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EU carbon pricing is likely to face further fragmentation as five EU climate ministers vowed to examine additional measures, while analysts said the latest EU ETS reforms will keep prices below levels deemed “Paris compatible”.
Mexico on Tuesday amended legislation to make mandatory its national emissions trading scheme and to launch it in Aug. 2018 with a three-year pilot phase.
California’s ARB issued 1.11 million offset credits this week, with more than 70% of them going to seven new projects.
Trading house ACT Commodities has hired a new carbon trading manager at its New York office.
EU carbon prices dipped to their lowest levels since Oct. 10 on Wednesday after a breach of a major technical support level and amid a calmer energy complex that was sent reeling on Tuesday by a gas hub explosion.
New Zealand carbon allowances extended recent gains again on Wednesday as modest supply and bullish market sentiment continued to drive prices north.
Research has found serious issues with Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund, from giving unnecessary funds, to counting decade-old projects as new emissions “reductions”, writes Melbourne Law School researcher Tim Baxter.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
More from the One Planet Summit in Paris
Neutral territory – 14 nations including Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Iceland, France, Germany and Sweden have signed up to become part of a Carbon Neutrality Coalition, pledging to develop “well ahead of 2020” long-term strategies to become emissions neutral by 2050. Some 32 cities also joined the initiative.
Bill’s breakthough – The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which was founded in 2016 by Bill Gates and connects transformative clean energy research to interested investors, is expanding its coalition to include prominent companies, funds, institutional investors, and banks. Gates also announced its initial focus areas, which include energy storage and liquid fuels.
Ship shape – Some 35 nations signed a declaration at the One Planet summit in Paris for shipping to take “urgent action” to contribute to meeting the 2C and 1.5C goals of the Paris Agreement. Named the “Tony de Brum” declaration, after the celebrated Marshallese politician who died earlier this year, signatories included the UK, France, Denmark, Germany, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Chile and New Zealand. (Carbon Brief)
And from elsewhere
When China wheezes… – China’s war against smog is lifting prices for energy all over the world, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs and the IEA. Policies promoting natural gas use have helped boost China’s consumption by 19% this year and raised it to the world’s second-biggest importer of liquefied shipments of the fuel, lifting prices for spot cargoes. Higher gas prices are boosting demand for coal, which has already seen prices rise because of separate Chinese policies restricting mine production, Goldman analysts said in a Dec. 12 research note. (Bloomberg)
The world according to Doug – Democrat Doug Jones pulled off a surprise win in Alabama’s Senate race last night, but what’s his stance on energy and climate views? His campaign website warns of “the consequences of our unchecked use of fossil fuels” and says the US “should be encouraging investment in renewable energy and conservation as ways to create new jobs and make ourselves energy independent.” According to Axios, Jones also criticized President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.
Tokyo 2020 – The organisers of the 2020 Summer Olympics are cooperating with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s urban cap-and-trade programme to reduce emissions. Implemented in 2010, the programme has already resulted in a 26% reduction in carbon emissions, through working with owners of large-sized buildings and commercial facilities in Tokyo to meet energy-saving and emission-reduction requirements.
Beat the meat – Move over, taxes on carbon and sugar: the global levy that may be next is meat. Some investors are betting governments around the world will find a way to start taxing meat production as they aim to improve public health and hit emissions targets set in the Paris Agreement. (Bloomberg)
And finally… Copycat – Ten Senate Democrats are waging plagiarism accusations at Trump’s controversial nominee to lead the Council for Environmental Quality, Buzzfeed reports. In a letter sent Tuesday to nominee Kathleen Hartnett White, Democrats on the Committee on Environment and Public Works said she responded to questions from Congress about her opinions on various science and policy issues with 18 stolen answers. “We are troubled that it appears that you have cut and pasted from the written answers of other nominees in your responses to questions that were submitted to you,” the Senators wrote. Even before these plagiarism allegations, Democrats on the Senate committee have criticised her qualifications for one of the government’s top environmental roles, running an office that coordinates environmental efforts across agencies and works closely with the White House on related policy and programming.
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