CP Daily: Monday February 11, 2019

Published 23:08 on February 11, 2019  /  Last updated at 23:08 on February 11, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

CARBON FAST FORWARD: A new series of regional carbon market conferences

Carbon Forward is launching a series of regional European carbon market conferences to help delve deeper into the issues affecting companies with exposure to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).

INTERNATIONAL

Swiss agency invites entities to partner to develop emission trade activities

Switzerland’s carbon credit procurement agency is inviting entities to apply to partner with it, the first step for forging post-2020 international emission trade agreements under the Paris Agreement.

AMERICAS

Massachusetts surplus grows as state allocates 610k GWSA credits

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) allocated an additional batch of carbon permits for the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) market earlier this month, adding length to the newly created programme.

New England hydroelectric line facing pushback from greens, utilities

A unique coalition of utility companies and environmental groups are contending that a proposed hydroelectric transmission line in New England could increase emissions in the the northeast US region, potentially having a spill-over effect in the RGGI cap-and-trade market.

EMEA

South Africa’s long-awaited carbon tax may see further delay -consultants

South Africa’s long-awaited carbon tax may be delayed just a bit longer, a consulting firm has said.

EU Market: EUAs bounce back after testing recent lows

EUAs ended little changed on Monday, rebounding after prices bounced off major technical support levels despite a weaker energy complex and lacklustre auction.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Ready to rumble – Saskatchewan and the Canadian federal government are set to go head-to-head over the backstop carbon tax at the province’s Court of Appeal on Wednesday, and their lawyers will have plenty of company with 16 intervenors set to argue their positions over two days. The Saskatchewan government is asking the court for a legal opinion on whether Ottawa’s carbon pricing programme is constitutional. It’s shaping up to be a constitutional smorgasbord, with participants raising everything from fertilizer prices to the survival of a remote First Nation, the Regina Leader-Post reports in their court battle primer. And being a reference case, while it’s not technically binding, both governments will comply with the outcome… That is, unless the loser succeeds in kicking it up to the Supreme Court – something that many are anticipating.

AOC’s RFP – Think of the “Green New Deal” introduced by US lawmakers last week as a “request for proposals,” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained in a series of tweets on Sunday. Tying together a host of issues like the Flint, Michigan water crisis and battery technology investments, Ocasio-Cortez called for a range of ideas to achieve the goals she and co-author Senator Ed Markey laid out in their non-binding resolution last week. “For far too long, ideas like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade were touted as the premier solutions to climate change,” she tweeted Sunday. “While those things could be *part* of a solution, the GND resolution says they are inadequate as the whole answer … We’ve defined the scope and where we want to go. Now let’s assess + collab on projects.” (Politico)

Restore in store? – More than 1,000 Alaskans delivered a petition to new Governor Michael Dunleavy (R) last week asking the administration to restore the US state’s latest plan to address climate change online. Upon taking office this year, Dunleavy took down the website of Alaska’s Climate Action Leadership Team, appointed by former Governor Bill Walker (I), along with a climate report produced by the panel. The group recommended the state implement a carbon tax and other clean energy policies, but Walker remained non-committal on the issue before dropping out of the gubernatorial race only weeks before last November’s election. Dunleavy’s office said the governor was still reviewing the working group and report. (KTOO)

Last plant standing – The German coal commission’s agreement to gradually phase out coal power has left investors and operators in the dark over the future of country’s most modern hard coal plant, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Uniper’s Datteln 4 plant, which cost €1.5 billion and is considered as efficient and flexible as a gas-fired power plant, is scheduled to begin operating by mid-2020. The commission’s final report said agreements should be reached for coal plants that have already been built but are not yet operational. Datteln 4 is the only plant in the country that fits that description. “Datteln 4 should be the last plant in Germany to shut down. This would be best for grid stability and the environment,” Uniper manager Aris Blankenspoor said. According to media reports, the coal exit is to initially focus on western Germany, which is where Datteln 4 is located, while older and more carbon-intensive plants in eastern Germany could be left running much longer to avoid severe disruption in the economically weaker regions. According to the commission’s report, operators should receive compensation for lost earnings if their plants are mothballed. (Clean Energy Wire)

Scorched summit – Australia’s government has called emergency meetings to tackle flooding in northern Queensland amid a confluence of severe climatic events that is simultaneously scorching parts of the country with devastating forest fires and drought. Australia’s prime minister has so far refused to address the issue. (Financial Times)

A for advocacy – Wisconsin’s Board Commissioners of Public Lands voted last week to lift a 2015 ban that prevented employees for doing advocacy work related to climate change. The board, all Democrats, voted unanimously to overturn the prohibition, which was implemented by Republican State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk. Adamczyk had said climate change had nothing to do with the agency’s work of managing a large trust fund and extensive forest holdings. The state’s governorship flipped from Republican to Democrat this year as Tony Evers took over for Scott Walker. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Sorry dude – BC cannabis growers are finding themselves excluded from government subsidies that growers of other crops enjoy. The provincial government announced Monday that marijuana is not an eligible crop for carbon tax relief grants at any phase of production, including propagation. The grants return 80% of the carbon tax that commercial greenhouse growers of eligible crops paid on the natural gas and propane they used for greenhouse heating and CO2 production in 2018. (Business in Vancouver)

And finally… Bugged out – Insects could vanish within a century at current rate of decline. Over 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, according to analysis in the journal Biological Conservation. The main driver of the declines is intensive agriculture  and its heavy use of pesticides, with climate change and urbanisation playing a part. (The Guardian)

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