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RGGI’s third quarter emissions rose by almost 9% year-on-year as double-digit gains in New York overshadowed declines in two other member states, according to programme data.
Ontario’s legislature passed an amended bill Wednesday to officially scrap the province’s now-cancelled ETS, potentially allowing more entities to receive permit compensation than the government’s former proposal.
An estimated 133 facilities across seven Canadian provinces and territories will be regulated under the output-based pricing system (OBPS) of the federal government’s ‘backstop’ carbon pricing plan, according to a document released Wednesday.
Analysts have tempered their expectations for further EU carbon price gains this year, though they predict that the uptrend that lifted EUAs to a 10-year high last month will resume in early 2019.
EUAs halted their dramatic four-day 22% slide on Wednesday as prices oscillated around €16 in a nervous market still reeling from the heavy declines.
The Coalition government in Australia’s New South Wales on Wednesday announced an Emerging Energy Programme with a CO2 cap that effectively rules out new coal plants, defying the federal government’s rejection to include climate change policy in energy planning.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cementing efforts – The construction sector can cut emissions up to 80% by applying efficiency measures along the whole value chain. If combined with CCS technology, emissions could even be brought down to zero by 2050. Achieving carbon neutrality in the cement and concrete sector won’t be easy, but it’s technologically feasible and can be achieved with adequate investments, according to researchers at ETH Zurich and the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL). (EURActiv)
Asia coal – A fleet of new coal plants in Asia is threatening to derail global emissions targets, according to IEA chief Fatih Birol. He said they would “lock in the emissions trajectory of the world, full stop.” Asia has 2,000 GW of coal-fired power plants that are operating or under construction, and most of those currently in use “still have decades left to operate,” unlike the far older coal plants of the US and Europe. (Financial Times)
Give peace a chance – The “peace, order, and good government” clause of Canada’s constitution gives Ottawa the authority to impose a carbon price on recalcitrant provinces, lawyers for the Attorney-General of Canada argued on Tuesday. In a court filing responding to Saskatchewan’s legal challenge to the federal ‘backstop’ plan, the government said federal action on climate change was necessary to ensure that one province’s failure to act “does not adversely affect the nation as a whole.” The factum from the Attorney-General also said it had given provinces ample opportunities to come up with a plan that was consistent with Canada’s international obligation under the Paris Agreement. (The Globe and Mail)
Feel the power – Power generators will face significant long-term threats as California works toward sourcing 100% of its generation from carbon-free sources by 2045, according to a new S&P report. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the new emission goal into law during the most recent session, and while it poses no immediate threat, the report finds numerous long-term hurdles for power generators. “We believe that over the long term, with the growth of renewable energy, these utilities face a significant threat to their market position, finances, and credit stability,” S&P analyst Michael Ferguson said. (Climate Home)
Carbon makes the news – The Keiser Report discusses the proposed US carbon tax that would levy a $40 fee on carbon in exchange for reducing federal regulations, as well as the Yurok Tribe’s use of California carbon credits to buy back their native land. Host Max Keiser gives a searing critique of the federal carbon tax proposal that has found support among Republicans, including former Secretary of State James Baker III. Keiser finds more to love about the Yurok Tribe’s use of the carbon market. (RT)
One month to go – The US EPA on Tuesday submitted its proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. The agency is statutorily required to finalise next year’s RVOs for most biofuels and the following year’s biomass-based diesel RVOs by Nov. 30.
And finally… Singing a different tune – Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s budget adviser was supportive of carbon pricing as of 2016, according to a Toronto Star story. Benjamin Dachis, who now serves as Ford’s director of policy, budget and fiscal planning, was in favour of carbon pricing when he testified in front of a Senate committee on Parliament Hill in Nov. 2016. “The reason I’m advocating a carbon price is that we, as a society, have made it a clear priority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dachis, who at the time served as an associate director of research at think tank C.D. Howe Institute. His position is in sharp contrast to Ford’s, who has vehemently attacked carbon pricing at every opportunity since being elected in June.
And finally (Halloween edition)… Rat invasion – As the climate warms, rats in New York, Philadelphia and Boston are breeding faster – and experts warn of a population explosion. According to Bloomberg, like rats, humans are hardy animals, and we’ve adapted to all kinds of climates. But many living things are sensitive to small changes in temperature, so warming of 2C will transform the flora and fauna that surround us in a big way. Other life forms are also very sensitive to moisture, and so populations will crash or explode as anthropogenic climate change continues to make wet areas more sodden and dry areas, more parched. As rat expert Bobby Corrigan of Cornell University has told various media outlets, rats have a gestation period of 14 days. The babies can start reproducing after a month. That means that in one year, one pregnant rat can result in 15,000 to 18,000 new rats. And warmer winters will continue to dial up rat fecundity. People in US urban areas are already noticing a lot more rats, not just in downtown alleyways, but in the posh suburbs too.
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