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Low-cost carrier easyJet will become the first airline to offset the fuel emissions from all of its flights, it announced Tuesday as part of its annual results.
Australia’s proposal to award some offset projects credits before emission reductions have taken place could create more problems than it solves and may fail to address fundamental risks, according to market participants.
Australian oil and gas producer Woodside Energy on Tuesday announced an offset initiative that will see it eventually buy over 1 million carbon credits annually, though the programme only covers a minor share of the company’s rapidly growing GHG emissions.
Pennsylvania state lawmakers on Tuesday announced mostly GOP-led legislation to mandate the General Assembly’s sign-off for linking with RGGI, possibly creating some roadblocks for Governor Tom Wolf’s (D) desire to join the Northeast US carbon market.
Regulatory violations at a Michigan-based WCI livestock project under investigation by California’s ARB do not directly pertain to offset-related functions, rendering them irrelevant for any invalidation-related concerns by the state regulator, the project developer told Carbon Pulse.
Higher California hydroelectric production and lower natural gas generation will ease the WCI programme’s 2019 emissions total and lead carbon allowance prices lower, analysts said Tuesday.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) stakeholders are offering further changes to regulatory amendments that the state regulator ARB’s board will vote on this week, according to recent public comments.
The director of non-governmental organisation and CO2 pricing consultancy Carbon Trust’s Mexico office will take on a new role at information provider IHS Markit, Carbon Pulse has learned.
European carbon prices hit a fresh six-week low on Tuesday, but rebounded following a strong auction amid mixed energy markets.
EU regulators should not isolate an upcoming review of the EU carbon market’s potent MSR if they are still seeking to modify the bloc’s flagship climate policy instrument, a think-tank said this week.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Budget lift – EU governments, parliament and the executive Commission reached a deal late on Monday on the bloc’s 2020 budget worth €168.7 billion, of which 21% will go to measures to fight climate change. The next seven-year budget is still under tough negotiations and is set to scale up climate spending again. (Reuters)
2.7 club – US energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 2.7% in 2018, ending several years of declines, federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) data confirms. The agency attributed the rise to a warmer summer and colder winter than in 2017, while noting that transportation sector emissions have increased steadily since 2012 because of a recovering economy and moderate fuel prices. (Axios)
GREEN day – Democrats in the US House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday unveiled draft legislation in the latest attempt to extend tax credits for renewable technologies. The Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now, or GREEN, Act would extend the investment tax credit for solar and offshore wind for five years, and keep a 60% production tax credit for onshore wind – set to expire this year – for five years. The discussion draft also includes incentives for energy storage, electric vehicles, and environmental justice programs at colleges and universities. (Greentech Media)
The end is nigh at Navajo – Western America’s largest coal-fired plant shut down this week as the Navajo Generating Station burned its last piece of usable coal from its stockpile Monday. A coalition of utilities that own the 2.5GW plant said in 2017 it would cease operations due to increased economic pressure, and the Navajo Nation ended its efforts to buy the plant earlier this year. The plant and nearby Kayenta coal mine, which shut down in August, provided over 800 jobs to primarily Navajo and Hopi workers as well as tribal royalties, and around 280 workers from the plant have accepted jobs at other sites run by the plant’s owners. (Climate Nexus)
Need in Nevada – Despite having passed stronger Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation this year, Nevada is unlikely to meet its commitment to match its new GHG reduction goals without taking additional steps, according to a draft report presented to the interim Legislative Committee on Energy on Friday. Nevada Department of Conservation and Environmental Resources Director Brad Crowell said that the state is projected to just barely reach its 2025 emission reduction goal, and will miss its 2030 GHG goal by 11 Mt. However, Crowell said he was “hesitant” to share potential solutions before the release of the final report. (The Nevada Independent)
The great 608 – California regulator ARB has retired 608,337 allowances from the cap-and-trade programme’s Voluntary Renewable Electricity (VRE) Reserve Account on behalf of 12 VRE programme participants for the 2018 generation year, the agency announced Monday. The VRE Program allows purchasers of eligible voluntary renewable electricity to request retirement of allowances on their behalf under California’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme. Retirement of these allowances for 2018 generation leaves 95% of the Vintage 2015 allowances in the VRE Reserve Account, in addition to all Vintage 2016-2020 allowances in the VRE Reserve Account, available for future VRE retirement.
