CP Daily: Monday June 22, 2020

Published 03:21 on June 23, 2020  /  Last updated at 22:51 on June 23, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Green COVID-19 recoveries must not shy away from stringent CO2 prices -experts

Sustainable economic recovery efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic should not only feature CO2 taxes or emissions trading schemes to stimulate a clean and just transition, but also avoid the pitfalls of weak carbon pricing rates that have persisted for years, experts said Monday.

AMERICAS

Newsom, legislature drop California ETS rulemaking provision, agree to future evaluation

California officials on Monday removed a budget provision to require a cap-and-trade rulemaking by next year as part of a compromise between state lawmakers and Governor Gavin Newsom (D), though they will reassess changes by the Scoping Plan update, a legislative source said.

Utah legislature omits California ETS lawsuit funding, but may add during special session

Utah Republicans have removed funding for a lawsuit to challenge the legality of California’s cap-and-trade programme and emissions performance standard (EPS) from the state’s revised budget, but legislators could still restore the allocation during an August special session.

PG&E set to exit bankruptcy ahead of California wildfire fund deadline

A judge approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) bankruptcy plan on Saturday ahead of a deadline for the California utility to participate in a fund to ease future wildfire liabilities.

Virginia’s revised ETS regulation under evaluation by RGGI states for summer finalisation

RGGI members are evaluating a draft Virginia RGGI regulation for any inconsistencies with the Northeast US cap-and-trade programme ahead of its scheduled 2021 entrance, with the state aiming to complete those changes this summer, a state official said.

Canada eases near-term Clean Fuel Standard targets due to COVID-19 concerns

The Canadian government will lessen the short-term carbon intensity reduction targets for its proposed Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) in response to the coronavirus pandemic, while making the GHG abatement goals more ambitious later on in the decade to maintain the stringency of the policy, the federal environment ministry said Monday.

EMEA

At EU-China summit, Brussels presses Beijing to forge net zero path

EU leaders urged their Chinese counterparts at an online summit on Monday to outline a path towards net zero emissions, though the talks ended without major progress on climate diplomacy.

Denmark agrees to increased carbon tax despite virus concerns

Denmark’s political groups have agreed a climate deal that will include an increased domestic carbon tax, the government said on Monday, defying concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on the country’s economy.

EU Market: EUAs re-test 4-mth high as technical signals outweigh virus worries

EUAs bounced back from a dip below €24 early on Monday to come within an inch of last week’s four-month high, even as wider markets faltered on signs of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections in Germany and elsewhere.

ASIA PACIFIC

Major Chinese oil firm buys “carbon neutral” LNG from Shell

One of China’s biggest oil companies has agreed to buy carbon credits along with two shipments of LNG from Shell, seeking to offset all the life cycle emissions associated with the shipment in the first such deal for mainland China.

Shanghai ETS firms face marginally tighter allocation, looser offset limits

The Shanghai government has released the 2019 allocation for its emissions trading scheme, keeping the number of allowances in play at the same level as before despite including more companies, while also tripling the amount of offsets emitters can use for compliance.

INTERNATIONAL

Market stability mechanisms both a necessity and deterrent to ETS linking -study

Mechanisms that help manage unexpected shocks in emissions trading schemes are a necessary consideration when weighing the linking of two carbon markets, however existing ones can also act as a deterrent to connecting systems, according to a study released late Friday.

Carbon price support measures bolster clean investment, finds OECD paper

Governments can effectively stabilise their carbon prices using auction reserve prices and supplementary taxes, according to a paper published by OECD advisors on Monday.

PODCAST

CARBON PULSE CONVERSATIONS 013: ClearView Energy Partners

In the latest episode of our Carbon Pulse Conversations podcast, we chat with Neelesh Nerurkar, vice president of Washington DC-based research firm ClearView Energy Partners, to discuss current developments and politics surrounding the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Renewable trade – The Netherlands has agreed to pay Denmark a €100 mln “statistical transfer” equivalent to €12.50/MWh. This will allow the Dutch government to declare at least 8 TWh of Danish surplus renewable power on its books, in an effort to meet its 14% 2020 EU renewables target without being fined for only so far reaching 7.4% of consumption. Luxembourg paid Lithuania around €10 mln in the first ever deal last week. Estonia aims for a similar sale, with both Baltic nations planning to invest their windfalls in further renewable energy research and to top up their subsidy schemes. Denmark intends to spend its payment on a green hydrogen project. (EurActiv)

Flight fancy – An aviation jet fuel tax agreed by Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Benelux, and the EU Nordics could cover 59% of pollution from flights within Europe and raise €3.7 bln a year while helping prevent a post-lockdown return to airline emissions growth, according to green group T&E’s Aviation Tax Tool. T&E said an EU-wide tax, requiring unanimous approval by all 27 EU states, would raise up to €6.3 bln.

Coming soon to a big emitter near you – An investor group that has been campaigning for oil majors to reflect climate risk in their accounting is expanding its selected targets after BP recently became the latest to adjust down the value of its assets, Reuters reports. The group, which manages $2.2 trillion in assets, is now targeting building materials company CRH and mining firm Rio Tinto.

Flop – The Minerals Council – the Australian coal industry’s main lobby group – on Monday launched its first-ever climate policy plan, coming in the form of a four-page leaflet outlining some proposed actions. But observers were less than impressed as there were few specifics and no mention of targets. Investors in particular pointed out the lack of commitments on behalf of the group’s members to improve climate risk disclosure. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Come out and play – The biggest province in Solomon Islands is eager to join the international carbon market. The provincial premier of Malaita, Daniel Suidani, has encouraged land-owning groups to make preparations to step up the type of land conversation that can generate carbon credits. (Solomon Star)

Cash crop – Indigo Ag, a Massachusetts-based developer of crop sustainability and carbon offsets, has raised around $300 mln in new Series F funding, Axios has learned. Indigo is the world’s most highly valued agtech startup, with a $3.5 billion post-money valuation. The Series F round total is expected to be around $500 mln, including an initial $200 mln announced in January (of which $175 mln was equity). Return backers include Flagship Pioneering and Alaska Permanent Fund, while Riverstone Holdings is a new investor. Fedex also participated on the initial tranche, while the post-money valuation is flat from a Series E round raised at the end of 2008.

Registry ready – UN body ICAO on Monday announced that it has launched the CORSIA Central Registry (CCR) for the global aviation offset programme. The cloud-hosted application will store CORSIA-specific information and data on aircraft operators, verification bodies, CO2 emissions, CORSIA-eligible fuels claimed, and cancelled emissions units.

And finally… Heat stops play – The rapidly accelerating climate crisis threatens the future of major sports events. A Rapid Transition Alliance study has found that in the coming years nearly all sports – from cricket to American football, tennis to athletics, surfing to golf – will face serious disruption from heatwaves, fires, floods, and rising sea levels. It also estimated that globally, sports’ own carbon emissions are equal to that of a medium-sized country, adding that sport administrators and stars had an important role to play in global efforts to tackle climate breakdown. (The Guardian)

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