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The types of CERs eligible for use under the Paris Agreement or other emerging programmes such as CORSIA must be restricted to ensure the integrity of new markets and the confidence of investors, researchers have warned.
Large companies are expanding use of internal carbon pricing to reduce their carbon footprints, but these efforts still fall short of what experts suggest is needed.
Quebec has released draft regulations paving the way to linking its carbon market with Ontario’s and briefly raising its emissions cap by some 520,000 tonnes amid a post-2020 extension of the scheme.
EU carbon prices ended almost flat in another choppy session on Tuesday, recovering from a 5% intraday drop after the breach of a major technical support.
ENERGY AND MINES
With insights from mining leaders at Fortescue Metals Group, Gold Fields, Teck Resources, and Avalon Advanced Materials, this article looks at how carbon is driving new energy choices for the global mining sector.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Vote watch – Wednesday is a busy day for ETS matters at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg. A full parliament vote on the ETS aviation extension bill (featuring a Brexit safeguard plan) takes place during a session that begins 1200 local time. It is webstreamed here. After that, the closed-door EU ETS trilogue negotiations to finalise the post-2020 ETS reform bill resume in the evening, though decisive progress is not expected, with the parties scheduling a further round on Oct. 12 and technical meetings in between. Keep track of key carbon pricing and climate policy events with Carbon Pulse’s calendar.
Climate meet at Climate Week – Gary Cohn, the chief White House economic adviser, is convening senior climate and energy ministers from about a dozen nations in advance of next week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting, the White House confirmed to the New York Times on Tuesday. The breakfast in New York will be held during the annual Climate Week NYC event, with invitations going to officials from the world’s largest economies. The event is billed as “an opportunity for key ministers with responsibility for these issues to engage in an informal exchange of views and discuss how we can move forward most productively,” according to the invitation. The note says the group will be kept small and include ministerial-level officials only.
Until then, more dancing – The Trump administration is continuing to artfully dodge questions related to climate change as the president prepares to potentially ask Congress for more disaster funding in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In response to a question on climate change and the hurricanes, Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert told reporters Monday that “causality” for the storms “is outside my ability to analyse right now.” Bossert cryptically added that the White House “continue[s] to take seriously the climate change, not the cause of it, but the things we observe.” When questioned later the same day if Trump’s views on climate change had shifted following the storm, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she believed the president’s perspective hadn’t changed “over the last several weeks,” and she was unsure if the storms had altered his perspective on exiting the Paris Agreement. Separately, US media is reporting that Democrats are staying mum on the on the links between the hurricanes and climate change, apparently heeding EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s advice last week that discussing it would be “insensitive”. And meanwhile, some Florida residents battered by Irma maintain that climate change is no “big deal”. (Climate Nexus, Guardian)
Oil nation – Prime Minister Erna Solberg became Norway’s first Conservative Party leader in over three decades to be re-elected as a movement to stop further oil exploration in western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer fell flat. Solberg said not to expect major policy changes as she approaches smaller parties for coalition talks. The Green Party, which called for an end to Norwegian petroleum exploration, failed to live up to projections that it could emerge as a kingmaker, a development that’s likely to be a welcome relief for the nation’s oil industry. (Bloomberg)
Decarbonisation – New analysis reveals the carbon intensity of the UK economy fell last year by 7.7% – almost three times the global average of 2.6%. That was due to a decline in coal usage, improved energy efficiency and “moderate” economic growth, Energy Live News reports. Coal now represents just 7% of the UK’s energy usage, down from 23% in 2012 while renewable energy has more than tripled since 2000, with “substantial” investment in wind and biomass. The Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI) from PwC, now in its ninth year, tracks G20 nations’ progress in cutting the carbon intensity of their economy, i.e. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions per million dollars of GDP. China, the world’s largest emitter, reduced its carbon intensity by 6.5% and has been ranked second, followed by the G7 nations at 2.9%. (Carbon Brief)
Blind spending – More than two-thirds of institutional investors are planning to increase investments related to tackling climate change, according to a new survey commissioned by HSBC that suggests “green finance” is moving from the margins to the mainstream. Over half of the 497 investors surveyed said they are receiving highly inadequate information from companies about their climate risk of disruption from climate change, adding weight to calls for greater disclosure of ‘climate risks’ in the corporate and financial sectors”. (Financial Times, $)
Promise kept – British Columbia’s newly-elected NDP-Green government kept its campaign promise, announcing on Monday as part of the coalition’s first budget that it would increase the province’s carbon tax rate by C$5/tonne from Apr. 1, 2018. The economy-wide, revenue-neutral tax will rise to C$35/tonne next year and be increased in subsequent years to meet the federal government’s mandate that all provinces and territories have a cap-and-trade scheme or a carbon tax of at least C$50/tonne by 2022.
No till? No thanks – Alberta’s farmers are finding the province’s carbon offset programme too demanding, too restrictive, and less beneficial to producers, Alberta Farmer Express reports. In 2012, Alberta Environment and Parks, which regulates the scheme, made changes to the regulations including requiring more record-keeping and removing the ability to claim historical credits for previous years. And while offset prices are rising along with the province’s carbon tax, worries are growing that Alberta’s popular conservation cropping (no till) protocol may soon be discontinued, which is also fuelling disinterest in the scheme.
Better together – In a recent paper, Professor Noah Dormady of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University concluded that cap-and-trade programmes yield much less revenue if states act in isolation rather than in regional coalitions with greater numbers of polluters. According to Dormady, the notion that states will reap tremendous profits from carbon auctions does not always come to fruition, most notably when businesses within the regulated industry exhibit what economists call “market power”, or the ability to influence prices due to being one of a very small number of players in an industry. He found that the size of auction revenue is closely tied to the number of generators participating in a market, with proceeds falling by around a third if power plants exhibit market power during times of high energy prices and strategically bid to influence the sale. (The Regulatory Review)
Model citizens – A British model is on trial, accused of benefiting from her ex-boyfriend’s conspiracy to defraud a large number of elderly people partly through the sale of carbon credits, Essex Live reports. Rebecca Batchelor, 21, in currently on trial in Essex, alleged to have known that huge sums of cash transferred into her bank account through the dodgy dealings of her former lover Anis Ben-Sghaier were the proceeds of crime. Alongside her in the dock were Anis’ younger brother Bilal and Cathereen Welch, who also dated Anis. Batchelor rose to fame as she was one of a number of cheerleaders on a local football team who were sacked for being too distracting to players, the news agency reported.
And finally… Miss America: The voice of reason – An Ivy League graduate headed to law school, with eyes on becoming her state’s first female governor, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund knew the importance of answering a question head-on. So when judges at the Miss America competition asked her whether President Trump was wrong to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, she did not hesitate. “It’s a bad decision,” she said during Sunday night’s nationally televised finale. “There is evidence that climate change is existing, and we need to be at that table.” That answer helped her win the crown as Miss America 2018 at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, The Washington Post reports.
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