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Oregon’s joint fiscal committee on Wednesday afternoon sent on the state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade proposal to full floor votes in the House and Senate, though some Democratic lawmakers expressed further concerns about the legislation.
Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) jurisdictions in the northeast US are cautiously optimistic about finalising a carbon programme design before their December deadline, but others believe a tight timeframe could see the states miss that self-imposed cut-off date, numerous sources told Carbon Pulse.
California regulator ARB issued offsets this week to a pair of mine methane capture (MMC) projects for the first time in nine months, while the total issuance dropped to an 11-month low of 110,000 compliance-grade credits, according to state data.
Fuel refiner PBF Energy has agreed to purchase oil giant Shell’s Martinez refinery in California for up to $1 billion, with the acquisition expected to add to the former’s compliance obligations under the state’s cap-and-trade programme.
Australia has launched a review of offset rules that might allow for awarding carbon credits to even its dirtiest ageing coal-fired power plants.
South Korea sold out all allowances on offer in Wednesday’s auction, but the sale cleared 1.3% below the secondary market as only five companies submitted bids.
New Zealand carbon allowances on Wednesday fell below NZ$24 for the first time in 10 months as demand fell away and market participants warned of further downside ahead.
EUAs slipped further below €25 on Wednesday, as weakness in the energy complex continued to weigh on carbon while fears of a no-deal Brexit loomed larger.
Energy-related CO2 output rose 2% worldwide last year, the fastest rate since 2011, as extreme weather stoked demand for heating and cooling, a report found on Wednesday.
Carbon offset credits should only play a transitional role in meeting Paris Agreement goals and the use of such credits may be drawing to a close, UN Environment said. (Updates Monday’s article to reflect changes made to the blog posted, which was taken down for approximately 24 hours)
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
One more week – Canada’s federal Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer on Wednesday said he will reveal his long-awaited climate plan on June 19, calling it a “real plan to protect the environment”. Scheer has long opposed the ruling Liberals’ ‘backstop’ revenue-neutral carbon tax of C$20, and indicated in May that the poll-leading Conservatives’ plan could rely more on international offsetting to hit the country’s Paris Agreement targets, rather than relying on domestic abatement. Ahead of that announcement, an internal party memo indicates that the Tories will go all-in on attacking the Liberal government for its projected failure to meet Canada’s emission reduction goals. (The Post Millennial, Pembroke Observer and News)
Had to put it in the soil – Boston-based agritech start-up Indigo Agriculture on Wednesday announced the launch of its Terraton Initiative, aimed at removing one trillion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere using agricultural soils. In a press release, the company said it will accomplish this through the creation of Indigo Carbon, a market to provide growers with the financial incentive to implement regenerative farming practices. Growers who join Indigo in the first twelve months are eligible to receive a minimum of $15 per tonne of CO2 sequestered, with the price ultimately being set by supply and demand thereafter.
Doing the laundry – A federal court judged ruled on Tuesday that Baltimore, Maryland’s climate liability lawsuit against more than two dozen fossil fuel companies belongs in state court, rebuking industry requests to remand the case to federal court. US District Judge Ellen Hollander said that the fossil fuel companies relied on a proverbial ‘laundry list’ of grounds for removal, and rejected each of those grounds in a detailed ruling. Baltimore alleges in the suit that ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and 23 other fossil fuel producers and distributors knew for decades about fossil fuels’ role in driving climate change but deliberately failed to inform the public about those risks. (Climate Liability News)
The long and winding road – China is in the early stages of liberalising its power market, a process experts say is crucial to make electricity generation responsive to a carbon price. This week, the eastern Shandong province said it would start a three-year trial period for a spot electricity market next month, according to China Power News Network. Spot trading makes it easier to get renewable energy on the grid, compared to the traditional approach of having the government and the grid company set dispatch patterns for as much as a year in advance. Shandong is home to 100 mln people and it has China’s third biggest economy, with its annual GDP slightly higher than that of Indonesia.
Fund snub – Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund will no longer invest in companies that mine more than 20 million tonnes of coal annually or generate more than 10 GW of power with coal, according to the government’s tighter ethical investing rules adopted unanimously on Wednesday by Norway’s parliament. Greens claim the rules would mean the fund may have to sell its sizeable stakes in mining majors Glencore and Anglo American, and utilities including Germany’s RWE and Uniper, and Australia’s South32 regardless of whether the firms believe they are making efforts to decarbonise. (Reuters)
Juncker says junk ‘er – The European Commission president said he does not support raising the bloc’s 2030 climate goal, days before EU leaders are expected to discuss climate ambition. The exiting president Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc should keep its policy to cut emissions to 40% of their 1990 level by 2030. “To fix new goals again and again doesn’t make sense,” Juncker said at a Politico Europe event. “Let’s focus on delivering what we already agreed.” (Climate Home)
Freebie trimming – The EU has opened a four-week consultation to July 9 into detailed rules for the 2021-2030 period that will alter installations’ free EUA allocation levels much more responsively according to activity level. Free allocation will be adjusted if activity levels change by more than 15%.
For the low, low price of $1,000/tonne – Switzerland-based Climeworks is offering CO2 removal packages on its website, where people keen to offset their emissions can “permanently” remove GHGs from the atmosphere. Climeworks’ Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology captures CO2 from the air, before it’s mixed with water used by a geothermal energy plant and then pumped deep underground. Through natural processes, the CO2 reacts with the basaltic rock, which turns it into stone within a few years. Climeworks’ removal packages cost start at €7 per month, which will see the company turn 85 kg of CO2 into stone annually. But translating that into a per-tonne basis results in a cost of around $1,000 per tonne. Climeworks’ other two packages cost €21/month for 255 kg/year, and €49 per month for 600 kg/year – both of which work out to roughly the same annual per-tonne cost. That compares to Climeworks’ previously boasting a DAC cost of $600/tonne.
And finally… Dead meat – Most of the meat people will eat in 2040 will not come from slaughtered animals, according to a report from consultancy AT Kearney, which predicts 60% will be either meat grown in vats or replaced by plant-based products that look and taste like meat. The study highlights the heavy environmental impacts of conventional meat production and the concerns people have about the welfare of animals under industrial farming. (The Guardian)
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