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The Colombian region of Boyaca will launch Latin America’s first emissions trading scheme next month.
Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) jurisdictions in the Northeast US have discussed a voluntary phase for the proposed carbon market, while stakeholders continue to urge the programme to shift compliance obligations to the wholesale rack, regulatory sources said.
The Nova Scotia government has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to assess the potential for incorporating compliance-based offsets in the jurisdiction’s new ETS.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) signed an executive order Tuesday setting out the decarbonisation of the electricity sector by mid-century, a move that could impact the state’s future participation in the Northeast US RGGI ETS.
China on Tuesday laid out its position ahead of next week’s climate summit in New York, pledging a 100% commitment to the Paris Agreement but stopping short of promising to increase its own ambitions.
European carbon prices fell to a one-week low on Tuesday, giving back all of the previous day’s gains as oil prices dropped on reports that a Saudi production outage would be shorter than expected.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Ready to revoke – President Trump on Wednesday is expected to revoke California’s waiver authority to set its own, tougher vehicle GHG standards under the federal Clean Air Act. The move, which has been in the works for much of the last three years, is likely to set off years of legal battles that could eventually land in the US Supreme Court. Some 13 other states and Washington DC follow California’s more stringent GHG standards, and Golden State officials said the waiver revocation and Trump administration’s accompanying rollback on Obama-era vehicle efficiency benchmarks could raise California’s emissions by 60 Mt over the next decade. (LA Times)
Lig lag – High carbon and low gas prices have contributed to a near-20% fall in German lignite use in H1, but the very low short-term marginal costs of those plants mean that even a €25 EUA price doesn’t change their position in the merit order, according to energy economist Felix Matthes. He estimates a carbon price of €25 would displace hard coal plants in favour of gas units, but a price of €40 would be necessary to do the same to old lignite plants, and some €60 required for newer units. (Montel)
Endowment dump – Top financial officials with the University of California announced Tuesday morning in an opinion article in the LA Times that the school system will dump the fossil fuel holdings in their pension and endowment funds, which are worth $83 billion. The move comes after faculty across the 10-campus system held a vote in July to demand divestment. While students and faculty argued the university system had an ethical obligation to act in the face of climate change, the officials said the decision was based solely on what’s best for the system financially. (San Diego Union-Tribune).
Fraught about fences – Nine large US electric utilities led by Consolidated Edison have petitioned the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to review the US EPA’s decision to withdraw the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP and replace it with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. The Trump-era rule limits eligible emission reduction activities under the ACE rule to “inside the fence line” activities at the source, as opposed to requiring industry-wide reductions under the CPP. That led the nine utilities to argue that the EPA was excluding cost-effective GHG reduction measures under the ACE Rule, such as emissions trading, averaging, and increasing generation from low-carbon sources. (Utility Dive)
RGGI results – The Northeast US RGGI carbon market has cut emissions across its nine member states 90% faster than the rest of the country, as economic growth in the region outpaced the overall average by 31%, according to a report released by environmental think-tank Acadia Center. The study showed that CO2 output fell across the states by 47% since the ETS commenced in 2009, while GDP there grew by 47%. Additionally, electricity prices under RGGI fell by 5.7% over this stretch, while nationally costs rose 8.6%.
Scotia slash – The Canadian province of Nova Scotia needs to slash GHGs 50% below 1990 levels by 2030 to meet its share of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C, according to a new report from Halifax-based green group Ecology Action Centre (EAC). The report, prepared by Gardner Pinfold Consulting, comes as the ruling Nova Scotia Liberals opened a consultation last month for renewing the province’s soon-to-expire GHG targets after 2020. EAC also called for converting the grid to 90% renewables by 2030, making electric energy three times as efficient and reducing car dependence. (Star Halifax)
Science appliance – Through July 2019, some 237 companies had validated targets under the Science-Based Targets Initiative. The estimated scope 1 and 2 emissions for these in 2018 was 488 MtCO2e. Achieving their science-based targets would result in this group lowering their emissions to 350 Mt in 2030, according to research by BloombergNEF. The 11 utilities validated will be required to reduce their emissions the most, at 83 Mt, with consumer staples (16 Mt), materials (13 Mt) and industrials (9 Mt) following in projected emissions reductions after utilities.
This sucks – The Foundation for Climate Restoration has released a 10-year manifesto for its goal to “restore” by 2050 the climate by reducing atmospheric CO2 levels to those of a century ago using technologies that suck greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Its report outlines the most promising of these options, such as Climeworks’ direct air capture (DAC), a company that turns CO2 into limestone that can be used in buildings, and the placing of iron in the ocean to boost its ability to absorb CO2, as well as efforts to seed reflective sand across the Arctic to reduce escalating melting. (The Guardian)
And finally… The kids are alright – New York City has announced that students can miss classes without penalties to join the youth climate strikes around the world on Friday, reports The New York Times. It adds that the city’s education department said students will need consent from their parents or guardians to be excused and that it will also send guidelines to schools, encouraging them to hold discussions “about the impact of climate change and the importance of civic engagement”. Organisers of the protest expect it to be even bigger than last March, when 1.5 mln people took to the streets demanding action. (Carbon Brief)
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