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EUAs climbed to €25 on Friday, reversing a post-Christmas slump as global markets were rocked by concerns that a US air strike in Iraq would spark a Middle East conflict.
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US jurisdictions are giving a wide range of feedback early in the design process of a transportation sector carbon market, with Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) members expressing anywhere from steadfast support to outright scepticism.
California’s snowpack remains slightly off the historic average following storms in November and December, but state officials say it is too early to determine whether this could have an impact on hydroelectric generation.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
Carbon Pulse is looking for a Climate and Energy Correspondent to help us bolster and expand our coverage of the EU ETS and other energy and environmental markets, as well as climate and energy policy at a national, EU, and international level.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Shell short – Oil major Shell has spent an estimated $2 bln on building a low-carbon energy and electricity generation business since 2016, well short of its targeted $4-6 bln over 2016-2020, thereby putting the goal at risk especially after its failure to buy Dutch utility Eneco last year. Shell’s green energy plans are some of the most ambitious in the oil industry, despite assigning just a 10th of its spending pot to “new energies”. Consultancy Rystad Energy found that Europe’s five largest oil companies – Shell, BP, Total, Eni, and Equinor – together spent a total of $5.5 bln on renewables projects to date, compared with a combined total budget of almost $90 bln last year alone. (The Guardian)
Rail bail – Fares for long-distance rail travel in Germany have dropped 10%, falling for the first time in 17 years as climate protection measures aimed at making train travel more attractive came into effect with the new year. Operator Deutsche Bahn is passing on to customers the government’s cut in value-added tax on rail travel while taxies for ETS-covered flights rise in a move it expects will bring in another 5 mln rail passengers per year. (The Guardian)
Expanding in Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan’s provincially-administered output-based performance standard (OBPS) began covering 12.65% of the Canadian jurisdiction’s total emissions as 2020 began, up from 11% last year. That comes after the cabinet of conservative Premier Scott Moe last month approved increasing the scheme’s CO2 price to C$30/tonne this year, up from C$20 in 2019 and in line with Ottawa’s rising ‘backstop’ carbon pricing rate. Still, the first compliance deadline for the provincial programme, which runs alongside the federal OBPS in certain sectors, does not occur until Oct. 2021. Further details on how the 63 facilities covered by the provincial carbon market can pay into a technology fund, surrender emissions performance credits, or utilise offsets to meet their compliance obligations are expected over the coming summer. (Regina Leader-Post)
Petitioning the point – Petroleum refiner Valero and fossil fuel trade group American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers petitioned the US Supreme Court on Monday to consider whether the EPA is following the law on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In the petition, the plaintiffs argued the EPA has violated the law by not considering petitions to change the RFS point of obligation from its current placement of refiners and importers to blenders. The refiners and petroleum groups have asked the high court to consider whether the law requires EPA to make a calendar-year determination on the point of obligation when setting annual RFS volumes. Shifting the point of obligation to blenders has been an ongoing source of friction with refiners, and the EPA has not signalled it will change course on the current programme structure. (DTN/The Progressive Farmer)
Shut ’em down – The Ministry of Environment of Turkey has decided to close five coal-fired power plants with total capacity of around 3 GW that have failed to complete the required environmental investments before the Dec. 31 2019 deadline. Some 13 coal-fired power plants had been given until the end of 2019 to install filters on their chimneys, Enerdata reports.
And finally… Cloud bursting – Indonesia will carry out cloud seeding in a bid to prevent further rainfall over the capital Jakarta, after deadly flash floods and landslides following some of the heaviest rains ever recorded killed 43 and displaced tens of thousands. Two small planes have been readied to trigger rainfall before it reaches the city by shooting salt flares, a tactic often used in Indonesia to put out forest fires. The government has long-term plans to move Indonesia’s capital in order to reduce the burden on Jakarta, which is overpopulated and sinking into the ocean. (Reuters)
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