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EU ETS stakeholders are expecting further changes to the carbon market as most believe recently-agreed reforms aren’t enough to meet the bloc’s long-term climate goals, a report found on Tuesday.
The full European Parliament on Tuesday gave its approval to two bills that extend to 2030 emissions goals for sectors outside the EU ETS, giving a select number of richer member states the option of cancelling some EUAs to help meet the their targets more easily.
European carbon prices ended a run of seven straight days of gains on Tuesday, slipping back from the previous session’s seven-year peak as key energy prices also took a tumble.
Australia’s main opposition party on Tuesday embraced draft changes to the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) it said would make the policy work like an emission intensity trading scheme, but maintained that the government-set emission target and approach to state renewable goals were unacceptable.
New Zealand on Tuesday established its Interim Climate Change Committee, which will explore whether and how to bring agriculture into the nation’s emissions trading scheme.
China will have to cut production levels in its most polluting industries by 30% before the end of next decade to meet the government’s air pollution targets, but the country has the opportunity to build a cleantech market worth $3.2 trillion along the way, according to a study released Tuesday.
RGGI will hold its second allowance auction of the year on June 13, following March’s sold-out auction that featured a near two-year high in compliance-oriented purchasing.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
UK review – The UK will review its 2050 climate targets to see whether they need to be strengthened to fit with the aims of the Paris Agreement, Britain’s climate minister Claire Perry said. She called on the UK’s independent advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, to assess the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets after the UN-backed IPCC panel publishes its report on the impacts of 1.5 C of warming this autumn, Reuters reports. Perry’s call is in step with EU leaders last month requesting the European Commission to review EU-wide 2050 climate targets by Q1 2019. (Climate Home)
Logging out – Poland’s decision to triple logging in its old-growth Bialowieza forest breaks EU law, the EU’s top court has ruled, following an earlier advisory backing the European Commission’s efforts. Poland, which has promoted the CO2-absorbing ability of its vast swathes of forests as one of its key solutions in its climate action plans, said it would respect the ruling and submit a new forest protection plan to Brussels. (Reuters)
Wind up – Investment in new European wind farms and equipment is expected to increase this year after a sharp drop in 2017, helped by several large project auctions, according to industry body WindEurope. Spending is forecast to rise 4% to €23.2 billion, after a 19% decline in 2017 due to a sector shift toward competitive tender-based auctions and away from subsidies. (Reuters)
More lawsuits – Several Colorado communities have now joined the growing wave of municipalities taking legal action against fossil fuel companies and seeking compensation for the impacts of climate change, Climate Liability News reports. The city and county of Boulder and the county of San Miguel on Tuesday announced a new lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor, two of the largest oil companies with active operations in Colorado. It’s the first climate liability lawsuit filed by an interior, non-coastal community in the US. The Colorado communities – like coastal communities in California and New York City – are demanding that fossil fuel companies help pay for the costs associated with climate change impacts. They allege that these companies long knew about the danger of unrestrained fossil fuel burning and deliberately downplayed the risk to policymakers and the public.
HFC 2.0 – The US EPA has committed to rewriting a regulation banning HFCs, according to Axios, supporting a low profile but nonetheless significant climate policy issued by President Obama. In a document signed late Friday by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency laid out compliance guidelines for affected industries, chiefly heating and cooling companies, in the wake of a court ruling last year rejecting the Obama-era rule. EPA also committed to rewriting the rule, the first official comment from the agency on the issue, according to experts following the issue.
And finally… Meanwhile in the boardroom – Shell is publicly urging shareholders to reject a shareholder resolution next month promoted by the group Follow This, Axios reports. The group is calling on the company to align its business with limiting the Paris target of a global temperature rise well below 2 C. Shell CEO Ben van Beurden took on the resolution on a call with reporters yesterday where he touted the company’s low-carbon initiatives. “We’ll be aligned with society’s progress but we will not be tied to an approach that potentially moves too quickly or too slowly to this transition,” he said, according to Reuters.
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