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The UK government is to further extend the country’s 2018 EU ETS compliance deadline, giving emitters a bit more time to buy and surrender required carbon units, as the scheduled Brexit date was also pushed back amid negotiations nearing climax.
Swiss lawmakers have given final approval to the country’s carbon market link with the EU ETS, paving the way for the connection to start next January.
EU carbon prices could spike to €40 or higher over the next two years as industrial companies are increasingly likely to hoard units, leaving others scrambling, analysts said this week.
EUAs dropped to a fresh three-week low on Friday as carbon continued to be dragged down by tumbling gas prices and Brexit uncertainties.
Italian utility Enel remained substantially behind on its hedging rates by year-end, it said in financial results late Thursday, potentially giving a bullish signal for carbon.
Power companies covered by South Korea’s emissions trading scheme likely emitted some 2.5 million tonnes CO2 more in 2018 than previously estimated, sparking additional KAU demand in the run-in to the June 30 compliance deadline, analysts said Friday.
Carbon credit issuance in Australia picked up this week after a slow period as the Clean Energy Regulator handed out well over half a million offsets.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
New Hampshire’s House of Representatives approved a RGGI bill Thursday that would increase funding to energy efficiency projects and removes a clause that would force the state out of the northeast US ETS.
A summary of legislative action on carbon pricing and clean energy bills at the US state level taken this week, including Colorado legislation to implement formal GHG targets, a court case on Washington state’s blocked Clean Air Rule, and a California bill to pursue aggregated offset project methodologies in the state’s carbon market.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Risk on – The Bank of England will next month ask large UK lenders and insurers to consider how their businesses would be affected in different physical and transition climate risks scenarios. Companies will be “expected to embed fully the consideration of climate risks into governance frameworks, including at board level”, Governor Mark Carney said. (Reuters)
Coming up short – A first draft of the final report by Germany’s transport commission does not include sufficient measures to bring the country’s transport emissions down in line with its 2030 climate targets, according to business weekly WirtschaftsWoche. The report, on which a majority of the commission’s members were able to agree, leaves “a significant gap” of 23 Mt to the sector’s climate target, the draft says. The agreed measures are seen as unlikely to upset the public, including expanding e-car charging infrastructure, cutting taxes on e-cars for businesses, supporting power-to-x fuels, lowering public transport fares, and earmarking some €900 million annually to expand bike lanes. The commission members are said to be divided over whether the remaining emissions reductions should be achieved through higher fuel prices or greater support for synthetic fuels. Germany is supposed to cut its transport emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. A leaked commission working paper that, amongst other things, proposed higher fuel prices and a general speed limit on Germany’s highways, caused an outcry among conservative media in January, leading transport minister Andreas Scheuer to publicly denounce the group’s ideas as “detached from reality” and “running counter to common sense.” (Clean Energy Wire)
Oil block – The world’s largest five private oil firms, including Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil, spend nearly £153 mln ($202 mln) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change, according to a new report from campaigners InfluenceMap that cites increasing use of social media to successfully push their agenda to weaken and oppose any meaningful legislation to tackle global warming. (The Guardian)
Friday finance – The US Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday finalised up to $3.7 bln in loan guarantees to finance the construction of units at Georgia’s overbudget and delayed Vogtle nuclear plant. Up to $1.67 bln will go to Georgia Power, a subsidiary of utility Southern Company, while $1.6 bln is allotted for fellow utility Oglethorpe Power and up to $415 mln will go to three subsidiaries of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia. That brings the federal government’s loan guarantees to the project to $12 mln dating back to 2014. (Reuters)
In house – Development bank EBRD has started offsetting emissions from its own operations. After six years of offsetting emissions from the bank’s annual meetings, the EBRD is now also offsetting its emissions generated by its London headquarters and over 40 regional offices, as well as CO2 emissions resulting from business-related travel of its staff during 2017. It has bought carbon credits from a Gold Standard-certified Turkish renewable energy project the bank financed through Isbank, a local partner bank of the EBRD’s credit line for medium-sized sustainable energy projects in the country.
Flood fears – After devastating flooding across six US Midwestern states this week, nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states could see “major or moderate” flooding over the next weeks. That’s according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual spring outlook released Thursday, which predicts 25 states and more than 200 mln people are in danger from a potentially “unprecedented” flood season. “You can think of climate change as steroids for these rain events,” Texas A&M University climate scientist Andrew Dessler told the AP. (Climate Nexus)
Changing of the guard – Anthony Hobley, Carbon Tracker’s CEO over the last five years, is to step down and will join the think-tank’s advisory board as co-chair in April, a position he will share with founder and executive director, Mark Campanale. The day-to-day executive and strategic decisions continue to be undertaken by Campanale, Director General Jon Grayson, Chair of the Research Council Mark Fulton, US Executive Director Robert Schuwerk, and Head of Finance Mirjana Skrba.
And finally… Shit Gaetz real – US Representative Matt Gaetz is drafting the Republican response to Congressional Democrats’ “Green New Deal” (GND), according to a draft copy obtained by Politico. Dubbed the “Green Real Deal”, Gaetz’s five-page, non-binding resolution calls for removing regulations that hinder “advanced energy”, investing in innovation, and encouraging voluntary reporting of GHGs. However, unlike the GND, which calls for net-zero emissions within a 10-year “national mobilisation” period, Gaetz’s resolution does not establish any reduction goals, nor does it address transportation – the single largest source of US GHGs. It also contains nothing on carbon pricing or how fossil fuel workers will transition to new careers. As a result, despite the notable prominence of a climate change bill being proposed by a Republican, the measure was slammed by environmental groups and some media, with Gizmodo’s Earther calling it “Green Real Bullshit“. Gaetz, a prominent supporter of President Trump, sponsored a bill in the last Congress to abolish the EPA.
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