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Germany’s transport and building sectors should be assigned carbon prices either through a market or a tax before transitioning them into the EU ETS, government-appointed economic experts have recommended.
EUAs set a fresh 11-year high for the third straight day on Friday, as steady auction demand and a late lift in gas prices invalidated predictions of a rapid drop due to profit-taking.
Poland’s EUA auction volumes for 2020, which were announced late Thursday, are around 20% higher than expected, leading analysts to question where the additional supply is coming from.
California regulator ARB has not made adequate arguments in defending the state’s compliance grade forestry offset protocol, and changes should made to address the methodology’s lenient leakage guidelines, a new policy brief said.
Unspecified and renewable generation made up a larger share of California’s imported power in 2018, as those sources replaced lost hydroelectric power from in-state and out-of-state sources, according to California Energy Commission (CEC) data.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit prices drew closer to the $200 level this week, while market participants began focusing their attention to the programme’s upcoming quarterly data release.
Issuance of Australian carbon credits dropped further this week as most project owners had secured offsets before the end of the 2018-19 financial year last month.
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
Getting out – Mining major BHP is moving ahead with plans to exit thermal coal by examining options to divest the business that includes assets in Australia and Colombia, Bloomberg reported from anonymous sources. Thermal coal is expected to contribute just 1% of its profits this year while rivals Rio Tinto has already removed all exposure to thermal coal. (Bloomberg)
Ship shape – The UK wants all new ships ordered from 2025 onwards and aimed for its waters must have zero-emission capabilities as part of its new “Clean Maritime Plan” unveiled on Thursday. Such vessels usually can be powered by batteries or biofuels, for example, and maintain a fossil fuel alternative as a back up. The government has launched a £1 million competition and will consult next year on other incentives. (Reuters)
Flight ban – The environment minister of the city state of Hamburg, Germany has called for the introduction of a tax on airplane fuels and said that domestic flights should ultimately be banned, Die Welt reports, quoting the Hamburger Abendblatt. Levying a tax on kerosene is an issue on a EU level, but Germany should consider national measures, Green politician Jens Kerstan was quoted as saying. Before banning domestic flights, the train system should be improved, he added, calling for the quick introduction of a socially fair carbon tax and a discussion on speed limits on highways. France recently announced a new eco-tax on aviation, while the Netherlands is pushing for a bloc-wide levy. (Clean Energy Wire)
Must be 21 – The California legislature on Thursday and Governor Gavin Nesom (D) on Friday approved legislation to create a $21 billion fund to help utilities pay for wildfire damages, including from embattled utility PG&E last year. The plan directs utility ratepayers to contribute $10.5 bln to the fund, with shareholders contributing the other half. However, some groups have said that the bill was improperly vetted, and non-profit group Food and Water Watch called it a “bailout” for investor-owned utilities. (Utility Dive)
Facing the music – French-Israeli dual national Stephane Alzraa was sentenced Friday in France to nine years in prison for his involvement in the massive tax fraud that hit the EU ETS almost 10 years ago, the Times of Israel reports. He was sentenced on charges of organised fraud and aggravated money laundering and fined €100,000. The Lyon court granted to the state €50 million in damages, plus a symbolic €1 for damage to the country’s image. Alzraa, 38, was extradited from Israel following a request by French authorities. 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.
And finally… All grown up & moving out – It’s been two years since the monster block of ice known as A68 broke free from Antarctica. Satellites show the world’s biggest berg has spun around in the waters of the Weddell Sea and is now moving north along the White Continent’s peninsula. For a while, it seemed like the 160km-long frozen mass had become stuck on a section of shallow seafloor. A68 was in danger of becoming the world’s biggest “ice island”. But it’s since picked up the pace. “For an object weighing around one trillion tonnes, Iceberg A68 appears to be quite nimble,” Prof Adrian Luckman told the BBC. Although A68 has broadly held together, it has lost some sizeable chunks of ice. A segment fell off one end soon after the berg was born. This was even large enough to be given its own designation – A68b. Like most icebergs from the Weddell Sea sector of the continent, A68a and b will eventually be ejected into the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which will throw them towards the South Atlantic. That path has become known as “iceberg alley” and leads to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, where the bergs may melt away and die in their own “iceberg graveyard”.
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