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UN aviation body ICAO should initially restrict carbon credits eligible for its CORSIA international offset mechanism to those generated during a five-year window, an expert panel has recommended, according to two sources close to the process.
The development and scheduled Jan. 2021 launch of a British emissions trading scheme remains on track, a senior UK official said Tuesday, though he would not comment on the government’s EU ETS linking intentions should a wider post-Brexit trade deal fail to materialise by early next year.
The much-anticipated EU climate law seeks to give the European Commission powers to set a “trajectory” towards climate neutrality in 2050, by setting five-year emission reduction benchmarks, according to a leaked draft.
EU carbon prices slipped further towards €23 on Tuesday, with a surprise US rate cut failing to lift financial markets for long as investors feared for further COVID-19 coronavirus impacts.
A trio of New York-based power generators regulated by the Northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade system failed to surrender enough allowances to meet their interim 2019 obligations, including the Empire State’s last two coal-fired facilities that are in the process of shutting down, according to public data released Tuesday.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) prices received a jolt to start the week as a company reportedly was short covering for the final quarter of 2019, halting a month-long regression in credit values.
The Ghanaian and Swiss governments have signed a memorandum of understanding to further cooperation under the Paris Agreement’s market-based Article 6, building off a project the European nation’s carbon credit procurement agency selected last year.
New Zealand carbon allowances have dropped to their lowest levels since December amid concerns the coronavirus will impact the economy negatively for at least a year.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator distributed fewer than 40,000 new carbon credits in its latest issuance round, around 10% of the average weekly volume so far this year.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Two point nine is fine – The UK’s CO2 emissions fell by 2.9% in 2019, according to new analysis by climate journal Carbon Brief. This brings the total reduction to 29% over the past decade since 2010, even as the economy grew by a fifth. Another 29% reduction in coal use last year was the driving force behind the decline in UK emissions in 2019, with oil and gas use largely unchanged, according to the analysis.
Slow-steaming – The EU is considering putting a price on carbon pollution from ships in the absence of movement from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), “a UN body notorious for dragging its feet when it comes to tackling climate change”, says Carbon Market Watch’s Wijnand Stoefs. The NGO proposes the establishment of a Maritime Transport Decarbonisation Fund that would recycle EU ETS revenues generated by the shipping sector, and a binding target emissions reduction targets for shipping companies. According to Carbon Market Watch, the inclusion of shipping in the EU ETS will not undermine any climate action the IMO might decide upon, and could even provide a framework and example for global carbon pricing in the sector.
Rich with clean energy, part 1 – The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) lone Democratic member Richard Glick on Tuesday tossed cold water on the idea that implementing carbon pricing in regional wholesale power markets would automatically defuse growing tensions between the agency and states with aggressive climate targets. Speaking at a Washington DC event, Glick’s comments come after the Republican-majority FERC in recent months imposed price floors on state-subsidised clean energy resources, which the GOP members of the commission said were necessary to mitigate against potential price distortions due to subnational jurisdictions’ ambitious low-carbon electricity goals. However, in contrast to the views of some experts, Glick said several issues could dissuade entities from supporting carbon pricing in a wholesale electricity market, including the price level. Additionally, he already has heard from individuals worried that FERC could attempt to use regional carbon pricing schemes to completely cancel out the effect of states’ resource decisions at the wholesale level. (S&P Global)
Rich with clean energy, part 2 – Meanwhile, FERC’s recent mitigation decisions decried by renewable developers will not impede New York’s clean energy progress in the near term, according to New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) chief Rich Dewey. In an interview with Politico, Dewey said the FERC order last month still allows the wholesale grid operator to exempt some new subsidised renewables in the downstate region from an obscure test that could limit their revenues and make it harder to achieve the state’s goal of reaching carbon free electricity by 2040. Although Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) administration refused to comment initially after the Feb. 20 FERC order, a spokesperson for state agency NYSERDA said the federal “rule changes are an attempt to undermine New York’s nation-leading policies to combat climate change”.
Sorge and sustainability – More and more Germans say they are taking climate change and sustainability into account when planning vacations, according to a YouGov survey. The poll suggests that 60% of German travelers cite sustainability as a concern when planning their vacations for 2020 – a 5% increase compared to last year. In particular, Generation Z travelers (aged 18-24) were significantly more likely to report taking sustainability into account, but the poll reports that the concern had increased among all age groups. ‘Flight shaming’ also grew as a concern as about a quarter of 18- to 39-year-olds reported being ashamed of using an airplane at some point, and almost a third of Germans said they avoided flying during their last holiday in order to travel more sustainably. (Clean Energy Wire)
And finally… Beach bummer – Climate change could cause half of the world’s sandy beaches to disappear by the end of the century, new research shows. A study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change looks at the impact of sea level rise on sandy beaches, which make up a third of the world’s coastlines, finding that under a worst-case emissions scenario that sees an 8.5C temperature increase by 2100, between 10.6 to 12.2% of the world’s beaches would experience severe erosion by 2050, and 37.2 to 50.9% would be destroyed by the end of the century. Cutting emissions in a “moderate” fashion could help prevent around 40% of this loss, the study finds. (Climate Nexus)
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