CP Daily: Monday October 29, 2018

Published 22:12 on October 29, 2018  /  Last updated at 22:12 on October 29, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

UK outlines carbon tax replacement for EU ETS under ‘no deal’ Brexit

The UK plans to replace its participation in the EU ETS with a £16/tonne (€18, $20.50) domestic carbon tax under a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario, charging it on top of its existing Carbon Price Support emissions levy, the government announced during its autumn budget on Monday.

EMEA

EU Market: Carbon plunges 9% to 3-month low as bears take reins

European carbon prices continued to plummet on Monday, crashing below more technical support levels to a three-month low below €17.

Brussels wavers over ending carbon permit giveaway to wasteful steel plants

Efforts to end a 15-year old practise of giving some of Europe’s most polluting steel plants free carbon allowances hang in the balance as big-emitting businesses fight to keep climate protection rules that have earned them hundreds of millions of euros.

UK commits £60 mln to buy domestic forest carbon credits

The UK is to allocate £60 million ($77 mln) to buy carbon credits from domestic landowners as part of efforts to plant 11 million trees by 2020, the government said in its budget on Monday.

AMERICAS

Ontario replacement climate plan coming in November -minister

The Ontario government’s emissions reduction plan to replace its cancelled cap-and-trade programme is due next month, the province’s environment minister said Monday, with lawmakers considering approaches such as Australia’s reverse auction format.

Virginia board gives nod to revised cap-and-trade regulation

A Virginia state board voted Monday to advance the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) revised carbon market regulation, an official said, marking an interim step towards approving the programme that would link with RGGI and begin in 2020.

Utility petitions NY grid operator to alter REC treatment under carbon charge

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) should consider an alternative proposal to account for carbon emissions in its wholesale market to create equity for hedged Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) costs, a large utility said Monday.

LCFS Market: California prices tick back up ahead of Q2 data release

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) prices rose Monday to near all-time records ahead of the programme’s second quarter data release this week.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australian states should push for carbon price amid federal policy vacuum -report

Australian state governments should work together to develop a mechanism to drive crucial carbon emission cuts in the absence of a federal climate policy, a report said Monday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

And the winner is – Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro was elected as Brazil’s new president on Sunday. Bolsonaro won 55% of the vote to defeat Fernando Haddad in the run-off election, and has stroked fears in the environmental community for vows to roll back environmental protections and gut federal enforcement. He also briefly pledged to withdraw Brazil from the Paris Agreement, but walked back that commitment last week. (Climate Home)

Brupdated – Following yesterday’s election of Bolsonaro as Brazil’s new president, Carbon Brief has updated its in-depth profile of Brazil, first published in March. The article, which is part of a series of articles explaining the climate policy developments, pledges and energy statistics for some of the world’s key emitters, sets out all you need to know about South America’s largest economy and steward of the vast majority of the Amazon rainforest.

Mutti’s endgame – After heavy losses for her conservative CDU/CSU alliance in regional elections in Bavaria and Hesse, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced she will not seek re-election as party chairwoman. She also said she would not run for chancellor again. “This term is my last one as chancellor. I will not run for chancellor or parliament in 2021 and do not seek to occupy other political positions thereafter,” Merkel told a press conference in Berlin. Merkel, who has in the past been nicknamed “climate chancellor” for her long-standing international engagement for emissions cuts, has been chairwoman of the CDU since 2000 and chancellor since 2005. Her announcement follows the CDU only managing 27% of the vote in Hesse this weekend, with the Greens garnering nearly 20% to tie the SPD. It remains to be seen whether they can convert this political success into concrete green policy. (Clean Energy Wire)

Coalition of the concerned – A coalition of investors, led by the Church of England Pension Board and Swedish pension fund AP7, has written to 55 European corporations about their possibly hypocritical approach to climate lobbying, the FT reports ($). The investors have called on the companies, which include seven car manufacturers and 10 oil groups, to review the positions adopted by trade associations and organisations that they are members. Concerns are mounting that large companies are publicly aligning themselves to the Paris Agreement, but those same companies are acting differently behind the scenes, mainly through trade associations. Meanwhile, the Guardian reports a new group of concerned citizens is planning a campaign of mass civil disobedience starting next month in an effort to draw attention to climate change. The group, called “Extinction Rebellion”, is backed in a letter to the paper by almost 100 senior academics and former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. (Carbon Brief)

