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The EU should consider tying trade deals to climate action and using carbon border adjustments to help its industry compete globally as it strives to decarbonise, according to European trade association BusinessEurope, ending its longstanding opposition to border tariffs.
US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states should establish a cap-and-trade programme with a floor price that regulates fuel emissions high in the supply chain, several experts said at the Transportation and Climate Initiative’s (TCI) first workshop on Tuesday.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) programme participants offered competing opinions on regulator ARB’s proposal to explore a price ceiling and an advance crediting system, as some said the concepts will hurt future clean fuel investments and unfairly favour utilities.
The UK government has agreed to give a £100 million emergency loan to British Steel to help it buy enough EU ETS allowances to cover 2018 compliance, Sky News reported late Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
EUAs remained above €26 on Tuesday as stronger auction demand lent support on the 2018 compliance deadline day to notch a huge 22% monthly gain.
Fresh supply will enter South Korea’s carbon market from several sources over the next few weeks, but this won’t be enough to satisfy demand, analysts said Tuesday as KAU prices again briefly rose to all-time highs.
The Gold Standard Foundation on Tuesday announced it has appointed a new chief executive, who will join the organisation from the Global Green Growth Institute.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Berlin price hold – Germany’s main conservative party (CDU) will present its own concept for a CO2 pricing scheme to reach the country’s climate targets shortly after this month’s European elections, the party’s general secretary Paul Ziemiak said, adding that it would be wrong to raise the petrol price or for consumers to bear the extra cost alone. (Clean Energy Wire, dpa)
Shipping speed – UN shipping body IMO should impose a speed limit on commercial vessels to cut emissions and protect the environment, more than 100 maritime industry chief executives have said in a letter. The signatories said their preference was for container ships to have a maximum speed averaged across a year, allowing exporters of perishable goods to travel faster during peak seasons, while other ships should have a fixed maximum at all times. (Financial Times)
Keeping pace with ACE – The White House Office of Budget and Management (OMB) on Tuesday confirmed that the US EPA sent it a final version of the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the replacement for the stayed Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP). Environmental and public health groups have slammed the proposal for its potential to actually increase GHGs and air pollutants, arguments that were backed up by an academic study earlier this year. The OMB’s review puts the EPA on track to complete the rule by the end of June.
That was fast – The US EPA has suspended work on its plan to publish the names of refineries securing compliance waivers from the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) after receiving blowback from the White House and parts of the oil industry, Reuters reports. Sources told the outlet that the EPA announced its plan on Apr. 12 to reveal the companies that receive small refinery exemptions (SREs) before the White House could review it. That also came as US senators from states with small refineries were reportedly worried that plants would be forced to disclose sensitive financial information. The EPA has yet to publish the rule in the Federal Register, a step that normally happens swiftly to start the clock on finalising the plan.
Business bullies – Canadian corporations are using the country’s network of trade and investment agreements to “bully” governments around the world into compromising environmental laws, a new study says. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that as of the end of 2018, Canadian businesses had launched 43 claims against governments outside of North America, under the auspices of trade agreements Canada is party to. Of those, 70% were launched by mining companies, and 86% of those cases targeted the government of a developing country. Canadian companies have extracted C$5.9 billion from governments through these trade deal claims, and another C$6 billion is at stake in ongoing cases, the report found. (The Huffington Post)
The new Nixon – Alberta United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Jason Kenney was sworn in as premier of the Canadian province on Tuesday. Kenney chose Jason Nixon, the previous UCP house leader, for the position of Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks. Previously elected to Alberta’s legislature in 2015 as a member of the Wild Rose Party, Nixon faced calls for his resignation after the Edmonton Journal revealed he fired an employee after she was sexually harassed. Prior to entering politics, he spent more than 25 years volunteering and working for The Mustard Seed non-profit, and has also operated a consulting business. (CBC)
Exemption apprehension – Nova Scotia needs to do more to phase out coal-fired power plants despite the Maritime Canadian province’s exemption from the 2030 federal deadline nationally, Halifax-based environmental group Ecology Action Centre said Tuesday. The group expressed concern that under the terms of a newly-proposed equivalency agreement with Ottawa, Nova Scotia could still emit millions of tonnes of GHGs from coal for as many as 10 years or more past the deadline. Under the terms of the agreement, privately-held Nova Scotia Power has to reach a target of 4.5 Mt of GHGs by 2030, which a provincial official said is a 60% reduction from levels in 2007. (The Canadian Press)
And finally… That sinking feeling – Indonesian President Bambang Brodjonegoro has announced that the country will move its capital city away from Jakarta, as the municipality sinks at one of the fastest rates in the world. Researchers say that parts of the megacity, which is home to some 10 million people, could be entirely submerged by 2050 as groundwater extraction for drinking and bathing cause the land surface above it to sink. North Jakarta sunk by 2.5 metres in 10 years and is continuing to sink an average of 1-15 centimetres a year. A new capital city has not been announced. (BBC)
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