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Public-private climate investment vehicle The Lab has selected nine initiatives from over 100 applications to support for this year, with funding expanding into land-use sectors.
Nova Scotia halves emissions threshold for cap-and-trade participation as regulations enter into force
Detailed reporting requirements to support Nova Scotia’s upcoming cap-and-trade system were put into effect Thursday, requiring companies with annual emissions above 50,000 tonnes of CO2 to participate in the program.
The Canadian government on Friday outlined new proposed measures to accelerate the phase out of the country’s coal-fired power plants.
New Jersey’ Assembly on Friday approved a bill that would require the state to re-enter RGGI, following in the footsteps of similar legislation passed in a Senate committee last week.
French utility EDF expects its nuclear output to be lower in 2019 due to the closure of one of its sites before another becomes fully operational, it said in annual results Friday.
EU carbon prices ended little changed on Friday after shifting considerably throughout the session, albeit remaining well below Wednesday’s six-year high of €10.02.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator doubled its offset issuance to nearly 400,000 this week, driven by a batch of NSW-based avoided deforestation projects from which the government has contracted to buy almost 3.7 million carbon credits.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
**Argus has released the recordings of two webinars held in recent weeks with carbon market experts Redshaw Advisors. One looked at the ongoing changes to the EU ETS stemming from Brexit, the MSR, and post-2020 reforms and one discusses the opportunities and challenges facing the South Korean carbon market. The webinars were conducted in the run-up to Argus’ Mar. 6-7 Emissions Markets 2018 conference in Amsterdam. Carbon Pulse readers are eligible for a 10% discount on the event – just use this link and enter code CARBONPULSE10 when booking passes online.**
Cosy up – EU business lobby BusinessEurope and US counterpart USCIB are seeking a distinct, direct and formalised “business channel” into UN climate talks, according to their UNFCCC submissions. Campaigners oppose this move, with one describing this proposal as “giving the fox a doggy door to the hen house”. (Climate Home)
Time to pay up – In a reversal from its position last year, the Trump administration has proposed paying UN climate dues as part of its fiscal 2019 State Department budget. (ClimateWire, $)
Trying trade – The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) has published a research paper looking into the role of trade policy to boost climate action. It finds there are several legal and institutional options for how policy-makers in the EU and elsewhere could promote a productive relationship between the UN climate regime and the international trade regime, comprising the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and regional trade agreements (RTAs).
Cannot stop the battery – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted unanimously yesterday to remove barriers to participation in wholesale power markets for batteries and other power storage technologies. The new policy will require regional transmission organisations and independent system operators to implement a “participation model” to accommodate electric storage resources. Advocates believe that the new model will increase the role of storage technologies in the energy supply, which would allow more intermittent renewable power sources to come online, reducing GHG emissions and improving the resilience of the electric grid. (Axios).
Seeking signature – The Maine Senate passed a bill on Friday that would approve the changes under the RGGI program review agreed last year. LD-1657 was also endorsed by the House on Wednesday, and now must be signed by Governor Paul LePage (R) before becoming law.
Wind-up – A combination of wind energy and other renewables offer Canadian provinces significant cost savings over natural gas, according to a new modelling report released this week by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI). The analysis found that provincial utilities could save between $17 per tonne of GHG emissions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to $110/t in Nova Scotia by substituting combined cycle natural gas plants with one of either wind power, wind plus hydroelectricity, wind with natural gas backup, or bioenergy. Wind power was the least-cost option for intermittent power, while the best least-cost choice for firm power ranged between biomass for Quebec and points west, wind plus natural gas in the Maritimes, and wind plus hydroelectricity in Newfoundland and Labrador. CERI President and CEO Allan Fogwill said “we still have some ways to go to prove up some of the new technologies, but on the other hand we can see great opportunities to decarbonize the electricity system”. (The Energy Mix).
Green light – Brussels has approved the Flanders region of Belgium’s plans for certificates for renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration on state aid grounds. Under the green certificates scheme, renewable electricity producers receive one green certificate for each MWh they generate. Under the combined heat and power (CHP) certificates scheme, high-efficiency cogeneration installations receive one certificate for each MWh of energy saving they realise.
Mag swag – The latest edition of market-based climate policy magazine JIQ is out, featuring articles on meeting the Paris targets, the role of solar in meeting the EU’s 2020 emission goal and realising the potential for climate change mitigation options.
And finally… You’re f***ing up – US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s security team decided last year he should fly first class to avoid confrontations with angry individuals on planes and in airports, an agency official told Politico as the EPA sought to explain the chief’s penchant for pricey travel. “He was approached in the airport numerous times, to the point of profanities being yelled at him and so forth,” said Henry Barnet, director of the agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement. The EPA offered the explanation after five days of controversy over Pruitt’s travel that started with a Washington Post report that he and EPA staff had racked up more than $90,000 in travel in early June. As an example, Barnet recounted on incident from October at the airport in Atlanta. An individual approached Pruitt with his cell phone recording, yelling at him “‘Scott Pruitt, you’re f—ing up the environment,’ those sort of terms,” he said.
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