CP Daily: Tuesday October 2, 2018

Published 00:07 on October 3, 2018  /  Last updated at 00:07 on October 3, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

RFS “reset” could help stimulate US biofuel policy reform in 2019

A regulatory review of the US Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) due next year could help spark long-awaited legislative efforts to overhaul the federal biofuels policy, according to a former EPA staffer.

AMERICAS

Northeast US transportation emission cut plans could take shape in December

A group of northeast US states could outline a proposal to regulate carbon emissions from the transportation sector later this year, potentially putting them on the path to have a fully-functional programme by 2021, experts said.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs sink below €21 despite bullish auction showing

European carbon closed lower on Tuesday, ending a three-day streak of gains after a bullish auction result failed to provide the momentum needed to test recent highs.

ASIA PACIFIC

Major Korean coal region joins anti-coal alliance

Korea’s South Chungcheong province on Tuesday became the first Asian jurisdiction to join the UK- and Canadian-led Powering Past Coal Alliance, a move that will see closing dates for 14 coal plants brought forward by up to five years.

INTERNATIONAL

Aviation may need CO2 price of $200/t to drive switch to cleaner fuels -experts

Aviation needs to impose a carbon price as high as $200/tonne to incentivise a switch to cleaner fuels and reach zero emissions without offsetting by 2060 in order to align with the Paris Agreement, an expert group told industry leaders on Tuesday.

Private equity firm buys stake in carbon traders ACT Group

London-based private equity firm Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP) has spent more than €60 million to purchase a minority stake in environmental and energy commodities trading company ACT Group.

FOREST TRENDS

The economics of activating dirt to absorb GHGs and restore soil

Centuries of unsustainable agriculture have squeezed massive amounts of nitrogen and carbon out of soils, but scientists think we can pull about 10% of our GHGs out of the air and inject them into soils just by switching to climate-safe agriculture – a practice that could also increase farmers’ yields and save on fertilizer costs.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Dane mark – Denmark will propose banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. The proposal will formally be made by the government on Tuesday and has to be passed in parliament to become law. Denmark may follow the example of Britain and France who have pledged to ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040. (Reuters)

CAQ majority – The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) won a majority of the 125 seats in the Quebec legislature on Monday, making Francois Legault the new premier of the Canadian province. Both the CAQ and Legault have been supportive of the WCI and the province’s cap-and-trade programme. The election results are not expected to cause any impact to the carbon market. The Liberals, which were in power for 13 of the last 15 years, will serve as the opposition party and hold 32 seats. (Global News)

LoNG-awaited – The largest project in British Columbia’s history, LNG Canada, was given final approval to move to construction late Monday night by a consortium of oil and gas companies headed by Royal Dutch Shell. The $40 billion liquified natural gas export terminal will be built in Kitimat, ending a development cycle that spanned several years, two BC governments, and multiple delays due to world natural gas prices. The BC government will also be setting a cap on the project’s carbon tax obligations at C$30 dollars/tonne, exempting LNG facilities from paying increases that are expected to go up to C$50 by 2021. (Vancouver Sun)

Cash stash – As much as C$1 billion in Ontario cap-and-trade revenues appear unspent, CBC reports, and questions are swirling about what Premier Doug Ford’s government will do with it. Under current provincial law, the cash can only be spent on measures to cut GHGs. However, Ford has dismissed the money as a slush fund, and his government is pushing forward legislation that would use the revenue to reimburse some entities who participated in the programme. Some are worried the revenue will be spent on lawsuits arising from the market’s cancellation, though Environment Minister Rod Phillips said that fear is unfounded, and the money will be used for the purpose it was collected.  The Ford administration has earmarked C$500 million over four years towards environmental causes that include everything from fighting climate change to cleaning up parks and rivers.

Ontario utilities cut carbon costs – The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) removed cap-and-trade costs from Ontario residents’ natural gas bills as of October 1. All natural gas bill rates will dip during the next quarter as a result despite rising natural gas price forecasts. Those higher gas prices were offsets by declines from the elimination of the cap-and-trade programme on July 3. OEB said Enbridge would include a one-time cost adjustment in October. Union Gas would spread its adjustment over three months, while EPCOR deferred its adjustment until a future proceeding. It is unclear if those adjustments would enable those utilities to eliminate losses associated with the end of the programme.

The ‘C’ word – The new trade deal between Canada, the United States and Mexico does not appear to explicitly mention the terms “climate change” or “global warming.” But the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), meant to replace NAFTA, does contain an “environment” chapter that makes reference to forests as carbon sinks, “air pollution” and “pollution from ships,” tracking air quality data and co-operating on ozone-depleting substances. But environmental groups have panned the trade agreement for including “corporate giveaways” for fossil fuel giants. Read more from Canada’s National Observer.

Attack of the drones – Costa Rica has long monitored its forests and the carbon they hold but it hopes to soon have a cheaper and more effective way to do it: by drone. Deep Forest, a project backed by environmental group Fundecor, semi-conductor manufacturer Intel and San Jose-based Aerial Robotixs, aims to give scientists a better idea of what is happening in the country’s forest canopy, and allow more frequent monitoring. Check out the feature from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Open-source WCI model – Research firm Near Zero will release an open-source model for the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) that will enable market participants to project, analyse and track likely outcomes based on assumptions on future emissions, offset usage and quarterly auction outcomes. The research firm will release the model after a webinar at 1400-1500 Pacific time on October 11.

Get yer (land)fill – The Climate Action Reserve is exploring potential updates to its US Landfill Project Protocol, which promotes emission reductions from the collection and destruction of landfill gas. To begin the protocol revision process, it is hosting a public meeting via webinar from 0900-1000 PT on Oct. 10 to discuss a number of specific potential update ideas, and to solicit information and feedback from interested stakeholders. Register here.

And finally… Wind-up toy – Lego has partnered with the renewable energy company Vestas to release a kit for constructing a three-foot working wind turbine. Made from 826 plastic pieces, the turbine has three adjustable blades that rotate via a motor and come with built-in aircraft warning lights. Below the turbine there’s an adorable rural setting complete with rolling green hills and a cottage featuring a satellite dish, picket fence, and working porch light. Lego launched the kit during NYC Climate Week though the company says it and Vestas first had the idea for the turbine 10 years ago. Naturally, the kit is the first to use the company’s new sustainable, plant-based bricks made from sugar cane, which Lego announced earlier this year. (Curbed)

Got a tip? Email us at news@carbon-pulse.com

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