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Virginia regulators have approved a proposal to establish a state-wide cap-and-trade scheme that will link to neighbouring RGGI.
Three Brazilian hydro projects owned by state-owned energy company Eletrobras could generate nearly 170 million environmentally dubious CERs by 2030, climate campaigners have claimed, raising questions over the government’s continued support for the CDM while snubbing REDD-based offsets.
Some 25 national and sub-national jurisdictions have joined a global alliance forged by the UK and Canada to encourage a transition from unabated coal-fired power to cleaner alternatives, with the founding nations seeking to reach 50 members within a year.
Singapore signed up to an international ministerial declaration on carbon markets on Thursday, bolstering the club of rich and poor countries pledging to cooperate on environmental integrity to spur international emissions trade.
Associations representing emissions and energy traders, as well as European energy bourses, have put their support behind a UK proposal to bring forward its 2018 ETS compliance deadline and circumvent the EU’s “disruptive” Brexit-proofing measure.
European carbon shed 2.5% on Thursday, giving back much of the previous day’s 4% gains as sellers dumped units after prices failed to top €7.80 for the second time in as many days.
Prices on both North American coasts varied relatively little over the past week, though the Californian market was far more active than its eastern counterpart as WCI participants positioned themselves ahead of Tuesday’s auction.
China’s national emissions trading scheme is set to be a “game” when it starts in the coming months, with no real trades or compliance obligations during its first two years of operation, two sources close to the market’s design process said Wednesday.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Doha duty – The EU has won over Poland and is pledging to ratify the Kyoto Protocol’s extension to 2020 by year-end. The bloc said it intends to deposit the ratification instruments to the so-called Doha Amendment by the end of this year at the latest, unblocking a procedural impasse in place since Oct. 2015, when Poland’s president unexpectedly vetoed it and said the country needed more time to analyse the impact on its economy. Poland’s Katowice is set to be the location for next year’s COP24 summit, so a failure to approve it could be an embarrassment for the country.
Woody will – China and 18 other nations representing half the world’s population said they planned to increase the use of sustainable bioenergy to generate as part of efforts to limit climate change. The joint Biofuture Platform initiative said it would work out collective targets for increasing its use. They are Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Morocco, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Philippines, Sweden and Uruguay. (Reuters)
Blue carbon blues – Researchers Climate Analytics have published a brief on what they see as risks in efforts to generate offset credits from ‘blue carbon’, the coastal ecosystems of mangroves, salt marshes and salt flats. The issue is being debated at the COP23 Bonn talks.
Pay up – Global civil society organisations are calling for a tax on fossil fuel supplies to fund support to people hit by climate change impacts, Climate Home reports. Polluters should pay for homes and livelihoods wrecked by rising seas and increasingly extreme weather, campaigners argued in a statement issued during COP23. Expressing frustration with slow progress made on “loss and damage” in formal negotiations, more than 50 groups and individuals backed the “climate damages tax” idea.
A fine balance – The question of how and when to exit coal is a tricky issue in Germany’s coalition-building talks between Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the Greens and the pro-business FDP. A leaked discussion paper jointly drafted by Germany’s energy and economy ministry and the federal network agency, seen by Politico, found that shutting down 7 GW in coal power capacity in 2020 wouldn’t hurt security of supply because Germany currently generates too much electricity, and would continue to be a net exporter after a coal power reduction. The Green Party earlier this week reportedly rejected an offer tabled by its aspiring coalition partners to reduce coal capacity by up to 5 GW, seeking instead cuts of 8-10 GW that it says are required to get Germany to its 2020 target to cut emissions by 40% below 1990 levels. The Greens also want a minimum carbon price to be introduced in the EU ETS, whereas the other parties are prepared only to “examine” extending the scheme to cover transport, Reuters reports.
A good thing – A sharp reduction in emissions by 2050 will likely benefit Germany’s economy, according to a study summary draft by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) seen by Clean Energy Wire. An “80% climate path is possible with a neutral to positive effect on gross domestic product even in the case of a solo attempt”, the draft says. Reducing emissions by 95% is also possible and will likely boost the economy if the energy transition turns into a global phenomenon, according to the calculations. Germany plans to reduce emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. Electric vehicles and heat pumps will be key technologies in the energy transition, according to the paper, which is slated to be published in January.
Get us out – Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund proposed dumping about $35 billion in oil and gas stocks, including Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, to protect the economy of western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer, Bloomberg reports. The nation will be “less vulnerable” to a drop in oil by not being invested in stocks of companies in the industry, the Oslo-based fund said Thursday. The Finance Ministry said it would study the plan and decide at the earliest in “autumn 2018.”
Confirmed – Exchange operator ICE Futures Europe has confirmed the dates for the final three UK EUA auctions of the year after Brussels approved the schedule. The three sales for 4.27 million spot units each will be held on Nov. 29, Dec. 13, and Dec. 18 – the original dates planned. ICE had to temporarily remove the sales from its calendar earlier this month pending its listing as the UK’s auction platform in accordance with EU regulations and pending the European Commission’s formal opinion on the modified auction calendar.
Wholly owned – Germany energy and emissions bourse EEX has acquired the remaining 12.3% shareholding in French based Powernext from 3GRT and EDF. In doing so, EEX becomes the sole owner of Powernext with immediate effect.
And finally… Giddy and grumpy – Climate change deniers are grumbling that the Trump administration has not fulfilled all of their requests to dismantle US environmental protections, as a powerful denier group is gearing up to tackle a major cornerstone of the country’s climate change regulations. The Washington Post reports that the mood in a closed-door Heartland Institute meeting last week was both “giddy and grumpy” as deniers complained about the Trump administration’s apparent lack of urgency in addressing hardline requests like reversing the EPA’s endangerment finding. Members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will vote on a resolution next month calling upon the EPA to withdraw the endangerment finding, which defines CO2 as a risk to human health. However, media reports that this challenge and other hard denier issues may alienate more centrist and business-oriented ALEC members who are facing increasing public backlash for links to climate denial and anti-clean energy positions. (Climate Nexus)
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