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South Korea’s cabinet on Tuesday approved two key climate plans that will set the nation on course to meet its 2030 Paris pledge, while also allowing a near-term rise in CO2 emissions from ETS-regulated companies.
European carbon prices ended their five-day rally on Tuesday, easing back towards €17 after hitting a fresh seven-year high.
UK utility Drax produced 24% less coal-fired power in the first half of 2018, reducing its demand for EU carbon allowances as outages at the firm’s biomass units affected earnings.
The Trump administration’s reported plan to downgrade US vehicle fuel economy standards and revoke California’s authority to set more stringent targets would lead to higher transport sector emissions and greater economic and health losses, according to a policy brief issued Tuesday.
New Zealand carbon allowances rose to record highs for the sixth day in a row on Tuesday, with market observers saying there is more upside, though volumes are falling sharply as supply remains short.
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
Repeal review – Ontario’s fiscal watchdog announced on Tuesday that it had begun a review over how much Premier Doug Ford’s cap-and-trade repeal will cost the province. The undertaking, originally requested by NDP opposition leader Andrea Horwath, will be carried out by Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman and look into the economic impacts of cancelling nearly C$3 billion in carbon allowances purchased by Ontario entities at past auctions. While Ford’s Progressive Conservative government had previously pledged to orchestrate an “orderly wind-down” of cap-and-trade, market stakeholders and observers had noted that the pledge primarily concerned funding for programmes rather than allowances and compliance obligations. Meanwhile, Ontario House Leader Todd Smith also told reporters on Tuesday that he was unsure if the government would introduce legislation to repeal the climate law underpinning cap-and-trade this session, despite convening a rare summer legislative term earlier this month explicitly to accomplish that goal. (The Financial Post, iPolitics).
Green grab – Industrial companies such as aluminium and cement plants have followed tech firms to emerge as one of the main drivers for new renewables projects by sourcing the electricity directly. However, one challenge is that many industrial processes do not directly use electricity. For example, most of the energy needed for a cement plant is in the form of heat – “usually from burning coal or gas”. (Financial Times)
Potentially pivotal – Southeast Europe is known for its gas dependency on Russia and lignite power, but its enormous potential for renewables could help Europe meet its climate targets and strengthen regional economies. (Energy Transition)
Paris possible – Realising the Paris Agreement’s 2C goal is completely achievable, according to consultancy Mott MacDonald. Its Mission Possible report illustrates how this can be done by providing a recourse of positive technological, economic, and social changes that occur along the way.
Let it lead – A new US coalition formed on Monday as part of the latest push to send the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to the Senate for ratification. Known as the “Let America Lead” coalition, the group consists of National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chemistry Council among its founding members. The organisations say that they will work with Republican leaders to show that the amendment is in the best interests of American workers. George David Banks, former climate and international energy adviser to President Trump who has recently launched his own climate consultancy, will serve as a senior adviser to the group. (Politico)
Price chat – US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will join a webinar panel in late August hosted by Arizone State University which will look at current efforts to price carbon in the US. It will discuss what is the most promising legislative pathway, and bipartisan solutions at the state or federal level. Other panellists include Jerry Taylor, president of the Niskanen Center; Ted Halstead, chairman and CEO of the Climate Leadership Center; and Nathaniel Keohane, Senior Vice President at Environmental Defense Fund.
And finally… Sad statistics – New research has found that global warming is linked to increased rates of suicide, demonstrating how climate change is damaging not only physical and environmental health, but also mental health. In a paper published in Nature Climate Change, the authors analysed suicide and temperature data in the US and Mexico over the past few decades, showing that suicide rates rose 2.1% in Mexico and 0.7% in the US when the average monthly temperature rose by 1C. Professor Solomon Hsian, a co-author of the study, told The Independent that “we’ve been studying the effects of warming on conflict and violence for years, finding that people fight more when it’s hot … Now we see that in addition to hurting others, some individuals hurt themselves”. (Carbon Brief)
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