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The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has picked Shanghai to host the exchange for its national emissions trading scheme, while Hubei province will be responsible for the CO2 permit registry.
EU carbon gained for a third successive session on Thursday to hit a two-week high as buyers emerged and traders unwound short positions after rising power prices helped carbon cross a key technical level, while CERs dipped to a fresh low.
Danish utility Orsted, formerly Dong, reported a 9.3% rise in its bioenergy and thermal power generation over the first nine months of 2017, though any EUA demand uptick is likely to be limited as more of its output is focused on burning wood.
Carbon intensity among the Group of 20 major economies maintained its general rate of decline in 2016 but is not decoupling GDP from emissions fast enough to meet Paris Agreement goals, an analysis by consultancy PwC found.
New Zealand carbon allowances remain fixed just below NZ$19 ($13.13) as buyers are unwilling to push past that barrier until more information about the government’s potential ETS plans becomes known.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Move beyond – Ahead the start of annual UN climate talks, environmental campaigners on Thursday launched the Europe Beyond Coal initiative to push EU member states to transition away from the polluting fuel and towards renewable energy. “Underscoring the need for this urgent shift, new health impact modelling shows that in 2015 the EU’s coal fleet alone was responsible for an estimated 19,500 premature deaths and 10,000 cases of chronic bronchitis in adults. The health costs of coal are equally staggering: up to €54 billion in the same one-year period,” the group said. Europe Beyond Coal challenges the EU to take five actions: stop coal subsidies, fix the EU ETS, support coal-reliant areas affected by the transition, raise the bloc’s renewables and energy efficiency targets, and enforce and strengthen EU protections on air quality.
All grown up – Falling costs for developing wind and solar power plants are giving renewables a market edge over coal and nuclear power, even without tax subsidies, according to a new analysis on the changing economics of electricity from the financial advisory firm Lazard. It finds that the costs for utility-scale solar fell by another 9% from last year, while wind dropped 4%. Axios reports that costs have come down enough that developing new renewables generation is increasingly attractive in many regions compared to even keeping existing coal and nuclear plants running.
A “lifeline”, or picking winners? – “I just think it’s prudent to potentially cast a lifeline to certain assets so they can stay afloat while we do this longer term analysis,” said Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, during a Wednesday luncheon with dozens of energy industry executives. “I truly think there is a way to achieve that in a legally defensible manner that does not distort markets,” he added, according to Axios. Chatterjee’s remarks offer some of the most concrete evidence that FERC, at US Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s request, may end up taking a specific action soon to help numerous financially struggling coal and nuclear power plants, sectors that President Trump has vowed to revive.
Thought the war was over – Armstrong Energy announced its bankruptcy yesterday, becoming the first coal company to file for Chapter 11 during Trump’s tenure, CNN reports. The Kentucky company’s downfall, which will lay off 110 workers at its mines, comes during a slight uptick in US coal production, which analysts attribute in part to stabilising natural gas prices. While experts assert Armstrong’s bankruptcy is the latest sign of coal’s inevitable decline, coal’s fate isn’t readily apparent to coal miners themselves: Reuters reports that miner job retraining efforts in Appalachia are faltering as residents peg hopes on a comeback for coal under the Trump administration. (Climate Nexus)
Be our guest – The government of Sweden is paying for a former US Interior Department official and prominent critic of President Trump’s climate policy to attend next week’s UN climate summit in Bonn, where according to Bloomberg he will speak about the US “war on science”. Joel Clement became a minor celebrity in July, when he wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post. The piece described Clement’s transfer from his job focused on climate adaptation to one “in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.” Clement called the reassignment retribution for his position on climate change. He resigned from the government last month.
Not so fast – Exchange operator ICE Futures Europe has removed the three UK auction dates from its calendar that were just announced last month. In a circular to members last week, the bourse said the decision was made pending its listing as an auction platform in accordance with EU regulations and pending the European Commission’s formal opinion on the modified auction calendar. Brussels is expected to approve the dates next week, which would pave the way for the three sales to occur as scheduled on Nov. 29, Dec. 13, and Dec. 18.
Wonk corner – The latest issue of Carbon Mechanisms Review is out. In this edition, they analyse what should be the central ingredients of the Article 6 section of the Paris rulebook, the aim being to identify what needs to be negotiated now and what can be put aside for a later date given the state of the negotiations UNFCCC. Also, they present a potential case for non-market approaches: the adaptation benefit mechanism (ABM). In an interview, Gareth Phillips – the mastermind behind the ABM – says where he sees demand for adaptation units, points to the failures of the CDM and explains how to demonstrate certifiable adaptation project results. Other articles cover new challenges for the environmental integrity, possible stumbling blocks on the way to implementing cooperative actions as well as a review of the future demand for offsets from the aviation sector and how the EU will treat aviation emissions in its ETS.
And finally… Shine a light – US Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggested Thursday that expanding the use of fossil fuels could help prevent sexual assault, The Hill reports. Speaking during an energy policy discussion about energy policy with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and Axios CEO and founder Jim VandeHei, Perry discussed his recent trip to Africa. He said a young girl told him that energy is important to her because she often reads by the light of a fire with toxic fumes. “But also from the standpoint of sexual assault,” Perry said. “When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will on those types of acts.”
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