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European carbon prices hit their highest level since 2006 on Tuesday, with bullish signals from the daily auctions and energy market expected to help EUAs top €30 in the coming days.
The UK could drastically undercut the EU ETS if it exits the scheme in November and imposes a replacement scheme that initially only delivers a single-digit carbon price, experts have warned.
California Carbon Offset (CCO) prices are tightening against WCI allowance values amid increased demand from compliance entities and sluggish issuances by state regulator ARB, market sources said.
House Democrats unveiled plans to develop a market-related strategy that will achieve net-zero GHGs by 2050 in committee on Tuesday, but specific legislation and future compatibility with progressive lawmakers’ Green New Deal has not yet been determined.
The Ohio House of Representatives agreed to Senate amendments on Tuesday that will subsidise two nuclear plants while weakening and eventually ending the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), as critics lambasted the bill as a corporate bail-out and regression on promoting clean energy at the US subnational level.
Spanish utility Endesa reported on Tuesday a 45% decline in coal power output over the first half of the year while natural gas generation rose, likely reducing the company’s EUA demand.
The UK government has imposed fines totalling over £80,000 on a dozen companies including utility Uniper and automaker Rolls Royce for EU ETS non-compliance in the latest round of climate-related penalties.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Sevenfold signup – An alliance of 27 mainly consumer-focused global companies with a combined market capitalisation of $1.2 trillion are to set new emissions goals to bring themselves into line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C temperature threshold, according to a joint statement by the UN Global Compact, We Mean Business coalition of green corporates, and the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The joint statement issued Tuesday confirmed the number of large companies publicly committing to have their operations become net zero by 2050 will increase more than seven-fold in the coming months. (BusinessGreen)
Product placement – BHP, the world’s largest mining group, will set public goals next year on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its products even after they have been sold, as it looks to take an industry lead on tackling climate change. The move — the first by a big diversified mining company — was announced on Tuesday by BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie in a speech at a Financial Times event. Mackenzie also outlined plans to spend $400 mln over the next five years to reduce carbon emissions and to tie executive pay more closely to environmental targets. (Financial Times)
Forest fortifiers – The European Commission has proposed “regulatory and non-regulatory measures” to be considered to ensure the EU consumes products “from deforestation-free supply chains”. It proposes strengthening standards and certification schemes that help to identify and promote deforestation-free commodities such as coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soy, and timber in a “partnership approach” to halt deforestation between the EU and producer countries. (Climate Home)
Suck it up – Machines that suck CO2 directly from the air could cut the cost of meeting global climate goals, a new study finds, but they would need as much as a quarter of global energy supplies in 2100. The research, published in Nature Communications, is the first to explore the use of direct air capture (DAC) in multiple computer models. (Carbon Brief)
Staying in state – A US federal judge ruled against multiple oil and gas companies on Monday, arguing that the state of Rhode Island’s novel climate liability case can be tried in the smallest US state. The ruling will allow Rhode Island prosecutors to continue to bring charges against 21 oil and gas producers including Chevron, Shell, and BP as the state tries to get the companies to help pay for damages caused by climate change. Judge William Smith for the US District Court For the District of Rhode Island said there was no federal jurisdiction to take up the case as the oil companies had hoped, and he noted that the fossil fuel entities “have extracted, advertised, and sold a substantial percentage of the fossil fuels burned globally since the 1960s”. (The Hill)
Caught RIN-handed – Four family members belonging to a Utah polygamist group admitted defrauding the US of $512 mln in renewable fuel tax credits. Jacob Kingston, formerly chief executive officer of Washakie Renewable Energy, pleaded guilty in a Salt Lake City federal court on July 18 to falsely claiming that the company produced or blended biodiesel to quality for federal tax credits or biofuel credits (RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Along with California gas station owner Lev Dermen, Kingston’s family created fake business transactions to make it appear the company was producing or purchasing fuel. (Bloomberg)
And finally… Stopping the Burn – The Nevada-based festival Burning Man has set a goal to become carbon negative by 2030 as it seeks to limit the event’s environmental impacts and adhere to its principle of “leave no trace”. Festival organisers released the “Burning Man Project: 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap” on Saturday, setting out three short-, medium-, and long-term goals of handling waste ecologically, creating a net positive ecological and environmental impact, and removing more carbon from the environment than the festival puts in. The organisers will also consider the use of offsets in their plan, and outlined open issues still left to discuss as the conversation continues. (SF Gate)
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