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UN aviation body ICAO has listed the members of its technical advisory board (TAB) for its CORSIA global offsetting mechanism, adhering to historical splits between rich and poor countries with the latter represented by major CDM host nations and oil majors.
Switzerland has launched a consultation over proposed changes to its emissions trading regulations that are needed before it links its carbon market to the EU ETS, floating protective measures including allowance holding limits and a high price floor based on the social cost of carbon.
The New Zealand government on Wednesday announced it will introduce averaging accounting for foresters in the ETS, a move that could free up additional supply as forest-owners face fewer risks.
Investors in Australia and New Zealand are calling on their governments to design durable climate policies using carbon pricing as a tool to align with the Paris Agreement and set long-term zero emission targets.
China is likely to meet its Paris target of peaking CO2 emissions well ahead of 2030, but only if it fully implements its suite of planned policies, including reforming the power generation sector and establishing a broad emissions trading scheme, a study has found.
A California Assembly committee this week advanced a bill that would enable the state’s Offset Protocol Task Force (OPTF) to recommend aggregation methodologies for new and existing protocols, which could prove a boon for neglected project types in the WCI-linked carbon market.
California issued more than 620,000 across seven projects this week, with a bulk of those credits being issued to a new forestry project, regulator data showed Wednesday.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits took a step back this week as entities looked to complete purchases ahead of this week’s carryback compliance deadline.
EUAs gained for a third successive session on Wednesday as a continued rebound in key energy contracts lifted sentiment in defiance of a weak auction.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Pining for Paris – One day removed from Senate Republicans defeating a procedural vote on the “Green New Deal” (GND), US House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled the “Climate Action Now Act”. The bill directs the president to develop and submit a plan to Congressional committees on how the country will meet its Paris NDC of reducing emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, along with directing the government to use the accord’s transparency provisions to confirm that other major economies are upholding their own GHG commitments. But the act is almost certainly dead on arrival with Republicans controlling the Senate and President Donald Trump already having announced his plan to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement in Nov. 2020.
Bringing the HEAT – Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and his Republican colleagues introduced HEAT, or the House Energy Action Team, to back “all-in” energy sources and resist Democrats’ climate efforts. Speaking at a press conference announcing the initiative, Representative Jody Hice said he would look to bring a discharge petition in the weeks ahead to force House Democrats to vote on the GND after the Senate did so on Tuesday. The team was originally announced by Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R) in 2011 with the goal of promoting Republican energy policies and enhancing national security. (Bloomberg Environment)
Brit deal – Two British lawmakers from the opposition Labour and Green Party have launched a “decarbonisation and economic strategy” bill for a UK Green New Deal that would force the government to implement 10-year public investment plan with a view to “decarbonise the UK economy and to eradicate inequality”. Chances of seeing the bill pass are currently slim though as it is a private members’ bill, which are usually given little debating time. (Climate Home)
Closing time – Czech utility CEZ will close more than 1 GW of coal-fired capacity next year because the three units don’t comply with new emissions limits due to come into force in 2021. The units to close are Prunerov 1 (440 MW), Melnik 3 (500 MW), and a unit at Melnik 2 (110 MW). The incoming standards are forecast to shut down some 4 GW of CEZ’s installed fossil-fuel capacity. Nearly 50% of Czech installed generation capacity comes from coal.
Destination: Indonesia – In the sixth article of a series on how key emitters are responding to climate change, Carbon Brief looks at Indonesia’s efforts to curb deforestation and tame polluting peatland fires. The country was the world’s fourth largest emitter of GHGs in 2015, recently overtaking Australia to become the largest global exporter of thermal coal.
Jakarta jump – On that note, Indonesia plans to adopt a more sustainable economic development plan from 2020 that could deliver annual GDP growth of 5.6-6% over the next 25 years, its planning minister said in releasing a report on the initiative developed with US-based think-tank World Resources Institute and the UK, Norway and Germany. It said low-carbon policies would enable Indonesia to cut emissions by 43% by 2030, surpassing its current target of a 41% reduction. (Reuters)
A real gem – Public utility Idaho Power announced Tuesday that 100% of its energy will come from “clean” sources by 2045. With the company having already announced that it will close two coal plants by 2025, it will now consider how to shut down its third and final coal plant. In the same announcement, the company said it had reached a deal to buy electricity from a 120-MW solar farm in the Gem State, but that facility is still in the planning phases. Idaho Power has 17 hydroelectric plants along the Snake River, as well as owning three natural-gas fired plants. A potentially-covered entity in Oregon’s cap-and-trade programme, the utility was responsible for roughly 188,000 tonnes of CO2e in the state in 2017, according to state data. (NPR)
Agenda set – The California Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee (IEMAC) will meet on Apr. 5 to discuss its upcoming priorities and potential analysis topics, according to an agenda released Tuesday. The IEMAC is expected to focus much of its attention on the growing concerns about the surplus in the WCI carbon market. A group of legislative officials have also asked the IEMAC to work with California regulator ARB on a metric to determine the amount of banking occurring in the ETS programme.
Comments welcome – Offset registry and manager Verra has called for public comments on over a dozen Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community, and Biodiversity (CCB) projects to see if they meet the requirements of the VCS Program. Those initiatives include a bundled renewable energy project in India, wind farms and afforestation projects in China, a grasslands project in Kenya, a REDD+ project in Colombia, and a restoration project in Louisiana.
And finally… A parting warning – Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner (ECO) Dianne Saxe issued her final report on Wednesday before her office is shuttered by Premier Doug Ford’s government on Apr. 1. At an press conference, Saxe said that while she had discussed joining Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s office, she could find “no common ground” on climate science or climate policy. Saxe also described the current state of climate and environmental policy in Ontario as “very frightening” and “very inadequate”, and said she is worried that Canada’s policy actions this year federally could jeopardise the Paris Agreement. The Ford government rolled ECO into the attorney general’s office in its November budget update – a move critics attributed to the independent office’s critique of Ford’s environmental rollbacks in cap-and-trade and elsewhere.
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