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This dossier showcases Carbon Pulse’s expansion into reporting on North American markets for alternative fuels. It gives an overview of the three sub-national low-carbon fuel standards (LCFSs) in North America – market-based mechanisms for reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels within a jurisdiction.
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California regulator ARB handed out over 6.4 million California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) this week in the third largest issuance in the programme’s history, with one new forestry project receiving the vast majority of the credits.
A dry winter is expected to hamper low-carbon hydroelectric power generation in California this summer, according the state’s independent system operator, pointing to a potential tightening of the state’s cap-and-trade market.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator on Wednesday released new methods for generating carbon credits from savanna burning projects in a move to ensure developers can also earn offsets for sequestering CO2.
The US-based Paulson Institute has launched a green finance centre in China to help the world’s biggest-emitting nation drive private funding to cut pollution levels and reduce greenhouse gas output.
Technology conglomerate Softbank and utility Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) are among the participants in a new blockchain initiative in Japan that will allow rural consumers to trade renewable energy in a bid to cut emissions.
New Zealand carbon allowances saw their second consecutive day of losses on Wednesday as buyers took a breather after pushing prices up to near-record highs.
European carbon prices rose above €14 on Wednesday, coming within sight of their recent seven-year high as the flow of short-term supply paused and President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of an international nuclear pact with Iran lifted the wider energy complex.
CARBON FORWARD 2018
Don’t miss the 3rd annual Carbon Forward conference and training day – Oct. 16-18, 2018 in London.
Spend two days with top experts, players, and decision-makers from the global carbon markets as they address today’s most attractive opportunities and pressing challenges. And join us for the EU ETS pre-conference training day organised by carbon market experts Redshaw Advisors, where you will learn how to effectively manage your carbon risk ahead of the looming overhaul of the bloc’s emissions trading scheme.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
More please? – The UN plans to hold an extra week-long round of climate negotiations in Bangkok this September, following “lacklustre progress” made during the ongoing two-week talks in Bonn. Countries have “become bogged down in technical detail” ahead of an end-2018 deadline to finalise the Paris Agreement rulebook. (Climate Home)
Bank spank – None of the six leading multilateral development banks (MDBs) has investment portfolios fully in line with the 1.5-2C Paris goals, according to think-tank E3G. It ranked the Inter-American Development Bank top and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) bottom. (Climate Home)
Keep it 100 – California regulator ARB announced on Wednesday that all 262 parties actively reporting to the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) were in full compliance with the scheme in 2017. All 55 parties that held credit deficits at the end of 2017 were able to meet their compliance obligation, meaning that ARB will not conduct a Credit Clearance Market this year for other parties to pledge surplus LCFS credits for non-compliant entities to purchase.
Municipal muster – Voters in the town of Athens, Ohio (pop. 23,800) approved an opt-out carbon fee during the state’s primary election on Tuesday – the first carbon pricing scheme to be passed in the US this year. Members of the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) electric aggregation programme will pay 0.2 cents per kWh of energy used, amounting to an average monthly fee between $1.60 and $1.80. City residents that wish to avoid the fee must opt out of the entire aggregation programme. Revenues from the fee will go towards installing solar projects on public buildings, and any Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated from the solar projects would be transferred back to carbon fee payers. The Athens City Sustainability Plan stipulate a 20% reduction in residential and commercial energy consumed by the grid in 2020, along with increasing solar generation capacity by 20%. (The Athens Messenger)
Early movers – A secret UK push to weaken key EU climate laws before Brexit risks scotching the bloc’s Paris commitments, MEPs say. The EU has committed to a 20% cut in its energy use by 2020 to be achieved by two directives, covering energy efficiency and buildings. But leaked documents seen by the Guardian show that Britain is pushing for its 2014-2020 timeline to be stretched backwards four years to count “early actions” taken that comply with the efficiency directive. Any “excess energy savings” during the law’s writ would then be forwarded to the post-2020 period. MEPs have branded the plan “incomprehensible”.
Losing out – The impending closure of nuclear plants across the US will result in the loss of carbon-free electricity that renewable energy can’t make up for, according to a new report from thinktank Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The report says that most of the already shuttered nuclear reactors are being replaced by more carbon-intensive natural gas, while federal policy that would drive nuclear development in the near term is unlikely. Nuclear provides 20% of the country’s electricity but over 50% of zero-emissions power. (Axios)
Keep carbon in mind – Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission has directed the state’s three investor-owned utilities to use a more robust cost of carbon estimate when filing their next integrated resource plans (IRPs) in 2019. While the commission approved the group’s IRPs for 2018 on Monday, it also instructed the utilities to emphasise and respond to developments in state and federal carbon policy, suggesting the monetary costs of climate damages formulated by Washington’s Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases. The commissions also expressed concern regarding the utilities’ continued reliance on coal-fired generation. (Utility Dive)
And finally… Protest works – Hours after environmental activists had occupied the foyer of the Brussels office of KBC Bank, a major Belgian bank, the company announced it will not allow new financing of coal-fired power plants or coal mines from June 2018. KBC Bank has, through its Czech subsidiary CSOB, financed the expansion of coal mines and power plants in Czechia. KBC Bank’s new policy will affect mines seeking to expand but exempts existing coal-fired plants widely used in Czechia for central heating. (CoalWire, The Ecologist)
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