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South Korean negotiators play a far more active role than usual at this year’s UN climate negotiations in Madrid, hoping to push through rules that would allow Korean ETS firms to buy up to 55-60 million international carbon credits annually throughout the 2020s in a bid to avoid runaway domestic CO2 prices.
New Article 6 text dropped well behind schedule at the UN climate summit on Friday, with numerous contentious issues still remaining on agreeing the rulebook to international emissions trading under the Paris Agreement.
European carbon soared to a five-week high near €26 early Monday, bolstered by news of a supply cut plus the Conservatives’ big win in the UK general election, which is expected to result in long-awaited clarity on Brexit, but prices recoiled deep into the red amid mounting bearish pressures.
The world’s biggest steelmaker ArcelorMittal announced plans on Friday to cut emissions from part of its EU output by 30% under 2018 levels by 2030, ahead of a planned global goal due next year.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
EU leaders have failed to achieve consensus on targeting net zero emissions by 2050, declaring a deal had been reached but acknowledging that one member state was unable to commit to the goal at this point.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Clear distortion – German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned on Friday that the EU would need to hold extensive talks with international partners before it launches a planned carbon border tax. According to Reuters, Merkel was one of 27 EU leaders who backed measures to preserve the bloc’s competitiveness as it strives toward carbon neutrality in 2050, but added notes of caution about a border tax in comments to reporters after a summit in Brussels. “It must very clearly be discussed with our international partners as countries that do not feel so committed on climate protection could see this as a protectionist measure,” she told a news conference. Merkel said introducing the system would be very difficult, but it could come soon, referring to EUA prices at €25-30 that were not yet a significant challenge. “As it heads toward €40 per tonne for CO2 then the competitive distortion would be very clear,” Merkel said.
Burning down – NASA estimates that the massive bushfires that have been raging in Queensland and NSW over the past few weeks have released 250 Mt of CO2 into the atmosphere, the Guardian reports, almost equal to half of Australia’s annual GHG emissions. Long-term averages for emissions from Australian fires are 380 Mt/year, but normally NSW accounts for just a tiny part of that. Over the past month, nearly 200 Mt have come from the eastern state. Scientists are also concerned that the vast fires and ongoing drought have compromised forests’ ability to recapture the carbon.
Christmas MOU – The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is slated to hold a public webinar at 1430 EST (1930 GMT) on Tuesday about updates to the proposed ETS, with that announcement likely to be the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The 10 jurisdictions and three observers were slated to release a draft MOU in December that is expected to including potential caps and allowance price levels for the scheme. The programme would take public feedback on the proposal before releasing a final MOU in the spring, which would serve as a critical junction for the scheme.
And finally… Mike’s mission – US Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has unveiled a climate plan to slash US emissions by 50% in 10 years, by slapping tougher pollution standards on new gas-fired power plants and replacing coal with cleaner energy sources like wind and solar. The plan catches him up to a crowded field of 15 Democratic presidential hopefuls who have already detailed aggressive climate strategies. Bloomberg’s plan would target 80% clean energy by 2028, and would be the first of several moves to take the country toward 100% clean energy quickly, ideally before 2045, his campaign said. (Reuters)
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