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The EU Parliament on Wednesday voted for more ambitious post-2020 clean energy goals than those proposed by Brussels, teeing up a battle with member states and bringing into sharper focus the risk of overlapping policies undermining the EU ETS.
As Colombia stops allowing emitters to use international offsets to cover their national carbon tax obligations, its companies are struggling to find enough domestic credits to meet demand.
The UK government must firm up how it will meet its medium-term emission goals and should not make use of legal loopholes such as buying foreign carbon credits, according to Britain’s independent advisory body the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
EU carbon prices on Wednesday extended the gains of the previous session to close in on the two-year peak of €8.30 touched late last year.
A former head of carbon trading at Barclays has joined Morgan Stanley’s London office as the US investment bank rebuilds its presence in the European power, gas and emissions markets.
Prices in South Korea’s emissions trading scheme have remained unchanged for nine consecutive sessions as traders await clarity from the government on allocation levels and rules for market intervention.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Risking profit – Carbon pricing risk could lead to significant losses on a company’s financial statement due to new policies and taxes spurred by the Paris Agreement, according to a report analysing 100 companies across 16 countries by researchers at Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices. They found that power generators could have 90% average profit at risk by 2030, chemicals firms 30% and carmakers 15%, with that risk increasing over time.
Hey big spender – Saudi Arabia expects to start up to $7 billion of renewable energy projects this year, with solar plants leading the way. Tenders will be issued this year for eight projects totaling 4.125 gigawatts of capacity, Turki Mohammed Al Shehri, head of the kingdom’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office, said Tuesday in an interview in Abu Dhabi. The cost will be $5 billion to $7 billion, he said. Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern oil producers are looking to renewables to feed growing domestic consumption that’s soaking up crude they’d rather export to generate income. The kingdom wants to have 9.5 gigawatts of solar and wind capacity installed by 2023. (Bloomberg)
But you’re against a carbon tax… – The US Chamber of Commerce is launching an uphill battle to convince Congress and the White House to agree to raise the national gasoline tax by 25 cents per gallon to fund an infrastructure package. The proposal, which will be formally introduced later this week and if approved would be the first increase to the levy since 1993, is part of a series of principles the nation’s largest business lobby will offer in a bid to help shape the debate about upgrading the country’s crumbling roads, bridges, airports and other critical infrastructure. (The Washington Post)
Bad kangaroo – Qantas emits more CO2 per passenger-kilometre than any other airline operating across the Pacific, according to an analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation. The Guardian reports that for each km Qantas transports a passenger across the Pacific, it uses 64% more fuel than the two most fuel-efficient airlines operating across the Pacific: Hainan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA). One litre of aviation fuel was able to transport one passenger just 22km, on average, on Qantas flights, while Hainan and ANA were able to take a passenger 36km on 1L of fuel. The wide variation between airlines provides a stark contrast to the industry’s aspirational goal of improving fuel efficiency of international flights by just 2% annually.
A New (Jersey) dawn – As he took office as New Jersey governor on Tuesday, Phil Murphy’s inaugural speech signalled that the state should once again embrace an environmental leadership role. While short on specifics, Murphy yesterday vowed to push New Jersey in a different direction than in the past eight years under Chris Christie, fighting here in New Jersey and in Washington, D.C. to lead the nation in progressive policies. Murphy is expected to lead his state back into the RGGI market from which it was withdrawn by Christie back in 2011. (NJ Spotlight)
And finally… The voice of corporate reason – Some of the world’s largest publicly traded companies take a more active role in solving social issues or face blowback from investors, the CEO of BlackRock said Tuesday. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” Laurence Fink wrote in his annual letter to CEOs of companies in which BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, invests. According to the New York Times, the letter notifies CEOs that BlackRock will take a more active role in paying close attention to companies’ involvement in social issues and urges companies to “understand the societal impact of your business as well as the ways that broad, structural trends – from slow wage growth to rising automation to climate change – affect your potential for growth.” The letter follows several well-publicised moves from BlackRock to pressure ExxonMobil to disclose climate risk to investors. (Climate Nexus)
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