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Germany’s coal commission is set to retain its recommendation that the government should cancel EUAs linked to its coal power phaseout, giving a neutral signal for carbon as it thrashes out final details on the pace of what is likely to be a costly transition.
Oregon lawmakers will reveal a new cap-and-trade bill next week on the heels of a new study that found consumers could see a multitude of economic benefits if the state links that potential programme to the WCI market.
A Maine state legislator put forth a CO2 tax proposal this week that could stand a better chance of passing this year with Democrats now controlling the executive branch, but the bill would not exempt the cost of RGGI allowances from the fee as other states have proposed.
A Washington state House committee approved legislation on Thursday that would implement a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in the US state, with lawmakers also working on a provision to enable credit transfers with other clean fuel standards and carbon pricing programmes.
Greece has postponed the EU-mandated sale of lignite power assets while green groups urge Brussels to halt the process they say would pile costs on citizens and delay climate action.
EU carbon prices settled slightly weaker on Friday despite a late surge as a looming hike in auction supply, Germany’s coal phaseout decision, and Brexit concerns weighed on sentiment.
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Friday ordered emitters in eight major industries to report their 2018 carbon emissions in preparation for the national emissions trading scheme.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has issued 1.86 million new carbon credits, it said Friday, adding supply to the market ahead of next month’s annual compliance deadline for Safeguard Mechanism entities.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) proposal for a Green New Deal has support from dozens of legislators, but it’s hardly the only proposal in the works. The number of candidates vying to be president is growing, and while all advocate for climate action, few have said how they will deliver – let alone whether they favour a price on carbon. Here’s Ecosystem Marketplace’s first presidential candidate carbon pricing scorecard.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Warming war warning – The UN must establish a system to alert the world to regions where conflicts may be inflamed by climate change, several Security Council members urged on Friday. In a meeting of the council, permanent members France and the UK were joined by Germany, Peru, Poland, and Belgium in a call for a “clearing house” for data and information to help them respond to climate security threats. France also called for the UN secretary general to deliver an annual report to the security council on the issue. Only Russia explicitly opposed the development of new UN capabilities. (Climate Home)
Hurry up – A majority of Germans supports a quick coal exit, according to two different polls commissioned by German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF. Some 59% of respondents in the ARD poll call for an exit from lignite “as quickly as possible”. In the especially affected eastern German mining states of Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, this number is down to just 34%. Around 78% of respondents in the ZDF poll said a “coal exit as fast as possible” is important or very important. Germany’s coal commission is on the final stretch of its negotiations to propose an exit path and timetable to government and lawmakers. (Clean Energy Wire)
Neverending story – The saga of Australia’s biggest coal mines rambles on. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has written Canberra, urging it to delay approval of the Adani coal mine until it gains the support of a group of traditional owners who are fighting the miner in court, ABC reports. The UN agency was concerned that consultation on Adani’s Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) “might not have been conducted in good faith”. But Resources Minister Matt Canavan dismissed the plea, telling the UN to respect Australia’s legal system, adding the agency “clearly does not understand” the issue.
No sale – A pair of Virginia legislative committees in the Republican-controlled Senate and House refused to endorse a bill that would allow the state to fully auction allowances when it likely joins the US RGGI carbon market in 2020. The Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources committee voted 8-6 to “pass by indefinitely” the legislation on Thursday. While the bill could come up at a future meeting, Republicans in the committee nixed a prior version of the bill last year along party lines. Meanwhile, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Commerce and Labor failed to recommend that chamber’s version of the bill. Experts say next year’s efforts could be successful if Virginia Democrats flip two seats in the Senate and three in the House of Delegates this November.
Blow hard – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is set to hold more auctions for offshore wind power, plugging a current gap in tenders for the next three years that the industry has said would harm turbine makers and hamper green targets. Germany will add about 5 GW in capacity in the coming years, bringing the total capacity envisaged by the end of next decade to 20 GW, said Deputy Economy and Energy Minister Thomas Bareiss in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday in Berlin. Industry lobbies representing companies including Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA have pushed to increase tenders.
Cypriot plan – Cyprus has approved a draft 2021-2030 national plan for energy and climate that includes various policies and measures to combat climate change and improve energy supply. The plan sets a goal for a 24% reduction in GHGs by 2030, compared to 2005 levels (excluding emissions from electricity, cement and pottery/brickworks). The EU-wide target is 40% for the bloc by 2030. According to recent data, the contribution of the transport sector in Cyprus’ total emissions is 49%, the energy sector 17%, waste 14%, agriculture 12% and industry 8%. The plan also takes into account the EU-wide goal for renewables, but Cyprus does not yet have its own binding target for that. (Financial Mirror)
Cities for climate – The winter meeting of the US Conference of Mayors ended on Friday after the municipal leaders circulated a draft call for climate action. The draft calls on Congress to pass a National Climate Protection bill, including funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. It also urges mayors to establish carbon-neutral buildings by 2030, prioritise low-carbon transportation, and incentivise the purchase of low-carbon energy. (Politico)
Fourth warmest – The Berkeley Earth group of scientists reported that 2018 is likely to have been the fourth warmest year on record, establishing further evidence of a “new normal” of higher temperatures. One of the group’s authors told The Washington Post that the 2018 results were consistent with the long-term warming trend of global temperatures being significantly higher than any of the years before 2015. Although the US government shutdown prevented NASA and NOAA from publishing their own data, the Berkeley findings confirm those from other research groups. (Carbon Brief)
Last night with the gang – Jo Tyndall on Friday stepped down as New Zealand’s climate change ambassador to begin her new role as high commissioner to Singapore. She has led NZ delegations to climate talks since 2010 and from 2016 held the position as co-chair of the UNFCCC’s Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement. She has been a central negotiator in talks over a new international carbon market, as her government will rely heavily on that to meet its Paris goals. “Climate change world, I’ll miss you,” she said on Twitter. Fancy taking her old job? It’s up for grabs.
And finally… One benefit of climate change? Less stupid fish – Seals, whales, penguins, and other warm-bodied creatures rule polar seas partly because their constant internal temperatures let them put on bursts of speed and stay more alert than cold-blooded prey. However, rising temperatures linked to global warming in the polar oceans are slowly enlivening fish whose bodies and brains go slow in frigid waters, scientists from the US, Germany, Canada, and England said in the journal Science. (Reuters)
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