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The EU Parliament voted on Tuesday by a large majority in favour of the post-2020 ETS reform deal their envoys agreed late last year, clearing one of the last procedural hurdles before the bill passes into law.
Several of Ontario’s proposed offset protocols, including two related to forestry, are being reviewed and may not be approved under the province’s cap-and-trade scheme, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) said in response to environmental integrity concerns raised by Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner last week.
The Washington state House Transportation Committee on Tuesday passed the state’s Clean Fuels Programme bill out of committee, bringing the implementation of a clean fuel standard in the state a step closer to a full plenary vote.
US-based exchange Nodal plans to launch new gas and emissions derivatives in the second half of the year once it benefits from software integration rolled out with its German-owned parent EEX.
Chinese coal consumption is likely to drop by around 2% this year, reversing the growth in 2017 that saw energy-related CO2 emissions increase in the world’s biggest-emitting nation for the first time in three years, analysts said Tuesday.
Kazakhstan has launched an online platform for monitoring, reporting and verification of GHG emissions regulated by its national emissions trading scheme, a major step forward from its previous system which was based on hard copies.
The Australian branch of project developer South Pole this week launched a new product for voluntary buyers combining carbon offsets with credits from biodiversity projects.
European carbon lost ground on Tuesday despite initially holding its ground following the weakest auction result in five months and after shrugging off a European Parliament vote to approve the post-2020 EU ETS reform package.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
** There are seven events marked for this week in Carbon Pulse’s calendar, providing subscribers with an exportable resource highlighting important events that this week include details and timings of an EU Parliament vote, webinars on corporate climate action, internal carbon pricing and offset co-benefits, and two major conferences. **
Gusts of change – Europe added a record 3 GW of offshore wind capacity in 2017, a 25% year-on-year increase, according to a new report from industry association WindEurope. More than half was in the UK and Germany was responsible for a further 1.3 GW. WindEurope predicts Europe will add nearly 10 additional GW by 2020 on rapidly falling costs. (Reuters)
Needing new hope – The outlook for keeping temperature rise to 2C is “not optimistic”, according to a new report from the European Academies Science Advisory Councilreports. It considers a number of options for GHG removal but found that none is on track for removing CO2 at the scale needed to offset our continued emissions. (Ars Technica)
No relief – US carbon emissions will not decline through mid-century, according to the US EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 released Tuesday. According to the EIA, the US will emit 5.257 billion metric tonnes of CO2 this year, up from 5.151 billion in 2017, rising slightly to 5.279 billion in 2050. Emissions from the industrial sector are slated to rise by 0.6% from 2017 to 2050, with cheap natural gas taking over as the largest source of energy and emissions in the sector. Power sector emissions are expected to remain stagnant, while the residential and transportation sectors are both projected to see a slight 0.2% dip in carbon output by 2050. Additionally, the EIA projects that the absence of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) will have even less of an impact on emissions in the near term than previously thought, thanks to a further drop in natural gas prices, more coal plants going offline, and lower demand for electricity. In the absence of the CPP, CO2 emissions from electric power will drop 7% by 2020 under the EIA’s 2018 reference scenario without the CPP compared to its 2017 reference scenario.
Cold shoulder – The cold weather that’s hit Europe this February will linger as high pressure over Scandinavia brings chilly air from Russia into central and western Europe. Five out of seven meteorologists surveyed by Bloomberg say February will be colder than normal with average temperatures dropping as much as 3 degrees Celsius below the norm in western Europe, according to Marex Spectron Group Ltd. After one of the warmest starts to the year since 1981, the winter will get back on track with February predicted to be the coolest for three years. While the cold snap may cause people to turn up their heating, gas prices haven’t really reacted, a sign that traders aren’t that concerned about supplies.
Blame the dead – A day before the cross-examination of Christiane Melgrani was set to begin at her trial in Paris, investigators admitted that they’ve lost track of nearly half the money. She denies the charge of being a ringleader in the biggest part of scams involving taxes on EUAs that have cost the French around $2 billion in total, blaming two dead men instead. Emmanuel Dusch, one of the main investigators in the probe, said Monday at the Paris criminal court that Melgrani and one of her co-conspirators were wiretapped discussing ways to foil and slow down international investigations concerning offshore bank accounts. For the most part, their plan was successful because investigators weren’t able to trace the final beneficiaries of €154 million from the scam that went to a Hong Kong account at Standard Chartered because they were unable to obtain any data from the bank before Apr. 1, 2009. (Bloomberg)
The limits to growth – A study published in the journal Nature Society found that bringing the living standards of all the world’s inhabitants up to the levels of those living in Western countries would require up to six times as many resources as the planet can provide. Though basic needs like food, sanitation, and electricity could be met, the study found that none of the 151 countries analysed could meet the needs of its citizens without overusing resources. Moreover, the authors stated that the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN may undermine each other. Daniel O’Neill, lead author of the study, stated that “people should feel concerned – the trajectory we are on at the moment is not sustainable, nor really is the trajectory advocated by the sustainable development goals”. Reducing inequality, rapidly shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and abandoning economic growth in wealthy countries were cited as the urgent changes necessary to avoid overshooting Earth’s planetary limits. (The Independent).
What’s your beef? – A study out of Canada’s Western University shows that the country’s carbon pricing will hurt the competitiveness of Canada’s beef sector, specifically the cow-calf and feedlot sectors. The study suggests the unilateral implementation of carbon pricing results in increased costs for cow-calf and feedlot sectors and the costs will be borne by each sector with limited or no ability to pass on additional costs either up or down the supply chain. (Blackburn News)
Another lawsuit – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has come under fire from green groups who say they’ll sue if he doesn’t produce the US Climate Action Report. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a notice of intent to sue Monday, after the Jan. 1 deadline to submit the report to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat passed. The letter says the State Department’s failure to submit the report is a violation of the U.N. treaty and the Administrative Procedure Act. (Politico)
And finally… Exxon inspects – XTO Energy, a subsidiary of oil major Exxon Mobil, has proposed a regulatory framework for controlling methane emissions in the natural gas industry. Green group EDF praised the initiative but cautioned that more must be done in covering the scope of emissions sources and bolstering the proposed regulations. The XTO framework follows a methane reduction agreement signed by Exxon and seven other oil and gas majors this past November.
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