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Long-awaited EU carbon auctions by the three non-EU states that participate in the bloc’s ETS will commence on June 3, sale host EEX announced late Thursday, and will add up to 20.6 million tonnes this year’s auction calendar.
New Zealand on Thursday released a new batch of ETS reform proposals, saying it would drop the fixed price option in 2022 at the latest, but offered no clarity on whether the marker would remain at NZ$25/t until then.
The Tokyo municipal government will require facilities covered by its emissions trading scheme to cut CO2 emissions 25-27% below their baseline levels over the next five years, although most of the market participants have already achieved reductions in that range.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices rose throughout the week despite entities their shifting focus to the second quarterly WCI auction, while RGGI allowances (RGI) found bullish support amid relatively small volume.
Virginia’s cap-and-trade regulations will be published in the state’s registry later this month and will take effect 30 days after, despite Governor Ralph Northam’s (D) decision to sign into law budget amendments that complicate the US state’s ability to implement the final rule.
A group of east coast and Midwestern US states could utilise cap-and-trade programmes modelled after RGGI to help slash power sector emissions as they ramp up their commitment to climate action, according to a study published Wednesday.
Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a Credit Clearance Market under the state’s Clean Fuels Program (OCFP) next month for entities that did not meet the low-carbon fuel standard’s 2018 compliance deadline.
While the EU ETS is becoming more of a driver for emission cuts, it is also heightening competitiveness concerns as fewer firms hold a surplus of allowances amid rising prices, a survey found.
EU carbon prices slipped on Thursday to give back most of the previous session’s gains as a weak auction and softer gas prices deterred bulls.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Banking on it – The Bank of Canada for the first time has listed climate change among its top weak spots for the economy and the financial system. The central bank’s financial health system report released Thursday included climate change as an important vulnerability, elevating it to a category alongside its long-running worries about household debt and apprehension about the housing market. The bank said insured damage to Canadian property and infrastructure averaged roughly C$1.7 bln annually between 2008 and 2017 – 8.5 times higher than the annual average of C$200 mln from 1983 to 1992. (The Canadian Press)
Seeing double – Canada’s federal Green Party on Thursday unveiled its climate action plan, pledging to double the country’s Paris Agreement GHG target to 60% below 2005 levels by 2030. To achieve these cuts, the Green Party and leader Elizabeth May will nix any new fossil fuel projects, including in Alberta’s highly-carbon intensive oil sands, conduct an outright ban on fracking, and “turn off on the taps” on imported oil. Additional measures would see the party end fossil fuel subsidies, while keeping in place the rising federal ‘backstop’ revenue-neutral carbon tax. Despite their small standing, the Greens won a federal by-election in British Columbia last week, and achieved a record showing in Prince Edward Island’s provincial election last month. (CBC)
Getting down to work – Washington Governor and US presidential candidate Jay Inslee (D) released the second part of his climate platform on Thursday, laying out his vision for a national clean jobs plan and ‘just transition’ for fossil fuel energy workers. The “Evergreen Economy Plan” calls for creating 8 mln clean energy jobs over the next decade with a minimum wage of $25/hour and backed by a total investment of $9 trillion. The plan also proposes a “GI Bill” for impacted communities of fossil fuel workers that would provide protection for mineworkers’ pensions, incentivise economic diversification in regions with a history of energy production, and create new skilled union jobs in environmental reconstruction. Inslee earlier this month floated the first part of his climate plan to decarbonise the country’s electricity sector by 2035, introduce a clean fuel standard, and develop efficiency standards for buildings. (Think Progress)
New York negation – New York state regulators on Wednesday denied permits for a natural gas pipeline that environmental groups say would have destroyed fragile ecosystems and locked the state into a fossil-fuel-dependent future. The Department of Environmental Conservation cited potential water quality violations in denying plans for the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement project, which would have connected natural gas fields in Pennsylvania to New York and New Jersey, including 23 miles (37 km) of submarine pipeline off New York City’s coast. The agency noted in a statement that it had received 45,000 public comments on the pipeline, with 90% in opposition. (Climate Nexus)
Fire fault – The deadliest wildfire in California’s history was caused, at least in part, by utility Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) transmission lines, according to a report from the state’s fire investigator. Although the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) issued its findings on Wednesday, PG&E concluded in February that its equipment was likely the cause of the Nov. 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and burned roughly 153,000 acres (61,900 hectares) in the northern part of the state. (Utility Dive)
No chance – The current emissions reduction and energy transition strategies of the 28 EU member states show that they are all insufficient in helping them reach their 2030 climate targets, though there is still enough time to adjust these plans, according to a report commissioned by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) and carried out by the Ecologic Institute. Spain and France lead the ranking with a score of 52% and 47% achievement probability respectively, whereas Germany comes in second to last with a score of 12.5%, only trailed by Slovenia at 3%. (Clean Energy Wire)
Summer harvest – A report on the impact of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy on climate change and GHG emissions won’t be published until July, Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan told national ministers Tuesday. The report was commissioned by DG AGRI and finalised last November, and was previously promised to be published this spring. (Politico)
Taking over – Britain’s opposition Labour Party outlined plans to nationalise large swathes of the UK energy industry if it wins the next general election, which is scheduled for 2022 but will likely arrive sooner given the precarious state of the ruling Conservative government. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would make the priority to reduce fossil fuel emissions and ensure heat and electricity flow to consumers at lower prices. Industry analysts think it’s unlikely Corbyn could achieve his ambitions even if he takes office. (Bloomberg)
Back on the table – Chancellor Angela Merkel has put CCS technology back on the table, saying the controversial technology is crucial for Germany to reach climate neutrality by mid-century. Several European countries had started an initiative aiming for net-zero emissions by mid-century. “I am firmly convinced that this can only be done if one is willing to capture and store CO₂,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung. (Clean Energy Wire)
Sayo-Nora – The director of communications for the northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme is departing on Friday for a role with a clean energy non-profit organisation. After nearly five years with RGGI, Inc., Nora Vogel announced Thursday she will be taking a role with The Coalition for Green Capital, a self-described “non-profit that accelerates the growth of clean energy markets through the creation of green banks”.
And finally… Jellyfish chips – People could be tucking into jellyfish chips and burgers made out of crickets in decades to come, according to a report by UK retailer Sainsbury’s. It suggests that by 2050, people will be ‘growing their own meat’ at home and in as little as six years we’ll be eating insects like crickets and grasshoppers, seaweed caviar, algae milk, and more mushroom-based products. By 2169, the world’s deserts will be turned into food-producing land, while people will be fitted with microchips to determine what foods they need to eat to stay healthy and be fed through ‘skin patches’, keeping them topped up with nutrients and vitamins. (Daily Mail)
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