aims to speed up the low-carbon transition of the transport sector through the promotion of climate action.
No US pavilion – Buzzfeed reports that the US under President Trump will not host a pavilion at COP this year, citing a source at the State Department. The US exhibition area had been a mainstay of the annual UN climate talks pretty much since they began.
Cleaner rails, but not totally clean – Germany’s biggest power consumer, Deutsche Bahn (DB), has set itself new climate protection targets ahead of the COP23 UN climate conference in Bonn next month, Tagesspiegel reports. The company – including its global logistics subsidiary Schenker – aims to reduce CO2 by 50% by 2030, compared to 2006 (it already achieved a 25% cut in 2016). DB currently gets 42% of its power for its rail operations from renewables, and aims to increase this share to 70% by 2030. But switching to a 100% renewable power supply by 2030 isn’t possible because DB has long-term contracts for coal power, Tagesspeigel added. (Clean Energy Wire)
Get ready polymer people – Germany’s polymer industry is required to submit emissions monitoring plans by Nov. 1, the German emissions trading authority (DEHSt) said last week, as the sector gets ready to be included in the EU ETS from next year. The country’s parliament in early June voted to amend Germany’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Act (TEHG) to include polymer producers under the EU’s carbon market, with Germany’s federal council approving the move shortly thereafter. The TEHG will include installations that produce that produce certain polymers, in particular polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonates, polyamides, polyurethanes and silicones. Only facilities with production output in excess of 100 tonnes per day will be covered. Germany is Europe’s largest manufacturer of plastics and polymers, and the move to regulate the industry’s emissions follows a 2014 warning from the European Commission, which had threatened to sue to the country over what it called a breach of EU law.
And finally… This year’s most consequential political race for US climate policy – It may be in suburban Seattle, where a special election on Nov. 7 for the state senate could give flight to the governor’s ambitious environmental agenda, or kill it. According to ClimateWire, a win for Manka Dhingra, a prosecutor supported by environmentalist billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, would give Democrats control of all three elected branches in Olympia and pave the way for Governor Jay Inslee to pursue an aggressive climate plan. But big emitters including Phillips 66 Co., Andeavor, Chevron and Koch Industries, meanwhile, have rushed to support Republican candidate Jinyoung Lee Englund, previously a staffer to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R), a Bitcoin spokeswoman and app developer. Senate Republicans, who currently hold a one-seat majority, have long frustrated Inslee’s climate aspirations.
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