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Germany will seek independent advice annually to guide EU carbon permit retirements linked to its coal phaseout, with each cancellation cycle taking around two years, according to draft legislation seen by Carbon Pulse.
A Democratic Oregon state senator who opposed her party’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade proposal last year is open to supporting a carbon reduction bill during the state’s short 2020 lawmaking term, but has stopped short of backing her colleague’s revised legislation.
Nova Scotia will hold its first two carbon allowance auctions later this year for the 26 entities regulated by its ETS, the Canadian province announced this week.
Alberta offset prices are increasing as companies look to cover their obligations under the Canadian province’s outgoing large emitter programme, though future negotiations with the federal government over the new scheme’s CO2 price are clouding the outlook beyond the spring true-up deadline.
EU member states will be asked in June to endorse a law to bind the bloc to a 2050 net zero emission goal, fast-tracking a process that kicks off a wide-ranging Brussels plan to green its economy.
EUAs dipped below €25 early on Tuesday as auction demand continued to be lacklustre even as Germany gave further clarity about efforts to ensure its coal power phaseout won’t dampen demand.
Australian oil and gas producer Woodside expects to have to buy some 50 million carbon credits over 44 years to offset emissions from its massive Browse LNG project, based on current Safeguard Mechanism regulations.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Dr. Doom – President Trump denounced “prophets of doom” at the World Economic Forum in Davos and said cheap fossil fuels were helping what he called an unprecedented US economic boom. In his speech, which did not mention the words “climate change” or “global warming”, he urged other nations to follow the US lead in promoting deregulation of energy to ensure cheaper gasoline and electricity. Meanwhile, at a Davos session titled “averting a climate apocalypse”, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said people were rightly outraged at Trump for withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement and faulted other world leaders for failing to cut GHGs. (Climate Home)
Is that all? – Refinitiv, the data and services provider, has suggested a global carbon tax bill of $4 trillion will be required to meet proposals from the IMF around tackling climate change. The figure is based on the suggestion that carbon taxes will need to rise to $75/tonne of CO2, which the IMF has said is needed to limit global temperature increases to 2C. The $4 trillion figure is equivalent to about 4% of global GDP, Refinitiv adds. But for certain companies, it implies a much bigger share of revenues. Companies in sectors such as construction materials, utilities, metals and mining and airlines could see the equivalent of 13% of revenues taken out by the tax. (Investment Europe)
Rebel, rebel – Australian PM Scott Morrison has defied a call within his party to reform policies on climate change following devastating bushfires in the country, vowing he would not do anything that would “wipe out” his nation’s resources industries. According to the FT, Morrison’s comments, which follow an unprecedented crisis in which fires have burnt millions of hectares and killed an estimated 1 bln animals, cast doubt over whether his government will make major changes after the fires. “We are dealing with our climate policies in the same way as we took them to the election. We will meet and beat our emission reduction targets,” Morrison told Australia’s ABC radio on Monday. “I’ll tell you what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to put a carbon tax on people, I’m not going to increase their electricity prices and their costs of living, and I’m not going to wipe out resource industries.” Australia contributes 1.3% of global CO2 emissions, but researchers argue the figure rises to 4% if emissions from its fossil fuel exports are included. Australia’s economy has also been battered by the fires, which have devastated tourism areas and are estimated to have wiped between 0.1-0.2 points from GDP growth figures.
