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Australia’s Queensland state has begun work to establish a A$500-million ($390 mln) fund that will use carbon markets to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the land sector, the government said Friday.
EU countries have distributed almost three quarters of the 756.58 million allowances to be given free to industrial emitters for 2018 under the ETS, according to data released late Friday by the European Commission, with the same four governments as last year lagging in the annual process.
The UK government on Friday listed the implementation of the EU ETS as one of 24 areas that it wants to continue to administer temporarily post-Brexit rather than immediately devolve to sub-national jurisdictions.
EU carbon prices ended flat on Friday after setting a fresh six-year high in early trade, as a mixed auction result led to a brief drop below €11.
A proposed ban on forestry credits in Ontario’s cap-and-trade market should raise environmental integrity flags for other WCI members and prompt them to review their offset project rules.
California lime maker offers to build new plant in exchange for cap-and-trade, carbon leakage assistance
A California company says it will construct a new lime manufacturing plant in the state if regulators protect the sector from carbon leakage and grant it the same assistance under California’s cap-and-trade scheme as afforded to a related industry.
The People’s Bank of China will step up scrutiny of green bonds to improve transparency and ensure the capital raised is channelled into projects that bring environmental benefits, it said Friday.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Schulze in charge – As expected, Germany’s new minister for the environment and nuclear safety will be Svenja Schulze from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the country’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). She will be “an excellent minister” who supports climate action and environmental protection “with her whole heart”, SPD party head Olaf Scholz said at a press conference. Schulze was previously general secretary of the regional SPD group in NRW and served as the state’s science minister from 2010 to 2017. According to Clean Energy Wire, she was a member of IG BCE, Germany’s Trade Union for mining, chemicals and energy industries – which is staunchly opposed to a quick end of coal-fired power production in Germany. She was also a member of NABU, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, to “exert pressure” and push environmental protection, she said. Schulze follows fellow SPD politician Barbara Hendricks, who had served as environment minister since 2013. (Clean Energy Wire)
Tighter reins – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is reviewing last year’s recommendations of its ethics watchdog and considering blacklisting more energy, steel and cement firms, as well as adding shipping companies due to their carbon footprints. A company that is a big emitter of climate gases must show what credible plans it has to cut emissions by 2030 to remain in the fund’s portfolio. (Reuters)
Watered down – A coalition of four states, led by Brazil, has deleted parts of an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) draft global agreement that calls for stringent GHG cuts in the shipping sector. The joint submission omits a passage that would see maritime GHGs capped at 2008 levels and reduced “significantly” by 2050, while also tacking on a phrase saying that no policy measures “are expected to be implemented” before 2023. Paulo Chiarelli, Brazil’s director of climate change at the foreign ministry, said that the change was made over how a low-carbon shipping sector would impact developing countries, but both domestic and foreign critics have lined up to accuse the country of acquiescing to industry. (Climate Home)
Status Moe – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Regina on Friday hasn’t changed his mind about being the lone provincial holdout on Canada’s national climate change plan. Moe reiterated that he isn’t willing to put a tax on carbon because that would hurt Saskatchewan’s industries. But he said that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to talk with the federal government about what Saskatchewan is doing to reduce emissions from mining, energy and agriculture.
What about 1.75? – Carbon Tracker has published its latest report Mind the Gap: the $1.6 trillion energy transition risk, which compares fossil fuel demand in a 1.75C world with demand in 2C, and 2.7C scenarios. The report finds that fossil fuel companies risk wasting $1.6 trillion of expenditure by 2025 by basing their business decisions on governments’ current climate policies instead of the Paris Agreement. Although at present, governments’ policies fall short of the ultimate goal of the Paris Agreement, we should expect a ratcheting up of international efforts. Investors could face losses in the future from stranded assets if fossil fuel companies over-invest based on a false sense of security. The study updates Carbon Tracker’s 2 Degrees of Separation report and is the first to look at demand for fossil fuels in a 1.75C world.
Tariff trepidation – New US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports finalised on Thursday included an exemption for products not “reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality”. The provision comes as a potential relief for the oil and gas industry, who had said that the tariffs would increase project costs for supplies like pipelines that are not available domestically. (Axios)
And finally… Space is the place – The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched the world’s first satellite system to monitor GHG emissions. The Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (Tropomi) has a resolution of roughly 2.6 square kilometers, allowing it to collect emissions data from a specific city. Furthermore, Tropomi has shared information with the satellite of Montreal-based GHGSat Inc., called Claire. GHGSat Inc. has designed Claire to have an imaging accuracy of about 15 square meters, which would allow it detect even smaller sources of GHG emissions, like methane leaks. The company says that these high resolution satellites could serve large industrial companies as part of a “tiered system” of emissions sensors. Another competitor, California-based Bluefield Technologies, expects that government agencies will begin outsourcing emissions monitoring duties to private companies. (Scientific American).
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