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Germany will cancel a yet-to-be-determined number of EU carbon allowances to offset the impact of its coal phaseout, the government confirmed on Monday, allaying concerns that Europe’s top emitter could flood the market with unused permits.
The voluntary carbon market is seeking a 5-10 year stay from emissions auditing rules to prevent a collapse in clean investment, a risk some governments say is unfounded and could even slow national climate action.
UN climate negotiations in Madrid shift into high gear this week with the arrival of ministers from most of the nearly 200 countries attending the COP25 talks tasked with finalising work on emissions trading rules under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6. Below is a running summary of those efforts, as well as other happenings at the summit.
Plans for a Chilean cap-and-trade programme and the passage of carbon tax reforms may stall as the country’s beleaguered government rolls out a sweeping economic recovery plan and backtracks on other its other climate action efforts in response to mass protests over living costs.
A recent study challenging the carbon credit standards that have applied for the global CORSIA aviation offsetting scheme made questionable interpretations of the programme’s environmental criteria, and also ran counter to UN body ICAO’s own guidance in the process, developers and brokers said Friday.
Quebec intends to finalise its forestry offset protocol and post-2023 allowance allocation levels for its WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme next year after completing consultations on both topics, the Canadian province’s environmental minister said at a UN climate conference side event on Monday.
Australia has released new emission projections with revised historical GHG data, increasing the amount of Kyoto Protocol AAU carryovers it might use for its Paris Agreement target and putting it on track to exceed its international commitments.
China’s national emissions trading scheme is likely to start off with low prices next year and only play a moderate role in the nation’s overall policy mix to control greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade, according to a survey released Monday.
Luxembourg will introduce a domestic tax on fossil fuels to help meet its climate targets, the government announced Friday, making the landlocked microstate the latest European nation to implement carbon pricing beyond the reach of the EU ETS.
European carbon prices reversed early losses on Monday on news that Germany would proceed with EUA cancellations to offset the market impact of its coal phaseout.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) collaboration is expected to release its draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the proposed fuel sector ETS in the US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions this week, two regulatory sources said.
Job listings this week
- Senior Business Development Manager, Environmental Markets, SustainCERT – New York/Amsterdam
- Senior Manager, Corporate Relations, SustainCERT- Amsterdam
- Senior Portfolio Manager, Voluntary Carbon, South Pole – London/Amsterdam/Berlin
- Junior Portfolio Manager, Voluntary Carbon, South Pole – London/Amsterdam/Berlin
- Senior Manager, Land Use Fund, South Pole – Location Flexible
- Project Manager for European Projects, South Pole – London/Stockholm/Amsterdam
- Policy Analyst, Agriculture and Forestry, NewClimate Institute – Cologne/Berlin
- Director, Economy Program, I4CE – Paris
- Climate Change Policy Advisor, British Embassy – Vienna
- Project Manager, Brown to Green Report, Climate Analytics – Berlin
- Law and Policy Advisor, Forests and Climate, ClimateEarth – London
- Programme Administrator, Energy and Climate, ICF – London
- Senior Analyst, Energy Finance, Climate Policy Initiative – Delhi
- Program Officer, Nature-based Development, ICLEI – Beijing
- Principal/Senior Climate Policy Specialist, AIIB – Beijing
Or click here to see all our job adverts
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Consumption climb – Global CO2 emissions from energy will grow by 1-1.5% in 2019, driven by an increase in consumption, according to an analysis by Enerdata. Fossil fuels consumption probably grew by 1.5-1.9%, with a significant increase in gas (4.7%) and a slight decrease in coal (-1.3%) following two consecutive years of gains. Oil demand also likely rose by 1.7%. In terms of countries, US and EU emissions will decrease by around 0.7% and 2% in 2019, respectively, due to lower coal burn, while China probably increased theirs by 2.7-3.9%, also due to coal.
