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EU ETS emissions fell by 4% in 2018 to resume their annual downtrend, according to preliminary like-for-like data released by the European Commission on Monday.
Australia’s poll-leading opposition Labor party will introduce a baseline-and-crediting scheme building on the Safeguard Mechanism with tougher CO2 targets and access to international offsets if it wins next month’s election, it said Monday.
China expects the first trade in its national emissions trading scheme to go through in 2020, a government official said over the weekend, the first official indication that the programme might get off the ground next year.
New Zealand carbon allowances moved higher again in Monday trade amid healthy demand from emitters looking to hedge against the risk of the NZ$25 fixed price option changes.
Four Canadian provinces that resisted the federal government’s carbon pricing mandate became subject to Ottawa’s ‘backstop’ CO2 levy on fossil fuels on Monday, as the British Columbia government raised its existing carbon tax rate.
Alberta’s poll-leading United Conservative Party (UCP) has pledged to soften the performance standards and excess emissions charge that make up the Canadian province’s pricing system for large installations, as well as scrap the ruling NDP’s climate plan that provides the basis for multiple other GHG reduction and clean energy goals.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) will hold its first public stakeholder meeting in April and a subsequent workshop in May after spending the first quarter of 2019 having internal discussions about the proposed carbon programme.
Germany is examining extending carbon pricing to more sectors of its economy, national media reported on Monday in a move designed to meet the country’s out-of-reach emission goals more cost-effectively.
Swiss carbon prices have recovered from their recent low, according to the country’s latest auction results, but they remain valued well below the EU Allowances towards which they are expected to converge as the two schemes prepare to link.
European carbon prices climbed towards €22 on Monday in a choppy session that saw the publication of emissions data suggesting a bigger-than-expected drop in CO2 output in the EU ETS last year.
EU member states have handed out a further 37.7 million free carbon allowances over the past fortnight, with Spain and Finland finally commencing their 2019 allocations.
Amid a raft of concerns about overcrowding and a lack of conference venue options in Santiago, the Chilean government has announced its remote Easter Island as the surprise site for this year’s UN COP25 climate summit, highlighting the island’s ecological-driven collapse as a point of urgency for global efforts to reduce emissions.
Job listings this week
- Environmental Products Analyst, Shell – London
- Trading Analyst, European Energy, Global Commodity Merchant – London
- CDP Europe, various roles – London
- Associate Counsel, Government and Public Affairs, American Wind Energy Association – Washington DC
- Senior climate change specialist, World Bank – Washington DC
- Clean Energy Policy Associate, Analyst, or Senior Analyst, Western Resource Advocates – Multiple Locations
Or click here to see all our job adverts
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Stamp of approval – California’s Office of Administrative Law approved state regulator ARB’s cap-and-trade amendments on Friday, enabling the revised regulation to go into effect on Monday. The amendments, which were approved by the regulator’s board in December, install a post-2020 price ceiling in the WCI-linked market, alters California entities’ offset usage limit from 8% to 4% from 2021-2025 – with half of those offsets required to have a direct environment benefit (DEBS), and makes additional tweaks to the industrial assistance factors for annual permit allocations. Those changes were required by the 2017 ETS extension bill AB-398. However, the revised regulations do not alter the programme’s post-2020 allowance supply or limit speculative activity in the market.
Pipeline press – President Trump on Friday signed an order approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, circumventing a court’s decision to block a federal permit for the long-delayed project. The new permits gives pipeline owner TransCanada permission to build and operate the pipeline on US territory, coming after a district judge in Montana last fall ruled that the US State Department had not sufficiently considered the environmental impacts of the pipeline and ordered a new environmental review. However, Trump’s new order uses president power to go around the environmental restrictions applied to government agencies. (Climate Nexus)
Drill denial – Also on Friday, a federal judge knocked down Trump’s executive order reversing Obama-era bans on offshore drilling in vast swaths of Arctic waters and a portion of the Atlantic coast. US District Court Judge Sharon Gleason said the wording of President Obama’s 2015 and 2016 withdrawals on offshore drilling indicated that he intended to extend them indefinitely, and therefore could only be undone by an act of Congress. Yet Alaskan Senator and offshore drilling supporter Lisa Murkowski (R) criticised Gleason’s interpretation of the Continental Shelf Lands Act and predicted the decision would be overturned on appeal, perhaps by the Supreme Court. (Axios)
Follow the money – A new analysis underscores how the political giving of US fossil fuel industry CEOs tilts more toward Republicans than a number of other large sectors, Axios reports. That’s one takeaway from a first-of-its-kind study tracking the political leanings of CEOs by examining 18 years of political contributions by more than 3,800 CEOs of S&P 1500 companies. The analysis found that the chief executives of America’s largest public companies are more than twice as likely to lean Republican in their campaign contributions than to favour Democrats.
New with NYISO – Boston-based consultancy the Analysis Group is aiming to complete additional assessments of the impact of New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) proposed carbon adder by the end of May, according to a company presentation. The consultancy group was hired in March to provide additional analysis on the NYISO proposal that is intended to build support for the carbon pricing mechanism. The Analysis Group said its report would look at macroeconomic and public health benefits of implementing the policy and its implications on the wholesale market, other than those examined by fellow consultancy The Brattle Group. The company hopes to have preliminary results by the end of April and a final report by the end of May.
Twice is not as nice – Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, according to a new government report. Canada’s Changing Climate Report, commissioned by the country’s environment ministry, found that Canada’s average annual temperature over land has warmed by 1.7C since 1948, with increases of 2.3C over the north. The report noted that human activity was “dominant” in contributing to this warming through GHG emissions, and that the higher temperatures will also lead to greater annual precipitation in some areas and more intense heat waves and droughts in others. (CBC)
Quant-ify it – French-headquartered investment vehicle BNP Paribas Asset Management launched its new quant carbon fund on Friday, with the investments to be partially offset through a REDD+ project. The company said that the “THEAM Quant Europe Climate Carbon Offset Plan” will use an investment strategy that captures the performance of European equities with high Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. The fund will also offset the Scope 1 and 2 emissions of its footprint by purchasing carbon credits from the Kasigou Cooridor REDD+ project in Kenya.
And finally… Cheeky about climate change – A group of semi-naked climate change protestors took to the UK’s parliament on Monday, pressing their bottoms against a glass panel overlooking a chamber where MPs struggled to concentrate on a Brexit debate. Some 12 protestors from the non-violent direct action group Extinction Rebellion stripped to their underpants to show slogans painted on their backs, including “Climate Justice Now”, and super-gluing themselves to the window. The protest came as Labour MP Peter Kyle tried to defend his bid for force the government to stage a confirmatory vote on its Brexit deal by pointing out what he called the “naked truth”. (The Irish Times)
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