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The EU and California said Tuesday they will hold regular political and technical dialogues on the design and implementation of their carbon markets, including cooperation with other carbon markets such as China.
Prince Charles lobbied for carbon market rule changes after buying forest offset company shares -reports
Britain’s Prince Charles lobbied the EU and UN to make forestry eligible in their emissions trading schemes, all while failing to disclose his private estate had an offshore investment in a forest carbon company, according to media reports.
The US state of California will in autumn 2018 host a conference for sub-national and non-state entities to measure and set emission reduction goals, in a move intended to replicate the governmental Paris Agreement.
France has abandoned its target to cut the share of nuclear in its power mix to 50% by 2025 so that the government can focus on reducing fossil fuel usage instead, the country’s energy and environment minister announced Tuesday.
The EU cut its greenhouse gas output by 0.7% in 2016 while growing its GDP 1.9%, showing a further decoupling between emissions and economic growth, though the bloc warned that its 2030 target was in jeopardy without the tougher limits for transport that it will propose on Wednesday.
European carbon prices dropped on Tuesday after failing to scale above last month’s 21-month high, as traders positioned themselves ahead of tomorrow’s EU ETS reform trilogue talks.
A coalition of green groups and power generators is urging four northeastern US states to create a cap-and-trade scheme for the transport sector.
South Korean carbon permits moved up to eight-month highs on Tuesday as potential sellers continue to hesitate due to a lack of information on allocation and the government’s overall climate strategy.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
The lone danger – At the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, a Syrian official said the war-torn country was about to complete its internal procedures and was ready to join the Paris Agreement. That would leave the US as the only one of the 195 UNFCCC parties outside the pact should it make good on President Trump’s intent to withdraw by the earliest possible date in 2020. Separately, a group of African campaigners called for US negotiators to be barred from COP23, and said they plan to distribute a petition to support their efforts, according to Climate Home.
***Read Carbon Pulse’s 70+ page International dossier for concise summaries of all the NDCs, an overview of international climate policy relating to carbon pricing, including a detailed breakdown of the Paris Agreement, global themes in carbon markets, internal carbon pricing, international climate initiatives and climate finance.***
Election day – Three US state-level elections being held today could have implications for the country’s carbon markets:
1. Virginia – In the state’s gubernatorial race, fossil fuel companies have channelled money to help Republican Ed Gillespie’s defeat Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. A Gillespie victory would likely spell the end to the state’s efforts to curb emissions using a market-based system that is expected to link to RGGI, while also see Virginia withdraw from a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement. A Northam win is expected to see a continuation of the current climate policies introduced by outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe.
2. New Jersey – In this governor’s race, Democrat Phil Murphy holds a commanding lead against Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Both candidates have pledged to have the state rejoin RGGI, while Murphy has released a plan to move the state to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
3. Washington – An election in Washington’s 45th district will determine which party controls the state Senate. A win by Manka Dhingra would result in the Democrats controlling both legislative chambers and allow Governor Jay Inslee to pursue a more aggressive climate change strategy, including building towards a network of linked cap-and-trade schemes on the US west coast. But a victory by Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund would see the GOP hold onto the Senate and continue to block Inslee’s environmental agenda. Read more about what’s going on in Washington here.
You’re blowing it – Governments have drastically underestimated methane emissions from natural gas and will miss the 2C goal unless they urgently scale down its use, a major new study has found. The Guardian reports: “Continuing natural gas emissions at present levels will add 0.6C to global warming and, with other fossil fuel use, exhaust Europe’s carbon budget – the amount it can safely and fairly emit – in less than a decade, says the report by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. It concludes that Europe must phase out all fossil fuels including gas by 2035 and decrease emissions by 12% per year – far beyond its current ambitions – to keep to the Paris 2C pledge.” (Carbon Brief)
New record – Renewable energy sources contributed more in October to Germany’s power mix than ever before, Spiegel Online reports. Solar, wind, hydro, and bioenergy plants produced 44.1% of the country’s electricity last month, which saw elevated wind power due to several autumn storms. Since January, renewables have on average contributed over 38% to Germany’s power mix. (Clean Energy Wire)
Show us the numbers – The launch of the Chinese national emissions trading scheme may be just around the corner, but regional government officials are still busy gathering historical emissions data for the participants. On Tuesday, the Guangdong provincial authorities asked 128 local emitters that meet the threshold for the national scheme to submit 2016 emissions data by Nov. 24. The companies were from a range of sectors, including power, clinker and electrolytic aluminium, although only the first of those is expected to have compliance obligations from the start.
Do it for the kids – Two Pennsylvania children filed suit against President Trump, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday, charging that by rolling back climate protections the administration is knowingly increasing “damages, death and destruction.” According to The Hill, the suit filed on behalf of a 7-year-old and 11-year-old by the Clean Air Council of Philadelphia cites 115 of the president’s tweets to demonstrate how the Trump administration is waging a “war on facts” and uses “junk science” to justify repealing the Clean Power Plan and other regulations. The suit demands the administration stops rolling back environmental protections. (Climate Nexus)
What is an ETS? – That’s a question many outside the industry would struggle to answer, so the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute in Wellington has made seven short videos where their experts Suzi Kerr and Catherine Leining answer questions from eager teenagers on issues such as “how does emissions trading affect me?” and “what can we do about dodgy carbon credits?”, with a focus on the New Zealand ETS. You can find the videos here.
And finally… The more, the merrier? – According to the UNFCCC’s provisional list, there are just over 19,000 people attending this month’s UN climate summit in Bonn, including some 11,300 participants representing a particular country, or “party”. A Carbon Brief analysis of the list shows that the five largest party delegations come from Africa, with an eyebrow-raising 492 from Cote d’Ivoire, 355 from Guinea, 340 from the DRC, 308 from Congo, and 253 from Morocco. In contrast, the UK has sent 45 – the average number recorded across all parties – and the US, which is in the process of leaving the Paris Agreement, has sent 48 – or less than a third of Canada’s 161. “It’s also worth noting that some countries allocate some of their party badges to NGOs, which can artificially inflate the size of their official delegation,” Carbon Brief added.
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