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The UK will resume its EU carbon allowance sales as planned on Mar. 4, auction platform host ICE Futures Europe announced late Friday, with very high per-sale volumes scheduled as the country attempts to monetise all of its unsold 2019 and 2020 supply this year.
EU leaders failed to agree late Friday on the bloc’s joint budget for 2021-27, postponing talks that included among the main sticking points plans that could divert over half of nations’ future ETS revenues.
EUAs dipped back towards €25 on Friday as financial markets swooned on a resurgence of Covid-19 coronavirus cases, but still lodged a substantial weekly gain on signs of a step-up in buying interest.
Australia’s main opposition Labor party on Friday said it would set a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 if it returns to office, without the use of Kyoto carryover credits, but declined to reveal any policy details.
Offset developers have sold over 340,000 carbon credits to Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) so far in February, while the Clean Energy Regulator this week issued nearly 280,000 new units.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
Democrats are rallying behind Oregon’s WCI-modelled ETS bill ahead of a critical vote next week, as questions arose Friday about whether enough Republicans will follow through with a walkout to stop the legislation.
A summary of legislative and regulatory action on carbon pricing and clean energy at the US subnational and federal level this week, including developments in Hawaii, Colorado, Maryland, and cross-border hydroelectric potential in the Northeast US.
A former employee of US-based offset registry administrator APX will oversee the international expansion of CBL Markets as several global carbon markets seek to launch next year, the trading platform announced Friday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Destination: Iran – In the latest in a series on how some of the world’s key emitters are responding to climate change, Carbon Brief profiles Iran. The country was the world’s eighth largest emitter of GHGs in 2015 and is a resource-rich nation with enormous reserves of oil and gas, as well as considerable renewable energy potential. However, Iran is also faced with economic sanctions, water shortages, dust storms, and air pollution.
Bank blinds – Climate change is creating substantial, unrecognised risk in the financial system as banks are failing to prepare for green regulation and carbon taxes that will have an impact on the companies to which they lend, according to consultancy Oliver Wyman. It found oil and gas companies will be two-to-three times more likely to default on their debt if the countries that are signed up to the Paris Agreement institute a $50/tonne carbon tax. If the carbon taxes were to go to $75/tonne, as the IMF has recommended, the risk would be even greater. (Financial Times)
Pipeline pause – US federal regulators hit the brakes on a proposed natural gas pipeline project in Oregon Thursday after the state denied key permits. Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development sent a letter on Wednesday to Pembina Pipeline Corp., which owns the proposed Jordan Cove LNG pipeline and terminal, saying that the project will “negatively impact Oregon’s coastal scenic and aesthetic resources, a variety of endangered and threatened species, critical habitat and ecosystem services, fisheries resources, commercial and recreational fishing and boating, and commercial shipping and transportation, among other sectors critical to the state.” In a 2-1 decision Thursday, the US Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to not move the project forward, citing a need for more time to review the state decision. (Climate Nexus)
The straight and narrow? – Also on Thursday, FERC approved four separate orders to narrow exemptions of buyer-side mitigation (BSM) market rules in the New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) capacity zones during a meeting, which critics say will stifle the competitiveness of clean energy resources. The decisions would make it more difficult for new clean energy projects expected in the state to clear NYISO’s capacity auction, with advocates having said bidding into NYISO’s capacity market is critical to the financial viability of projects like offshore wind and energy storage. NYISO had proposed exemptions for 1,000 MW of renewable energy resources, and the New York Public Service Commission and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority sought to exempt all electric storage resources from the BSM rules, but FERC rejected the proposals. In response, US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that FERC had “become a wholly-owned GOP subsidiary, doing the bidding of the biggest polluters”. (Utility Dive)
Heathrow neutral – London’s Heathrow Airport says it has cut emissions 93% since 1990 and has committed to offset the remainder. As such, the airport has achieved carbon neutral status. The firm said it has spent £100m on energy efficiency measures over three decades, plus investment in on-site generation. It also buys clean power. However, the most up-to-date figures for residual emissions is the 27,244 tonnes worth of carbon credits the airport bought in 2018. Heathrow said it has also bought credits for 2019-21, but did not disclose figures. The airport hopes to achieve zero emissions from its operations within the next 15 years. To do that Heathrow will initially focus on transport, and will introduce an ultra low emissions zone in 2022. It has committed to converting all of its 400-plus service vehicles to electric power by 2030. (The Energyst)
Cemex in the mix – Multinational cement and building materials giant Cemex has pledged to reach net-zero across its operations and products by 2050, as part of a new climate action strategy. It binds Cemex to reducing its total carbon footprint across all Scopes by 35% by 2030, against a 1990 baseline. Cemex had previously set a 30% carbon reduction target within the same timeframe, but said it wanted to set a more ambitious target in the wake of the IPCC’s special report on global warming, which concluded that capping the global temperature increase at 1.5C would require global emissions to fall by 45% by 2030. Cemex has already reduced its total carbon footprint by 22% since 1990, surpassing its 2020 target a year early. The updated 2030 target is a milestone to support Cemex’s new 2050 target to reach net-zero operations and produce only net-zero concrete. (edie)
Nano grail – Scientists at the University of Southern California and the National Renewable Energy Lab have announced an innovation that could someday lead us to a nirvana of near-endless carbon offsets. The breakthrough: a cheaper, more sustainable way to make nanocatalysts that work as well as platinum but use the far more plentiful metal molybdenum — and can be manufactured 90% cheaper at “low” temperatures closer to 600 degrees. According to Forbes, it’s a Holy Grail idea: take CO2 from the combustion of fossil fuels and run it through a chemical reaction that transforms it magically back into useful hydrocarbons. It would be a virtuous cycle, a carbon-neutral closed loop — that could dramatically reduce greenhouse gases.
And finally… The greater good? – Tesla has got approval from a German court to continue to cut down forest to build its first European electric car and battery factory, in a defeat for local environmental activists worried about the threat it poses to local wildlife and water supplies. Right-leaning lawmakers had warned that the legal battle would inflict serious damage on Germany’s image as a place to do business. (Reuters)
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