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Analysts have cut their EUA prices forecasts for the remainder of the year by 9-13%, as Brexit risks loom larger and investor interest drains from the market.
European carbon was propelled to a two-month high on Wednesday, as a second day of no new supply coming to market, a continental heatwave, and speculative buying combined to send prices markedly higher.
The Canadian environment ministry and California signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday to promote cooperation on the former’s development of a Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), along with other measures to promote zero-emission vehicles and alternative fuels.
California regulator ARB issued nearly 600,000 offsets (CCOs) this week across four protocols, while Quebec handed out its first credits in more than seven months, according to regulator data released Wednesday.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is completing work to fix numerous errors on its RGGI regulation identified by a legislative committee, with the aim of sending the final proposal back for approval later this summer.
Switzerland’s carbon credit procurement agency has selected three GHG-reducing activities for its initial call for proposals, aiming to tie up its first emission trade deals under the Paris Agreement’s market-based Article 6.
Nearly 500 investors managing $34 trillion worth of capital are urging G20 nations to strengthen their Paris Agreement targets, and put in place policies to achieve those goals, including meaningful prices on carbon emissions and targets for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Decision time – The Ontario Court of Appeal will release its decision on the constitutionality of the federal ‘backstop’ carbon tax on Friday. The court heard four days of arguments on the case in April, where the Progressive Conservative-led Ontario government claimed that allowing the feds to regulate GHGs under the federal Liberals’ Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act would let Ottawa regulate “basically all human activity”. The federal government already secured one victory for its landmark climate policy when Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal last month ruled it has the constitutional authority to impose the backstop on the province. (CBC)
Bond billions – Global green bond issuance has surpassed the $100 billion mark already this year – the first time the milestone has been reached in the first half of this year, non-profit Climate Bonds Initiative said. Cumulative green bond issuance is forecast to reach $180-250 bln for the whole of the year, though former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has said the financial sector should be aiming to reach $1 trillion a year of green bond issuance by 2020. (Reuters)
Rich-poor divide – An over-reliance on the private sector means Earth could be headed for “climate apartheid“, with poor nations expected to suffer at least 75% of the costs of climate change despite generating just 10% of emissions, according to Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty in a report to the body’s Human Rights Council. (BBC)
Plus vite – France must triple the pace of emissions reductions, including by raising its non-ETS carbon tax, to live up to its ambition to be net zero in 2050, government advisers High Council for the Climate warned. They found emissions had fallen just 1.1% across 2015-18 with transport and buildings sectors in particular lagging. (Climate Home)
Just get it done – The OECD has again urged New Zealand to make agriculture – the country’s biggest-emitting sector – subject to a carbon price, either by bringing biological emissions under the nation’s emissions trading scheme or adopting an alternative pricing model. NZ should announce a date for when this will happen, the OECD said in its latest Economic Survey of New Zealand. It added that the country should also work to get carbon prices up to the level necessary to help transition to a low-carbon economy. The NZ government is expected to make a decision on agriculture and carbon pricing by the end of the year.
Wehrum is he going? – The US EPA on Wednesday announced that Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum will leave the agency at the end of this month, amid scrutiny about possible ethics violations. While Administrator Andrew Wheeler did not give a reason for his departure, sources told the Washington Post that Wehrum has privately expressed concern about how an ongoing House Energy and Commerce Committee probe was affecting his former law firm, Hunton Andrews Kurth. Wehrum, who heads the air and radiation office at the EPA, worked on some of the Trump administration’s largest environmental rollbacks, including last week’s finalisation of the Affordable Clean Energy rule – the weaker replacement of the stayed Obama-era Clean Power Plan. Wheeler said he has asked Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Anne Idsal to take on Wehrum’s responsibilities.
Through being cool – A new peer-reviewed study found that higher temperatures could bring large increases in energy demand as the use of cooling soars, far outweighing the reduced need for heating. The paper, published in the journal Nature Communications, said that depending on future warming levels, global demand in 2050 could be 11-58% higher than what’s otherwise expected based on economic development and population growth. The authors also found that energy demand would rise more than 25% in the tropics and southern regions of the US, Europe, and China. (Axios)
And finally… Give me that do goody good bullshit – Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour last week auctioned off 126 guitars, raising a total $21.5 million. The entire amount – minus various fees and taxes – will go to Client Earth, a charity made up of lawyers and environmental experts who use their expertise to fight climate change and protect nature around the world. “The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible. I hope that the sale of these guitars will help ClientEarth in their cause to use the law to bring about real change,” Gilmour said.
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