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China’s environment ministry has ordered power plants set to be included in the national emissions trading scheme to provide 2019 data that will be used as basis for the allocation of CO2 allowances, signalling that those that miss the May 31 deadline will receive fewer permits.
South Korea’s first monthly CO2 permit auction of the year sold out above secondary market prices, but it cleared well below last month’s record high.
California Carbon Offset (CCO) issuances will increase this year due to a large overhang of WCI-eligible credits awaiting approval by California regulator ARB at the end of 2019, analysts said Wednesday.
Oregon lawmakers intend to unveil a revised WCI-modelled cap-and-trade bill on Monday, with the proposal expected to include free allowance allocations and exemptions for key industrials in attempt to win over support in the short legislative session, according to media reports.
EUA prices sank on Wednesday as global markets eased following an overnight oil price spike fuelled by Iran’s missile attack on US bases in Iraq.
Two of Europe’s biggest low-cost airlines increased their emissions in December compared to the previous month, as air travel picked up during the year-end holiday period.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Willing sacrifice – German utility Uniper may offer to either shut down all its coal plants or switch them to gas and, in turn, bring the new Datteln 4 hard coal unit online by summer 2020. The move is part of Germany’s coal phaseout, with the government due to outline later this month how it intends to compensate utilities for early closures while detailing corresponding EU ETS allowance cancellations. Uniper operates coal plants with total capacity of 3.8 GW at five locations across Germany. (Rheinische Post, Clean Energy Wire)
Ready when it’s ready – UK ministers are under fire after revealing their strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 will not be released until the end of the year, the Independent reports. It means the plans – which will require huge and potentially unpopular changes to transport, energy and agriculture – will emerge more than a year after the legal commitment was made but probably just in time for COP26 in Glasgow.
Barc-ing up the right tree – Barclays is being urged to stop offering loans to fossil fuel companies as part of the first ever shareholder climate resolution aimed at a UK bank. According to the Guardian, a group of 11 pension and investment funds managing more than £130 bln worth of assets have filed a resolution calling for Barclays to set clear targets to phase out services to energy companies that fail to align with the Paris Agreement’s climate goals. That includes lending to specific fossil fuel projects or for companies themselves, which include electricity and gas providers which fall foul of climate targets. The resolution, spearheaded by the campaign group ShareAction and signed by more than 100 additional individual shareholders, will be voted on at Barclays annual general meeting in May 2020.
Dirty 30 – GHG emissions from US oil, gas, and petrochemical industries could rise by 30% over 2018 levels by 2025 due to additional drilling and 157 new or expanded projects “fuelled by the fracking boom”, an environmental watchdog group warned Wednesday. That estimated emissions increase is equal to “as much greenhouse gas pollution as 50 new coal-fired power plants,” the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) said alongside its new report. The planned output, based on data reported to EPA, fossil fuel production projections from the Department of Energy, and permits that companies are seeking or have acquired, would add up to 227 Mt of new GHGs over that timeframe. (Common Dreams)
Come CLEAN – US Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee detailed their plan for the “Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future” Act on Wednesday. The bill directs all federal agencies to use existing authorities to put the US on a path to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 through a technology-neutral approach. It also proposes a nationwide Clean Electricity Standard (CES), requiring all retail electricity suppliers to obtain 100% of their electricity from clean energy sources by 2050. The bill contains no explicit mention of a carbon price, which members of the committee said they did not have the authority to include in the bill.
Not my fault – California has asked the US District Court for the Eastern District of California to dismiss WCI defendants from a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice in Oct. 2019 that challenge’s the state’s cap-and-trade linkage with Quebec. In a filing Monday, the state asked the court to remove ARB Chairperson Mary Nichols, California Secretary for the Environmental Protection Ageny Jared Blumenfeld, and WCI board members Kip Lipper and Richard Bloom from the lawsuit. California argues that WCI is a technical advisor for the jurisdictions and is not a party to the linkage agreement, and because it is a private company, the WCI is not bound by US constitutional requirements related to entering into foreign treaties.
Not SAF bad – Shell Aviation and World Energy have agreed to collaborate on developing a scalable supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the companies announced Tuesday. As part of the collaboration, the firms also said they have initiated the supply of SAF to Lufthansa Group at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The supply will reduce Lufthansa’s carbon emissions on intercontinental flights on three routes operated by Deutsche Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines from SFO to Frankfurt, Munich, and Zurich. According to the companies, the deal represents one of the most significant SAF supply contracts seen to date, with Lufthansa agreeing to buy up to one million gallons of SAF under the deal. (AIN online)
And finally… Farm-free foods – Finnish scientists at Solar Foods are working to produce an emission-free protein from soil bacteria fed on hydrogen split from water by renewable electricity. They say it will compete with soya on price within the decade. It could be used as a neutral additive to all sorts of foods, a medium for growing cultured meat or fish and to nourish livestock to save them eating soya raised on rainforest land. (BBC)
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