Can you take me higher? – Carbon emissions from China’s aviation sector could be almost four times higher by the middle of the century, according to new analysis. Research published in the journal Energy Policy found that emissions based on consumption of aviation-grade kerosene would be responsible for 130 Mt of CO2 by 2020. Under the researchers’ baseline scenario, emissions rise to 456 Mt by 2050, 3.5 times higher than in 2020, while the “development” scenario results in a nearly quadrupling of GHGs to 516 Mt by mid-century. (Carbon Brief)
Can you take me Steyer? – Billionaire philanthropist and US Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer snagged his first California legislator endorsements, thanks in part to his climate change focus. Those endorsements came from former state Senator Fran Pavley (D), architect of California’s cap-and-trade programme and a leading environmentalist lawmaker, and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D), who has been involved in the creation of the California Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) and WCI offset legislation. Steyer later added Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Mark Ridley-Thomas and former state Senator Josh Newman (D). (Politico)
Fancy math – A iron processing facility in northern New Brunswick proposed by Maritime Iron will increase the province’s CO2 output by over 2 Mt if it goes ahead, putting at risk the province’s climate targets. New Brunswick Environment Minister Jeff Carr said he would have to balance the potential economic boost in the Chaleur region with the likelihood the plant would cause the province to miss its goals. An environmental impact assessment seen by CBC says by linking the iron plant to NB Power’s Belledune generating station, which would burn gas by-product from the iron plant and reduce its coal consumption, the two facilities would emit a combined 4.9 Mt. That’s almost double the 2.6 Mt that Belledune now emits alone, and more than the Irving Oil refinery, currently the province’s largest emitter. But the document avoids that comparison. Instead, it says the 4.9 Mt would be less than the 6.5 Mt if the Maritime Iron and Belledune plants operated separately. However, that scenario ignores the potential shutdown of Belledune in 2030, when NB Power must phase out coal-fired generation.
Put up your Ducas – The front-runner for leading Ontario’s Liberal Party, Steven Del Duca, revealed his climate plan on Tuesday. Among the seven measures included were creating a committee with at least one MPP from every party in the Ontario legislature to work on climate policy, bringing back reimbursements for electric vehicle purchases, and planting 800 mln trees in 10 years. Del Duca couldn’t project how many emissions his plan would cut, but said he’d align himself with the federal Liberals’ goal to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. Ontario’s Liberal party chooses its next leader in March. (The Huffington Post)
New institute – Dozens of academics and policy experts on Tuesday launched the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, a new independent national research body. The Institute, supported by a five-year contribution agreement with the federal environment ministry after a call for proposals last year, “will undertake rigorous, evidence-based and integrated research, analysis, and engagement to help decision-makers and Canadians understand and evaluate the policy choices that could put Canada on a path to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” according to a press release. The Institute also released its initial report on Tuesday, taking stock of the current climate policy landscape in Canada and providing several recommendations for designing and implementing more effective policy.
A year early – Bank of America has achieved carbon neutrality a year ahead of schedule, pending third-party verification. The goal was accomplished by reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its facilities, purchasing 100% renewable electricity, and buying carbon offsets for its remaining unavoidable emissions. The credits were sourced from four non-profit projects in impoverished areas across the US, South America, Africa, and Asia, which are helping to preserve biodiversity and drive reforestation while furthering economic mobility for the local populations. “Being carbon neutral is core to our $300 billion, 10-year environmental business initiative that is helping finance the transition to a low-carbon future,” said bank CEO Brian Moynihan.
And finally… Before you go – The hundreds of private jets expected to fly people out of Davos this week from the World Economic Forum will be able to fill their tanks with fuel designed to lower carbon emissions, as the annual global talk shop aims to beef up its green credentials. Sustainable aviation fuel will be available at Zurich airport, according to a statement Monday from a coalition of groups representing business jet operators, manufacturers, and fuel suppliers. A 30% blend with conventional jet fuel can lower CO2 emissions by about 18% on a comparable 1,000-nautical-mile flight, the group said. And the initiative also comes with an offsetting plan. Business-jet operators using conventional fuel at airports in or around New York, Boston, and Washington where the SAF variety isn’t available can opt for an equivalent amount to be used on flights leaving from Van Nuys airport near Los Angeles. The WEF this year has taken pains to push a green agenda and to make the conference more sustainable, including by discouraging single-use plastic, and promoting protein alternatives to meat and transport by train and bus. (Bloomberg)
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