COP25: LNG long shot – Canada’s liquefied natural gas industry is a long way off from its plan of receiving emission reduction credit under the Paris Agreement for exporting fossil fuels, according to new Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. The industry and Canada’s opposition Conservative party have touted exports of LNG as a means for reducing global emissions, as the burning of natural gas creates less emissions during power generation compared with those produced from the coal often employed by Asian countries. The argument is that by shipping LNG to other countries and displacing coal-fired power, Canada would be able to count the emission reduction toward its own targets. However, experts have maintained the approach doesn’t appear to have much, if any, international support amid the current Article 6 negotiations under Paris, and other nations already rejected the strategy during the Kyoto era. (The Globe and Mail, $)
Tracking Trudeau – A new online watchdog is keeping track of the environmental promises of the Canadian Liberal minority government. EnviroVote Canada, created by a Dalhousie University student and professor and US-based climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, began comparing the environmental policies of the different federal parties in Canada’s election campaign this year. The page changed to an accountability platform on Dec. 5 and will be updated every week the government is in office, adding a check mark next to fulfilled promises and an X next to unaccomplished promises. (CBC)
Do it like the Danes – Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in the next 11 years. According to Climate Home, the law targets carbon neutrality by 2050 and includes a robust monitoring system. New legally-binding targets will be set every five years, with a ten-year perspective. The first of these will be set in 2020. In what the government claims is a first for a national legislature, the new law also has a commitment to climate engagement internationally. This includes an ongoing obligation to deliver on international agreements, including climate finance to developing countries.
What’s wrong with that? – Australia’s opposition Labor party lost the May election, partly over concerns in Queensland that its climate policies might hurt prospects for jobs in the mining sector. Labor has been struggling to strike a balance between the two ever since, and party leader Anthony Albanese on Monday sought to reassure workers, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that there is “no contradiction” between exporting lots of coal and having a strong climate policy. Reducing fossil fuels exports would cost Australian jobs but have no impact on emissions as someone else would just step in to fill the gap he said, signaling that the nation is likely to maintain its role as one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporters for years to come regardless who is in office.
Fire relief – California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) reached a $13.5 billion settlement with a group of wildfire victims on Friday, edging the company closer to exiting bankruptcy. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in January, agreed to settle 2015, 2017, and 2018 wildfire claims under the agreement. The settlement must still be approved by the court, but the agreement brings the company closer to exiting bankruptcy by its June 2020 target. WCI carbon market participants have closely watched the company’s bankruptcy as PG&E is among the largest emitters in the linked cap-and-trade scheme.
Well I’ll be darned – A meeting last June in Newburg, Maryland represented a change for US farmers, Politico reports. The event was hosted by the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, a group made up of the heavyweights in American agriculture. It brought together three Agriculture secretaries, including current Secretary Sonny Perdue, as well as about 100 leaders that included the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation – a long-time foe of federal action on climate – and CEOs of major food companies, green groups and anti-hunger advocates. The topic? How to pivot American agriculture to help combat climate change. “Even a year ago, such a meeting would have been improbable, if not impossible,” Politico writes. “But the long-held resistance to talking about climate change among largely conservative farmers and ranchers and the lobbying behemoths that represent them is starting to shift. The veil of secrecy attested to just how sensitive the topic remains, but over the course of the two-day gathering, the group coalesced around big ideas like the need to pay farmers to use their land to draw down carbon from the atmosphere.” (Politico Pro)
Ready to go – The EU and Switzerland have ratified the agreement to link their carbon markets, meaning the pact will officially enter into force on Jan. 1, 2020. However, the physical linkage between their registries won’t be operationalised until around May 2020 at the earliest. Check out our recent coverage of the process, or the second edition of Frequently Asked Questions published by the European Commission.
And finally… Cranky Uncle – A new game promises to act as a “vaccination” against climate crisis denial and fake news by teaching users about misinformation tactics. The Cranky Uncle app explains common science denial techniques, such as the use of fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, and cherry-picking data, equipping users with the skills needed to spot inaccuracies in the real world and online. The app is based on inoculation theory, the idea that people can be protected against influence by exposure to weakened forms of a threat – in this case, climate crisis denial. In the game, users navigate a series of cartoon scenarios that explain how different tactics are employed, before answering quiz questions to test their knowledge. In one scene, used to demonstrate the use of anecdotal arguments, Cranky Uncle is seen shivering in the cold proclaiming that global warming doesn’t exist, and then standing at night saying the sun doesn’t exist.
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