Showing how it’s done – Spain is set to shut down most of its coal mines by the end of the year after the government and unions agreed to a deal that will see €250 mln invested in mining regions over the next decade, the Guardian reports. More than a thousand miners and subcontractors will lose their jobs when 10 privately owned pits close by the end of the year. The agreement mixes early retirement schemes for miners over 48, with environmental restoration work in pit communities and retraining for green industries. (Carbon Brief)

Done their homework – Only 16 countries have set domestic emissions targets that are at least as ambitious as their pledged Paris Agreement contributions, according to an analysis by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, and the World Resources Institute. The study on ‘Aligning national and international climate targets’ found that 157 of the 197 Paris parties have submitted ‘nationally determined contributions’ (NDCs) that include a target for reducing GHGs from their economies as a whole. These 157 parties were responsible for about 95% of global annual emissions in 2014. However, only 58 have set economy-wide targets for emissions reductions in their domestic laws or policies, and 16 of these are as ambitious as or more ambitious than the pledges in their NDCs.

Another lawsuitThree families in Germany are suing their government hoping to compel it to cut carbon emissions as it has promised, joining a growing trend of citizens worldwide taking legal action against national governments over insufficient climate policies. Greenpeace Germany filed the lawsuit last week on the families’ behalf. The complaint alleges the government’s failure to meet its 2020 climate target violates the families’ rights to life and health. In 2007, the German government pledged to cut its emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, but it now says it will not meet that target. The three families – the Backsens, the Blohms, and the Lütke Schwienhorsts – are organic farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change. (Climate Liability News)

And another lawsuit – Activist shareholders filed a climate lawsuit against utility Enea on Monday over a planned €1.2 billion coal plant in north-east Poland. Plaintiff Client Earth argues the 1GW Ostroleka C power station poses an “indefensible” financial risk, as rising EU carbon prices and cheap renewables threaten the project’s profitability. The NGO bought a small number of shares in the company to give itself a legal avenue to challenge the project, Climate Home reports. The lawsuit puts the Polish government’s support for coal under the spotlight, weeks before the country is due to host UN climate talks.

Heading for Interior’s exterior – US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is among a slate of Trump administration officials who are expected to exit their jobs in the weeks following Election Day, Politico reports, after interviews with a half-dozen current and former Trump officials and Republicans close to the White House. The Interior secretary joins a list that also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Satellite love – The first Franco-Chinese satellite was launched into orbit on Monday to study ocean surface winds and waves around the clock, better predict cyclones and improve scientists’ understanding of climate change. The 650-kilogram machine is the first satellite jointly built by China and France and will allow climate scientists to better understand interactions between oceans and the atmosphere, NDTV reports.

Simulation time – The Chile ETS training workshop, organised by the Ministry of Energy, the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) Chile project, and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), is taking place from Nov. 14-15 in Santiago. The ETS training workshop will be directed by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which simulates the actual operation of an emissions trading scheme from the point of view of regulated companies through the use of EDF’s‎ CarbonSim‎ tool.

Chooose wisely – Offset project developer South Pole has partnered with global climate action platform Chooose, which offsets emissions for individuals and organisations by buying “high-quality credits” from what it determines to be “the best green and sustainable projects worldwide.” “South Pole’s expertise and global scope place it perfectly to support Chooose make climate action accessible and carbon neutrality normal behaviour,” the companies said in a joint release.

Bummer summer – Climate activists gathered in Washington DC on Monday morning before a public committee hearing on the Clean Energy DC Act, which would implement a 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in the US capital by 2032. To signify the “endless summer” that would come without support of the bill, the activists played beach volleyball and donned beach apparel ahead of the meeting. Monday’s hearing at Councilmember McDuffie’s Business and Economic Development Committee was the final hearing before the DC Council. (Politico)

And finally… Don’t spend my carbon tax to build a pipeline – During lunch time at a recent event aimed at advancing the transition to new energy, Laura Stewart, a musician and song writer from Regina, Saskatchewan, performs her song about Canada’s backstop carbon tax plan, which takes a different slant to the few (no) other tunes on this subject.

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