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ANALYSIS: Final electricity benchmarks in Canadian ‘backstop’ OBPS still creating uneven playing field
More stringent electricity benchmarks for new natural gas plants under Canada’s ‘backstop’ output-based pricing system (OBPS) may still be slow to incentivise greater renewables usage and could also exacerbate dispatch decisions of more carbon-intensive fuel types under the programme, economists said.
New RGGI speculators recently began to offload positions built earlier this year, while compliance entities sought allowances prior to a US heatwave, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) prices declined Monday from recent highs hit this year, as state regulator ARB will soon reveal more details about a potential hard cap for credit prices.
US Steel will lay off 2,500 workers at its large steel mill in Slovakia over the next two years, the company announced on Friday, blaming high EU carbon and power prices.
European carbon prices hit a four-day high above €29 on Monday before the latest rally ran out of steam somewhat on a bearish auction result and sliding energy prices.
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- Director, International Partnerships and Development, Climate-KIC – Amsterdam/London/Other
- Regional Manager, Latin America, Verra – Bogota
- Carbon Advisor (Carbon Tax), Climate Neutral Group – Cape Town/Johannesburg
- Researcher, Climate Change Mitigation & Energy Policy, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency – The Hague
- Researcher, Economics & Policy of Zero-Carbon Energy Transitions, Crawford School of Public Policy (Australian National University) – Canberra
- Climate Action Coordinator, NEEMO EEIG (Prospect CS) – Brussels
- Reserve Administrator, Climate Action Reserve – Los Angeles
- Consultant, UN Environment – Home-based
- Consultant, Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Saint Lucia Department of Sustainable Development – Home-based
- Intern, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management Division, ADB – Manila
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Come prepared – UN chief Antonio Guterres wrote to every head of state over the weekend, demanding they set out plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In excerpts of the letter seen by Climate Home News, Guterres invited governments to send by Aug. 7 “a brief summary or an indication of the plans” they are expecting to bring to the Sep. 23 UN summit in New York. Countries are expected to compete for the spotlight during the high-level meeting, with only the most ambitious and meaningful strategies being showcased on stage. After a preparatory meeting for the summit in Abu Dhabi last month, sources said some confusion remained over the benchmark for participation. Clarifying his demands, Guterres said he had “asked all leaders to come to the Summit ready to announce the plans that they will set next year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”
Concrete plans – Europe’s Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change funds managing $2 trillion in assets has called on cement companies to slash their emissions on Monday, warning that a failure to do so could put their business models at risk. The group said investors had written to cement or construction materials companies including EU ETS-covered CRH, LafargeHolcim and St Gobain to demand they achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. They also noted that Germany’s HeidelbergCement had already adopted the target. (Reuters)
Affordable action – A survey by weekly tabloid Bild am Sonntag found people in Germany would be willing to spend an average of €32 ($36) per month on climate action. Around 16% of respondents said they would not pay anything at all, 21% would pay up to €10, 12% up to €50 and 10% would pay more than that. Respondents were split over whether emissions should be reduced through a CO2 tax, with 47% welcoming the idea and 49% against it. (Clean Energy Wire)
Fake tree news – Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has accused the state body responsible for tracking deforestation of disclosing false data, Reuters reports, after preliminary July satellite data indicated a “dramatic rise”. It quotes Bolsonaro saying: “I am convinced that the data is a lie”. Separately, the Independent reports that the investors in the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, Fibria, have been accused of indirectly causing deforestation in Brazil. (Reuters)
If you build it, they will come – IHS Markit has been selected to build the credit registry for the Canadian ‘backstop’ output-based pricing system (OBPS) for large emitters. Under the federal programme, regulated industrial and power sector entities can utilise tradable surplus credits for emissions performance and offsets as compliance options. Ottawa budgeted C$3 mln for FY 2019-20 and C$15 mln through FY 2023-24 to develop the IT infrastructure and tracking systems necessary for the national offset programme, and a third-party study on the offset supply potential is due this fall.
ODS worldwide – The American Carbon Registry (ACR) has opened for public comments a methodology for the destruction of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and high-global warming potential (GWP) foam from international sources. The Methodology borrows heavily from ACR’s existing ODS and High GWP Foam destruction methodology – applicable only for US domestically sourced ODS and foam – adding new applicability, eligibility, and monitoring provisions for ODS and foam sourced from locations outside of the US and its territories. Comments are due by Aug. 23.
And finally… Only you know – Scientists are planning to install a memorial to the first glacier in Iceland destroyed by climate change. A plaque will be unveiled next month at the site of the Ok Glacier, which scientists say has shrunk to just 1 sq km of ice 15 meters thick from its former size of 15 sq km of ice 50 meters thick. “In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path,” the plaque says in both Icelandic and English. “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.” (Guardian, Climate Nexus)
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