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Dutch plans for a carbon tax on heavy industry could soon spread to other EU nations, with governments seeking economy-wide GHG reductions starting to target the sector after years of flat emissions levels.
An Oregon Democratic senator that opposed the state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade proposal sees a potential path forward to pass climate legislation during next year’s short session, the legislator told Carbon Pulse Tuesday.
Alberta-based offset project developer and consultancy Carbon Credit Solutions has acquired fellow advisory firm and green technology company Cap-Op Energy, with an eye to supplying more than 1 million provincial offset credits this year, the companies announced Tuesday.
EU Allowances rose on Tuesday morning, extending the previous day’s rebound before reversing course in the afternoon on technical selling and as wider energy prices fell.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Not planned accordingly – Carbon emissions from existing and planned fossil fuel energy plants and projects will jeopardise the 1.5C temperature limit goal of the Paris Agreement, scientists said in a study on Monday. The paper published in the journal Nature found that infrastructure timelines of those projects amount to 846 bln tonnes of CO2, more than the entire remaining global carbon budget of 420-580 bln tonnes for a 50-66% chance of limiting worldwide warming to 1.5C. To keep temperatures within the Paris target range, infrastructure lifetimes would need to be reduced to less than 25 years and the projects adopt capacity factors of less than 30%. (Reuters)
Ramping it up? – China’s and France’s bilateral climate change statement at this weekend’s G20 meeting talked about ‘updating’ their Paris targets. This is the first time China has gone beyond saying it would just reaffirm targets, and could imply the world’s biggest-emitting nation might be ready to announce a more ambitious goal than making sure its GHG output peaks by 2030, experts told Reuters. A domestic advisory body recently proposed moving the target date for the peak to 2025.
Make me – The UK is to explore mandatory climate risk reporting requirements for its listed companies and pension funds from 2022 as part of its green finance strategy unveiled today. The strategy also includes funding for a green finance institute and a plan to add an explicit reference to climate change in the statutory objectives of financial regulators. (Financial Times)
Here comes the sun – Solar energy topped the list of sources for Germany’s net public electricity supply in June, generating 19% and ranking ahead of lignite (18.6%) and wind (17.7%), according to research institute Fraunhofer ISE’s Energy Charts project. Renewables supplied a total of 52% of German electricity in June, and just slightly less (47.8%) for the entire first half year of 2019. (Clean Energy Wire)
Steel cut boast – German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp has set itself a voluntary target to cut its direct and indirect emissions 30% by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050. It is banking on its pilot initiatives developing technologies to abate its big-emitting and EU ETS-covered steel business.
Football forest fever – The rate of forest loss in Brazil has accelerated to the rate of a football pitch every minute, according to satellite data, as Brazil’s new right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro favours development over conservation. The government is encouraging deforestation, according to a senior Brazilian official compelled to speak out, but who did so only anonymously because Bolsonaro has banned his environmental staff from talking to the media. (BBC)
Cities for carbon pricing – The US Conference of Mayors at its annual summer meeting this week adopted more than a dozen climate and energy-related resolutions. The resolutions signed off by more than 200 mayors that attended the conference included calling on the US Congress to adopt a national price on carbon, encouraging cities to commit to net zero building construction by 2050, and endorsing the Green New Deal. (Climate Nexus)
TCI in July – The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) will hold its next public workshop on developing a transportation sector cap-and-trade programme in the US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on July 30 in Baltimore, Maryland. This workshop will focus on the potential health, environmental, and economic benefits from a regional low-carbon transportation programme, as well as how a cap-and-invest system could work together with potential complementary policies. Previous meetings saw environmental justice groups push back on the cap-and-trade option for TCI, and some observers have expressed doubts that the 10 member jurisdictions will decide on a programme design by their self-imposed Dec. 2019 deadline.
Justice awaits – The trial of a French-Israeli dual national accused of involvement in tax fraud using the EU ETS opened in the French city of Lyon on Monday, the Times of Israel reports. Stephane Alzraa, 38, was extradited from Israel following a request by French authorities. He is being prosecuted on charges of organised fraud, aggravated money laundering, and criminal conspiracy. The investigating judge who referred the case to the Lyon criminal court said that Alzraa was “at the forefront of the organization.” According to French authorities, between 2008 and 2009 Alzraa and his accomplice, Michael Aknin, 39, ran several companies with the intention of carrying out large-scale VAT fraud, concealing some €51 million from French tax authorities. Alzraa left France in 2015, skipping the country while on a prison furlough. He was arrested in Nov. 2016 under the name of David Blomberg during a routine traffic check in Tel Aviv and extradited to France, where he was imprisoned in Apr. 2018. Aknin remains in Israel, where he is fighting extradition.
Follow the clues – In 2009, the publication of emails stolen from the UK’s University of East Anglia made headlines across the world. It sparked a scandal dubbed “Climategate” by global warming skeptics. To this day, some critics see the emails as evidence of a conspiracy to dupe the public into believing in human-caused climate change. Multiple investigations cleared the scientists of wrongdoing, but the false allegations proved enduring. Donald Trump publicly called on world leaders to tackle global warming just prior to Climategate, but became sceptical of climate change after the story broke. The identity of the hackers has remained a mystery despite the efforts of law enforcement and journalists. It can be revealed for the first time that evidence points to the Russian city of Ekaterinburg. Read the exclusive on Medium’s investigation
And finally… Going nuts, Australian style – A new book is about to hit Australian bookshelves about the ousting of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year. Central in the story, according to author Niki Savva, is Turnbull’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), which would have put an ever so soft CO2 emissions target on the electricity generation industry. In the book, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton talks about how he and some colleagues “went nuts” over the proposal. “It was never going to happen. There were 20 people on our side who were not going back to their electorates with photos of them sitting next to [the opposition Labor party’s] Tanya Plibersek voting on a motion supporting climate change,” Dutton is quoted saying, according to the Guardian newspaper. “It would have been a complete disaster for the government.”
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