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A Swiss company is offering CO2 removal credits to the voluntary carbon market in an effort to boost funding and expand its carbon capture technology.
California carbon prices fell to an eight-month low this week as traders grew anxious over whether the WCI market could absorb its biggest auction yet, with activity grinding almost to a halt ahead of next week’s result.
Trading volumes in RGGI allowances dropped in Q4 2017 as compliance-oriented entities scooped up a greater portion, according to a report by market monitor Potomac Economics.
Quebec is making several minor rule changes to its cap-and-trade scheme as the province gets ready to put amendments to its Environment Quality Act into force a month from now.
EU carbon prices rebounded from a one-week low on Thursday after finding support ahead of a moderate government auction and despite analyst warnings of a correction.
Efforts by industrialised nations to reduce fossil fuel subsidies have slowed since the signing of the 2015 Paris Agreement while emerging economies have maintained pace in eliminating them, according to an OECD published Thursday.
This 21-page dossier unpacks key details from what is due to become the world’s biggest carbon market. It has an overview of the impending national market, outlining issues yet to be resolved and presents key details about the seven pilot markets and how they are due to interact with the national scheme.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
No pricing here – Pakistan’s climate minister Mushahidullah Khan said neither carbon tax was currently imposed on any industrial sector in the country not any proposal in that regard was under consideration. Answering a question in the Senate, he said his ministry would be launching a study with the support of the UNFCCC, to evaluate carbon pricing in the country. (Associated Press of Pakistan)
Revenue redistribution- The New Hampshire House Finance Committee unanimously voted on Wednesday on an amendment that would dedicate all revenues from RGGI to energy-efficiency programmes, breaking with its long-standing practice of distributing the funds as rebates to ratepayers. The amendment to HB-559 would allow all of New Hampshire’s $14 million in RGGI revenue to be put towards energy efficiency programmes, with residential programmes to receive $5 million, municipalities and schools getting $5 million, and business initiatives taking in $2.4 million. Originally, all RGGI revenues in New Hampshire were funneled towards energy efficiency programmes when the carbon market started in 2009, all but the first dollar spent on RGGI has been returned to customers since 2012. The bill now awaits full vote before the House (New Hampshire Business Review).
February in June = Februne?- A wave of record high temperatures cut a massive swath stretching from the eastern US to the North Pole this week, in what is becoming an unsettling indicator of the future of climate change. The thermometer hit 22C in Boston and 27C in Washington, the earliest dates on record that both cities have experienced these temperatures. This follows an almost identical blast of summer weather that came in February 2017, when 17 states recorded their warmest February ever. Meanwhile, temperatures in Northern Alaska are 25C above average, and the North Pole is expected to temporarily cross the melting point this week, despite being under total winter darkness. (Grist)
There goes the neighborhood- The EPA proposed to deny a complaint on Wednesday that downwind ozone emissions from a Pennsylvania coal plant were causing nearby Connecticut to surpass federal standards. Although Connecticut challenged that ozone emissions from the Brunner Island coal plant were in violation of the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act, the EPA said that Connecticut had not done enough to prove that these emissions would render the state unable to meet regulations. However, a D.C. Circuit Court last week ruled that the EPA had allowed non-compliant areas to escape tighter ozone regulations put into effect in 2015, effectively permitting some areas to follow the looser 1997 standards. (Utility Dive)
Gas for good – Renewable gas used in existing gas infrastructure could help reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by mid-century, according to a study by consultancy Ecofys and commissioned by the gas industry initiative Gas for Climate. It is possible to scale up domestic renewable gas production as mostly biomethane but also hydrogen produced from wind and solar power. This approach could save money by avoiding running peakload generation capacity. The initiative also sees a role for natural gas used in combination with CCUS. (Clean Energy Wire)
They are who we thought they were- A new study looks at the spending habits and lobbying efforts of 21 American oil and utility companies, finding that only one firm pays attention to climate risk and only two employ a board member with climate expertise. The 50/50 Climate Project reported that ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips were the only two companies to feature a board member with experience on climate change, while Occidental Petroleum was the lone company that included climate change as part of its corporate oversight. Furthermore, the group revealed that companies in seven states had spent over $50 mil in opposing clean energy initiatives. (Politico)
Back in the race – The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party has cleared former party leader Patrick Brown to run for his old job. Despite the sexual misconduct allegations that prompted Brown’s resignation last month, he was approved by the party’s vetting committee on Wednesday. Jim Karahalios, an outspoken critic of Brown, told the National Post, that he was not surprised Brown passed the vetting process, since many executive members of the party got their positions while Brown was in charge, and they remain loyal to him to this day. With Brown back in the contest, his People’s Guarantee platform – and with it a pledge to adopt Canada’s federal backstop carbon pricing programme in place of the province’s cap-and-trade scheme that his rivals have rejected – could be back on the table for Ontario ahead of it June 7 election.
And finally… Canete can – Europe’s climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete gets an EU parliament pension while still serving as commissioner. The pension scheme is running a €326-million actuarial deficit and will go bust in a few years time. The 67-year-old former MEP earns it on top of his monthly salary of around €20,000 and is “fully declared and taxed by the Spanish authorities”. (EU Observer)