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The Netherlands won’t wait for the EU’s protracted lawmaking process to launch an aviation carbon tax and expects several fellow member states to follow or extend their own initiatives.
Two “silent catalysts” will push European carbon prices higher in the coming months, analysts predict, calling the market’s current focus on Brexit and gas prices “short-sighted”.
Power plants linked to industrial sites should only be awarded free EUAs if the resulting heat is used in district heating or high efficiency co-generation, an EU court found this week, upholding a previous opinion in a move that could trim the allowance allocations of companies across the bloc EU next year.
European carbon prices recovered from earlier weakness on Friday on the back of a stronger gas market and firmer energy complex and euro to close at their highest in three weeks, notching a 1% weekly gain in the process.
Oregon Democrats will not be entertaining any amendments to their cap-and-trade bill after Republican senators decided to walk out in protest over over the proposal, a state senator told Carbon Pulse.
California and Quebec will offer more than 66 million current vintage allowances in each of the next two quarterly sales, with the August volume roughly identical to the May auction supply, according to regulator data released Friday.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator this week distributed over 1.1 million carbon credits as developers continued to seek issuances ahead of the June 30 financial year end.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Exiting Exxon – One of Britain’s biggest fund managers has started selling shares in Exxon Mobil, saying America’s largest oil company isn’t doing enough to address climate change. According to Bloomberg, Legal & General Investment Management, which manages about $1.3 trillion and is one of Exxon’s top 20 shareholders, said some of its funds have already divested from the company and will ask its clients if it can withdraw more money. The divestment affects a small portion of Exxon’s equity – Legal & General owns about 0.6% of the company, and the divesting funds hold just a fraction of that – but it intensifies pressure on the Texas firm, once the world’s largest publicly traded company. It will also be a fillip for campaigners who want investors to divest from the most polluting companies.
Greened grid – The UK will generate more energy from low-carbon sources than from fossil fuels this year for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, Bloomberg reports. Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear plants provided 47.9% of the nation’s electricity in the first five months of 2019, according to the UK network operator National Grid. Coal, which made up more than 30% of the mix a decade ago, fed just 2.5% at the end of May, while natural gas provided 44.2%.
Keeping at it – Australia’s federal government ditched its plans for a National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy in August last year as soon as Scott Morrison took over as PM for Malcolm Turnbull. But state governments are still pushing for it as they are under intense pressure to create some form of climate and energy framework no matter how unwelcome that is among federal Cabinet members. New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania – all run by the Liberal party, which also rules on the federal level – have held talks and plan to bring the issue up at a meeting with federal Energy and Emissions Minister Angus Taylor next month, the Guardian reports. The NEG had proposed to set a carbon intensity target for electricity retailers, and would have established an indirect carbon market with companies trading CO2 intensity contracts.
Hide your senators – A fringe militia group – Oregon III% – has vowed to “provide security, transportation and refuge” for the state’s 12 Republican senators who have fled to avoid voting on the cap-and-trade bill, according to a Facebook post. The group, which is the Oregon branch of a national group known to be anti-Islam and to have supported alt-right protesters in Charlottesville in 2017, added that it would do anything necessary to keep the GOP senators safe. The senators have vacated the state in protest of a scheduled vote on HB-2020, which would install a WCI-modelled cap-and-trade programme in 2021. That decision has left Democrats without a quorum to conduct business. Governor Kate Brown (D) has authorised state police to round up Republican senators, and she is also prepared to call a special session on July 2 to complete legislative work, which includes passing budgets for several state agencies.
Fast & dirty – With its acceleration of Prime shipping from two days to one, Amazon established a new normal. Soon after, Walmart and Target came out with their own super-speedy shipping options, Axios writes. But flying, trucking, and delivering millions of packages a day comes with a cost. As shoppers demand faster and faster speed, there has been a sharp environmental impact. UPS, one of the biggest enablers of the e-commerce boom, says it emitted 13.8 Mt of CO2 while delivering 5.1 billion packages in 2017 by ground and air transportation. Emissions from FedEx, the other major shipper, were 15.1 Mt in 2017, while the US Postal Service emitted about 4.3 Mt in 2016.
Rebate veto? – The New Hampshire Senate and House reached a compromise in conference committee this week on a bill that would end electricity rebates for ratepayers, sending the proposal to Governor Chris Sununu for final approval. HB-582 would funnel RGGI revenue to energy efficiency projects rather than rebate ratepayers, but it would maintain refunds for businesses. Democrats say any energy costs would be offset by reduction in generation or transmission expenses. Sununu has vetoed one energy bill this session, leaving HB-582 unsure if the measure could suffer the same fate.
Train trippin’ – German railway operator Deutsche Bahn has agreed to a massive increase in passenger and freight capacities to boost climate action efforts. It committed to use 100% renewable power by 2038, earlier than a previously proposed 2050, and wants to hire 100,000 new employees to double long-distance passenger capacity and increase freight volumes 70%. (TAZ, Clean Energy Wire)
And finally… Heavy handed – UK Foreign Office Minister Mark Field has been suspended from government after he forcibly removed a female climate change protester from a City of London dinner on Thursday evening. Opposition politicians demanded Field be fired after footage on social media showed him grabbing the woman by the neck. She was one of about 40 Extinction Rebellion protesters who interrupted a speech by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis told ITV that Field’s actions were “very hard to defend” and promised an investigation. Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have found the footage “disturbing”. (Bloomberg)
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