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The EU member state-owned European Investment Bank (EIB) will stop lending money to unabated fossil fuel projects at the end of 2021, it said late on Thursday, as green groups welcomed the move despite a loophole that gives limited potential to sidestep the measure.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) board on Thursday approved a $100 million loan to an Asian Development Bank-led project in China’s Shandong province against the votes of the US and Japan, the first time the fund has backed a Chinese project.
New Zealand has launched a public consultation round on the rules for auctioning NZUs and how its cost containment reserve (CCR) will work when it replaces the NZ$25 fixed price option next year.
China’s Tianjin municipal government is circulating draft regulations for public comment that would extend the life of its emissions trading scheme by five years, and is also planning to expand coverage to align with the long-term plans for the national cap-and-trade programme.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices stagnated on the secondary market this week as traders shifted their focus towards next week’s WCI auction, while RGGI allowance (RGA) values receded after two consecutive weekly gains.
Regulated entities under the Northeast US RGGI ETS increased their holdings slightly in the third quarter, as trading between unaffiliated parties also edged up, according to a report released Thursday.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will partner with green group The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to help Appalachian landowners develop forestry offset projects for the voluntary market, the entities announced Wednesday.
European carbon prices dropped to a new one-month low on Thursday, on what traders called a mix of technical selling and bearish pressures.
Europe’s biggest emitter RWE advanced its hedging rate over Q3 to result in a slightly more covered position compared to previous years amid accelerating declines of its thermal generation, it said in financial results on Thursday.
A veteran climate policy and carbon market lawyer has launched a climate change advisory and investment business, aiming to raise $3 billion across investment funds to facilitate the transition to a net-zero and climate resilient future.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Health hit – A child born today faces multiple and life-long health harms from climate change, which is already impacting people’s health by increasing the number of extreme weather events and exacerbating air pollution, according to the 2019 Lancet Countdown On Health And Climate Change report by 35 global institutions. It said that if nothing is done to mitigate it, its effects could burden an entire generation with disease and illness throughout their lives, with children particularly vulnerable. (Reuters)
Stressing out – The European Central Bank has considered adding climate-related risks to its stress-test scenarios, the institution’s Vice President Luis de Guindos said. New ECB President Christine Lagarde has pledged to make climate change more of a focus for the central bank, which hasn’t gone as far as some of its counterparts in incorporating climate risks into its operations. A stress test including the issue could bring it more in line with the Bank of England, which is preparing to conduct climate-related stress tests for banks in 2021. (Bloomberg)
Off the stuff – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has no plans to finance new coal plants in future, senior officials said, clarifying a September pledge to “get out of coal”. That hampers Kenya’s planned 1,050MW Lamu project backed by Kenyan and Chinese investors. The AfDB has lent more than €1.5 billion to South African utility Eskom for its Medupi coal plant and more than €50 mln for the Sendou coal plant in Senegal. (Reuters)
Dirty boost – Thermal power generation in China grew 5.9% YoY in October, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, hinting at a bump in carbon emissions as the cold season arrives. Thermal generation has increased 1.1% in the first 10 months of the year, though a number of observers are saying a speech by Premier Li Keqiang last month – in which he told the National Energy Commission that coal was vital to China’s energy security – is increasingly being used as an argument by government officials and investors alike that coal is ok and decarbonisation can wait. However, the data also showed that several carbon intensive industries such as steel, cement, and aluminium fell last month.
And dirtier it will get – A mini boom in China’s oil and gas sector could add more than 200 MtCO2 to its GHG emissions this year and next, US green group NRDC said Thursday. Researchers with the NRDC-led China Coal Cap Research Project predicted CO2 emissions from coal in 2020 will fall 75 Mt, but urged China to cut coal use by 8% over the next five years to ensure the gains aren’t eaten up by increased oil and gas use. (Reuters)
Clean around the corner – House Democrats will soon be filling in some of the details of their broader climate strategy in an effort to support the goal they set earlier this year of ushering in a 100% clean economy by 2050. The bill, led by Virginia Representative Donald McEachin (D) and supported by top House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats, would seek to codify that target into law and could be introduced in the coming days, according to several lawmakers. The measure would establish a federal climate target of ensuring that the economy has net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and “all agencies of the federal government will have to come up with their best standards and work to respond to that goal,” New York Representative Paul Tonko (D) told reporters Thursday. Tonko this summer touted an “all-market” climate plan for mid-century decarbonisation, with a second piece of more comprehensive legislation for economy-wide GHG cuts expected in early 2020. (Washington Examiner)
Retrofit reductions – Meanwhile, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I) on Thursday unveiled the next step to their Green New Deal plan with a bill focused entirely on re-imagining public housing. The proposal calls for an investment of $180 billion over 10 years to sustainably retrofit and repair public housing, with the goal of eliminating all carbon emissions from the sector. The housing units would meet the zero-emissions goal through the use of solar panels and renewable energy sources. (The Hill)
2021 and done – Canada’s promise to produce an inventory of its fossil fuel subsidies as part of a joint peer review with Argentina appears to be off schedule and may not deliver results until 2021, an environmental advocate says. The peer review, which launched in June 2018 as part of a G20 commitment to eliminate all “inefficient” subsides to the fossil fuel sector, never had a specific deadline but was expected to take about two years. However, Julia Levin, the climate and energy programme manager for green group Environmental Defence, said she has been told by government officials that they think it probably won’t be finished until sometime in 2021. A completion date two years from now would leave Canada with less than four years to achieve Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of phasing out all “inefficient” subsidies to the sector by 2025. (The Canadian Press)
Commonwealth cancellation – Sweden’s central bank said on Wednesday it had sold off bonds from the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta and parts of Australia because it felt that GHG output in both countries was too high. Riksbank Deputy Governor Martin Floden said the bank would no longer invest in assets from issuers with a large climate footprint, even if the yields were high. As a result, the Riksbank sold its holdings of bonds issued this spring by Alberta and the states of Queensland and Western Australia. “Australia and Canada are countries that are not known for good climate work. Greenhouse gas emissions per capita are among the highest in the world,” Floden said in a speech at Orebro University in Sweden. (Reuters)
And finally… The submergence of Venice – Veneto regional council, which is located on Venice’s Grand Canal, was flooded for the first time in its history on Tuesday night – just after it rejected measures to combat climate change. The historic Italian city has been brought to its knees this week by the worst flooding there in more than 50 years. The council chamber in Ferro Fini Palace started to take in water around 2200 local time, as councillors were debating the 2020 regional budget, which included amendments to fund renewable sources, replace diesel buses with cleaner ones, scrap polluting stoves, and reduce the impact of plastics. “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” said Democratic Party councillor Andrea Zanoni, deputy chairman of the body’s environment committee. (CNN)
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