CP Daily: Thursday April 27, 2017

Published 04:55 on April 28, 2017  /  Last updated at 07:12 on April 28, 2017  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

A daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world.

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NA Markets: RGGI prices dive to 4-yr low on selling spurt as frustration surfacing over review

RGGI prices plunged to a four-year low this week, shedding as much as 17% at one point as determined selling chased the market lower.

Ontario government spells out path to post-2020 carbon market design

Ontario aims to finalise its decision on post-2020 emission caps for its carbon market by the end of this year, a government official confirmed on Wednesday.

Breaking up is hard to do: Industry, experts warn Ontario Tories over costly and difficult cap-and-trade exit

Progressive Conservatives have vowed to dismantle Ontario cap-and-trade scheme and replace it with a carbon tax if elected in next year’s provincial elections, but industry is warning over the related costs and experts say this is easier said than done.

Offset protocols for Quebec and Ontario due to be completed by end of 2017, says CAR boss

All 13 of the offset protocols being jointly developed for Ontario and Quebec are due to be completed by the end of 2017, according to the president of the Climate Action Reserve, the organisation tasked with authoring them.

ICE considering offering trade in California offsets, but questions linger

Exchange operator ICE is considering launching trade in California Carbon Offsets, but questions remain over exactly what types of credits will be tradable under it.

EEX records sizable jump in emissions trading revenues, volumes in 2016

Germany-based energy exchange EEX recorded a 56% year-on-year increase in emissions trading revenues while nearly tripling its volumes, it said this week.

Founder of voluntary market platform CTX retaking the reins in London after CEO’s departure

The founder of voluntary market hub Carbon Trade eXchange (CTX) is returning to London from Australia to retake the helm of the platform’s parent company after it parted ways with its CEO.

Brokers Vcarbon land first major custodial contract in Fujian CO2 market

Guangdong-based carbon brokerage Vcarbon has landed the first major CO2 allowance custodial deal in Fujian’s pilot emissions trading scheme, the Fujian Haixia exchange announced Thursday.

EU Market: EUAs give back Wednesday’s gains to return to near 2017 lows

EU carbon gave back most of the gains of the previous session in a becalmed session that left prices teetering close to their 2017 low-point.

EU nation officials give nod to ETS auction changes

EU member state officials have approved ETS rule changes that will allow regulators to alter auction calendars to align with the 2019 launch of the MSR.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Let’s stay together – Signs are mounting that the Trump administration will decide to stay in the Paris Agreement, under pressure from big business and public support for the pact, AFP reports. And an internal State Department memo says the accord imposes few obligations on the US, Bloomberg reports, bolstering the case for Trump to choose to stay in.  The document, marked as a draft and circulated ahead of Thursday’s meeting, makes no explicit recommendation about whether the US should remain part of the pact.  It comes as 13 major companies, including BP, Google, Intel, Shell, Unilever, and Walmart, and organised by C2Es, urged the government to remain in the agreement because it would help them manage rising climate risks and compete in growing global clean energy markets.  Regardless, experts say Trump’s final decision expected next month is anything but certain, much like anything coming from the White House these days, and staying at the table could come with significant caveats like a weakening of US emission reduction commitments.

US absurdity – The German environment ministry has called suggestions by US energy secretary Rick Perry to renegotiate the Paris Climate Agreement “absurd” and “unnecessary” because the pact already lets nations adjust their own emissions targets. Advisors to President Trump are divided on whether the US should stay in the pact and are discussing the issue today.

Coal slump – US President Trump’s new energy policies are unlikely to bring coal back to its peak or improve the outlook for coal communities, according to a new analysis from the Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy. The report quantifies that 49% of the decline in US coal consumption comes from competition with natural gas, while 29% comes from increased energy efficiency and 18% from renewables, with environmental regulations playing a minor role to the phaseout of coal-fired plants. (Bloomberg BNA)

Come on, Canada – Methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in Canada could far exceed official estimates, according to two new reports. A new study from the David Suzuki Foundation and St. Francis Xavier University published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics finds methane emissions from industry activity in British Columbia could be 2.5 times higher than previous estimates. Meanwhile, a separate report released from a Canadian nonprofit today estimates that methane emissions in Alberta could be up to 60% higher than official figures. The Canadian government announced last week that it would delay planned methane reduction regulations by up to three years, garnering fierce criticism from environmental advocates. (Climate Nexus)

Coal casualty – US coal has become entangled in a trade war between the US and Canada over lumber, Bloomberg reports.  British Columbia Premier Christy Clark urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an open letter Wednesday to ban US coal shipments from the country’s westernmost province in retaliation for the Trump administration’s new tariffs on softwood lumber. The move sent Canadian export terminal operator Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. and US miner Cloud Peak Energy Inc. plunging on Wednesday.

Blame the fish – Germany’s approval of Vattenfalls Moorburg coal-fired power plant was in breach of EU environmental rules because its cooling system endangers protected fish species, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice. The verdict probably implies that “Germany’s most important economic hub” is powered by a plant which is operated illegally, according to a commentary in Die Welt. If the plant has to go offline for legal or economic reasons, Hamburg would have to be supplied with lignite or nuclear power, which may affect the country’s emissions output. (Clean Energy Wire)

Staff shrinkage – The UK foreign ministry has almost halved the staff it devotes to climate change over the term of the past two Conservative-led governments since 2010. Staffing records, released under freedom of information laws, show staffing down from 277 to between 149-158 jobs at the time of the Paris Agreement in Dec. 2015.  The ministry said it works with other departments on international climate action but the opposition Labour party said it was a sign that the government is not serious about the issue. (Climate Home)

African leadershipAfrica Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) top official Youba Sokona has quit, accusing donors of a deliberate strategy to “railroad” Africans into rubber-stamping projects selected by Europeans. Egypt, the African Development Bank and the African Union expressed concerns at a board meeting about bypassing the AREI screening process while former French colonies Chad and Guinea aligned with the Europeans in urging members to give the go-ahead. French environment minister Ségolène Royal and EU commissioner for international development Neven Mimica led the non-African delegation. Royal’s officials denied she had exert undue influence but noted the meeting was an “exceptional process” in an effort to jump-start the initiative. Canada, the US and Japan and EU member states pledged to “mobilise” $10 billion by 2020 to install 10GW of “new and additional” clean power capacity across the continent.

Going the extra mile – Quebec-based Will Solutions has signed a multi-year contract with Canada’s BMO Financial Group to sell the bank VERs from its Sustainable Community project developed under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).  No further details were disclosed.  The community initiative aggregates GHG reductions from thousands of micro-projects realised by both private and public small- and medium-sized enterprises that are not regulated under cap-and-trade but have made voluntary decisions to reduce their emissions.

And finally… Browse up a forest – Web browser Vivaldi has teamed up with search engine Ecosia to promote reforestation efforts by donating at least 80% of profits from search ad revenue to support tree planting programmes in Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Indonesia and Peru. Ecosia users will see a small tree counter appear in the top right corner of the screen to show a personal record of how many trees the user has helped plant. Ecosia has planted close to 7.5 million trees since its launch in 2009 and is hoping to reach 1 billion by the year of 2020.

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