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A few more weeks of wild volatility stand between EU carbon prices currently anchored around €20 and the resumption of the bull run that has been on pause since mid-September, analysts predict.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator this week issued just shy of 20,000 carbon credits – only a tenth of the recent weekly average – highlighting concerns over the market’s ability to meet a potential rise in demand under a strengthened Safeguard Mechanism.
New Zealand carbon allowances this week halted their slide below the market’s de facto price ceiling as compliance buyers emerged to provide support.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
EU carbon prices fell back towards €20 from a fresh six-week high on Friday as crashing crude prices jolted markets.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Buried harm – Climate change is already harming Americans’ lives with “substantial damages” set to occur as global temperatures threaten to surge beyond internationally agreed limits, according to the US national climate assessment, a quadrennial report by US 13 federal agencies. The effects include increases in disastrous wildfires, flooding, soil loss and coastal erosion. Scientists who worked on the report said their research wasn’t watered down but claimed the release was timed by the Trump administration to bury the findings during the Thanksgiving holiday season. (The Guardian)
Warsaw goes nuclear – Poland energy ministry has unveiled its draft energy strategy to 2040. Under it, the government plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 as compared to 1990. The ministry reaffirmed that it expects the share of coal in electricity production to fall to 60% in 2030 from around 80% now. It plans its first nuclear plant to open by in 2033 and for atomic power to account for around 10% of power generation by 2043. Green group coalition CAN Europe were disturbed by its intention to phase out existing onshore wind by 2036. The plan is also thought to confirm the country’s plans to compensate industry and consumers for rising EU carbon prices using EUA auction proceeds – an initiative that was announced by Poland’s energy minister last month. (Reuters)
Nein basis – The German government had denied a report by Spiegel Online that the country’s coal exit commission will propose to initiate the fossil fuel’s phase-out in 2022 in the west of the country and favours finishing it by 2035. The news website reported that a leaked draft saying 5 GW of coal power will be taken offline by 2022. After that, a total capacity of 37 GW would remain, with a majority being switched off before 2030. Eastern German plants will only be closed after 2030, when a total of 16 GW remains, the report said. (Clean Energy Wire)
Ireland’s 1% – Ireland will have to resume the purchase of emissions allowances and renewable credits as the country is “far off course” to meeting its 2020 target, its Minister for Climate Action has said. Richard Bruton said this week that Ireland will fail to meet our 2020 target of reducing emissions by 20% below 2005 levels. Current projections, he said, indicate that it is likely to also achieve a 1% reduction, leaving it 95% off target. In order to close this gap, Mr Bruton said that Ireland will need to spend between €6m and €13m on carbon credits. This will bring total state spending on emissions allowances and renewable credits up to around €120m since 2007. Ireland is also considering raising its domestic carbon tax to boost its climate action efforts. (Green News)
Flowing finance – Global climate finance flows increased by 17% in 2015–2016 from 2013–2014 levels, largely driven by high levels of new private investment in renewable energy, according to the UNFCCC’s Standing Committee on Finance in its 2018 biennial assessment. It found the bulk of climate finance continues to go towards mitigation rather than adaptation. Climate finance to developing countries as reported in developed countries biennial reports increased by 24% in 2015 to $33 billion and, subsequently, by 14% in 2016 to $38 bln. (UNFCCC)
Oops – The Gorgon LNG project in Australia, which came online in 2017, emitted 3.5 MtCO2e last year, according to documents from Chevron, which is the biggest of several owners. The platform is obligated under Western Australian state law to capture and store 80% of the project’s emissions, but its CCS technology is not working yet and is only expected to come online in March next year, according to the West Australian newspaper. The facility is also regulated under the federal government’s Safeguard Mechanism, where it has an annual CO2e cap of 8.3 Mt. Gorgon’s other owners include ExxonMobil, Shell, and three Japanese gas corporations.
Here’s a little help – Alberta communities that want to set up their own wind, solar, biomass, or hydro power generators can tap into C$200 million of carbon tax revenue over the next 20 years, CBC reports. One-quarter of the funding will be earmarked for communities affected by the phase-out of coal-fired electricity plants. Funds will be made available to municipalities, universities, colleges, co-operatives, agricultural societies, Indigenous communities and community groups, allowing them to partner with a private sector company.
Amendments – Alberta’s Climate Change Office on Friday announced a number of amendments to its Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) for large emitters. The government said it was updated to include the following changes:
- Increased clarity on the exclusion of emissions from use of unmarked gasoline and diesel from total regulated emissions
- Exclusion of CO2 which is disposed of through acid gas injection from total regulated emissions
- Addition of established benchmarks for ethylene glycol and high value chemicals
- Updates to the benchmarks for hardwood kraft pulp and softwood kraft pulp
- Extension of the deadline to opt-in for 2019 to Dec 31st, 2018
- Extension to the deadline to apply for cost containment for 2018 or 2019 to Dec 31st, 2018
The agency also announced the dates of its upcoming annual compliance and offset update workshops (Dec. 5 in Calgary and Dec. 7 in Edmonton). Both workshops will cover the same material and webinar participation will be enabled for both, as space is limited. Registration links for the two sessions will be sent out next week.
Mmmm knowledge nuggets – The World Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan, aligned with the historic Paris Climate Agreement, emphasises the need to mitigate climate change by accelerating climate action through carbon markets and pricing. The bank has launched a one-stop online learning stop called the Carbon Markets and Pricing Learning Lab that brings to you a library of cutting-edge knowledge on carbon pricing and its associated topics through deep dive structured courses, knowledge nuggets and bite-sized learning. In collaboration with the Open Learning Campus, which houses the web series page, this online resource is now accessible to both Work Bank Group staff and audience outside, subject to the OLC’s restrictions.
And finally… Duvet days – While the world tackles plastic waste, some experts feel other forms of waste need attention too… like duvets. Duvets, also known as comforters, are typically made from fossil fuel-based polyester and are usually buried in landfills or burned. But researchers are trying to insulate walls with them instead. The idea was promoted at a waste summit in London on Thursday to be addressed by Prince Charles and UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove. The Waste House in Brighton – where the duvet experiment is happening – offers a lesson in re-use of resources that would otherwise have been scrapped. It looks like a normal house but its structure is built from construction waste, and its hollow walls are testing the insulation qualities of an unlikely host of scrap: old floppy discs, audio cassette cases, unfashionable rolls of wallpaper, and, bizarrely, 1.8 tonnes of denim legs that have been cut off from trousers to make shorts. The black tiles on the exterior walls also look traditional, but they are in fact carpet tiles with the waterproof rubber back facing outwards. (BBC)
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