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The first California-Quebec sale of 2020 settled above the secondary market for the first time in three years, as increased demand coupled with lower volume on offer buoyed prices, according to results released Wednesday afternoon.
Analysts have nudged down their EUA price forecasts for this year by 2.7% compared to projections from January, as the expected emergence of speculative investors has failed to materialise.
EU progress on green taxation and carbon pricing “remains modest” at member state level, according to a European Commission report on Wednesday that analyses each country’s key economic challenges.
EUAs averted a third consecutive daily drop on coronavirus concerns on Wednesday, bouncing back from below €24 on an oil-led reversal and a strong auction that showed signs of bargain-hunting.
California regulator ARB granted 276,600 new offsets this week in the lowest issuance so far this year, while it cut the invalidation period on more than a million additional credits, according to data published Wednesday.
US biofuel credit (RIN) prices surged on Wednesday to new year-highs after a report surfaced that the Trump administration will limit the number of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance waivers granted in future years in response to a critical court ruling last month.
South Korea has approved the first batch of Korean-owned CDM projects abroad that can generate carbon credits for the domestic emissions market.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Smooth Swiss – EU ETS participant Switzerland has confirmed to the UN that it will enhance its emissions reduction target for 2030, but gave scant details except that it would be part of a wider goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Swiss officials believe a smooth passage of the country’s climate law could make an update to the country’s NDC possible by November’s UN climate talks in Glasgow, though experts are unsure. (Climate Home)
Join the club – Mining giant Rio Tinto on Wednesday became the latest major firm to announce it will strive to reach net zero emissions by 2050, though unlike some of its rivals that target did not include Scope 3 emissions. The company’s annual results report included firm 2030 targets, by when Rio says it will cut absolute GHG emissions 15% below 2018 levels, and its carbon intensity by 30%. The company plans to spend $1 bln on climate-related investments over the next 5 years. Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said Rio might buy carbon offsets to meet its target, but only as a “last resort”. (Guardian)
Breaking free of three – Oil major BP announced Wednesday that it will cut ties with three US fossil fuel lobby groups because their climate policies don’t align with those of the UK-based company. BP named the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) as groups it will be leaving, after it carried out a review of its membership of 30 important trade associations around the world. In the assessment, BP noted that it sided with WSPA in helping to bankroll the defeat of Washington state’s $15/tonne CO2 tax ballot initiative in 2018, contributing $13 mln in the process. However, it cited disagreements with the Western US industry lobby group over the association’s failure to support Washington legislative proposals for a WCI-modelled ETS proposal and a low-carbon fuel standard. (FT)
Across the sea – Plug-in electric vehicle sales in EU nations grew 54% last year as automakers ramp up production in response to new pollution rules, a marked contrast to the US where EV sales dropped 9%, according to a new report from S&P Global Platts Analytics. By 2021, EU rules say new vehicles from each automaker must average 95 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometre travelled, with nearly every major automaker struggling to meet that mandate and opening them up to multibillion-dollar fines. Meanwhile, EV sales dipped in the US as the Trump administration continues its push to gut Obama-era efficiency standards for cars and undermine stricter rules by California and a dozen other states. Along with the deregulatory actions, analysts blamed the dip on “very limited availability” of electric vehicles across many US regions and the “lack of a long term [EV] adoption strategy” from the federal government. (Politico)
Consumers credits – Michigan utility Consumers Energy plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 for the energy it purchases or generates, the company said this week. Consumers will consider strategies such as carbon capture and sequestration or large-scale tree planting to offset its emissions, having already committed last year to reduce 90% of its emissions by 2040. The next version of the company’s long-term plan, to be filed in 2021, will include more analysis on the options and costs of the carbon offsets. (Utility Dive)
And finally… App-etite for destruction – Rides from app-based services Uber and Lyft in the US generate nearly 70% more emissions than the modes of transportation that they replace, a new report shows. Research released Tuesday from the Union of Concerned Scientists finds that a non-pooled ride-hailing trip generates around 47% more emissions than a private car trip, while factoring in trips that are replacements for walking or public transit ups the emissions to 69% more than a private car trip. The report finds that using electric vehicles for Uber and Lyft trips “would dramatically improve the climate emissions of ride-hailing trips”. A pooled ride-hailing trip in an electric vehicle generates around 70% less emissions than a trip in a private car. (Climate Nexus)
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