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Efforts to incentivise negative emission activities in the US are slowly emerging, but they face huge challenges to play more than a supporting role over the next decade.
After years of rapid expansion, China is slamming the brakes on solar power capacity growth this year to shift its focus onto quality control and cost reduction, senior energy officials said Tuesday, signalling a bump in the road in the country’s efforts to wean itself off fossil fuels.
Japan this week issued the first-ever batch of offsets to a Thailand-based project under the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), taking the number of host countries that have received carbon credits under the programme to five of Japan’s 17 partners.
New Zealand carbon allowances fell 0.3% on Tuesday but still ended just 30 cents below the all-time highs hit in February, as overall market sentiment remains bullish.
Analysts Energy Aspects have raised their EU carbon price forecasts for the third time in as many months, though warned that the market appears to be getting “jittery” amid heightened options-related risk.
European carbon prices climbed back above €13 on Tuesday after a stronger auction encouraged buyers and appeared to trigger a bout of short-covering.
CARBON FORWARD 2018
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Korean help – South Korea will use its green technology to help developing countries cut 860 Mt of CO2e by 2030, the Ministry of Science and ICT has announced, according to Business Korea. It also said the country would play a leading role in developing international climate policies, although the plan was pretty light on details. The announcement is not related to South Korea’s plans to buy 100 mln international carbon credits to meet its own Paris goal. A strategy for achieving that will be part of the nation’s updated GHG Roadmap, which is expected to be released within the coming days or weeks.
Stripped? – In the latest redrawing of Germany’s power map as the nation moves away from nuclear and fossil fuels, EON will take over Innogy from rival RWE, along with €850 million of green bonds sold by Innogy Finance in October to finance wind farms. But as Bloomberg reports, the green credentials of those bonds are now up in the air, according to the firm which gave the securities their environmentally-friendly label. “Should an issuer undergo a significant organizational change such as a merger or an acquisition, Sustainalytics would reevaluate its second party opinion on the green bond, including the new firm’s sustainability strategy,” a spokeswoman for the research and ratings provider said.
New law soon – Queensland, which accounts for over half of Australia’s annual deforestation, could introduce a new law that will restrict clearing as soon as next week, the Guardian reports. A state commission released a report Monday night proposing only a few changes to the state Labor government’s proposal. That news coincided with a new report by the Climate Council, which found that more than 1 mln hectares of woody vegetation were cleared in Queensland during 2012-16 after the former Liberal party government eased clearing rules.
CO2 club – A collection of five oil and energy companies have launched the Energy Advance Center to develop and progress CCS technologies in the US. The companies include oil majors BP and Chevron, industrial systems company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, utility Southern Company, and Denbury Resources – an oil company that engages in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations from depleted reservoirs. (Axios)
Weather whiplash – Although the long-term annual average precipitation in southern California is expected to remain relatively consistent, large swings between intense wet and dry periods will double by 2100, according to new research. In addition to the increasing phenomenon of “weather whiplash”, the study published Monday in Nature Climate Change also said that ‘mega-floods’ could also triple in a warming world, recalling a similar event in 1861-62 that inundated a large portion of the state over a 43-day period. (Climate Nexus)
Show us your numbers – US EPA Scott Pruitt is expected to unveil his new science policy that restricts the agency from relying on research that doesn’t make public all its available data, a source told Politico. The proposed rule, which the agency submitted to the White House for review last week, will mirror legislation from House Science Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Pruitt argues the change will bolster transparency, but scientists and health advocates say it is an effort to constrain rule-making.
And finally… Climate cause – A Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that four climate activists who shut down a tar sands pipeline in Oct. 2016 should be able to use a ‘necessity’ defence when their case goes to trial. The activists, who have been charged with crimes ranging from trespassing to criminal mischief, argue that they engaged in the tactic to stop the immediate threat of climate change. The case will be the first time that defendants will be able to present the climate necessity argument to a jury nationwide, and can solicit expert opinions to back up their views in court. (Think Progress)
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