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Countries are going even further off track towards limiting global warming to 2C as emissions began increasing in 2017, according to a UN report that found nations must triple emissions cuts pledged under the Paris Agreement to keep within the temperature limit.
Most wind and solar power investment now occurs in developing countries, though highly polluting coal power generation is not being displaced by those sources, analysts found in a comprehensive survey.
EU carbon prices will rise by at least 60% to above €30 early next year as the onset of the MSR squeezes the market, analysts predict.
France on Tuesday confirmed plans to close two of its nuclear reactors in 2020 as part of a strategy that paces the country’s atomic power phase-down through 2035 while hiking domestic carbon taxes.
EU carbon prices dipped on Tuesday, staying in a narrow range in a becalmed session that defied a rising energy complex.
A bipartisan group of US House representatives introduced a $15 carbon fee and dividend bill on Tuesday that could signal the onset of increased climate policy efforts in next year’s Congress.
Maryland’s Department of the Environmental held its final public hearing on Monday for the proposed RGGI Model Rule updates, and officials anticipate finalising them next month.
The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) will alter its CO2 pricing approach to carbon-free resources on the margin in an effort to minimise emission leakage, according to a presentation.
For the second time in two weeks, Guangdong-issued carbon offsets have sold at auction for well over 40% above secondary permit prices.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
A little can mean a lot – Ukraine’s parliament approved an increase in the country’s carbon tax of Hr 0.41, bringing it to Hr 10/tonne, or €0.31. The government will increase the tax by a further Hr 5 annually until 2023. The move came as part of a wider bill that extended an electric vehicle incentive in form of the VAT exemption for imported electric cars. The Ukrainian parliament approved a bill to prolong the tax exemption for 2018 until the end of 2022, and it effectively makes electric cars in Ukraine 17-20% cheaper. (electrive.com)
This land is your land – Fossil fuels produced on public lands contributed to nearly a quarter of GHG emissions in the US between 2005 and 2014, according to a new government report. It found that 24% of the country’s emissions come from oil, gas, and coal produced on federal lands, with fossil fuels from Wyoming alone contributing 57% of those emissions. The first-of-its kind analysis was requested in 2016 by the Obama administration, and the Trump administration has since been hard at work rolling back Obama-era policies to expand fossil fuel production on federal lands. (Climate Nexus)
Coming back for seconds – The Washington DC Council unanimously approved the Clean Energy DC Act at its first reading on Tuesday, setting up a second vote in December. The legislation would see the US capital source 100% of its energy through renewables by the end of 2032 and allow the mayor to enter into a regional GHG programme for the transportation sector. The bill was originally passed out of two committees last week. A second approval by the 13-person council would send the act to Mayor Muriel Bowser for approval, though Washington DC law requires that all approved bills be sent to both chambers of the US Congress before enacting.
Federal friend – The British Columbia (BC) government has announced that it will intervene in Ontario and Saskatchewan’s legal challenges against the federal ‘backstop’ carbon tax by arguing Ottawa has the right and responsibility to put a price on carbon pollution. Though both federal and provincial governments share a role in addressing climate change, BC will contend that it will see harm to both its environment and competitiveness if it continues to price carbon when other governments do not, while additionally harming Canada’s international climate change commitments. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeals will hear the prairie province’s lawsuit on Feb. 13 and 14, with the Ontario Court of Appeals following two months later from Apr. 13-15.
Lifting the ban – The Western Australia state government on Tuesday lifted the state-wide moratorium on fracking, the Guardian reports. The ban will still apply to 98% of state territory, but not to some basins where licences have previously been granted. The move opens for an increase in state GHG emissions, although it’s uncertain by how much. A report released earlier this year by Climate Analytics concluded that widespread fracking could blow Australia’s Paris targets, while a government-commissioned independent inquiry said emissions growth would likely be modest, at least initially, due to the state’s small gas market.
Slow going – The European Environment Agency (EEA) said the EU’s progress towards increasing the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency is slowing, putting its ability to meet its 2020 and 2030 targets at risk, Reuters reports. “Rising energy consumption, particularly in transport, is to blame for the slowdown,” the EEA said in an annual report on EU efforts on its renewables and energy efficiency targets.
For the floor – A group of 16 European power firms, including Drax, EDF, EnBW, Eneco, Engie, E.ON, Verbund, Orsted, and SSE, have urged policymakers to introduce a carbon price floor to provide a more stable investment signal to boost the region’s transition to renewables as well as imposing a carbon price for non-ETS sectors such as transport and buildings. The group called on countries to follow the example of the UK and the Netherlands’ floor policies. France and Austria have also recently pushed for a regional initiative that would ideally also include big-emitting Germany, though business group IETA has been reluctant, saying floor prices risk distorting the market for little environmental benefit if the price signal is simply dampened elsewhere in the EU ETS.
And finally… Bog off! – Ireland’s state-controlled Bord na Mona peat-for-power company is closing 17 bogs and will shut its remaining 45 by 2025 as it increasingly turns to burning biomass and renewables. Peat draining and burning contributes 3-6 Mt of the country’s 62 Mt of annual GHGs. Green groups blasted the company for touting its climate credentials, saying the firm had simply failed to find alternative markets in horticulture and decried its lack of effort to rehabilitate the harvested peatlands that still produce 2.6 Mt of “fugitive” emissions a year. (The Guardian)
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