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Japan’s environment ministry will this week submit a carbon pricing proposal to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as part of its tax reform package for next year.
Switzerland raised its long-term climate ambition on Thursday, setting a 2050 net zero emission target and keeping its aim of using international credits to meet some portion of that goal.
EUAs reversed early losses to climb 1.7% on Thursday as markets rose on signs of US-China trade developments, countering the bearish outlook of next week’s resumption of full-sized auctions.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices declined this week following the publication of the August WCI auction results, while RGGI allowance (RGAs) found additional support on thin volume ahead of the programme’s quarterly sale next week.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit prices rose to $200 on Wednesday, hitting an eight-month high and matching the programme’s record price levels on what some attributed to short covering.
Washington state’s Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) will not take final action on a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for the four-county region until early 2020, a delay of several months from its original timeline.
Hydrogen could replace fossil fuels in the steel-making process and help decarbonise the sector globally almost completely by 2050 with a carbon price of around $35-50, a report said Thursday.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Lawsuit I – Three Indonesian citizens have filed a lawsuit in South Korea against public finance companies in a bid to stop their funding of coal-fired power plants in Java, according to the Korea Herald. The lawsuits targets the Korea Development Bank, the Korea Export-Import Bank, and Korea Trade Insurance Corp. This is the first time people in a foreign country have filed lawsuits against Korean entities in South Korea over fossil fuel-related issues.
Lawsuit II – Meanwhile, New Zealand climate activist and chair of the Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group, Mark Smith, has sued seven major companies for failing to protect New Zealanders by emitting greenhouse gases, reports Waatea News. The lawsuit has been filed in the High Court against dairy giants Fonterra and Dairy Holdings, power company Genesis Energy, New Zealand Steel, Z Energy, petrol refiner The New Zealand Refining Company, and BT Mining.
Methane minus – The US EPA issued a proposal on Thursday to loosen federal rules on methane enacted under former President Barack Obama. The proposed rule reverses standards that require oil and gas operators to install controls on their operations to curb the release of methane at the well head and in their transmission equipment, including pipelines, processing, and storage facilities. Additionally, the proposal challenges the agency’s earlier position that the federal government has the authority to regulate methane without first making a determination that it qualifies as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Green group Sierra Club said the proposal was at least the seventh separate Trump administration attempt to roll back EPA safeguards against oil and gas pollution. (The Washington Post)
Big E emergency – The Canadian city of Edmonton became the latest jurisdiction to declare a climate emergency, with the Alberta capital’s councillors voting 10-3 this week in support of the declaration. The vote came after councillors also approved a revised energy transition strategy, calling for a 10-year action plan with the goal of keeping temperatures to 1.5C. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said he hoped the federal government will continue to invest in green programmes and that the provincial government will come around to providing support, with the Alberta United Conservative Party having axed the C$30/tonne carbon tax this spring that funded environmental initiatives. (CBC)
Face the music – A French-Israeli dual national was extradited from Israel to France on Wednesday to face charges over using the EU ETS to commit tax fraud, the Times of Israel reports. Michael Aknin, 39, allegedly ran several companies together with an accomplice, with the intention of carrying out large-scale tax fraud valued at €51 mln in 2008-09. The money was transferred to bank accounts in East Asia. Aknin was arrested in Israel in Sep. 2018 and tried to fight the extradition by suing the state in the Jerusalem District Court. His accomplice, Stephane Alzraa, also a French-Israeli dual national, was sentenced by a Lyon court on July 12 to nine years in prison for his involvement.
And finally… Cool it! – The warmer it gets, the more we use air conditioning. The more we use air conditioning, the warmer it gets. The Guardian examines whether there’s a way out of this trap. The IEA projects air conditioning will use about 13% of all electricity worldwide, and produce 2bn tonnes of CO2 a year – about the same amount as India, the world’s third-largest emitter, produces today.
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