CP Daily: Monday May 20, 2019

Published 23:00 on May 20, 2019  /  Last updated at 23:00 on May 20, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Surprise Coalition election win ends push for tougher Australian climate policy

Australia’s right-wing Coalition government pulled off a surprise win in Saturday’s federal election, remaining in office to put an end to opposition plans to increase the nation’s emissions reduction ambitions and set up a CO2 baseline-and-crediting scheme for major emitters.

AMERICAS

Utah lawsuit against California’s ETS beginning to take shape

A Utah lawsuit challenging both California’s cap-and-trade programme and a bill that sets emission performance standards (EPS) on baseload generation is beginning to take shape after state officials awarded a contract to a law firm late last month, the case’s lawyer told Carbon Pulse.

Pennsylvania legislators developing power sector cap-and-trade bill  

Pennsylvania lawmakers are crafting a bill that would require the state to create an electricity sector carbon market that could link to the northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme, while a Keystone State agency is expected to take additional time to study a green group’s economy-wide ETS petition.

US offset registry loses veteran policy director to international carbon consultancy

The American Carbon Registry’s (ACR) policy director has left his role at the US-based offset registry to take a position at an international carbon consultancy and brokerage firm.

ASIA PACIFIC

SK Market: Korean CO2 prices plunge as govt moves to solve hoarding issue

South Korean CO2 allowances fell nearly 6% in Monday trade as the government moves to impose restrictions on allowance banking, forcing supply to come to market over the next six weeks.

NZ Market: NZUs drop to 3-mth lows on lingering fixed price uncertainty

New Zealand carbon allowances fell to their lowest levels since mid-February on Monday as last week’s government ETS announcement continued to dominate sentiment.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs edge higher after stronger auction

EU carbon prices nudged higher above €25 on Monday as bulls drew encouragement from a stronger auction and a bullish outlook from observers.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Projection objection – The US EPA is planning to adopt a new method for projecting future health risk of air pollution in its Clean Power Plan replacement, one that experts said has never been peer-reviewed and is not scientifically sound, five former or current agency officials with knowledge of the plans told The New York Times. The immediate effect of the change, to be included in the expected June release of the final Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule for coal-fired power plants, would be to drastically lower an estimate last year by the Trump administration that projected as many as 1,400 additional premature deaths per year from the less stringent replacement policy. The new methodology would assume there is little or no health benefit to making the air any cleaner than what the law requires. On paper, that would translate into far fewer deaths from heart attacks, strokes and respiratory disease, even if air pollution increased, but scientists said in the real world there are no safe levels of fine particulate matter in the air.

Donation duo – Oil majors Shell and BP have donated $1 mln each across two years to the lobbying arm of the US think-tank pushing for a conservative-backed $40 carbon tax and dividend plan. The total amount raised by Americans for Carbon Dividends, the lobbying arm of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), now amounts to $7.6 mln, and also includes another $200,000 brought in from French power company EDF Renewables on Monday. The group also released the results of a new survey it commissioned that showed 69% of Republicans were concerned that the party’s position on climate change will hurt them with younger voters. However, the survey did not ask about shielding oil companies from lawsuits, a key element of the CLC’s plan. (Politico)

Power play – Power sector association Eurelectric will continue to lobby EU institutions for the electrification of the energy mix, but it will not push the case for a new EU-wide carbon tax, at least until after the EU Parliament elections, Eurelectric secretary general Kristian Ruby said at the association’s annual conference. (ICIS)

Salvaging Salvador – Brazil’s ministry of environment will now host the UN’s Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week in August after receiving pressure from a key political ally, and only weeks after it announced the conference would be cancelled this year. In a statement published on Sunday, the ministry said it had changed its mind about cancelling the event after talks with fellow right-wing mayor of Salvador Antonio Carlos Magalhaes Neto. Last week, the minister of environment Ricardo Salles said the climate week event would be cancelled, complaining that attendees would waste the time and resources on tourism. The mayor then used social media to criticise the decision and offered to host the summit, which will gather diplomats from across the continent, with Salles’ ministry responding that they will now participate. (Climate Home)

Perfecting flight – A collaboration between oil refiner Neste, oil major BP’s aviation fuels division Air BP, and Sweden’s Braathen’s Regional Airlines has flown 72 passengers on the so-called ‘perfect flight’, pooling their expertise to minimise carbon emissions from a one-hour domestic journey. Sustainable aviation fuel produces 80% fewer carbon emissions over its lifecycle compared with conventional jet fuel powered the flight, while the ATR 72-600 turboprop plane already produces 40% fewer carbon emissions per trip than regional jets. (BusinessGreen)

And finally… BP blockade – Greenpeace activists blocked the entrance to oil major BP’s London headquarters on Monday, demanding the firm ends all new oil and gas exploration or goes out of business and pledging to keep the office closed for at least a week. BP is due to hold its AGM of shareholders on Tuesday in Aberdeen, but as BP’s 2018 carbon emissions rose to their highest in six years, it is being lobbied by activists and an increasing number of shareholders. (Reuters)

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