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New Zealand on Wednesday announced a series of reforms to its emissions trading scheme that will limit permit supply, though the changes are expected to have only a modest near-term market impact.
The launch of Mexico’s pilot carbon market will be postponed for at least a few months after a consultation on the programme was withdrawn, a move that could delay the start of the actual market by upwards of a year, sources told Carbon Pulse.
Government officials are saying little about the possible start date for China’s national emissions trading schemes after two previous delays, but a number of experts familiar with the latest developments say late 2020 remains the likely launch date for the world’s biggest carbon market.
Five countries have committed to curb N2O emissions nationwide from 2021 in return for Germany buying and cancelling carbon credits from their emission-cutting projects until that year.
With negotiators struggling to break deadlock over an increasingly complex Paris Agreement rulebook text, the Polish presidency on Wednesday announced it was taking more direct control over the COP24 talks in Katowice.
Fifteen international organisations and development banks pledged Wednesday to make their operations carbon neutral in part through offsets, but they did not specify a target year or detail any of their potential demand for credits.
California regulator ARB is expected to approve the cap-and-trade amendments up for discussion at Thursday’s board meeting, with little chance of changing its position on the major elements of the proposal, sources said.
California power utilities are poised to emit more CO2 in 2018 as hydroelectric power continues to decline and natural gas-fired generation rises, according to state and federal data.
California reduced the invalidation period on 11.1 million existing credits, marking the second straight issuance with huge CCO-3 issuances, regulatory data shows.
European carbon prices rallied by nearly 10% on Wednesday ahead of the expiry of hundreds of millions of options contracts after market close.
The Carbon Tracker Initiative’s managing director and head of research has resigned to take up a position at the asset management arm of French bank BNP Paribas.
If we’re to prevent global temperatures from rising to a level more than 1.5ºC (2.7ºF) above pre-industrial levels, we must dramatically improve the way we manage our forests, farms, and fields.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Lending clean – Development bank EBRD’s board has voted to adopt a “no coal, no caveats” financing policy and to slash lending to oil exploration and production projects. The move will bring into sharper relief the activities of Chinese and other development banks that finance huge numbers of coal and oil projects around the world. The only circumstances under which the bank would finance upstream oil projects would be to reduce emissions by, for example, installing equipment to cut flaring gas from oil wells. The EBRD would continue to lend to gas projects, but it insists renewables would remain the focus of the bank’s lending in the energy sector. (Financial Times)
Tax complex – The BBC assesses France’s aborted fuel tax and what it could mean for carbon taxes in general. According to the BBC, the issue depends on the type of carbon tax and how they are imposed, but regardless, governments should protect poor from the measure’s side effects. France’s carbon tax did not look to minimise the harm to low-income households. Academics have championed a Robin Hood policy that would re-direct carbon taxes to those worse off. “Macron appears to have missed their research, or ignored it,” the report found.
Climate nonsense – Former Vice President Al Gore said the world needs to focus on reducing the use of fossil fuels rather than looking to technology to minimise GHGs, according to an interview with Axios. Gore called CCS technology nonsense and added that carbon-cutting technologies are not ready for primetime. “I just think it’s an extremely improbable solution right now, but maybe they will come up with some breakthrough,” he said.
Wildfire woes – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) gave the California Public Utilities Commission additional information about two incidents that may have been tied to the state’s deadline Camp Fire. The utility said an employee reported a fire near where a transmission line separated from its support tower and caused electrical damage on the morning that Camp Fire started. PG&E also found another downed electrical pole on the same morning that included “bullets or bullet holes at the break point of the pole and on the equipment.” The wildfires, which were the deadliest in the state’s history, could have significant ramifications for PG&E as it could be held liable for the damages.
Melting art – Scandinavian artist Olafur Eliasson has put 24 blocks of ice outside of London’s Tate Modern to highlight the dangers of climate change. The blocks were sourced from Greenland after breaking loose from an ice sheet. The exhibit is expected to be on display until Dec. 20 unless heavy rain or weather speeds up the melting process.
And finally… Warm welcome – Ayman Shashly, Saudi Arabia’s senior negotiator at both the UNFCCC and IPCC, explains why Saudi Arabia refused to “welcome” the IPCC’s special report on 1.5C at COP24. Shashly said that approach would have given legitimacy to the report and would not acknowledge the scientific and knowledge gaps in it. (Carbon Brief)
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