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EU finance ministers on Tuesday kept on the table the option of earmarking a fifth of ETS auction revenues for the post-Brexit 2021-2027 central EU budget, and discussed a bloc-wide aviation carbon tax as France pushed ahead with its own plans.
The Alberta government opened a consultation Tuesday on its proposed overhaul next year for the Canadian province’s carbon trading programme for large emitters, with the ruling United Conservative Party offering input on the CO2 regulation’s excess emissions charge and usage limits for offsets and performance credits.
New Brunswick is abandoning its plan to sue the Canadian government over the federal backstop carbon tax, the province’s premier announced late Monday, adding that his administration would still intervene in Saskatchewan’s Supreme Court appeal.
The British Columbia government is floating the incorporation of a credit clearance market that would act as a hard price cap for the Canadian province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), while also considering the possibility for new alternative fuel types to generate credits.
California regulator ARB began a series of workshops Monday on how to eliminate the state’s economy-wide carbon footprint, with experts offering considerations and strategies for achieving that goal in the industrial sector.
Roughly 1.8 million V17 Quebec allowances remain in WCI auction accounts after the second quarter despite proclamations by the province that those credits were retired last month, according to Carbon Pulse calculations.
The northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme will auction off more than 13.1 million carbon allowances at its Sep. 4 auction, the regulator announced Tuesday.
The European Commission confirmed Tuesday that it wants to monetise hundreds of millions of Innovation Fund EUAs in equal annual volumes, a move that analysts said will mean the sales are less likely to affect allowance prices.
EUAs retreated from a five-day high near €27 on Tuesday, as a drop in gas prices worried traders despite strong demand in the day’s carbon auction.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved $266.9 million in new funding to ten mitigation and adaptation projects, including a payment to Ecuador for cutting emissions by halting deforestation, the second programme of its kind to receive GCF funds.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
REGO-a-go-go – The UK arm of German utility E.ON said it will provide power to its 3.3 million customers sourced “only from renewables” at no extra cost to them in one of the biggest switches to green energy seen to date. Around half will be from E.ON’s own renewable sites or PPAs with other generators, with the rest offset by E.ON buying unbundled Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs). (The Guardian)
Trade power – Last week’s EU-Mercosur trade deal contained a sustainable development chapter that will commit Mercosur countries to the Paris Agreement and to action against deforestation. While they are legal treaty commitments, the provisions are excluded from the enforcement and sanctions that govern breaches of the trade policy parts of the agreements, though some argue this still allows for political pressure on partners who renege. (Financial Times)
Carbon bank – It is high time to create a new, focused agency – a World Carbon Bank – funded by a global carbon tax and which provides a vehicle for advanced economies to coordinate aid and technical transfer, argues Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University. He adds that it should not simultaneously trying to solve every other development problem in the world. (The Guardian)
Another setback – Australia’s electricity sector has been a sole source of optimism across rising GHG emissions in all sectors in recent years, as increasing use of renewables has been cutting carbon from power generation. But in Q1 2019 those emissions increased too, up 3.4% compared to the same period last year, according to the latest quarterly report by consultants Ndevr Environmental. Australia suffered from unusually warm weather in that period, and most of the increased electricity demand was met using fossil fuels. Australia is now on track to cumulatively emit 970 MtCO2e more than its Paris target over the 2020s, the report said.
Common-sense consistency – Governors from more than 20 US states, including some won by President Trump in the 2016 election, joined California officials to urge his administration to implement automobile emissions rules that are consistent nationwide and require efficiency improvements each year. In a joint statement Tuesday, 23 governors including California’s Gavin Newsom (D), called for a “common-sense approach” to nationwide requirements that will cut tailpipe GHGs and avoid regulatory uncertainty sparked by a legal battle over the administration’s 2018 proposal to ease the rules. Among those who signed the pact are the governors of Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania – key states that helped propel Trump to victory in 2016. (Bloomberg)
Against J(ay) walking – Washington Governor and US Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee said he wanted to prevent the scuttling of neighbouring Oregon’s landmark cap-and-trade bill by ordering the arrest of Republican senators hiding in his state, but he couldn’t find a way to do so. Inslee made his comments as an Oregon Republican state senator who threatened Senate President Peter Courtney and state troopers during last month’s carbon market bill walk-out was ordered to provide 12 hours’ notice if he decides to report to the Capitol. This is so officials can arrange for additional police to ensure the safety of employees and the public. A legislative committee issued the decision on Monday after lengthy deliberations for Senator Brian Boquist (R), who uttered the threats after Governor Kate Brown (D) said she would send police to round up the GOP senators in order to force them to vote on the bill. (Courthouse News Service, The Oregonian)
And finally… The birds and the worms – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday questioned the use wind power in the fossil fuel-heavy country, saying turbines were harmful to birds and worms. “Wind-powered generation is good, but are birds being taken into account in this case? How many birds are dying? [The turbines] shake so much that worms come out of the ground. Really, it’s not a joke, it’s a serious consequence of these modern ways of getting energy,” Putin said at a televised conference on industry in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, according to Reuters. Putin added that people would not like to live on a planet dotted with “rows of wind-powered generators and covered by several layers of solar panels”. Separately, Deputy PM Alexei Gordeev last week ordered the ministries of environment and foreign affairs to submit a bill to ratify the Paris Agreement to parliament by Sep. 1, Climate Home reports.
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