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Nine US states and Washington DC will begin developing a carbon market or another pricing mechanism for emissions from the transportation sector, officials announced Tuesday.
California and Quebec emitters surrendered roughly 53 mln offsets this year, increasing credit usage during the cap-and-trade programme’s 2015-2017 period as California data also showed a bankrupt power utility failed to comply on time.
Industrial allocation for California facilities under the cap-and-trade programme will increase by less than 1% next year, though the number of these permits eligible for compliance obligations in previous years will rise considerably.
Washington DC’s city council endorsed a bill on Tuesday that will see the US capital achieve a 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2032, though amendments proposed by a utility generated pushback from environmental groups.
Virginia will propose cap-and-trade legislation to raise revenue from auctions as the state aims to join the RGGI programme by 2020, a state official told Carbon Pulse.
In a pre-emptive move ahead of a potential ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the European Commission will temporarily suspend the allocation and auctioning of EU Allowances by the UK in the new year, as well as the exchange of international credits by the country’s emitters in the bloc’s registry.
An ultra-bullish trader has made a bet that EU carbon prices will top €100 before the end of 2020.
EU carbon prices took a breather on Tuesday following the 20% rally over the previous four sessions, but managed to pare most of the day’s losses and held above €24.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Don’t do it – Exxon Mobil sent a letter to the US EPA in support of methane gas emission rules put in place under the Obama administration, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters. The Trump administration in September proposed weakening requirements for repairing leaks of the GHG in drilling operations in a step toward rolling back an Obama-era policy that was intended to combat climate change. The oil major believes “reasonable regulations help reduce emissions” and support the use of cleaner-burning natural gas, the letter said. The oil and gas industry is the largest single source of US methane emissions, according to the EPA.
Deal appeal – The majority of Americans surveyed in a new poll endorse the “Green New Deal” being pushed by a growing number of Democrats. That includes 81% of registered voters either “strongly” or “somewhat” supporting the deal, which features a move to 100% renewable energy within 10 years, upgrades to grid and other infrastructure, and job training. Yet the survey only partially described aspects of the deal that also call for universal healthcare and job guarantees, and 82% of the voters polled had not heard of that idea before. (Axios)
Another lawsuit – Greenpeace France, “Notre Affaire à Tous” and Oxfam France are taking the French government to court for inaction on climate change and non-compliance with its international, European, and French obligations. The four co-plaintiff organisations launched the first act of climate justice legal claim on Tuesday by sending a preliminary request to the French President, the Prime Minister and several members of the government. The organisations are seeking compensation for the moral damage caused to their members and the ecological damage suffered by the environment.
Bid bash – The second day of an auction to develop offshore wind in federal waters off Massachusetts finished on Friday, with a record $405 mln in bids secured. While the same lease area failed to attract any would-be buyers three years ago, this year saw eleven companies competing for ownership of three lease areas capable of supporting 4.1 GW of generation. The single-largest bid was $135.1 mln, far exceeding the previous record of $45.1 mln. (Climate Nexus)
Share(hold)ing is caring – More than a dozen Amazon employees who had received stock grants recently exercised their rights as shareholders to demand the company take action on climate change. In late November and early December, these workers filed identical shareholder petitions asking the e-commerce giant to release a comprehensive plan on climate change. Their filing appears to be the first time that tech employees have led their own shareholder proposal, in which they asked the company’s board how it would respond to climate change and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. The resolution will be voted on at Amazon’s next annual shareholder meeting in the spring. (The New York Times)
Food for thought – Adding “emissions guidelines” to food packaging, similar to healthy-eating guidelines found on groceries, could prompt consumers to choose less polluting options, according to new research. Two studies published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that people “significantly underestimate” the emissions associated with food, which could be a possible area for intervention. The authors found that providing consumers with information regarding lifecycle GHG emissions from food, presented in terms of a familiar reference unit (life-bulb minutes), shifted their actual purchase choices away from the higher-emitting munchies. (Carbon Brief)
And finally… CO2ca-Cola – Coca-Cola is on the verge of introducing air-captured CO2 use in the beverage industry, collaborating with Swiss firm Climeworks. Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, which is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola, will use Climeworks’ air-captured CO2 in its carbonation processes. The beverage industry is one of the world’s largest users of CO2 feedstocks, using 10 Mt per year. “Drink carbonation could provide the commercial platform needed to deploy DAC (Direct Air Capture) on industrial scales, bridging the gap between today’s first commercial installations and the scale of production required for gigaton applications like renewable fuel production and large-scale CO2 removal,” the firms said in a press release. Climeworks is also partnering with Pentair Union Engineering to guarantee the highest purity standards required for using air-captured CO2 in beverages.
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