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The UN’s aviation agency ICAO adopted its CORSIA rulebook on Wednesday, snubbing several governments’ calls for changes while giving airlines few additional signals on what offsets they can use to comply.
California regulator ARB doled out more than 619,200 carbon offsets this week in its latest issuance covering all four active project types.
EU carbon prices climbed to their highest level for almost two weeks on Wednesday, as a jump in oil prices lifted the energy complex and helped offset a weak UK auction result.
Speculators and intermediaries picked up most of Germany’s auctioned carbon allowances last month, government data showed, with installation operators recording their smallest share in more than a year.
A subsidiary of Sinopec, China’s biggest refinery group, has made a 1.3-million yuan ($200,000) profit by swapping Shanghai CO2 permits it had saved as a result of a government clampdown on overcapacity in the sector.
The head of environmental markets and strategy at Australia’s biggest carbon project developer has left the company to set up his own offset advisory firm.
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
In grave endangerment – US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he will retire this summer, with President Trump and Congressional GOP leaders indicating they intend to pick a replacement before November’s mid-term elections. While there are a number of past rulings that could potentially be reversed by Kennedy’s retirement, his decision throws into question the future of the EPA’s obligation to regulate GHGs, otherwise known as the endangerment finding. In Massachusetts v. EPA, Kennedy sided with the four liberal judges in arguing that the EPA would have to treat CO2 like any other pollutant unless the then Bush-era EPA provided “scientific basis” for its reasoning. Although Kennedy had a more mixed record on other environmental issues, his successor confirmed by a Republican Congress is likely to be much further to the right. “I think all people who watch the court and care about the environment should be fearful,” said Michael Blumm, a law professor at Lewis and Clark College. (Grist)
Worse than we thought – A leaked draft of a major UN climate change report shows growing certainty that 2C, once shorthand for a ‘safe’ amount of planetary warming, would be a dangerous step for humanity. The authors make clear the difference between warming of 1.5C and 2C would be “substantial” and damaging to communities, economies and ecosystems across the world. In 2015, the Paris Agreement established twin goals to hold temperature rise from pre-industrial times “well below 2C” and strive for 1.5C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has since been working to assess the difference between those targets, with a view to publishing a sweeping analysis of all available research in October this year. (Climate Home)
Forest loss – Tropical forests lost 15.8 million hectares of tree cover in 2017 – an area the size of Bangladesh – marking the worst year since 2016 and the second-worst since records began in 2001. Colombia saw a dramatic increase in forest degradation last year, while levels in Brazil remain historically high and almost 30% of the total, according to new satellite data from the University of Maryland published by the World Resources Institute. Indonesia saw its tree cover loss drop 60%, which experts attribute to increased peatland protection. (AP)
Virtually there – The 48 nations of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a cross-cutting group of developing nations of 1 billion people, will convene virtual summit for world leaders on Nov. 22. It aims to build momentum for countries to raise their climate action ambition ahead of 2020 to align with the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement, which, if breached, threatens the existence of many low-lying nations and forum members. The announcement made by the Marshall Islands was welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch climate minister Eric Wiebes, and California Governor Jerry Brown.
Billion-dollar (S)ask – A new study shows that Canada’s federal ‘backstop’ carbon tax could reduce Saskatchewan’s GPD by C$16 billion between 2019 and 2030. The research, which utilised information from the Saskatchewan government, Statistics Canada, and a computer model developed by the University of Regina, says that a carbon tax of C$50 per tonne of would reduce provincial GDP by 2.43%, equating to C$1.8 billion annually. Saskatchewan Environment Minister Dustin Duncan cited the study as proof of why the province has never supported the tax and his fighting it in court, which Premier Scott Moe having asked the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in April to rule on whether the federal government would be acting unconstitutionally in imposing its carbon pricing system on the province. It’s not clear whether the modelling took into account the fact that all proceeds collected under the backstop tax are to be recycled to consumers. (Calgary Herald)
Cargill cuts carbon – Multi-sectoral corporation Cargill announced in its first corporate responsibility report that it will aim to cut carbon emissions from its transportation business by 15% by 2020 and across its global operations by 10% by the same year. The company, which already reduced CO2 emissions in its ocean transportation business by 5.7% last year, also said in its report that it will investigate carbon pricing in its various forms, and look at a carbon offset scheme for travel and various events. (Environmental Leader)
Clean energy candidates – US political candidates running on environmental protection and clean energy came up big in state-wide primary elections on Tuesday night. In New York’s 14th congressional district, Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders campaigner, upset incumbent Senator Joe Crowley, who was viewed as a potential candidate for the Speaker of the US House if Democrats flip the chamber in the fall elections. Ocasio-Cortez outlined plans during her campaign to transition the US to 100% renewable energy by 2035, with her website advocating “a war for climate justice” in order to avoid a worldwide refugee crisis. Further south, former NAACP president Ben Jealous won the Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Jealous said that as governor he would set a deadline for turning Maryland into a 100% clean energy state, along with introducing environmental justice policies to protect marginalised communities. (Think Progress)
And finally… The Barents Trap – The rate of warming in the Arctic ocean is increasing so dramatically that it may transform into an upper arm of the Atlantic ocean, according to a new study. Research published in Nature Climate Change shows how the Barents Sea in Scandinavia has warmed by 2.7 F (1.5 C) since 2000, with the resulting loss of sea ice and increase in salinity causing the body of water to exhibit more characteristics in common with the Atlantic. While the model simulations indicated that the Barents Sea could become Atlantic-like by the end of the century, the authors’ results suggest that the phenomenon could happen much sooner. (Climate Nexus)
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