CP Daily: Monday August 5, 2019

Published 22:38 on August 5, 2019  /  Last updated at 22:38 on August 5, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Link or stand alone: Two conflicting views on a post-Brexit UK ETS

There are conflicting views on how a post-Brexit UK emissions trading scheme should operate, with one side calling a standalone market “the worst” option and the other deeming it “essential” in giving the country the freedom to increase its climate ambition and allowing it to remain a global low-carbon leader.’

AMERICAS

Connecticut submits revised RGGI regulation for approval

Connecticut has published its revised RGGI regulation that clarifies language about the US power sector carbon market’s supply-curbing Emissions Containment Reserve (ECR) and price-limiting Cost Containment Reserve (CCR), coming ahead of a legislative committee meeting later this month.

Facility-level TIER benchmarks could spur growth in Alberta’s higher-carbon industries –report

Production may skew towards Alberta’s more highly carbon-intensive facilities if the Conservative government replaces its large emitter trading programme’s sector-level output-based standards with facility-level benchmarks, a new report said.

California watchdog urges review of PG&E’s ‘monopoly’ certificate

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) should consider revoking a certificate granting utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) the sole right to distribute natural gas and power in northern California due to the company’s recent safety record, according to the agency’s Public Advocates Office.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs slide below €29 as currency war fears spark sell-off

EU carbon prices sank 1.9% on Monday as key energy prices were dragged lower by a wider markets sell-off on fears that the US-China trade conflict was spiralling into a currency war.

Italy’s Enel advances power hedging in H1 as coal output drops

Italian utility Enel advanced its forward power hedging considerably over the previous quarter as its coal-based output fell, likely giving a slightly bearish signal for EUAs.

ASIA PACIFIC

New Zealand dismisses proposal for independent ETS agency

New Zealand has dismissed a proposal from its economic watchdog to establish an independent agency to run elements of its emissions trading scheme, such as setting annual GHG caps.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Land at-a-loss – Cutting carbon from transport and energy will not be enough to meet global temperature goals, according to a leaked draft of UN scientific panel IPCC’s report due on Thursday. The draft “states that it will be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is also a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land to counter degraded soils, expanded deserts, felled forests, driven out wildlife, and drained peatlands. (The Guardian)

Best blend – The right blend of a carbon price and supporting policy can keep global temperatures within the 2C limit of the Paris Agreement, according to consultancy Wood MacKenzie’s inaugural Energy Transition Outlook. The report notes that the while the world is currently on track for 3C of warming above pre-industrial levels, three concrete steps to achieve the 2C pathway are carbon pricing, investments in carbon capture and storage (CCS), and renewables-based hydrogen technologies. However, zero-carbon energy is only expected to account for 15% of the world’s total energy mix in 2040, whereas 40% is necessary to hit the 2C goal. (Hydrocarbon Engineering)

Not “lying” down – The Brazilian government is under fire for denying scientific evidence, after President Jair Bolsonaro sacked the head of the country’s space agency over deforestation data. Ricardo Galvao, the head of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) – the agency that provides official data on the country’s deforestation rate – was fired after Bolsonaro dismissed INPE’s latest report as “a lie”. After Bolsonaro accused the agency of overstating the scale of deforestation destruction – up 40% in the last two months compared to 2018 – experts defended the agency. One NGO researcher told Climate Home News that the INPE’s monthly reports erred on the conservative side and had a 95% accuracy rate, while others worried that the interruption of the agency’s information flow would impede informing government legislation and cause international observers to rely on external estimates.

Never again – Australia recently approved the massive Adani coal mine after nine years facing various legal challenges. That should never happen again, according to coal supporter and Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who has asked the Productivity Commission to examine strategies so it can be ensured that proposed resource projects will never have to wait more than a year for a final yes or no to their project proposals. “The development of our resources are too important to allow fringe activists to hijack the processes for their own narrow ends,” said Canavan. Green groups passed the statement off as “sheer insanity”, given coal and other natural resource projects are the biggest source of GHG emissions in Australia. (AAP)

Government climate alliance – Local councils across Australia will set up an intra-governmental alliance to push for stronger climate change action, according to website Government News. The new alliance will primarily fight to increase climate funding to councils from federal and state governments, push for higher ambition on state and federal level, and push for legislative reform to allow councils to take stronger action to cut emissions themselves.

Alberta arguments – The Alberta government on Friday filed its legal arguments at the provincial Court of Appeal challenging Ottawa’s ‘backstop’ carbon tax. The province’s United Conservative Party (UCP) is arguing the federal government is overreaching its constitutional authority, calling the tax an “unwarranted and unprincipled intrusion into provincial jurisdiction”. After abandoning the previous NDP government’s C$30 carbon levy on fossil fuels this spring, Ottawa is planning to impose its ‘backstop’ carbon price on the province beginning Jan. 1, 2020. (CTV News Edmonton)

Google it – Tech giant Google on Monday announced that it would neutralise carbon emissions from delivering consumer hardware by next year and include recycled plastic in each of its products by 2022. In an interview with Reuters, head of sustainability for Google’s devices and services unit Anna Meegan said the company’s emissions per unit fell 40% in 2018 year-on-year by relying more on ships instead of planes to move phones, speakers, laptops, and other gadgets. Meegan added that the company will purchase offsets for the remaining GHG.

And finally… Hefty hundred – The run of unprecedented temperatures in July – which sent records tumbling in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany – would have been “extremely unlikely” without climate change, according to the World Weather Attribution Network. The hot weather seen in the Netherlands and France was made up to “100 times more likely” by climate change, the study finds. And the heat in Cambridge in the UK – which saw a new country-wide record of 38.7C in July – was made around “20 times more likely” by human-caused warming. (Carbon Brief)

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