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The UK Government has proposed remaining in the EU ETS until the end of the current phase in 2020 “to ensure a smooth transition and avoid a cliff edge” on its withdrawal from the bloc.
The launch of China’s national ETS is only weeks away but climate policy experts believe the scheme is unlikely to be more than a bit player in its early years, as China’s emissions are already plateauing thanks to other factors.
South Korean CO2 allowances rose to their highest levels since mid-March on Monday as steady demand remains largely unmet by sellers fearing cuts in the yet-to-be published allocation plan for the next three years.
New Zealand carbon allowances traded at NZ$19 ($13) on Monday for the first time in six-and-a-half years as most sellers are holding back in expectation that prices will move higher.
Legislators, Indian tribes, and a coalition of businesses and green groups are preparing to face off over renewed efforts to pass a carbon pricing bill in Washington state, with success potentially hinging on a crucial election in a Seattle suburb next week that could give Democrats control of both legislative chambers
Alberta’s Climate Change Office (CCO) has proposed withdrawing six offset protocols because the projects’ emissions are now covered by the Canadian province’s carbon levy.
EUAs continued their downward path on Monday as observers saw little on the short-term horizon to drastically influence prices, despite somewhat eased concerns over the UK’s post-Brexit future in the ETS and bullish signs coming from the German dark spreads and colder weather setting in across Europe.
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Job listings this week:
Head of Carbon Project Development, South Pole Group – London/Amsterdam/Bangkok
Carbon Market Specialist, ICAP – Berlin
Associate Director of Climate Programs, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council – Washington DC
Senior Project Officer, TCFD Knowledge Hub, CDSB – London
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
It’s gettin’ hot in here – Concentrations of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere surged to a record high in 2016, according to WMO measurements taken in 51 countries. Last year’s increase was 50% higher than the average of the past 10 years. Researchers say a combination of human activities and the El Nino weather phenomenon drove CO2 to a level not seen in 800,000 years, risking making global temperature targets largely unattainable. (BBC)
Key demand – The leader of Germany’s Greens on Saturday said the pro-business Free Democrats must agree to honour existing GHG reduction promises before her party would continue coalition talks. Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservative alliance suffered its worst result in September elections since 1949, is trying to forge a tricky three-way coalition with the FDP and Greens that has never been tested at a national level. Simone Peter, who co-chairs the environmental party, said it was nonsense to continue talks unless the FDP committed to a 2007 pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. “Before exploratory talks continue, the FDP must accept unconditionally the climate protection goals,” Peter told Reuters in an interview. “Otherwise the talks make no sense.”
Bank watch – Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund expects more banks to address how their lending contributes to emissions after France’s BNP Paribas’ Oct. 11 decision to stop funding shale energy projects in favour of renewables investors. The Norwegian fund will be asking banks it invests in about the carbon footprint of their corporate loan books. (Reuters)
Try again – The New Hampshire House Science Technology and Energy Committee has narrowly passed House Bill 592 to rebate all RGGI funds back to customers, rather than investing some in energy efficiency. The original draft was for the state to exit RGGI altogether but the revised effort represents another try by Republican lawmakers after a similar measure passed the House in 2015 but then stalled in the Senate. The bill will head to the full House early next year. (New Hampshire Business Review)
A Green Mountain tax – A Vermont business group is pushing state lawmakers to introduce a carbon tax. With nearly 20,000 Vermonters now work in jobs related to the clean energy sector, the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility says the state has done a good job building up the industry but that putting a price on carbon would lead to a clean energy boom and redirect the $2 billion it currently spends on fossil fuels annually. But it could be an uphill battle as another large business association opposes the idea, and Governor Phil Scott said he won’t sign off on any proposal that increases the cost of gasoline or heating oil. (AP)
Meanwhile in the lab – The first finance innovation lab for accelerating climate action in European cities has been launched by Climate-KIC, South Pole Group, the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV), CDP and the Climate Finance and Investment Centre at Imperial College Business School. The City Finance Lab will work with European cities to overcome finance barriers holding back critical climate mitigation and adaptation projects, and offer incubation support for novel financial instruments. The Lab expects to leverage $500 million in additional finance for climate action in cities.
Virgin relief – A plan by Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson to lead a post-hurricane rebuilding effort in the Caribbean, with a focus on clean energy projects, may include debt relief negotiations mediated by the IMF. For the past month, Branson has been in talks with some of the world’s top multilateral lenders and foundations to set up a fund. Virgin last year acquired BMR Energy, a developer of wind energy. Branson weathered Hurricane Irma inside a cellar on Necker, his private island. (Thomson Reuters Foundation
All aboard – Japan’s Secretariat of the “New Mechanisms Information Platform” has renewed its webpage and renamed as “Carbon Markets Express”. The site will promote the JCM, which is being implemented by Japan and 17 partner countries, as well as carbon market activities around the world, based on the information released by the government of Japan.
And finally… Preparing for the worst – Oil giants Shell and BP are planning for global temperatures to rise as much as 5C by the middle of the century, reports the Independent. The level is more than double the upper limit committed to by most countries in the world under the Paris Agreement, which both companies publicly support. It says: “The discrepancy demonstrates that the companies are keeping shareholders in the dark about the risks posed to their businesses by climate change, according to two new reports published by investment campaign group Share Action.” (Carbon Brief)
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