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California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) has been issuing offset credits to developers as they complete final reviews of projects ahead of the carbon market’s Nov. 1 compliance deadline, a shift from the regulator’s usual practice, numerous sources told Carbon Pulse.
European carbon prices resumed their downward spiral on Thursday, dropping by as much as 9% in another choppy session to hit a fresh four-month low near €15.
Latvia will auction 3.1 million spot EUAs on Nov. 16, auction host platform EEX said late Thursday, replacing a postponed German sale and boosting the weekly sale supply.
Germany’s energy-related CO2 emissions during the first three quarters have dropped by around 7% year-on-year amid a large decline in energy consumption, according to a new report.
RGGI allowances (RGAs) inched up during the week as the nine member states reported higher Q3 emissions, but California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) dipped slightly ahead of Thursday’s first full compliance deadline for fuel suppliers.
Deficit generation notched a new quarterly high in the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) programme as shortfalls continued to outpace credit generation during the second quarter, state data released Wednesday showed.
A trio of US federal agencies on Thursday made clear that they would work to develop policies that treat biomass as carbon neutral and a form of renewable energy, continuing the EPA’s efforts from earlier this year.
A federal court on Thursday dismissed an application brought by developers Country Carbon calling for the Clean Energy Regulator’s demand for native title holder consent be restricted to sequestration projects.
New Zealand carbon allowances have this week slumped to their lowest in a month on the ongoing lack of news on the government’s decision on the fixed price option, with units holding just above NZ$25.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Oceans apart – The world has “seriously underestimated” the amount of heat soaked up by our oceans over the past 25 years, according to a study led by Princeton University researchers and published in the journal Nature. This means the Earth is more sensitive to fossil fuel emissions than previously estimated and could make it much more difficult to to keep global warming within safe levels this century. The study found between 1991 and 2016 the oceans warmed an average of 60% more per year than the IPCC’s official estimates. (BBC)
ACE arguments – The US EPA’s move to replace the stayed Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule has continued to divide coastal states that oppose the weaker emissions reduction strategy with coal interests in support of the measure. In public comments submitted ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline, the heads of environmental and energy agencies from 14 mostly coastal states told the EPA that the Trump administration plan to limit the ‘best system of emission reduction’ for power plants to on-site, heat rate efficiency improvements would result in either minimal GHG reductions or even lead to increased emissions by allowing coal plants to run more efficiently. On the other hand, coal and some utility interests lauded the plan, with CEO of the National Mining Association Hal Quinn saying the ACE rule exhibited “federal restraint after years of punitive overreach.” State lawmakers and environmental groups had previously lined up to pan the ACE rule at the EPA’s lone hearing on the proposal last month, while the agency recently said it is aiming to finalise the rule by Mar. 2019. (Reuters)
Back from the dead – If the Democrats win control of the US House of Representatives next week, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would urge her caucus to revive a select committee focused on climate change similar to the one that her party funded from 2007-2011. The committee would “prepare the way with evidence” for energy conservation and other climate change mitigation legislation. Republicans defunded the panel when they took the majority, but Pelosi said it was clearly still needed to educate the public about the impact of more frequent extreme weather events. (E&E News)
No plan – Separately, the Guardian reports Democrats are wary of wading into a tough political fight, despite an intensifying environmental crisis. The story adds Democrats don’t have a plan to address climate change comprehensively – or even to a significant degree – if they regain control of the US government in the near future, despite criticising Republicans. If they win a majority, Democrats intend to hold oversight hearings on President Donald Trump’s environmental rollbacks and pursue more incremental and popular measures, according to close observers and a senior Democratic aide. (Carbon Brief)
Last rites – The Australian coal export industry has peaked and entered a “terminal long-term decline,” says a new report that argues high prices have pushed global energy markets more quickly towards cheaper and cleaner alternatives. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis report, which focuses on the outlook for the New South Wales coal industry, argues record export profits for coalminers do not indicate a strong and growing industry. The report said export volumes from the port of Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export harbour, peaked in 2016 and have begun a permanent decline. The conclusion is based on long-term trade forecasts for thermal coal and an analysis of Asian energy markets, where investment in coal-fired power is slowing. (The Guardian)
Exiting gracefully – Germany’s coal exit commission has published its interim report on how to cushion the effects of ending coal-fired power generation in the three remaining mining regions. The report contains, among other things, proposals for better transport and internet infrastructure as well as for the establishment of federal agencies in affected regions in order to create jobs. (Clean Energy Wire)
Bed buddies – France24 reports Brazil’s new far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro will merge the environment and agriculture ministries, “a move activists have warned could imperil the Amazon rainforest.” Bolsonaro, who is backed by Brazil’s powerful agro-industrial lobby, had already floated the idea in the past, saying, “Let’s be clear: the future ministry will come from the productive sector.” (Carbon Brief)
Separation story – A judge in Alaska this week dismissed a youth-led climate case that alleged the state’s pro-fossil fuel energy policy exacerbates climate change and violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. The 16 young people suing Alaska Governor Bill Walker and other state agencies had also asked the court to order the government to prepare and implement a plan to reduce the state’s GHGs. However, Superior Court Judge Gregory Miller of the Third Judicial District in Anchorage granted the state’s motion to dismiss the case. He ruled climate change would violate the separation of powers between the three branches of government, and the issue should be addressed legislatively or through executive means instead. Additionally, Miller said the plaintiffs did not explain how systemic fossil fuel promotion and permitting activities by the state exacerbate climate change. The plaintiffs said they will appeal Miller’s decision to the Alaskan Supreme Court (Climate Liability News)
And finally… Bombs away – Alan Robock, a distinguished professor of climate science at Rutgers University in New Jersey, discusses in a guest post for Carbon Brief whether the bombing and burning of 69 Japanese cities at the end of the second world war might have temporarily changed global temperatures: “Smoke from the fires would last for years in the upper atmosphere, blocking sunlight, and making it cold, dark and dry at the Earth’s surface. It would also destroy ozone, enhancing ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface.”
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