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Experts have trimmed their EU carbon price forecasts over the past three months, a Carbon Pulse poll of 14 analysts has found, as falling gas prices, concerns over Brexit, and wider macroeconomic worries combine to slice into allowance demand.
The prospects for grassland-based offset projects throughout Canada could receive further clarity next year after this month’s pivotal federal election and several provincial developments, stakeholders said Wednesday.
US biofuel credit (RIN) prices surged over the past two days as media outlets reported that President Trump was once again close to agreeing a plan that will boost next year’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) quotas.
EUAs sank back below €25 on Wednesday, extending yesterday’s four-month low after bulls failed to repeat a rapid rebound, while analysts continued to flag bearish technical signals.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator this week issued slightly more than 100,000 carbon credits, with all the units awarded to vegetation-based projects.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Pole position – Poland can reach net zero carbon emissions in a socially fair way without massive increases in EU financial support, new analysis from WWF shows. Poland will need to make additional investments of €32-76 billion in its power system up to 2050 to reach a near decarbonised system, compared to business as usual. However, if it shifts its spending from coal to renewables, Poland already has significant resources to make these investments. What’s more, reaching net zero emissions by 2050 will bring Poland direct savings of €55 billion on total energy costs, as well as €200 billion of avoided health and environmental costs. WWF’s analysis comes as EU Environment Ministers prepare to discuss the EU’s net zero emissions target on Friday. Agreement on the target was blocked in June by Poland, Hungary, Estonia, and Czechia.
Uh, where’s the rest? – Germany’s government has allocated less money in its budget for closing coal-fired power plants than the utilities that own them expect. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration has earmarked just €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to pay for closing a total of 5 GW of coal capacity by 2023, according to a government official who asked not to be identified because the figures aren’t yet public. That fund is a fraction of the €1.2-1.5 billion per GW that utilities such as RWE anticipated to offset investments that they will be forced to write off early. That suggests more pain for the energy industry, which is already struggling with deteriorating economics for maintaining facilities that currently supply much of Germany’s electricity. Details covering the scale of compensation planned by the government suggest Merkel’s priority is to limit the impact of coal plant closures on the taxpayer and avoid running up a deficit. (Bloomberg)
Putting a stop to it – Australia’s New South Wales state government is considering putting in place new policies or regulations that would restrict its planning authorities’ abilities to take Scope 3 emissions into account when considering coal mine applications, the Guardian reports. The NSW Independent Planning Commission has recently rejected or approved with conditions several mining projects on account of the climate change impact of burning the coal from those mines, even though this would take place outside of the state or even outside Australia. That’s “not appropriate”, according to state planning minister Rob Stokes, who is working with the coal industry lobby on potential proposals. Lawfirm Clayton Utz said last week the direction the independent commission has been taken could lead to increased interest in carbon offsets.
Bad look – Unilever, Nestle, Mars, and Pepsi are among global brands that have been sourcing illegal palm oil from protected habitats in Indonesia, according to an investigation by the Rainforest Action Network. Eco-Business reports that the firms have been using Singapore-based brokers who have sourced from plantations that have been deforesting the nationally protected Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve in Sumatra.
Increase imminent? – The Trump administration will likely endorse modest increases in vehicle mileage and emissions standards when it completes rules to weaken Obama-era mandates, multiples sources told Axios. The US EPA and Department of Transportation had originally proposed last year to freeze the federal fuel economy standards at Model Year 2020, though pushback form the auto industry will now likely yield annual increases in the standards. However, that does not appear to change the Trump administration’s decision to revoke California’s waiver that allows it to set more stringent vehicle GHG standards than the federal government.
Toronto tops – The City of Toronto voted unanimously on Wednesday morning to declare a climate emergency and endorse a net zero GHG emissions target by mid-century. Commitments in the declaration from Canada’s largest city also include looking for opportunities to invest in “high priority” emission reduction areas such as retrofitting buildings and transportation, along with exploring options to fund climate action and adaptation in the 2021 budget cycle. (CTV News)
Blend up – The Quebec government unveiled a draft regulation on Wednesday for setting a minimum blend mandate for renewable fuels in gasoline and diesel. The regulation would require fuel producers and importers to source an average of 10% renewable content in gasoline by 2021 and 15% by 2025, along with 2% for diesel fuels in 2021 and 4% by 2025. The publication opens a 45-day public comment period.
And finally… Youth gone wild – The UK’s right-wing Brexit Party put out a recent mailout that appeared to acknowledge its commitment to climate mitigation, putting it at odds with leader Nigel Farage and climate deniers in the organisation. “The Brexit Party is deeply concerned by the weather extremes experienced across the globe and is clear that only coordinated agreement to curb significant carbon emitters including China and India will make a dent on emissions figures,” it read. “We believe that the UK should have the widest possible renewable and low-carbon energy sources and will support their development and construction in the UK.” When asked about the statement, the party’s head of press told DeSmog that the organisation had no energy or climate policy at all currently. Instead, the spokesperson said the statement was a “suggested draft from a keen young staffer” that “was not signed off policy”.
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