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China’s environment ministry on Tuesday said all domestic offsets will be eligible for use in the first compliance cycle of its national emissions trading scheme, including units generated almost two decades ago that have been banned from all the eight regional pilot markets for years.
Spain has unveiled several ideas for curbing EU ETS speculation as part of wider proposals to reform the bloc’s energy market, with Madrid urging the EU to explore the plans as part of its work to amend the Fit for 55 climate policy package.
EU greenhouse gas emissions fell 10% in 2020 as pandemic restrictions curbed factory and transport output, while renewables overtook fossil fuels for the first time in the bloc’s power mix.
The European Commission on Tuesday its annual report on the functioning of the EU ETS, which covered the market’s developments in 2020 and into 2021.
EUAs forged higher on Tuesday to test technical resistance levels in thin trade, while energy prices gave up early gains amid signs of progress on the approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
China’s State Council on Tuesday released an action plan to show how it intends to meet the goal of peaking emissions by 2030, but most of the content was plans already revealed.
Australia on Tuesday committed to reaching net zero emissions by mid-century while keeping its 2030 target unchanged, relying on technology developments and offsets to meet its ambition rather than new policies.
China’s environment ministry has ordered regional authorities to re-examine all ETS emissions data for 2019 and 2020 with just weeks to go before the first compliance deadline, amid revelations of reporting fraud this summer.
Former environmental campaigner Steven Guilbeault was named Minister of Environment and Climate Change as part of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal Party cabinet sworn in Tuesday, only days before the country’s delegation leaves for COP26.
California gasoline consumption rose to a new pandemic-era high in July despite remaining far off levels from two years ago, as diesel retraced from a 10-year record, according to state data published Monday.
National determined contributions (NDCs) will not have enough impact on reducing global GHG output by 2030 to align with Paris Agreement warming goals, a UN report released on Tuesday warned while touting the potential of emissions trading to drive more ambition.
Nearly half of all energy-related CO2 emissions in major economies are now subject to a carbon price, though rates remain too low to lead a successful transition to net zero, the OECD said in a report published Tuesday.
More companies are making commitments to establish net zero emissions targets, although a large share of them seem unwilling in the short term to act on their promises, a survey released on Tuesday suggested.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
New bank – A new multilateral CLIMATE ACTION development bank is needed to help get money to emerging markets more effectively, analysts at US bank Citigroup said on Tuesday. Calling for a so-called CLIMATE ACTION Development Bank, Citi proposed a new global institution dedicated to financing lower carbon developments, funded by nations across the globe. “(We) believe it would be … far more efficient if capital were to be allocated with the assistance of an institution fully dedicated to achieving climate change objectives,” the Citi authors said in a report. Such a bank could work together with other development banks, such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to coordinate CLIMATE ACTION facilities and other goals. It could further help harness trillions of private sector investments by adopting a blended finance approach, or public-private deals backed by government-financed institutions, and thereby reduce the risks and barriers for investors to back projects, particularly in emerging economies. (Reuters)
Change of tack – Brazil will step up its NDC targets at COP26 as it tries to recover credibility for its environmental policies and its stewardship of the Amazon rainforest, the country’s top diplomat for climate talks Paulino de Carvalho Neto told Reuters. “I ask everyone for the benefit of the doubt and to look toward the future and not the past,” he said. Vice President Hamilton Mourao said on Monday that Brazil aims to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon two or three years before the 2030 target promised by President Jair Bolsonaro at an Earth Day summit in the US earlier this year. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is hovering near a 12-year high, edging down by less than 1% through September this year compared to the first nine months of 2020.
Settle the spending– The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of US President Joe Biden’s roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is “mostly settled” and will likely cost more than $500 bln, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios. The remainder of the climate section still under negotiation focuses on how to spread around the $150 bln initially slated for the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), which coal state Sen. Joe Manchin opposed and ultimately killed. A source told the outlet that Democrats’ spending plan is likely to include new grants and loans to support industrial sector decarbonisation, as well as expanding relevant tax credits to support this goal. It also could include manufacturing credits to help grow domestic supply chains for solar, offshore, and onshore wind, as well as expanding access too rooftop solar and home electrification.
More like ManiNOba – A federal court judge on Tuesday rejected Manitoba’s argument that the Canadian government should not have imposed an escalating minimum price on carbon, because the province was planning its own emissions reduction plan that could have been just as effective. Former Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister planned to have a flat C$25/tonne price on carbon, which at a lower rate than the rising federal rate, caused Ottawa to impose its ‘backstop’ CO2 levy and output-based pricing system on the province. After other conservative-led provinces saw their own Supreme Court challenges to the backstop regime rejected, the Manitoba government continued with its more limited court argument that the feds have no right to impose a carbon pricing plan in a province where one already exists to reduce emissions equally. But the federal judge said Tuesday that not only was Manitoba’s plan not enacted at the time of the previous court challenge, the province’s math on its emissions benefits was wrong. (Canadian Press)
Guyana bonanza – The Secretariat of the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) programme on Tuesday announced the approval of three The REDD+ Environmental Excellency Standard (TREES) documents for Guyana. The documents, listed on the ART Registry, include documents for 2016-20 and 2021-25 crediting periods for the national-scale carbon offsetting programme for preventing deforestation. Guyana saw ART approve its TREES concepts back in January.
Madrid step back – The left-wing Spanish government has softened a profit claw-back on utilities, designed to protect household and industrial consumers from rising gas and power prices, Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said at a press conference on Tuesday. Fixed electricity futures contracts signed by industrial customers before Sep. 16 won’t though be part of the claw back, Reuters reports. Introduced in September as part of a wider set of measures to counter the repercussions of soaring energy prices, the decision has received ample criticism by energy companies, including leading utility Iberdrola. The government had been expected to raise as much as €2.6 bln from Spanish energy companies for reinvestments in the grid.
Another lawsuit – Indigenous residents of low-lying islands off northern Australia filed a landmark lawsuit Tuesday aimed at forcing the government to protect them from climate change through deeper cuts to carbon emissions. The Torres Strait Islanders say rising sea levels represent an existential threat to their homelands and culture, putting them “on the frontline of the climate crisis”. Lawyers for traditional land owners from Boigu and Saibai – among the worst-impacted islands – want the Federal Court to order the government “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will prevent Torres Strait Islanders from becoming climate refugees”. It is believed to be the first such climate change class action launched by Indigenous Australians. (AFP)
Metrics system – Agri-tech start-up Indigo Ag on Tuesday announced it has acquired CO2 measurement company Soil Metrics. Indigo said the deal will increase the volume of carbon credits growers produce and reduce the amount of work required to yield them. Indigo has also seen the prices for their soil-based carbon credits grow to $27/tonne from $20, with the company enrolling more than 1.3 mln ha in its programme. (Bloomberg)
Sami shift – US carbon offset management company AgriCapture on Tuesday announced Sami Osman as its new president and chief policy officer. Most recently, Osman was policy director at California-based offset registry CLIMATE ACTION Reserve, where he oversaw the development and establishment of over a dozen carbon credit protocols and led the organisation’s global consulting and capacity building work.
Stone cold storage – Miner Rio Tinto and CCS specialist Carbfix are partnering to implement a technology for capturing carbon and permanently storing it underground at Rio’s ISAL aluminium smelter in Iceland. Carbfix will use Rio Tinto’s land surrounding the ISAL smelter for onshore CO2 injection in the world’s first carbon mineral storage hub. Liquified CO2 will be imported by ship from industrial sites across North Europe for storage starting in 2025.
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