**Carbon Pulse is attending the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco this week. As such, our daily newsletter may be sent out later than normal to ensure it contains all of the day’s news**
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EU Commission “happy” about jump in carbon prices, not considering intervention
The European Commission is “happy” to see EU carbon allowances at their current elevated levels and is not at the moment considering supply-side intervention to dampen the recent price spike.
GCAS: US can get very close to Paris goal without federal action -report
The US can come within touching distance of its Paris Agreement emissions target even without any new policies from the federal government, according to California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who launched a report on Wednesday outlining 10 policy initiatives for cities, states, and companies including carbon pricing.
GCAS: Ontario lawsuits could spur govt to reverse its climate policy, former minister Murray says
The Ontario government could revive some sort of carbon reduction scheme if challenged by the large emitters that previously participated in the province’s now-scrapped cap-and-trade programme, former Environmental Minister Glen Murray said Tuesday.
Mine methane projects clean up as California awards almost 830k offsets
California state regulator ARB dished out nearly 830,000 California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) this week, with two mine methane capture (MMC) projects accounting for more than 70% of the total.
LCFS Market: California and Oregon set new records in August
Average prices in both the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and Oregon Clean Fuels Program (OCFP) ascended to new heights in August, as state regulators are set to vote on regulatory amendments in the coming weeks and months.
Virginia to join regional transportation group, regulate methane emissions
Virginia will join a group of northeast states working to create a market-based mechanism to regulate transportation emissions, and will seek to limit methane emissions leaks from the oil and gas sector, Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.
EU Commission chief Juncker backs deeper EU 2030 GHG goal
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday joined his climate and energy chief in calling for the EU to deepen its 2030 emissions reduction goal.
EU Commission seeks views on starting Innovation Fund sales, German auction platform renewal
The European Commission has launched a consultation on the start of carbon allowance sales for the bloc’s Innovation Fund in 2019, as well as the renewal of Germany’s auction platform contract.
EU Market: EUAs correct to below €23 as gas, power weaken
EUAs fell by more than a euro for the second straight day on Wednesday, slipping further from this week’s 10-year high in jumpy trade as falling gas and power prices dragged down the energy complex.
Australia launches new offset method to drive industrial carbon reductions
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator on Wednesday introduced a new offset method aimed at driving deeper emission cuts at industrial facilities whose involvement in the scheme has been minimal so far.
NZ Market: NZUs marginally weaker, but seen likely to hold above NZ$25
New Zealand carbon allowances fell slightly on Wednesday, slipping for a second consecutive day even though market participants expect the spot contract to hold above NZ$25.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Linking 101 – The International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) on Tuesday published “A Guide to Linking Emissions Trading Systems” at the Carbon Pricing Delivering Climate Ambition, a Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) affiliate event in San Francisco. The guide provides policymakers with step-by-step guidance throughout the whole process of linking. Distilling practical experience with linking to date, it details the achievable advantages of linking and details ways to avoid possible pitfalls. Pathways to implementing a linked market and strategies to align different system designs are also covered, as well as stakeholder perspectives, the linking agreement and management of the linked market.
Cash for trees – Nine philanthropic foundations and the government of Norway have pledged almost $500 mln over the next four years to help combat deforestation and slow climate change, they announced at GCAS this week. The foundations pledged $459 mln to help indigenous groups gain rights to the forests where they live and to help them protect their land, while Norway pledged another $33 mln to help prevent deforestation in Indonesia and Brazil. The nine foundations – ClimateWorks Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Mulago Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation – are among the biggest funders of climate solutions.
