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Nearly 60 countries at the Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday committed to increase their GHG reduction targets ahead of next year’s Paris Agreement deadline, yet their efforts were overshadowed by larger emitters refuting the UN chief’s calls for higher ambition.
France should resume annual increases to its domestic carbon tax due to the threat posed by climate change and despite the fact that the levy helped trigger widespread and violent protests in the country, an advisory institution to the national government budget auditor said.
European carbon sank back below €26 on Monday, giving back the previous session’s gains amid losses across the energy complex, signs of a worsening economy, and as EUA auction demand appeared tepid.
Slovakia is joining the growing number of member states opting to use the EU’s Modernisation Fund next decade to finance the decarbonisation of energy systems in various emitting sectors.
UK-based Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel firm, went into administration on Monday, resulting in the exit of yet another large airline from the EU ETS.
California utility PG&E’s bankruptcy plan lacks the financial commitments and backing from wildfire victims that would enable the embattled company to exit court proceedings by mid-2020, bondholders and victims wrote in a court brief filed last week.
Past vintage California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) added to the upcoming WCI auction are likely from regulatory accounts closed over the past three quarters, according to a Carbon Pulse analysis.
South Korean carbon allowances rose to fresh record highs for the sixth session in a row on Monday, as the market entered its last week before the Sep. 30 deadline for 2018 compliance.
Carbon prices of up to $50-100/t could be introduced over the next decade without jeopardising industrial competitiveness, according to a report backed by nearly 50 businesses and business groups.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Not value for money – Government auctions aimed at shutting down Germany’s hard coal-fired power plants could cost the state about €1.2 billion by 2030 but would still not go far enough to meet the goals of the country’s coal exit plan, according to a report by consultancy Aurora Energy Research. Germany’s government-appointed coal exit commission recommended in its final report earlier this year the introduction of state auctions that award so-called decommissioning premiums to operators that voluntarily take their plants off the grid as a way of accelerating the country’s exit from coal-fired power generation, with companies expected to offer bids from 2020 onwards. But Aurora determined that the maximum prices foreseen in the tenders would likely not be high enough to attract enough plant operators to shut down the nearly 13 GW of hard coal power plants by 2030 as planned. At that point, legally mandated closures would be necessary. (Clean Energy Wire)
Golden handshake – Legal campaigner ClientEarth has referred utility RWE, the biggest EU ETS emitter, to Germany’s financial regulator with allegations it tried to hide the poor economic state of its lignite-fired power plants. ClientEarth asserts that in a market disclosure last year that wiped €1 billion off its value, RWE overstated the impact of a 2018 court ruling that suspended its mining access to the Hambach forest. (Montel)
Back at the cap – New Hampshire’s House Science, Technology, and Environment Committee on Tuesday will get back to work on Tuesday to discuss a cap-and-dividend proposal. HB-735, sponsored by Representative Lee Oxenham (D), would have assigned a fee of $20 per tonne of CO2e in 2020 on fossil fuels sold, used, or imported into New Hampshire. The tax would rise by $10 plus inflation annually through 2030, after which point only inflation would apply. However, legislators declined to advance the proposal this year, and the bill is scheduled for several work sessions before being on legislators’ agenda again in 2020. (NHPR)
And finally… Don’t drain the swamp – Scientists have found a huge hole in the UK’s greenhouse gas accounts after research showed CO2 emissions from marshes and wetlands had not been counted properly. A report to ministers warns that these areas, rather than soaking up GHGs, as official reports claim, are releasing 22 Mt of CO2e into the air every year, mostly due to farming. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) said the extra emissions arose when bogs were drained and the peat soil was cultivated. Peat soil covers 7.4m acres, or 12% of the UK, but 78% of that has been ploughed or drained, according to a CEH study. (The Times, $)
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