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California regulator Air Resources Board (ARB) may take steps in its current carbon market rulemaking package to address Ontario’s planned withdrawal from the WCI cap-and-trade programme, it said Thursday, while also hitting back against past comments that it had erred in the methodology used to set the state’s post-2020 emissions caps.
Ontario has indicated that it will withdraw from Canada’s national climate change plan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday, meaning the province will likely forgo hundreds of millions in federal low-carbon funding.
Carbon taxes can be designed with more assurances that they will cut emissions, US think-tank WRI said in a paper on Thursday, as a new group of former lawmakers launched a new campaign to tax US greenhouse gas output.
Brazil’s government should introduce an emissions trading system starting with extensive free allocation and a $10/tonne price ceiling, according to an academic study commissioned by business groups.
North American carbon prices gained on both coasts in the last week, with California traders shrugging off uncertainty generated by Ontario’s planned withdrawal from the WCI market and RGGI prices jumping in the wake of a stronger-than-anticipated auction result.
Europe’s highest court on Thursday rejected Poland’s lawsuit seeking to annul the EU’s decision to introduce the supply-curbing Market Stability Reserve (MSR) under the bloc’s carbon market.
The US owner of a Bulgarian power plant that last week contracted to buy €79 million ($91.7 mln) in EU carbon allowances has revealed the details of the deal, shedding some light on the opaque world of corporate emission unit tenders.
EU carbon prices climbed by more than 5% from their intraday low on Thursday, rising back towards €15 after it became clear that Wednesday’s options expiry would not trigger a large sell-off.
Switzerland has announced the dates for its next two carbon allowance auctions in what could be among the market’s final sales before it links with the EU ETS.
Australian group rolls out carbon market code of conduct to boost transparency, safeguard offset quality
Australia’s Carbon Market Institute has published a code of conduct for the nation’s carbon industry, which it hopes can help guarantee the quality of emission reductions projects and the accountability of market participants.
CARBON FORWARD 2018
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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
Raise the bar – The low-lying Marshall Islands led 22 other nations in committing to explore stepping up the ambition of their Paris pledges, eyeing the Sep. 2019 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit as the place for leaders to announce this. In a press release, Marshalls’ President Hilda Heine said she wants the countries to set a course for net zero emissions by 2050. Current signatories to this commitment include many of the 2015 members of the so-called “High Ambition Coalition” formed ahead of the Paris Agreement: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. The EU this week indicated that new, tougher energy goals will allow it to increase its 2030 NDC reduction target to just over 45% below 1990 levels.
Unintended consequences – President Trump’s “America First” policy, which has involved renegotiating trade treaties and imposing a slew of tariffs, could actually be good news for environmentalists and steady-state economists. In a piece for Axios, assistant director of the Energy Institute and the University of Texas at Austin Carey King says that higher prices brought about by Trump’s policies translates into elevated consumer costs and lower production, which can lower GHG emissions. King also refutes the claims of some economists and analysts who say that increased economic and energy efficiency reduces energy and resource consumption, pointing to data that links energy consumption and GDP growth.
Biofuel blindside – The EPA is considering delaying its announcement of the 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the US biofuels programme on Friday with the White House and EPA still hashing out an agreement to appease farmers, reports Reuters. The announcement, which was originally slated for June 1, comes after rumours circulated Wednesday that the EPA would move to reallocate compliance obligations for the Renewable Fuels Standard for facilities that received hardship waivers to larger refiners, but that news was met with stiff opposition from the oil industry, who said that the move would betray consumers and states that helped elect President Trump. One source said the White House was “blindsided” by the plan to reallocate the waived volumes, leading to the possible delay.
Think of the children – Climate change may get cut from social studies in the state of Michigan’s curriculum for grades K-12 thanks to a push from Republican state senator and gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck. A revised draft curriculum sent to the State Board of Education includes notes from Colbeck saying that climate change is “not settled science”, while also adding that the “alarmist atmosphere” climate change has created in classrooms has led students to pursue careers in meteorology and environmental science where there are a “relative lack of job opportunities”. State Democrats have now sought to push back on the proposed changes, and protesters are gathering this week at public forums to make their opposition to the edits heard. (Climate Nexus)
And finally… Tactical pants – Scandal-plagued US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has now spent more than $4.6 million from public coffers on security, according to documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act. The amount represents a $1.1 mln increase from Pruitt’s total security costs as released in another disclosure just a month ago. Pruitt’s high spending on security has become the subject of mounting criticism and a host of official investigations. FOIA records list expenses of $288,610 relating to a range of security-related items, including $2,749.62 spent on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos.”
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