Choo-choo – In the absence of federal action to address harmful emissions from locomotives and railyards, California’s ARB and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) have developed draft concepts to reduce criteria pollutants, toxic air contaminants, and GHG emissions for locomotives in-use, idling, and maintenance activities, as well as emissions from other equipment at railyards. These concepts include actions originally presented to the boards of the ARB and South Coast AQMD in 2018, and additional concepts to effectively and permanently reduce locomotive and railyard emissions. “These concepts could be implemented at the state and/or the Air District level, and provide an opportunity for the railroads to better address emissions from rail operations and long-standing environmental justice concerns with communities near railyards,” ARB said. Following outreach in the South Coast region, ARB staff plan to hold workshops throughout the state, with additional dates and locations to follow.
ACS of base – The ARB also announced asset control supplier (ACS) values for three utilities for 2020 reported emissions on Tuesday. Bonneville Power’s ARB-assigned emissions factor will drop to 0.0117 MtCO2e per MWh in 2020, a 9% dip from the 0.0129 MtCO2e factor for 2019. Powerex’s emission factor will rise 47% to 0.0342 MtCO2e/MWh from 0.0233 MtCO2e. Tacoma Power saw its emissions factor drop to 0.0168 MtCO2e/MWh from the 0.0200 MtCO2e. The ARB sets ACS emissions rates for power sold directly from specified sources and that comply with other elements of the cap-and-trade regulation. The year-on-year declines in emissions factors can yield GHG reductions in the power sector.
The future is now – Virginia-based Nodal Exchange will add California Carbon Allowance (CCA) and RGGI Allowance (RGA) contracts through Vintage 2025 if approved by the CFTC, the bourse announced Tuesday. Those contracts are expected to go live on Dec. 3 and if approved, Nodal would be the only exchange to offer the North American carbon contracts through that vintage year. Competitor ICE currently offers WCI contracts through Vintage 2023, which will be offered in the California-Quebec joint WCI auctions next year. Nodal said its open interest on environmental commodities recently surpassed 50,000 contracts in US carbon and renewable energy certificates (RECs).
Hit the library – The International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) has unveiled a new reference database that was developed as a comprehensive research tool for those seeking in-depth information on emissions trading systems (ETSs). The ICAP ETS Library uniquely pools together different sources of information and categorises references for easy use by policy-makers, experts, and civil society. The entries in the database include academic literature, “grey literature” (e.g. from think-tanks and NGOs), and government documents such as ETS legislation and policy proposals. This information is presented as a searchable database on the ICAP website, with a web link for each individual entry (the underlying documents are not stored on the ETS Library – it serves as a gateway). The ETS Library currently numbers more than 7,000 entries and will grow over time.
And finally… Askew Brunswick – New Brunswick has filed “strange” and “poorly done” arguments against the imposition of the federal ‘backstop’ carbon tax, according to one of the lawyers on the other side of the climate policy battle. According to CBC, the Maritime province recently filed its arguments in a constitutional challenge to the tax launched by the Alberta government, and complained that it was not able to fully respond to Ottawa’s legal position because it didn’t have enough time. New Brunswick blamed tight deadlines and the lengthy process of sending the physical document across the country, despite two lawyers noting that all provinces had the same amount of time and electronic filing was available. Meanwhile, law professor Amir Attaran, who is representing an Alberta First Nation in the case, criticised the substance of New Brunswick’s filing, including what he called “a curious metaphor” that compares federal and provincial legal jurisdictions to the eating habits and weight classes of professional boxers. Separately, New Brunswick has submitted its new carbon pricing plan to the federal government, the Canadian Press reports, with Premier Higgs hoping it can be in place before the end of the year. The province gave its proposal for dealing with industrial emitters to Ottawa in July, and last week it submitted its plan to curb emissions from consumers, which it drew up after the federal Liberals won re-election in October. Higgs wouldn’t provide details of the new proposal, other than to say it’s based on the plan of another province.
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