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*TOP STORY* Incoming EU presidency will aim for 55% GHG target, says German economy minister
Germany is striving to ensure EU nations agree by year-end on a collective 2030 emissions target of 55%, the country’s economy minister told EU lawmakers on Thursday – a level representing the higher end of ambition currently under consideration.
*EMEA* EU Market: EUAs crash 10% from session high as supply boost sees rally unravel
EU carbon prices tumbled to a two-week low on Thursday after buyers struggled to absorb extra auction supply and amid weakness in wider financial markets. EU lawmakers urge leaders to earmark ETS revenues to the bloc’s budget
Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee are keeping pressure on EU leaders to use ETS funds to finance the bloc’s seven-year budget ahead of a key summit on Friday.
*AMERICAS* NA Markets: RGGI rises to 14-month high as WCI allowances plod along
RGGI allowance (RGA) prices surged to a 14-month high on the benchmark contract this week with increased compliance buying on the secondary market, while California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) ticked up despite new COVID-19 restrictions taking effect across the state. British Columbia eases this year’s LCFS target as it extends programme to 2030
British Columbia fuel suppliers will face a less stringent Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) benchmark in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the sector will still see the transportation programme’s emissions reduction target double by the end of the decade, the province’s Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources announced Wednesday. Colorado LCFS feasibility study expected by end of the month
A Colorado government agency will likely finalise by the end of the month a study assessing how a transportation sector low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) could help the state meet its enhanced GHG reduction targets, an official said Thursday.
*INTERNATIONAL* Investors call on ICAO to deliver net zero aviation emissions goal with minimal offsetting
ICAO and national governments must set a long-term and binding GHG goal for global air travel ahead of COP26 next year, while countries should consider a market mechanism for afforestation and other measures in their net zero-aligned COVID-19 recovery plans, said a report from a UN-convened group of investors released Wednesday.
*ASIA PACIFIC* US investment firm buys stake in Australian offset developer
A major US investment firm has bought a minority stake in Australia’s biggest developer of carbon offset projects, seeking to expand the firm’s activities and enter new markets.
*BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD*
*Rigging up –* A group of the world’s top oil companies, including Saudi Aramco, China’s CNPC, and ExxonMobil, have for the first time set goals to cut their emissions
*Picking losers –* A BNP Paribas SA fund has gained 35% this year by wagering on winners in the renewable energy industry, and now its managers plan to bet against the losers. Ulrik Fugmann and Edward Lees will run a new long/short fund, allowing them to bet against companies that are getting left behind in the transition to greener forms of energy. The pair will start with $50 mln of assets under management, with the capacity for that to rise to $1 bln, Lees said in an interview with Bloomberg
*Up for comment* – Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) has published the drafts
*Back to basics – *A US federal judge Wednesday reinstated an Obama-era rule meant to limit methane pollution from oil and gas extraction. The ruling is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the rule after it failed to undo it via the Congressional Review Act in early 2017 and a federal court threw out an attempt to delay implementing the rule in October of that year. The venting and flaring rule, also known as the methane waste rule, established leak detection and repair requirements for oil and gas extraction on federal lands. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found the Trump administration failed to properly account for the repeal’s cumulative impacts on climate change and public health, especially in tribal communities, and “systematically ignored the basics of rulemaking and steamrolled over the [Administrative Procedure Act] and [National Environmental Policy Act] framework to advance certain special interests.” The ruling came just hours after President Trump weakened NEPA in order to speed up permitting for pipelines, power plants, and freeways. (Climate Nexus)
*Here we go again? – *A group of Northern California residents and businesses have filed a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for damages caused by the Oct. 2019 Kincade Fire, just a week after the utility emerged from a bankruptcy caused by a series of earlier wildfires. State investigators have not determined the cause of the Kincade Fire, but PG&E – which settled its previous wildfire liabilities and exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month – has stated that it could face a $600 mln loss related to the blaze. The implications for PG&E will depend on the extent of damages plaintiffs are seeking, which are not specified in the lawsuit, according to Steven Weissman, a lecturer at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley. “If it’s just a few million dollars, then a company the size of PG&E can probably work its way around that. If it’s a multi-billion dollar suit, then it’s a very different story,” Weissman told Utility Dive
*Gap year – *The US EPA on Thursday posted six additional pending requests
*Logging off – *Canada’s ambitious climate goals are threatened by a “logging loophole” that allows industrial logging to clearcut the carbon-rich boreal forest, unleashing emissions neither adequately counted nor regulated under current law, according to analysis
*Soil sell – *US farmer-owned cooperative Land O’Lakes and tech giant Microsoft have announced a multi-year strategic alliance
*Consumer carbon – *Consumer goods firm Procter & Gamble (P&G) said it will halve its Scope 1-2 emissions
*Boreal baking –* A record-breaking heatwave in Siberia would have been almost impossible without human-caused climate change, a study has found
*Crossing the line – *Indigenous people living in the Amazon have called for an immediate halt of Brazilian government plans to build a power line through the tropical rainforest without any consultation with those living there, in breach of human rights legislation, according to UK-based non-profit Christian Aid. Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has claimed the survey is impossible due to the COVID-19 pandemic and so issued a construction permit without conducting a consultation with affected community members required by law or even informing them of the decision. More than 70 organisations that work with the Quilombola people have called this trampling of their rights and the destruction of the rainforest under the cover of the pandemic an outrage.
*And finally… Run the jewels – *Vodka and diamonds are being enlisted in the fight
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