CP Daily: Monday June 8, 2020

Published 02:36 on June 9, 2020  /  Last updated at 02:36 on June 9, 2020  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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ANALYSIS: Virus crisis puts pause on voluntary carbon market’s rapid expansion

The massive economic upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic has paused the surge in voluntary carbon trade, but companies’ vastly differing fortunes and supply cut-offs are likely to prevent carbon credit prices plunging this year.


Tougher EU CO2 goal will triple EUA price, Eastern energy sector warns as top Polish coal plant slated to shut

Energy sector companies and trade associations from eight mostly Eastern EU nations warn that adopting a tougher 2030 bloc-wide emissions target could triple carbon prices, and as a result are seeking more compensation to help them cope as Europe’s top polluting plant heads for closure.

EU Market: EUAs sink after hitting new 3-month high as auction supply lifts

EUAs slipped back below €23 on Monday, retreating after extending last week’s three-month high as weak economic data and this week’s higher auction supply weighed.

ECB to expand green bonds portfolio, but issues call for EU nations’ support

The European Central Bank (ECB) will continue to purchase green bonds and maintain the euro as the main currency for sustainable assets, but bank President Christine Lagarde requested on Monday for EU nations to scale up their ambitions for a more robust green finance regulation.


NA Markets: RGGI allowances climb toward reserve trigger price after Q2 sale

RGGI allowance (RGA) prices rose Monday after the June auction settled at a discount to the secondary market, with traders seeing near-term fundamentals and the entrance of a Virginia-based utility in the quarterly sale as bullish drivers for the Northeast US power sector ETS.

California power sector emissions cratered during COVID-19 lockdown, data shows

California electricity sector emissions collapsed to a new monthly low in April as a result of the statewide ‘shelter-in-place’ order that caused businesses, industrial sites, and schools to close to stem the spread of the coronavirus, data from the state’s main power grid showed.

RFS Market: RIN prices fall back from two-year highs

US biofuel credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over the past week receded from highs not seen since Mar. 2018 on heightened activity in the physical biofuels market, but prices appeared to stabilise on Monday.


Delivery to Australia’s ERF tops 55 million offsets, issuances steady

Project proponents have delivered another 635,000 carbon offsets to Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), taking the fund total past 55 million, while the Clean Energy Regulator issued another 270,000 units last week.


California launches investigation into 15K livestock credits for regulatory violations

*Updates Friday’s story with additional detail* – California regulator ARB opened an investigation on Friday into a Wisconsin-based livestock project for failing to meet regulatory compliance during its fourth reporting period, with nearly all the 15,000 credits under review used last year by an oil major.


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Ace of baseline – The US told a virtual ICAO meeting on Friday that it supports changing the emissions baseline of the UN body’s CORSIA aviation offset mechanism in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports. Beginning this week, ICAO’s 36-member Council will take up changing CORSIA’s carbon neutral growth baseline from the average of 2019-20 emissions to 2019 only, as airlines say the current benchmark would leave them with higher offsetting costs when global air travel recovers from COVID-19. Anonymous sources told the news outlet that the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission, which represents countries in the region, also supports the baseline change to 2019 only. The European Commission has also recommended the change, though the bloc needs the formal approval of member states, with a decision expected Tuesday. Read Carbon Pulse’s May 26 story on how EU nations are also expected to back a change, even as the bloc’s executive expects this to eliminate airlines’ carbon credit demand until the mid-2020s.

Low-carbon cuts? – BP will cut about 15% of its workforce in response to the coronavirus crisis and as part of Chief Executive Bernard Looney’s plan to shift the oil and gas major to renewable energy, it said on Monday. Looney told employees in a global call that the London-based company will cut 10,000 jobs from the current 70,100, adding that the move was part of the company’s strategy of making “BP a leaner, faster-moving, and lower-carbon company”. (Reuters)

Gas guzzlers – Germany is planning to increase its climate surcharge on the motor vehicle tax for new cars from 2021 in a way that buyers of gas guzzlers such as large SUVs will have to pay much more in levies, Reuters reports, citing a draft law. The new regulation means that the surcharge would double for buyers of new cars with CO2 emissions of more than 195 grams per kilometre, the draft from the finance ministry showed. Buyers of smaller cars with emissions below 95g do not face any additional surcharge, while electric cars are totally exempt until the end of 2030.

Norway cuts – Norwegian GHG emissions fell in 2019 by about 2% or 1 MtCO2e to 51 Mt, the fourth year of declines in a row, according to preliminary government data. Reduced fuel consumption in the transport sector contributed most to the decrease, while a dip in emissions from oil and gas extraction also contributed.

Green Korea – The first stages of a South Korean government “Green New Deal” aiming to retool one of the world’s most fossil fuel-reliant economies is focused instead on protecting jobs as the country seeks to stimulate a virus-ravaged economy, activists say. However, lawmakers argue that a more long-term plan will need to be drafted to regulate and end financing for coal plants, impose phased carbon taxes, increase “energy welfare” for people suffering from the effects of climate change, and reduce overall air pollution. (Reuters)

What’s in a name? – The Beijing Environment Exchange, which hosts carbon trading under Chinese capital’s emissions trading scheme as well as facilitating trades of some locally generated forestry offsets, has officially changed its name to the Beijing Green Exchange, it announced Monday. The bourse cited “strategic development” as reason for the change.

And finally… In Dems we trust – US voters trust Democrats to address climate change and clean energy far more than Republicans, and there’s majority support for multi-trillion-dollar investments to massively expand emissions-free fuels, new polling shows. The survey from left-leaning think-tank Data for Progress shows an advantage for Democrats on those topics that is far outside the margin of error, compared to the more even split on jobs and the economy. Another takeaway from the study is that various climate commitments would make younger voters more likely to back presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden without bleeding support among older ones. (Axios)

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