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EU nations such as France are moving in the right direction in their efforts to impose a carbon price floor in addition to the ETS because recent price rises still leave the market and other mechanisms insufficient for tackling climate change, according to World Bank climate chief John Roome.
The future of emissions trading globally rests on whether China’s carbon market is deemed a success by the international community.
The largest organised labour group in Washington came up short of formally backing the state’s carbon tax ballot initiative, signalling a potential gap in support ahead of the July filing deadline.
The Canadian Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) released an expanded assessment on Tuesday to support its recent forecast of how a federal carbon levy will impact the country’s GDP, though the analysis appeared somewhat extreme and binary in nature and did not account for a number of realities across Canada’s existing pricing patchwork.
European carbon extended the previous session’s seven-year high on Tuesday, crossing the €16 mark for the first time since June 2011 following a strong auction, though some traders are growing increasingly concerned that the large gains will lead to a sudden price collapse.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Another delay – The official launch of Germany’s coal exit commission has been postponed for a second time, a source told Clean Energy Wire. The issue will likely be dealt with at a cabinet meeting on May 30, according to the source. Tageszeitung journalist Malte Kreutzfeld wrote on Twitter there was still no agreement on the commission’s personnel, nor its remit. Meanwhile, a lawmaker with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party said the task force’s work must not be “dominated” by climate action and should instead focus on supply security and economic considerations in the affected regions. A separate departmental study revealed that Germany can decommission half of its coal power plants by 2030 without endangering supply security. “But this hinges on the precondition that the necessary grid extensions are finished by then, and that the planned gas power plants will be built as replacements,” the head of the Federal Network Agency told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Less intense – Staying with Germany, the country has cut the carbon intensity of its power generation by 36% since 1990. According to the Federal Environment Agency, one kWh of electricity produced an average of 489 g of CO2 in 2017. However, a growing share of emissions is associated with energy exports, which rose to an all-time high of 55 TWh last year. Between 2012 and 2017, the increase in power exports was higher (32 billion kWh) than the increase in net power production (25 bln kWh). If Germany cut its net power exports to zero, this would reduce emissions by 25 Mt, the government found.
Getting the data – The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) voted on Tuesday to hire an outside consult to conduct an economic analysis on the costs and benefits of the state rejoining RGGI. The analysis is designed to assist both the BPU and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in their ongoing discussions with RGGI Inc. and the other members states, as well as providing the department with various impact scenarios on future energy supply and demand.
Rare form – The US Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed bipartisan legislation on Tuesday to support the research and development of CCS technology. S-2602, originally introduced in March and heard by the committee in April, features rare support from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Tuesday’s vote included a substitute amendment from Senator John Barrasso (R), which ranking member Senator Tom Carper (D) said in a press release was designed to add further requirements on environmental reporting and public notice and comment periods so that “this legislation will not be used as a vehicle to attack the Clean Air Act”.
Greening Alberta – City councillors in Edmonton, Canada on Tuesday voted for a plan to purchase 100% renewable energy for all municipal operations. The plan is designed to help meet Edmonton’s goal of cutting emissions in half by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality for all city operations by 2050, with supplementary components of the plan to include buying electric buses as the diesel fleet ages and switching street lights over to LED. While Alberta companies had previously said that a long-term power purchase for wind energy would likely raise the cost of procurement by C$4 to C$20 MW, city officials said they will present new numbers on June 18 that show how costs have come down since those statistics were developed 16 months ago. (The Edmonton Journal)
No matter how you look at it – Oregon’s GHG emissions are rising, no matter how you look at them. The state’s DEQ published a report on Monday showing sector-based emissions rose by 10% between 1990 and 2015, while its consumption-based emissions rose by 42% over the same timeframe. According to Oregon Business, state inventories also reveal other patterns, with consumption-based emissions overall are higher than sector-based. The former accounted for 89 million tonnes in 2015, while sector-based emissions accounted for 63 Mt. Between 2005 and 2015, the state’s consumption-based emissions rose by 11%, in parallel with population growth, while the amount of money Oregonians spent on products and services increased by 30%.
And finally… Bank in the saddle – George David Banks, former top energy and environment adviser to President Trump, announced on Tuesday the formation of his new campaign designed to influence shareholder resolutions on climate change. Main Street Investors, housed inside the National Association of Manufacturers, will look to limit the ways that large investment firms like BlackRock and Vanguard Group exert overwhelming influence at the expense of individual investors. Banks’ group will first begin by writing op-eds and studies supporting their positions before pushing for larger legislative and policy changes at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The former Trump aide was forced to resign this winter after he was told he would not receive permanent White House security clearance for past marijuana use. (Axios)
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