CP Daily: Friday January 4, 2019

Published 23:34 on January 4, 2019  /  Last updated at 23:34 on January 4, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

California resubmits modified LCFS amendments for final review

California’s ARB resubmitted its Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) amendments to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) late Thursday and asked for a quick approval after unexpectedly withdrawing the regulation prior to its final approval and implementation.

AMERICAS

WCI allowance surplus towards higher end of predictions, data shows

California and Quebec entities were holding nearly 177.8 mln surplus carbon allowances at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, with a bulk of those credits residing in general accounts, according to WCI data.

California fuel emissions continue to slump as CO2 from power inches up

California fuel sector emissions likely declined nearly 1% over the first nine months of 2018, pointing to lower demand in the WCI carbon market from the sector that may only be partially offset by an uptick in the state’s power emissions, according to Carbon Pulse estimates.

California floats rural climate strategy of a near-term GHG hike ahead of future cuts

California state agencies released a draft climate change plan for natural and working lands (NWL) on Thursday that would lead to a near-term jump in the sector’s emissions to ensure deeper cuts later on.

EMEA

EU Market: Carbon steadies after sell-off, but more volatility foreseen

European carbon prices rose on Friday amid wider market gains, recovering some ground lost in Thursday’s 8% rout, though traders warned of more choppiness ahead.

ASIA PACIFIC

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Jan. 4, 2019

Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Blast from the past – The US House of Representatives will take up climate legislation, including a measure based on a bill the body approved last time Democrats were in the majority, said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We couldn’t pass in the Senate our climate bill, and we’ll be returning to that,” Pelosi said on Friday at a Trinity Washington University event for MSNBC’s “The Speaker” town hall broadcast, according to Bloomberg. While Pelosi didn’t elaborate, the measure that fits this description is the 2009 Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that narrowly passed by the House but died in the Senate, and if passed, the bill would have imposed the nation’s first limits on GHGs with a goal of cutting emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. In her remarks on Friday, Pelosi didn’t specify the approach the House would take this time around, and her office didn’t immediately respond to a request from Bloomberg for more information, including whether she intended to resurrect the cap-and-trade provision.

And another one – California Representative Ted Lieu (D) also plans to introduce legislation for a third time during the new Congressional session that would partly model his home state’s climate policies. A past version of the bill, which Lieu previously put forth in the Republican-controlled House in 2015 and 2017, called for a “national renewable energy standard” of 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, a “national energy efficiency standard” that could involve a market-based approach, and science-based emissions reduction targets of 40% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80% below by mid-century. Passage remains in doubt though with Republicans having increased their numbers in the Senate despite Democrats winning the lower chamber (Bloomberg Environment, $)

Green guidance – Brussels has published an Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth that includes draft rules on how investment firms and insurance distributors should take sustainability issues into account when providing advice to their clients. These can only be adopted once wider disclosure provisions that intended to make the EU financial sector a powerful actor in fighting climate change are agreed to at the EU level. However, it has raised doubts in Germany’s financial industry as some fear it may curtail the autonomy of investors, according to Handelsblatt. While some see the plan’s central idea to apply sustainability criteria to different investments and rank them accordingly as right in principle, it is very difficult to develop these criteria in a fully transparent and comprehensible manner, argues the German Investment Funds Association (BVI). It also fears sustainability criteria ultimately could overrule profitability considerations. (Clean Energy Wire)

Tipping point – “Al Gore is mostly done with politics these days…[but] remains engaged on his signature policy issue: climate change,” says Atlantic staff writer Edward-Isaac Dovere ahead of a detailed interview with the former VP and presidential candidate on the topic. When asked where he sees the politics of climate change right now, Gore replies: “I think that we are extremely close to a political tipping point. We may actually be crossing it right about now… More and more people on the conservative side of the spectrum are really changing their positions now. This election, in 2020, is almost certainly going to be different from any previous presidential election in that a number of candidates will be placing climate at or near the top of their agenda.” (Carbon Brief)

Fond of a framework – A voluntary federal framework for carbon reporting and offset exchange could help support state-level and private sector actions on emissions reductions, according to the heads of two US non-profit organisations. In an op-ed for The Hill, Charles Hernick of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) and Benjamin Backer of The American Conservation Coalition (ACC) said that such a framework would increase transparency and accountability in the process of reducing carbon emissions. “Imagine a voluntary approach analogous to USDA PRIME certified beef or Energy Star electronics, but for carbon,” the authors wrote. “And like these other approaches, the program has a much better chance of being enacted because it is voluntary.”

And finally… Shutdown letdown – Hundreds of US federal scientists originally scheduled to attend the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting this weekend in Phoenix can no longer attend due to the partial government shutdown. Employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including the National Weather Service, received the notice to cancel travel arrangements on Thursday due to the lapse in federal appropriations. Officials from other agencies, including NASA, also will not likely make the trip. Scientists and meteorologists noted that the event is critical for collaborating and exchanging ideas on weather prediction and understanding climate change. (The Washington Post)

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