Peak fossils – Fossil fuel demand will peak in 2023, the Carbon Tracker think-tank has predicted. They project that a combination of explosive growth in wind and solar, slowing growth in energy needs, as well as climate change action will ensure that global demand for coal, oil, and gas will peak in the 2020s. This poses a “significant risk” to financial markets, the Guardian reports, since trillions of dollars of assets could be left worthless. In comparison, the International Energy Agency and oil and gas companies broadly expect demand to peak in the mid-2030s. (Carbon Brief)
Biomass burn – The EU’s renewable energy directive could suck in as much imported wood as Europe harvests each year because it will count energy created from the burning of whole trees as “carbon neutral” as it does with the EU ETS. That’s according to a study in the journal Nature by academics including former vice-chair of the UN IPCC Jean-Pascal van Ypersele. The EU’s thinking has been that carbon neutrality can be achieved by planting new saplings that eventually compensate for the carbon released by the burning of trees for energy, but the saplings’ growth takes decades or centuries so that by 2050, replacing fossil fuels with wood will likely result in two-to-three times more carbon in the atmosphere per gigajoule of final energy, the paper says. (The Guardian)
Coal itch – Poland’s biggest utility PGE should accelerate plans to diversify away from coal, as surging carbon prices underscore risks gathering around its present $5.6 billion) coal power investment programme, according to energy consultancy IEEFA and former SocGen carbon analyst Paolo Coghe, now of Paris-based consultancy Acousmatics. Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to phase out coal-fired power plants in Germany should stop short of “prematurely” closing brown coal facilities, or she risks the collapse of the nation’s mining industry as well as persistent blackouts, RWE said in a report. According to Bloomberg, shuttering coal plants may have a “domino” effect on mining, which is regulated by concessions that would take years to renegotiate, Germany’s biggest power producer said in a report sent to the country’s coal phase-out commission at the end of August. Without new permits, mining would cease and bring “the whole system to a standstill.” The body is due to present an exit road map next month.
Opponents by association – Nearly all of the world’s largest 200 industrial companies have directly or indirectly opposed climate policy since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed three years ago, according to new research. Analysis by InfluenceMap, a UK-based think-tank, examined the lobbying activities of 200 of the world’s biggest companies and 75 of the most powerful trade groups and the links between them since Dec. 2015. It found that 30% of all companies analysed have directly lobbied against climate policy in the last three years, and that 90% of them retain membership to trade associations that have actively opposed climate policy around the world. (DeSmog)
Panning pipelife – Environmental campaign group ClientEarth has filed a complaint with a court in Sweden to block the construction through Swedish waters of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline intended to transport Russian gas to Germany, arguing that Sweden failed to consider the impact the project would have on wildlife in the Baltic Sea. (Reuters)
Negative efforts – Planting millions of acres of trees and energy crops as well as restoring wetlands and coastal habitats could help the UK become carbon neutral by 2050, according to government-commissioned experts from the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering tasked with looking into carbon negative options given emissions from aviation and farming currently very difficult to cut completely. (BBC)
Lyft shift – Ride-sharing company Lyft on Tuesday announced that it will become a fully carbon neutral company and commit to 100% renewable energy across its entire platform. Already, Lyft announced in April that it would purchase carbon offsets to cover emissions from its rides, but the new strategy will see it buy offsets to cancel out the remainder of its carbon footprint. As a means of promoting renewable energy, the company is purchasing renewable energy directly from utility partners or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from San Francisco-based 3Degrees. (Smart Cities Dive)
And finally… Gaming climate change – Scientists are braving the dangerously popular game Fortnite to talk about climate change. With 125 million players worldwide, it’s a seemingly unlikely avenue for climate communication, but by taking the science out of lecture halls and into the most popular game on the planet and Twitch, the researchers hope to make climate change more accessible. The seed for this idea was planted on Twitter in mid-July, when climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe mused that traffic for her son’s Fortnite videos on YouTube crushed her climate talk videos’ traffic. This is impressive (or depressing, depending on how view it) when you consider Hayhoe is a leading climate science communicator with a devoted following. But it got MIT graduate student Henri Drake thinking: Why not gather a group of climate scientists to play Fortnite and talk climate shop? He pitched the idea on Twitter and got about 20 climate scientists and science communicators interested. And thus a squad was born.
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