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UK emitters will be required to participate in a cross-EU data collection exercise in 2019 to help the bloc plan for the next phase of the EU ETS, the British government has told plant operators, adding that the data could help it design its own post-Brexit carbon pricing system.
California lawmakers’ rush to approve climate-related bills ahead of Friday’s deadline for the two-year legislative session accelerated this week, passing legislation designed to eliminate the release of potent heat-trapping gases and to allow for more forest clearing in an effort to prevent wildfires.
China’s Guangdong province has suspended its regional carbon offset programme, as the local government wants to improve the mechanism before issuing further credits.
Australian waste specialist firm LMS Energy this week received over 840,000 carbon credits for emission reductions at landfill sites across the nation.
Below is a table of the closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week. All prices are in RMB, and volumes in tonnes of CO2e. Data sourced from local exchanges.
EU carbon held above €21 on Friday in another volatile session that cemented a huge gain for August, though observers say prices could come under pressure next week as auction volumes return to normal.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Alberta’s out – In a dramatic announcement Thursday evening, Premier Rachel Notley said she is pulling Alberta out of Canada’s national climate change plan to protest a federal court ruling that quashed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline – a verdict she called a threat to Canadian sovereignty and economic security. Pulling out doesn’t appear to carry much significance though, as the premier said her decision has no impact on Alberta’s own climate plan or the carbon tax her NDP government introduced in 2017. The withdrawal could cast doubt on future increases of the current C$30/tonne levy, which under federal guidelines are due in 2021, though the opposition UCP party, which is leading in the polls ahead of next year’s provincial election, has made scrapping the tax a top priority. Notley said Alberta will not sign on to the national climate plan “until the federal government gets its act together,” adding “let’s be clear … without Alberta that plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said his government remains committed to building the pipeline, which it has agreed to purchase from Kinder Morgan. (CBC)
State-backed green – In Australia, the Queensland state government has launched a new state-owned power generator that will source 100% renewables. The new company, CleanCo, will be launched with a A$250 million ($182 mln) grant to develop 100 MW of renewables capacity, and is expected to begin trading electricity next year. Queensland’s two existing state-owned power companies run on coal and gas. The state has Australia’s highest per capita carbon emissions, but the Labor government said the increased push for renewables would cut emissions as well as help power bills in the state go down around A$70 per household. (Fairfax)
The long game – The commission tasked with planning Germany’s coal exit could extend its negotiations well into 2019, although it is scheduled to deliver ideas for quick emissions reduction and an end date for coal-fired power production by December this year. According to the energy policy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background, several of the commission’s members said that keeping the schedule was “absolutely impossible,” while others said they were more optimistic. The commission started its work in June, 1.5 years after it had first been announced in Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050. (Clean Energy Wire)
Point of no return – The world is approaching the “point of no return” at which it is absolutely necessary to act on climate or global temperatures will not fall below 2C above pre-industrial levels, according to a new report. Writing in the journal Earth System Dynamics, the authors said that the world’s governments must initiate a transition to clean energy sources by 2035, with the share of renewables growing by at least 2% a year, in order to avoid rising above 2C. Though the researchers said that exact year could change if new technologies are developed that remove CO2 from the atmosphere, they added that very little time is left before breaching the Paris Agreement GHG target. (Business Insider)
Crop casualties – Rising temperatures could increase both the number and appetite of pests, posing a serious threat to global crop production, according to a new study. Research published in the journal Science found that 2C of warming could cause pest-related yield losses from wheat, rice, and maize to increase by 46%, 19%, and 31% respectively – with each additional degree rise in temperatures creating a 10-25% greater loss. The impacts are expected to felt the most in China, the US, and France, three of the world’s top grain producers. (Carbon Brief)
From the Windy City to the windy state – Chicago-based Invenergy will develop a pair of wind farms in Iowa with a capacity of 200 MW, adding to the state’s nation-leading amount of wind generation. Construction on the projects is slated to begin next year and operation is scheduled for 2020, with more than 80 turbines included at each location in the northwest part of the state. Iowa generates 37% of its power from wind, the highest percentage in the US. (Utility Dive)
And finally… Insane in the brain – Any state leader who does not believe climate change is happening should be taken to mental confinement, Samoan PM Tuilaepa Sailele said during an event at Sydney’s Lowy Institute. The prime minister – leading an island in danger of sinking due to rising oceans – said everyone knows what the solution to the climate change problem is and urged state leaders to have the political courage to say it out load. His statement came just a week into Australia’s new administration, which this week has made it clear its priority is to cut electricity prices as climate change is not something PM Scott Morrison wishes to discuss at this time. (ABC)
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