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EUAs settled at their highest for over a decade on Tuesday as stronger gas prices favoured bulls in a late surge that could see carbon clear 2018’s peak tomorrow.
The European Commission proposed Tuesday that EU members drop their long-standing veto power over energy taxes to help ensure the legacy of its energy union and possibly one day enable an EU-wide carbon tax.
Another investment bank has cut its medium-term estimates for EU carbon prices, though it warned that a looming shortage in allowances will be worse than it anticipated.
Ontario will release 2017 emissions data for entities covered by the Canadian province’s now-defunct cap-and-trade programme in the coming weeks, an environmental ministry spokesperson confirmed to Carbon Pulse.
The northeast US RGGI carbon market will auction off more than 13.2 million carbon allowances on June 5, the market’s regulator said Tuesday.
The Canadian government announced Tuesday the creation of an independent climate institute to deliver advice and analysis on clean growth and emissions reduction strategies, including carbon pricing.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Yellow cuts – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that after three months of public debate it was that clear tax cuts must be accelerated to quell the widespread anger over high living costs that has fuelled the ‘yellow vest’ anti-government protests, Reuters reports. Four broad needs emerged: renewing ties between Paris and the regions, making the political process more relevant for citizens, responding better to climate change, and easing the tax burden. New policy measures are yet to be decided and could be put to a public vote. Read Carbon Pulse’s latest on how France could move to a floating carbon tax linked to oil prices, or a flat levy rather than the predetermined annual increase the government postponed following the start of the weekly protests.
Meet & greet – On Wednesday, the climate cabinet set up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting for the first time. The round of ministers with key responsibilities touching climate issues aims to create a more joint-up effort in working towards emission reduction measures across all sectors. Merkel has said that passing a climate action law by the end of the year would be one of the objectives of the group. Separately, German finance minister Olaf Scholz has launched his vision for Germany’s energy transition. In his “Energy Concept 2038”, a four-page paper seen by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Scholz calls for more commitment for climate action within the government. He also backs the climate action plan by fellow SPD minister Svenja Schulze, saying her draft is setting the standards to be followed. He also warns that more CO2 has to be saved in the building and transport sectors, calling for balanced reform of the taxes and levies on electricity but stopping short of pushing for a expansion of carbon pricing. (Clean Energy Wire)
Climate commitment – The World Bank’s new Trump-appointed chief confirmed his commitment to the environment on Tuesday, allaying fears that his leadership of the organisation will soften its approach to climate change. At his first day at the helm of the Washington DC-headquartered institution, David Malpass said there would be no change in the bank’s refusal to lend for new coal-fired power plants despite Trump’s strong support for US coal producers. He also said that helping developing countries cope with climate change would remain central to the bank’s mission. That is understood to mean the bank will continue with its variety of carbon market-related programmes such as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR), and Pilot Auction Facility (PAF). (The Guardian)
Coal closer – India’s Adani Enterprises has taken a step towards commencing construction on a controversial thermal coal mine in Australia after winning federal government approval for its groundwater management plan. Adani wants to to develop the Carmichael coal deposit in Queensland but has faced fierce environmental resistance ahead of next month’s federal election. Environment Minister Melissa Price on Tuesday said the project still needed nine further approvals from both the federal and Queensland governments before mining can start, while a state government approval is still necessary for the groundwater management plan. (Reuters)
Matter of security – Former US Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel voiced concerns about the effects of global warming on national security during an appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Kerry referred to climate change as a threat multiplier during the House Oversight and Reform Committee meeting, while both he and Hagel cited the impacts of a warming planet on migration patterns, the security of military infrastructure, the recruitment of terrorists, and food security. The former Obama Cabinet members also took aim at Trump’s plan to form a committee to re-evaluate the scientific consensus surrounding climate change, with Kerry calling the move “a scheme to pretend there are two sides to an issue long since settled”. (The Hill)
Intersessional interest? – The UNFCCC Secretariat has published the provisional agendas for the 50th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 50) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 50). The intersessional climate talks, which convene in Bonn, Germany from June 17-27, pick up where last year’s COP24 in Katowice left off. According to IISD, in terms of market-related issues, SBSTA 50 will address matters relating to Article 6 (cooperative approaches) of the Paris Agreement, including guidance on cooperative approaches; rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism established by Article 6; and the work programme under the framework for non-market approaches. It will also discuss methodological issues under the Kyoto Protocol, such as LULUCF, implications of including reforestation of lands with forest in exhaustion as afforestation, and reforestation CDM project activities.
Missing the (solar) boat – Siting photovoltaics on water is proving reliable worldwide and the PVs could meet almost 10% of US electricity needs at market-competitive costs, Utility Dive reports. Still a peculiarity in the US, the technology has been proven commercially viable in over 100 projects globally, with 90% of the world’s 1.1GW installed capacity in China. Dutch renewable energy company GroenLeven this week announced plans to build Europe’s largest floating solar PV project in the Netherlands, targetting a capacity of 48 MW. There are also a few other European projects in the pipeline, including in Portugal, France, and Lithuania. While the technology has a number of advantages, growth in the US has been limited by a lack of definitive data on benefits and financing obstacles due to banks that are reluctant to loan money for projects.
And finally… Glacial goodbyes – Earth’s glaciers lost nine trillion tonnes of ice between 1961 and 2016 and may disappear completely in some areas by 2100 if current warming continues, according to new research. A study published in the journal Nature on Monday found that glacial melt has contributed to an inch (2.54 cm) of sea level rise over the past fifty years, with the article’s lead author saying that several mountain ranges will lose all their glaciers at the current rate of global temperature increases. (Climate Nexus)
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