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Oregon state lawmakers published draft carbon market legislation on Thursday that would establish an ETS that could link to other North American programmes, with an enlarged Democratic majority potentially enabling the proposal to pass this year.
Finnish utility Fortum emitted 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 from its EU ETS-regulated facilities over 2018, up 4.2% year-on-year, it said in financial results on Friday.
European carbon prices recovered from a three-week low Friday on the back of technical buying and short-covering, though EUAs still recorded a 8% weekly loss amid bearish pressures.
Deficit generation under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) receded during Q3 2018 on the back of stronger electric vehicle numbers, as the Oregon Clean Fuels Program (OCFP) recovered from the market’s first ever quarterly shortfall.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator this week issued nearly 345,000 carbon credits, taking the total number issued in the first month of the year to a sixth of the entire amount issued for all of FY2017-18.
The CEO of Australia’s Carbon Market Institute has left the business association after six years to pursue other opportunities.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
Oil major BP has bowed to investor pressure by agreeing to disclose more information about how it views the climate risk of its operations, though it rejected campaigner calls to set emission targets for its products.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Big interest in money – The Australian government has received 66 expressions of interest from energy companies to build new power plants partly funded by taxpayer money. Energy Minister Angus Taylor announced the tender last year as the government is eager to get in place new generation capacity to ensure supply security and falling electricity prices. Most of the proposals were for natural gas-fired power plants, but almost ten were for plants relying mostly or completely on coal, AAP reports. In an interview with ABC radio, Taylor again refused to rule out the government indemnifying tax-payer funded power plants against a possible future price on carbon.
This will break us – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are annoyed by a first and as yet unpublished environment ministry draft of Germany’s highly anticipated climate action law, which is meant to ensure the country reaches its 2030 climate targets, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The Social Democrat-led environment ministry aims to oblige other ministries to reach the necessary emission cuts in their respective sectors at their own expense and responsibility, according to ministry comments seen by the newspaper. A vice head of the parliamentary group of Merkel’s conservative CDU and CSU alliance said the whole approach was mistaken, violated the government coalition treaty, and was an open invitation for lawsuits by environmental NGOs. “I’m worried the Social Democrats want to create a breaking point for the coalition because they know that we won’t accept” the proposal he said. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) has repeatedly said she wanted to ensure in the climate law that each ministry takes responsibility for meeting the targets, including covering the cost should a miss lead to penalties under EU rules. (Clean Energy Wire)
LuCRativE – The UK’s low carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) economy grew by 6.8% to £44.5 billion in 2017, according to a new report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The agency defines the LCRE as economic activities that deliver goods and services generating significantly lower emissions of GHGs. The study suggests the increase in turnover was driven by UK businesses within the electricity production industry – the renewable heat sector saw the biggest growth in terms of turnover, more than tripling from £500m in 2016 to £1.7 billion in 2017. Businesses developing energy efficient products, technologies, and services continued to account for almost half of the total LCRE turnover, totalling £20.7 billion. (Energy Live News)
If you build it, they will cool – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has launched a process to implement a new law to make the state’s homes more climate-friendly and affordable to heat. As required by SB-1477, the CPUC will develop two new programmes to launch as early as July 1: Building Initiative for Low Emissions Development (BUILD) and Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH). The programmes will receive $200 million over four years from natural gas utility carbon allowance proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade market. (NRDC)
Hellogoodbye – Quebec environment ministry MDDELCC announced several changes to emitters covered by the province’s cap-and-trade programme on Friday. Building supplier Ciment McInnis and Les Diamants Stornaway’s Renard mine will become covered entities this year. Three other entities will become opt-in participants in either 2019 or 2020, while the ministry has removed the accounts of Castleton Commodities Merchant Trading, Jacquelin Mainville, and Pomerlau Gaz Propane.
Field goal feel good – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport will offset travel for 18,000 tonnes of emissions for fans descending on Super Bowl LIII this Sunday. The airport is partnering with think-tank Rocky Mountain Institute and The Good Traveler to offset 1,624 air miles for each of the 71,000 fan seats at Mercedes Benz Stadium, the first time air travel will be offset at the NFL championship game. The offsets will come from the Georgia-based Dalton-Whitfield and Wolfcreek landfill to energy projects, which provide energy to local industries while powering 1,500 homes.
Incoming experts – Acting US EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler has put eight new members on the agency’s main board of external science advisers, including an outspoken sceptic of climate change science, a scholar at a conservative group funded in part by billionaire Charles Koch, and researchers who have received industry funding. The science advisory board is the main body that advises the EPA on scientific matters, such as scrutinising regulations. Among the new appointees is John Christy, an atmospheric science professor at the University of Alabama who has downplayed the threat of climate change in congressional hearings and media appearances, arguing that scientific models overestimate warming, and that major steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions are not warranted. Other new appointees include Hugh Barton, a toxicology and risk assessment consultant who formerly worked for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and Richard Williams, an economics and benefit-cost analysis consultant who previously worked for the FDA. (Reuters, Carbon Brief)
Changing of the guard – Femke De Jong, the policy director of EU ETS watchdog Carbon Market Watch, left the organisation on Friday, she said by email. “After over 4.5 years working on carbon markets at CMW, and following the recent quadrupling of the EU ETS price, the time has come for me to focus on other pressing topics in the transition to climate neutral societies,” De Jong wrote. She added that she will do some freelance work for Rhodium Group on Breakthrough Technologies in the coming weeks, while Sam van den Plas – previously senior climate policy officer at WWF Europe – takes over the role of CMW policy director.
And finally … Finntastic flights – When holding the rotating EU Presidency in the second half of the year, Finland won’t give gifts to the guests, it will instead offset the carbon footprint of flights taken during the six-month term, Finnish Prime Minister told the European Parliament, as reported on Twitter by some of Brussels’ ‘Team Finland’ including Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen and climate spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen.
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