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California regulator ARB endorsed the controversial Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) on Thursday, coming roughly 10 months after the agency first attempted to greenlight the framework that could serve as a model for jurisdictional REDD programmes in compliance-based and voluntary carbon markets.
The EU is poised to leave open whether to defend its right to include flights in its ETS, despite expectations that the UN’s ICAO will seek to shut down what many see as the world’s most ambition aviation climate policy.
France sold all 4,448 GWh of GO certificates at its first monthly auction, host platform Powernext said on Thursday of the closely-watched process that market watchers say is key for price direction.
European carbon prices rose on Thursday, recovering some of the losses of the past two sessions as the wider energy complex moved higher on reignited supply concerns and mounting geopolitical tensions.
South Korean carbon allowances extended their record highs yet again in Thursday trade, adding 7% as buyers scrambled to pick up the few available scraps of supply.
Australia’s Northern Territory on Thursday announced an aspirational net zero emissions target by 2050, a move it said will boost the state’s carbon offset industry although details still need to be worked out.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has revoked a batch of seven coal mine waste methane projects owned by Our Energy Group, after previously having cancelled contracts to buy 2.75 million carbon credits from those.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) secondary market prices sank this week as participants looked to shift positions further out on the curve, while RGGI allowances (RGAs) rose slightly on thin volume.
Pennsylvania Republicans implored the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Thursday to receive legislative approval before exploring any future linkage with a regional carbon market, mirroring future bill language floated by a bipartisan group of lawmakers this week.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Floor it – Germany appears ready to support the introduction of a carbon price floor in the EU ETS, Clean Energy Wire reports, as lawmakers enters into final inter-party negotiations ahead of the release of a major climate package by the country’s ‘climate cabinet’ that will target the heavy-emitting non-ETS sectors of transportation and heating. Few details were available, with CLEW’s Sven Egenter tweeting that the proposal appears in a draft government plan but could be ditched at the last minute as the overall strategy is cemented tonight or tomorrow. If it survives, it would be a significant development as up to now Germany has been reluctant to join France and a handful of other EU member states in supporting such a concept, though the European Commission and other lawmakers are likely to maintain their opposition to EU ETS price controls. Read more about what Germany could announce, and the stakeholder feedback that has emerged along with the ruling parties’ draft plans.
Lots and lots of coal – China is planning 226 GW worth of new coal-fired capacity, equivalent to around 40% of all new planned coal plants in the world. That’s according to a report by over 30 environmental groups published on Thursday, including Germany’s Urgewald. The planned Chinese capacity exceeds the entire installed power generation capacity and would certainly threaten China’s emission targets under the Paris Agreement should all those plants come online and operate at full throttle. However, numerous analysts have previously warned much of China’s coal capacity would sit unused, representing huge financial risks for owners, especially if they become stranded assets. (Reuters)
Higher, faster – Analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) shows global CO2 emissions from commercial aviation are currently rising 70% faster than long-term projections by ICAO, which already point to a tripling of emissions by mid-century. ICCT has carried out what it claims is the first detailed global CO2 inventory for aviation in 15 years and finds that total emissions from all commercial operations, including freight, totalled 918 Mt in 2018, around 2.4% of the global total. This is close to the industry’s own estimates of 905 Mt reported in June, which was a 5.2% increase over the previous year. The ICCT data shows 40% of global passenger transport-related CO2 emissions came from domestic flights, which are outside the scope of ICAO’s global CORSIA scheme. ICCT has also released its latest US domestic airline fuel efficiency rankings that found Frontier Airlines to be the most efficient in the 2017-18 period. Meanwhile, aircraft maker Airbus has forecast that the number of commercial aircraft in operation will more than double over the next 20 years, the Guardian reports. (GreenAir Online)
It’s 200%! – Australia has the capacity produce all the energy it needs from renewable sources by 2050 and still be able to export an equal amount, making it the world’s biggest green energy exporter, according to a new report by the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub. However, for that scenario to occur, Australia would have to undergo deep domestic changes while also depending on the rest of the world to go low-carbon, the researchers said. (Guardian)
We want earlier! – Voters in Germany would have supported a coal phaseout much earlier than 2038, the date proposed by the country’s coal exit commission earlier this year, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Economy and the Environment at the University of St. Gallen and published in Nature Energy. Using a large-scale online survey of 2,161 Germans, the researchers assessed voters’ preferences for different policy design options to phase out coal, looking at the end date, costs, and job effects. “Scenarios with 2025 as an end date have a significantly higher probability of being supported than policies with later end dates,” they wrote. Germans are also sensitive to the cost, with every increase of €10 per household in annual cost decreasing public support by about 7 percentage points. (Clean Energy Wire)
This is how we do it – GHG emissions could be halved in the next decade if a small number of current technologies and behavioural trends are ramped up and adopted more widely, researchers have found, saying strong civil society movements are needed to drive such change. Solar and wind power, now cheaper than fossil fuels in many regions, must be scaled up rapidly to replace coal-fired generation, and this alone could halve emissions from electricity generation by 2030, according to the Exponential Roadmap report from an international group of experts. If the rapid uptake of electric vehicles in some parts of the world could be sustained, the vehicles could make up 90% of the market by 2030, vastly reducing emissions from transport, it said. Avoiding deforestation and improving land management could reduce emissions by the equivalent of about 9 bln tonnes a year by 2030, but contradictory subsidies, poor planning, and vested interests could stop this from happening. Key to any transition will be the growing social movements that are pressing for urgent action on climate breakdown. By driving behavioural change, such as moving away from the overconsumption of meat and putting pressure on governments and companies, civil movements have the power to drive the transformation needed in the next decade, say the report’s authors. (Guardian)
And finally… Making the cut(s) – More than 100 countries applied to address Monday’s UN climate action summit, but only half were deemed ambitious enough to take to the stage, according to Climate Home. The New York summit is a moment for political leaders to show their willingness to increase their climate plans and deepen the decarbonisation of their economies. Countries are competing for the limelight, with only the boldest and most transformative action being presented on stage on Monday. UN special envoy for climate change Luis Alfonso de Alba told reporters last week that around 60 heads of state will take to the podium based on their level of ambition, adding that all countries had been invited to participate in the summit. A draft agenda for Monday’s key event shows 36 speakers were expected to present enhanced national plans in three-minute speeches. Other countries may speak on behalf of a specific initiative that is being presented with a coalition of stakeholders. The FT reported on Wednesday that 63 governments would make the cut. According to reports, amongst those due to speak are China and India, which are both building coal plants, while Australia, Japan, and South Korea were rejected… because they are building coal plants.
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