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California’s Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee (IEMAC) on Friday urged the Air Resources Board (ARB) to further analyse the impact of surplus allowances on the cap-and-trade programme and to examine metrics to track the number of banked allowances.
Amid concerns that Australia might botch its Paris Agreement obligations, one of the nation’s biggest business groups on Friday said environmental concerns had no place in free trade talks with the EU and should be kept to relevant international forums such as the UNFCCC.
The New Zealand government could see a NZ$2.1 billion ($1.4 bln) bump in revenue if it brought agriculture into its emissions trading scheme and phased out all free allocation of carbon permits, according to the government-appointed Tax Working Group.
Energy firm EDL received its first offsets from the Clean Energy Regulator this week, having contracted to sell more than 2.5 million carbon credits to the Australian government from four waste coal mine gas power stations.
South Korea’s GHG emissions rose 0.2% in 2016 to 694.1 MtCO2e, primarily due to an increase in energy-related emissions, the government announced Friday.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
Germany’s auction of 4.36 million spot EUAs was cancelled on Friday because the clearing price was significantly below the secondary market, according to host platform EEX.
EU carbon prices finished higher on Friday in a choppy session spurred by the second failed auction of the week, notching an 11% weekly rise following a string of highly volatile sessions.
EU carbon prices are unlikely to climb any more this year after tripling in value, analysts said, adding that there’s possibility that EUAs could crash if speculators launch a mass sell-off.
Massachusetts’ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released amendments to finalise regulations that would install the post-2020 Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) changes, including the emissions containment reserve (ECR).
Power sector emissions in California rose in July above the previous year’s monthly estimate by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), while fuel consumption dropped slightly in May due to lower diesel sales, according to state data.
A California Superior Court judge halted new housing projects in San Diego County that had sought to use out-of-county carbon credits to offset emissions after opponents challenged the jurisdiction’s climate plan.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Climate cash – The Asian Development Bank has raised $750 million through a 10-year green bond that was launched this week. The money will be used to finance climate mitigation and adaptation projects in the Asia-Pacific region, the bank said. The transaction was lead-managed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, and HSBC, with 46% of the investors from EMEA, 28% from the Americas, and the remaining 26% from Asia. The ADB aims to reach $6 billion in annual climate funding by 2020.
Bid be gone – Private equity company Middle River Power has ended its bid to buy Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station, the largest coal-fired power plant west of the Mississippi River. A spokesman for Middle River told Bloomberg Environment that “recent developments in California and Arizona will create additional challenges for baseload power plants”, possibly alluding to the former’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) increase to 60% in 2030 and carbon-free electricity mandate by 2045, and the latter’s November ballot initiative for a 50% RPS by 2030. The plant, which gives numerous jobs to the Navajo Nation, has been scheduled to close at the end of 2019 after the facility’s largest customer Central Arizona Project said it would stop buying its power in favour of cheaper alternative sources.
Hoosier halt – Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) on Wednesday announced a tentative plan to shutter the majority of its coal generation in the next five years, as well as phasing out the fossil fuel entirely within the next decade. Of the utility’s five remaining coal-fired units, totalling 1,800 MW combined, NIPSCO said that four units at the RM Schahfer Generating Station would close no later than 2023, while a single unit at Michigan City Generating Station would cease operation by 2028. NIPSCO said it would consider wind, solar, and battery storage to replace the units. (Utility Dive)
Technical means to an end – German steel company Thyssenkrupp has started production of the synthetic fuel methanol from CO2 and other emissions in steel production, the company said in a press release. The fuel production from side products of steel smelting is part of the so-called Carbon2Chem project, which is funded by the German ministry for research and education (BMBF). Thyssenkrupp says the procedure could be scaled up to convert about 20 Mt of annual CO2 emissions from steel mill gases, and it could be used in other energy-intensive industries. “There’s no point in just prescribing climate protection targets if we don’t have the technical means to implement them,” said German research minister Anja Karliczek, adding that the project showed how investments in cleaner technology can pay off. Thyssenkrupp CEO Guido Kerkhoff said that “our vision of virtually CO2-free steel production is taking shape.” (Clean Energy Wire)
Crypto-pioneers – Veridium Labs, which earlier this year partnered up with IBM and Stellar to tokenise carbon credits, said it has received a fresh $5 mln investment from crypto investors including Brian Kelley Capital Management and BlockTower Capital. The news comes just shortly before Veridium holds its ICO on Oct. 1. Other investors announced were JCH Capital PTY and Pink Sky Capital. According to the press release and information told to Bitsonline by Veridium Labs, the investors mentioned are buying a digital token called CARBON as well as verde tokens, which are an access token to Veridium’s new crypto exchange.
All in all you’re just another ‘berg on the wall – The Guardian reports a new paper published in the Cryosphere journal that concludes that building walls on the seafloor may “become the next frontier of climate science’ as engineers seek novel ways to hold back the sea level rises predicted to result from global warming”. The newspaper continues: “By erecting barriers of rock and sand, researchers believe they could halt the slide of undersea glaciers as they disintegrate into the deep. It would be a drastic endeavour but could buy some time if climate change takes hold.” Michael Wolovick, a researcher at the department of geosciences at Princeton University, says: “We are imagining very simple structures, simply piles of gravel or sand on the ocean floor.” The Independent also covers the study: “The most effective intervention would ‘go beyond the scale’ of any engineering project humanity has previously attempted. But the scientists warned such a scheme could only compliment efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which they say remains the most effective way of combating climate change and its effects.” (Carbon Brief)
And finally… Gore against globes – Former US Vice President Al Gore appeared in a YouTube video this week with comedian Trae Crowder, aka “Liberal Redneck”, to promote public awareness of climate change. After Crowder advocated for hitting people over the head with globes to make them care about the damage being done to the planet, Gore cautioned that was not the right approach, and instead to connect the climate crisis to natural disasters, jobs, and the health of future generations that resonates with a large portion of the population.
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