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European carbon prices stormed to a new 10-year high near €22 on Monday, rising more than €1 or over 5% at one point as the lack of an auction and a UK holiday squeezed supply.
Australia has launched a review into its project methodology for allowing airliners to earn carbon credits, after seeing more than three years go by without issuing a single offset to the aviation industry.
Australia appears set to extend its policy inertia on climate change issues after new Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the weekend emphasised his focus would be on bringing down electricity prices, while appointing a renewables opponent as his new energy minister.
The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) should alter its planned treatment of external transactions under the entity’s proposed CO2 price to avoid higher emitting resources coming into the state’s grid, as well as possible legal issues, stakeholders said during a workshop on Monday.
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Job listings this week:
- Senior Project Director, Greenhouse Gas Management Institute – US
- Senior Policy Analyst – Climate Change, NZ Ministry for the Environment – Wellington
- Senior Energy & Climate Change Consultant, ERM – Sydney
- Climate and Clean Energy Policy Manager, Washington Environmental Council – Seattle
- Carbon and Energy Policy Auditor, Pangolin Associates – Sydney
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Meeting goals – German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised a suggestion by Europe’s climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete to up the EU’s 2030 GHG reduction goal by 5 percentage points to 45%. “I am not so happy about the new proposals because many member states today do not comply with what they have already promised. We should first reach the goals we have already set. I don’t think that constantly setting new targets makes sense,” she said. (Reuters)
Price expansion – A price on carbon emissions from fossil fuels could help to drastically reduce the cost of Germany’s renewables surcharge for customers and effectively accelerate emissions reduction in the country, according to an expert opinion commissioned by the German environment agency (UBA). The report says that expanding the costs of Germany’s Renewables Act on coal, gas, diesel, and petrol by €30 for every tonne of CO2 could wash about 10 billion additional euros into the state’s coffers and help bring down the surcharge from 6.88 cents per kWh in 2017 by up to 3 cents per kWh. (Clean Energy Wire)
Get in line – New Brunswick Progressive Conservative (PC) leader Brian Higgs on Monday said that the province will join the current and prospective leaders of Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta in suing the Canadian federal government over its ‘backstop’ carbon pricing plan if elected on Sep. 24. Higgs said that he believes a Tory government would “meet its obligations to the environment” with other approaches besides raising levies on consumers, though he did not elaborate further. However, the latest CBC poll shows the Tories 11 percentage points behind current Premier Brian Gallant’s Liberal party, though Ottawa has also said that the ruling government’s proposal to re-label a portion of the province’s gasoline tax as a carbon tax falls short of meeting federal standards. (iPolitics)
Factor of five – Deforestation rates in the woodlands of Southern Africa between 2007 and 2010 were five times greater than previously thought, according to new research. A study published in Nature Communications used radar data instead of visual satellite imagery to measure the biomass of the region’s woodlands, finding that carbon losses in the area were also three to six times higher. The data also revealed that roughly 17% of the region’s area was degraded over the time period. (Mongabay).
McCain on climate – US Senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain passed away on Saturday, and Inside Climate News profiled the lawmaker’s history on climate-related issues. Though McCain helped co-author early versions of federal cap-and-trade legislation in 2003 and 2005 – bills that were defeated both times – the senator did not continue on that course during President Obama’s tenure. McCain also didn’t contribute to efforts to create an ETS in 2010 when Democrats had a majority in both legislative chambers, and he voted for an unsuccessful measure that year to revoke the Obama administration’s regulatory authority over GHG emissions. (Axios)
The gang goes green – The City of Philadelphia has laid out a plan to reduce GHGs by 80% below 2006 levels by 2050, including a goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewables by mid-century. Following a draft released last November, the plan calls for an 80% reduction in building-related emissions – which contribute to 79% of the city’s GHGs – and a municipal action plan targets emissions from 600 city-owned buildings, including the installation of solar panels at the Philadelphia Water Department treatment plant. The city’s plan coincides with the mayors of 19 other international cities signing the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration last week, which includes a pledge that new buildings operate at net-zero carbon by 2030 and that all buildings follow suit by 2050. The declaration, organised by C40 Cities, precedes the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco from Sep. 12-14. (Utility Dive)
And finally… What the kids are playing these days – If you think you can come up a solution to climate change, there’s a new testing ground: Minecraft. Developer Nick Porillo has made a new plugin that adds climate change to one of the most popular video games ever made. The plugin, called GlobalWarming, adds a number of new elements into the game mechanics. For starters, the concept of CO2 is added to the game’s atmosphere, with different elements of gameplay affecting those levels, including smelting ores or cooking using a furnace. Each burn increases emissions and the global temperature continue to rise, with the frequency and severity of the resulting negative climate damage increasing gradually as temperatures creep upwards. As CO2 levels in the game rise, there are consequences, ranging from decreases in snowfall to severe storms and devastating forest fires. The best way for players to stop this? Trees, obviously. (Motherboard)
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