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California and its supporting organisations argued Monday that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has failed to show how the state’s carbon market linkage with Quebec violates the US Constitution, and sought a judgement in their favour ahead of a hearing next month.
The Virginia House of Delegates approved two bills on Tuesday to implement the state’s RGGI-modelled power sector ETS regulation with state-run allowance auctions, but several progressive Democrats broke ranks to oppose the legislation as it heads to the Senate.
Voluntary offset projects on US forested and agricultural lands require greater amounts of private and public support and investment to stimulate emissions abatement and economic growth because a national carbon pricing system has failed to materialise, experts said Tuesday.
EUAs inched further above €23 on Tuesday, regaining ground lost in the previous session as a rebounding energy complex lifted sentiment.
Italian luxury clothing and accessory brand Gucci has bought 500,000 forestry carbon credits from Cambodia, local media reported, citing a government spokesperson.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Empowering sectors – Moving the EU’s non-ETS transport, buildings, and industrial sectors toward using electricity instead of fossil fuels as an energy source could cut emissions in Europe by 60% between 2020 and 2050, according to a report by BloombergNEF with Norwegian utility Statkraft and power management company Eaton Corp. However, it also found that 75% more power generation will be needed by mid-century, and that reaching net zero emissions by then will be impossible without overhauling the way cement and steel are made. (Bloomberg)
Fail first – Irish opposition party Fianna Fail secured the final two seats in the vote count following Saturday’s general election, helping them finish top with 38 seats compared to Sinn Fein’s 37 and the incumbent Fine Gael’s 35. The result could still mean changes ahead for Ireland’s climate action initiative and carbon pricing plans, with Fianna Fail supporting Fine Gael’s move to raise the country’s domestic carbon tax and left-leaning Sinn Fein opposing it (Read Carbon Pulse’s article on the election). Fianna Fail may now attempt to form a government in light of the results, with Sinn Fein vowing to do the same. Both parties have not ruled out partnering with each other for a coalition, though they would need the support of other parties or independents. Fine Gail under Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has rejected the idea of working with the republican Sinn Fein party, which has had ties to the IRA and wants to hold a Irish unification referendum within five years.
Slow steaming – International shipping could scale up decarbonisation goals in coming years since the sector’s climate target for 2030 was already three-quarters met when it was set two years ago, according to researchers at ICCT. They found that CO2 intensity of international shipping had already been reduced by 30% from 2008 levels in 2018. That year, the UN shipping agency IMO set a 40% reduction target by 2030. (Climate Home)
Flight fade – Air passenger numbers in Germany are set to decline in 2020 as carriers are projected to reduce the number of available seats by 1.8% in the first nine months of the year, the German Aviation Association (BDL) said in its annual report. While EU ETS-covered domestic and intra-European connections are poised to drop 7% and 2% respectively, intercontinental flights are set to grow by 3%. Passengers using German airports increased by 1.5% last year, though demand faded considerably later in the year as the economy stuttered and because of the long-term effects of Air Berlin’s insolvency. (Clean Energy Wire)
Clean dream – US Senator Tom Carper (D) and 30 Democratic co-sponsors released the Clean Economy Act on Tuesday. The bill directs the EPA to use existing legal authorities to establish a plan that will put the US on a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, with interim targets to be set for 2025, 2030, and 2040. However, the bill is all but certainly dead on arrival with Republicans controlling the Senate and White House.
Seeing STRS – The investment committee of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) – which has a pension portfolio worth $248 bln – approved new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) guidelines at its Jan. 30 meeting. The new climate change investment belief states that CalSTRS “recognises the critical role that carbon pricing frameworks may play in integrating the cost of common emissions into the global economy to accelerate an orderly-low carbon transition.” The new principle also requires CalSTRS investment staff to consider investment risks associated with climate change. (Chief Investment Officer)
Deal of the decade – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday signed a Green New Deal executive directive to kick off the city’s “Decade of Action”. The directive includes measures to encourage city pension boards to explore divesting from fossil fuel companies, mandate that all new construction, major upgrades, and retrofits of municipally-owned buildings demonstrate a pathway to carbon neutrality, and accelerate the city’s bus fleet target to be zero carbon by the time it hosts the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
And finally… Let it grow, let it grow – Timber Unity, a group of loggers and truckers that have organised numerous rallies against Oregon’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade legislation, put forth their own alternative to the ETS proposal on Monday. Instead of setting a declining annual cap on economy-wide GHG emissions with provisions for market trade in allowances and offsets, Timber Unity’s proposal said the Oregon Department of Transportation should stop spending money on mowing the grass and weeding green areas next to freeways. The group also called on municipalities to “shop local” and for Oregon to stop shipping recyclables out of state. (KATU)
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