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Verified emissions in the EU ETS dropped by slightly more than expected in 2019, analysts said Wednesday following the publication of preliminary, like-for-like but partially incomplete data.
Governments have agreed to delay the COP26 summit in Glasgow until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the nearly 200 parties to the Paris Agreement will probably have to wait at least another six months to agree the rulebook for international emissions trading under the 2015 climate pact.
California fuel consumption fell slightly year-on-year in 2019 as gasoline demand slid, likely reducing WCI-covered emissions compared to the prior year, state data published this week suggested.
Utah Republicans have passed a budget that restores funding for a lawsuit to challenge the legality of California’s cap-and-trade programme and emissions performance standard (EPS), a government spokesperson confirmed.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) prices returned to a two-week high in recent days, but increased demand that picked credit values off a two-year low finally left the market.
EUAs fell as much as a euro to test €17 on Wednesday, halting carbon’s recent recovery after the UK’s auction barely cleared and wider markets dove on worsening coronavirus developments.
Big-emitting industries, national delegations, and green groups seem to agree on the need for an EU border carbon adjustment, but a tussle over the allocation of free EUAs is expected in the following months.
Companies participating in Tokyo’s municipal emissions trading scheme marginally increased their CO2 output in FY2018, but most have already met their targets for 2024, according to government data.
*FREE READ* – A new carbon consultancy is calculating the global greenhouse gas emissions being saved by people working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, and it is packaging and selling the reductions as voluntary carbon offsets.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Green bailouts – Taxpayer aid to airlines hit by the coronavirus crisis must come with strict conditions on their future climate impact, the former EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete and a group of green campaigners said. “It must be conditional, otherwise when we recover we will see the same or higher levels of carbon dioxide [from flying],” said Arias Canete. (The Guardian)
Renewables right – The US renewables sector is pressing for the “Phase 4” COVID-19 response bill to provide aid that was omitted from the recent $2-trillion rescue package. The wind and solar industry has been seeking provisions in the bill including extended deadlines to qualify for incentives, and the ability to receive them as upfront payments because the collapsing economy is freezing the tax financing market. However, the White House and Senate has repeatedly shot down attempts to include renewables in coronavirus response bills, framing them as extraneous provisions. (Axios)
Renewables wronged – California investor-owned utilities are pushing back against a proposal from the state’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that would provide for earlier public release of certain information on renewables contracts, including their costs. In a CPUC filing on Monday, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric said that staff’s proposal was “ill-conceived” and “unlawful”, as it would disclose contract information that could discourage investments in renewables projects and increase the costs that eventually fall on ratepayers. Similarly, disclosing information on project status and obstacles faced by specific projects could rub developers the wrong way and push them to turn to projects in other states, chilling California’s renewables market, according to the utilities. (Utility Dive)
Weather watch – The coronavirus pandemic risks reducing the amount and quality of weather observations and climate and atmospheric monitoring, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned. If virus restrictions continue beyond a few more weeks, automated parts of the WMO’s observing system will be at risk due to the lack of repairs, maintenance, and deployments, the WMO said, adding that manual parts of the system have already been significantly affected. (Climate Home)
And finally… A greener grin – A very convincing statement from CEO Sundar Pichai appeared at the address AGreenerGoogle.com today, with an exciting message: The company will stop funding climate change deniers. “In lieu of our normal April Fools’ joke, today we’re getting serious,” it said. The site went on to list eight organisations that Google has funded or otherwise worked with that have opposed measures to fight climate change, such as the Paris Agreement and President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. It included an apology for “putting profits over the planet” and for stalling on changing its ways for so long. COVID-19 has forced the company to reckon with the perils of ignoring science, it added. But it was later revealed that site was an April Fools’ Day prank put out by the New York City arm of the climate protest group Extinction Rebellion. (Grist)
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