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California releases draft tropical forest offset standard as it prepares to revisit contentious REDD issue
California will hold a public meeting on Nov. 15 to consider whether regulators should endorse a tropical forest standard, in a move that would pave the way for the state’s cap-and-trade programme to become the world’s first compliance carbon market to allow REDD credits.
New Jersey, Virginia close to completing RGGI regulations, as emissions cap negotiations come to a head
New Jersey and Virginia have nearly finished establishing their respective carbon trading regulations, but those rules remain contingent on final negotiations with RGGI over the two states’ emissions cap levels, officials said Thursday.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices rose this week as entities took more outright positions and bullish expectations about future inflation rates altered the back end of the curve, while RGGI prices inched up slightly ahead of this week’s auction result.
While Australia is coming to terms with yet another new prime minister, one thing that hasn’t changed is the emissions data: Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are not projected to fall any further without new policies, writes Anna Skarbek of ClimateWorks Australia.
EU carbon prices jumped back above €21 on Thursday, climbing by more than a euro as power prices continued to soar and new allowance supply was constrained in a rare auction-free session.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Early start – UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa informed governments that the year-end UN COP24 climate conference in Katowice would start a day earlier than scheduled, on Dec. 2. She said this would provide an opportunity to make the best use of the time available to finalise negotiations. (UNFCCC)
Coal transitions – Pathways away from coal-fired power production in line with the Paris Agreement are feasible in the major coal-using economies within 20 to 30 years, according to a comparative study of six countries including Germany, Australia, China, and Poland by research institutes DIW, IDDRI, and Climate Strategies. It found the move would be beneficial, both from a social and from an economic point of view. (Clean Energy Wire)
The cleanest dirty – A comprehensive Stanford University-led analysis in Science finds that Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production has the lowest carbon emissions per barrel among major petro-players. The study finds that Saudi crude production averages roughly 5 grams of CO2-equivalent per megajoule — which is low in part because production from their giant conventional fields involves little flaring of gas. It is relatively less energy-intensive to extract and process compared to some other key producers, especially heavy and unconventional sources like Venezuelan crude (which averages 20 grams of CO2) and Canadian oil sands (which average roughly 18 grams). US crude oil production averages 11 grams, which is roughly the worldwide average. According to Axios, the results could have ramifications well beyond academia, especially as carbon pricing and other climate policies emerge worldwide. “Look for Aramco to try and ensure it doesn’t just gather dust on a shelf … The Saudis are increasingly touting the carbon footprint of their crude, according to multiple sources,” Axios said.
Top of the windy pops – The world’s largest offshore wind farm is due to open Thursday off the northwest coast of England when Danish energy group Orsted unveils the Walney Extension project. The wind farm has a capacity of 659 MW, enough to power almost 600,000 homes, and overtakes the London Array off England’s east coast, which has a capacity of 630 MW. Britain is the world’s largest offshore wind market, hosting 36% of globally installed offshore wind capacity, data from the Global Wind Energy Council showed. The Walney Extension was among the first renewable projects to secure in 2014 a ‘contract for difference’ guaranteeing it $195/MWh for 15 years. (Reuters)
And finally… From Russia, with doom – Russia’s environmental ministry has published a report that paints an apocalyptic future for the country due to climate change, with consequences including epidemics, drought, mass flooding and hunger. While Russia is expected to reap economic benefits from a modest rise in global temperatures — which are expected to open navigation in the Arctic and allow for more economic activity in the winter — the country has allocated an estimated 1.55 trillion rubles ($22 billion) on a new environmental programme to promote air pollution reduction, reforestation, and recycling. At 900 pages, the draft report published by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry on Monday breaks down the past and future consequences of climate change in the country. An anonymous government source said this year’s unexpected focus on the after-effects of climate change “probably mean the ministry intends to become the chief climate policy developer and coordinator.” That role is currently shared between the Natural Resources Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry, the Energy Ministry and the Industry and Trade Ministry, according to the Kommersant business daily. (Moscow Times)
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