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Italy’s oil major Eni fleshed out its voluntary climate goals on Friday, pledging an 80% cut in full-scope emissions by 2050 with a shift from oil to gas output and a ramping up of forestry offsetting with REDD.
The carbon intensity of China’s economy fell 4.1% in 2019, the government said Friday, though a rise in fossil fuel consumption likely meant absolute emissions continued to rise.
The oil and gas industry again pushed up greenhouse gas emissions from Australia’s biggest companies last year, as the ongoing export boom outpaced a modest decrease from electricity generation.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
A federal judge this week denied California’s request to drop WCI, Inc. and the leaders of two state agencies from the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) legal challenge of the state’s cap-and-trade linkage with Quebec, though he did remove two non-voting board members of the non-profit market administrator from the case.
Washington’s Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) delayed decisions on advancing a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for the greater Seattle area on Thursday, as a statewide clean fuel standard bill is primed for a critical hearing next week.
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 California, Hawaii, Virginia, and a net zero agriculture bill in the US House of Representatives that favours carbon markets.
EUAs extended their downward plunge on Friday, but found support above €23 despite global equities facing their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis on the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Angry chair – Oregon Republicans lawmakers’ walk out to protest the state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade bill entered its fifth day on Friday, as Senate President Peter Courtney (D) described getting “angrier and angrier” at GOP legislators for leaving the capitol with multiple bills left in the short 2020 session. With Democrats unable to conduct legislative business in the House or Senate, after the GOP evacuation left the majority party without the two-thirds quorum necessary to read and pass bills, Courtney called out the Republicans for quitting on the legislative term, noting that he never walked out during his years in a Democratic minority whose strong desires were ignored by Republicans. As has been the case all week, a lone Republican in each chamber showed up to work, with all GOP members still being paid their salaries and $151 per diem intended to defray the costs of transportation, meals, and in some cases lodging associated with being a lawmaker. Courtney’s comments came after Democrats on the House Committee on Rules voted to issue subpoenas to missing House Republicans that would require them to testify before the committee at the Capitol on Mar. 5 regarding the reasons behind their boycott. Oregon’s Republican senators fled the state for nine days last June to protest a previous version of the ETS legislation, which proved successful when three moderate Democrats indicated they would vote against the bill. This year, Courtney has said that intra-party dissent will not occur. (The Oregonian)
Betting on tech – Australia’s energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor does not want a top-down approach to climate policy and does not like renewables very much. On Friday he laid out some details of Australia’s technology-based climate change action plan, saying the government would invest in hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, lithium, and advanced livestock feed supplements, the Guardian reports. This ‘roadmap’ will form the cornerstone of a plan the Morrison government will take to UN talks in Glasgow later this year. Meanwhile, the government has hammered the opposition Labor party, which last week pledged it would commit to a net zero emissions target by 2050 if it wins office.
Tees please – The Net Zero Teesside project was launched in the northeast English region, aiming to decarbonise a cluster of heavy industry using gas-powered CCUS and using North Sea oilfield pipelines to store the CO2. From the mid-2020s, the project plans to capture up to 6 MtCO2 a year and has the backing of oil majors’ climate initiative OGCI, which features includes BP, Eni, Equinor, Shell, and Total. (BusinessGreen)
Fifty states, fifty bills – US Senators Lisa Murkowski (R) and Joe Manchin (D) introduced comprehensive energy legislation on Thursday, which combines almost all the 50 energy bills that were reported to the Senate in 2019, and is intended to increase innovation in clean energy technologies. The omnibus legislation will focus on energy efficiency, renewables, energy storage, carbon capture, nuclear power and electric vehicles, while supply chain security provisions include establishing a domestic rare earth supply chain, cybersecurity and grid modernisation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is planning to bring the legislative package to the Senate floor for a possible vote as early as next week. (Utility Dive)
Any day now – The Trump administration will slash the number of biofuel usage exemptions for small refineries under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as the result of an appeals court ruling, US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told farmers on Friday. Perdue didn’t say when an announcement would be coming from the EPA, but told reporters after his speech at the Commodity Classic in San Antonio that the department was hoping to have an announcement “even today” on the matter. Reports this week that the EPA will cull the use of its small refinery exemption (SRE) programme in response to a court ruling last month caused biofuel credit prices under the RFS to surge, though EPA Administrator said during a federal hearing Thursday that the agency was still reviewing its next steps. Some 23 SREs are pending for the 2019 RFS compliance year, according to EPA data. (Agri-Pulse)
And finally… Don’t speak – Just 9% of Americans talk about climate change often, while more than half — 59% — talk about climate change with their family or friends “rarely” or “never,” according to surveys by Yale and George Mason University. The 59% figure has remained basically unchanged over the past dozen years, while the 40% that say they talk about climate change “often” or “occasionally” has also remained stagnant. These numbers remain small despite an increase in the share of people who say they hear about global warming in the media: 35% in Nov. 2019 versus 19% in Mar. 2015. However, while the volume of climate change coverage on nightly and Sunday broadcast news shows increased 68% from 2018 to 2019, the absolute numbers remained tiny, with climate change comprising just 0.7% of overall broadcast news coverage last year, a report released by liberal non-profit Media Matters showed Thursday. (Axios)
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