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Washington state campaigners will submit enough signatures to the Secretary of State’s office this Monday to put another CO2 tax proposal on the state’s November ballot, raising hope that voters can overcome years of unsuccessful attempts to put a price on carbon in the US state.
South Korea on Thursday released a revised 2030 roadmap for meeting its Paris obligations, scaling back the amount of international carbon credits it plans to buy and instead imposing tougher emission reduction goals on domestic industry.
The US will miss its Paris Agreement GHG targets even if market forces benefit clean energy and planned federal environmental rollbacks are not completed, according to a study published Thursday.
US-based fund Climate Trust Capital (CTC) has teamed with green group The Nature Conservancy to close its largest carbon offset deal, which involves an improved forest management project in Maine.
US markets were mostly quiet this week as traders looked ahead to the July 4 holiday next Wednesday, though RGGI allowances saw their highest volumes of the year transacted at the end of last week.
The UK is falling short in efforts to cut emissions in non-ETS sectors but it should not resort to buying foreign offsets to help meet its binding targets, the country’s climate advisory body said Thursday.
EU carbon prices fell back to €15 on Thursday, fading in the final hour to stall the recovery in EUAs built up over the past week or so.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Dutch drop – The Dutch Parliament is set to approve a law that will require national emissions to drop by 95% below 1990 levels by 2050, lawmakers representing 75% of the country’s lower house said on Wednesday. The proposed bill also sets an interim target of GHG reductions 49% below 1990 levels by 2030, along with requiring carbon neutrality in the electricity supply by 2050. (Reuters)
Ship shape – Meeting the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) climate goal agreed in April will not require a new treaty, according to new analysis by green group Environmental Defense Fund and the Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Instead, enshrining the goal of reducing international shipping emissions by at least 50% below 2008 levels by 2050 can be accomplished by simply amending its existing regulations, namely Annex VI of the IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
Another EPA lawsuit – A group of 11 US states and Washington DC sued the EPA on Wednesday, alleging that Administrator Scott Pruitt illegally moved to roll back restrictions on potent hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The jurisdictions, led by New York, challenged an Apr. 27 guidance from Pruitt stating that rescinding the Obama-era EPA’s 2015 restrictions on the pollutants would “dispel confusion and provide regulatory certainty” for users, with New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood also arguing that the EPA was wrong in avoiding a public review process to discuss the changes. The EPA had previously said during the Obama years that limiting HFCs by 2020 could reduce annual GHG emissions between 26 and 31 Mt. (Reuters)
Expect action – Wyoming Senator John Barrasso (R) told reporters at a carbon capture event on Capitol Hill Wednesday that he expects the US Senate to act on his related bill. S-2602, dubbed the USE IT Act, has still not been introduced in the House of Representatives, but Barrasso said he will continue to work on legislation that incentivises carbon capture and attracts bipartisan support. While the USE IT Act was confirmed by a voice vote in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on May 22, Barrasso said that the hardest issue in the Senate is finding the time for a fully debated process. (Utility Dive)
Standard shuffle – A report from US-based think-tanks Third Way and The Breakthrough Institute argues that Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) should be converted into “clean energy standards” (CES) that credit nuclear and other zero-carbon sources. Amid fears that global warming will be exacerbated by cheap natural gas replacing zero-carbon nuclear facilities that are slated to go offline, the report says that a CES could ensure larger amounts of zero-carbon energy generation from nuclear and other sources. Previously, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham in 2010 and President Barack Obama in 2012 floated the idea of a CES, but both proposals never went anywhere. (Axios)
Drought-fuelled dowries – Climate change-fuelled drought is leading to a rise in child marriage in parts of war-torn South Sudan and Kenya, as families trade their daughters for cows and goats to survive. Families in these regions have married girls off at earlier ages during drought as this earns them dowries and raises the odds of being fed by wealthier husbands, with parents in South Sudan now able to receive up to 300 cows in dowry during the conflict and drought than the 30 they could obtain during peacetime. According to UN data, marriage among girls under 18 in South Sudan has risen to 52% from 40% in 2010. (Reuters)
And finally… An emissions-free earful – Finland-based energy company Fortum has introduced the Singalong Shuttle, an emissions-free taxi service that only accepts singing as payment. The fleet, which consists entirely of electric cars, will begin operating at country’s Ruisrock Festival in early July. “With Singalong Shuttle we want to show people in a joyful way how comfortable and easy it is to drive an electric car,” says Fortum’s Brand Manager Jussi Mälkiä. “The silent electric cars make it possible to enjoy singing without background noise and emissions.” Fortum also operates the largest EV charging network in the Nordic countries with over 2,000 stations.
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