CP Daily: Monday July 6, 2020

Published 23:07 on July 6, 2020  /  Last updated at 23:07 on July 6, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

EU Market: EUAs extend year-high to close in on €30 as ‘mystery’ buying continues

EUAs rose more than 6% on Monday, extending last week’s year-highs despite a weak auction as market participants grew more frustrated with the growing, speculator-fuelled disconnection between soaring prices and dimming fundamentals.

EMEA

EU legislators must pass climate law quickly to speed ETS review -senior official

EU co-legislators must quickly reach an agreement on the bloc’s upgraded 2030 target as a subsequent ETS review “cannot afford any delays”, an advisor to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

Eastern EU states could ramp up renewables at lower cost -report

Four EU nations could ramp up their renewables deployment through 2030 at a lower cost than current plans, while almost halving their power emissions, analysts said in a report published on Monday.

EU lawmakers strike softer tone on gas funding in Just Transition vote

Lawmakers in the European Parliament on Monday opened the door to the EU’s €40 billion Just Transition Fund (JTF) being able to fund natural gas projects, setting up a potential clash with member states.

AMERICAS

WCI emitters slow compliance account transfers as allowance surplus grows 

WCI regulated entities pared back on shifting allowances into compliance accounts ahead of the cap-and-trade programme’s November partial compliance deadline, while total permit holdings incrementally rose due to May’s undersubscribed auction, according to California-Quebec data released Monday.

California compliance entities increase allowance length as speculators maintain positions

WCI regulated parties bolstered their net long California Carbon Allowance (CCA) holdings at the end of the second quarter, while speculators’ long positions largely remained unchanged, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data released Monday.

Prince Edward Island climate committee recommends CO2 pricing overhaul  

Prince Edward Island (PEI) should implement a more effective carbon pricing system to hit its GHG reduction target than the Canadian province’s current approach, a legislative committee said.

ASIA PACIFIC

China coal data cut-off raises concerns over repercussions for carbon

Six of China’s biggest utilities have stopped submitting daily coal data to one of the country’s leading energy and economic indicators, creating expectations that coal prices might rise and add to the pushback against putting in place an effective carbon price.

New Zealand coalition partner moves to limit forest carbon

The biggest of New Zealand’s government coalition partners has pledged to revise legislation to limit the conversion of productive farmland to forests if it remains in power after September’s election.

PODCAST

CARBON PULSE CONVERSATIONS 014: MexiCO2

In the latest edition of our Carbon Pulse Conversations podcast, we chat with Eduardo Piquero, general director of Mexico City-based environmental consultancy MexiCO2, regarding carbon pricing developments at the national and subnational level in Mexico.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Build back better fossil – Major nations including the US and Russia are throwing a lifeline to fossil fuel companies during the coronavirus crisis, rather than seizing a historic chance to shift to cleaner energies, a study by 14 research groups is set to show. The preliminary findings revealed that China, India, Japan, Germany, the UK, and Brazil were the only G20 economies committing more public money to clean energy than to polluting sectors. China was a borderline case, however, with a big rail bailout package tipping the balance towards green investment. (Climate Home)

Forest fever – Online climate news outlet DeSmog UK turns its focus to major oil companies’ interest in nature-based solutions. Its feature outlines the commitments, the involved NGO partners, and highlights concerns about double-counting and permanence, as well as the involvement of government agencies. Carbon Pulse has written extensively on these developments over the past year as part of our international and voluntary carbon market coverage.

Line ‘em up and knock ‘em down, part 1 – The Dakota Access pipeline must shut down by Aug. 5, a US district court ruled Monday in a stunning defeat for President Donald Trump’s administration and the oil industry. The US District Court for the District of Columbia said a crucial federal permit for Dakota Access fell too far short of National Environmental Policy Act requirements to allow the pipeline to continue operating while regulators bolster their analysis. The ruling scraps a critical permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and requires the pipeline to end its three-year run of delivering oil from North Dakota shale fields to an Illinois oil hub. The Standing Rock Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, and others sued the Army Corps for approving the water crossing in 2016, saying it put tribal water supplies and cultural resources at risk. Their frustrations triggered an outpouring of support from fellow tribes, indigenous advocates, and environmentalists from across the country, who camped out in North Dakota for months to show their opposition. (Bloomberg Law)

Line ‘em up and knock ‘em down, part 2 – Monday’s ruling on Dakota Access came just a day after utilities Dominion Energy and Duke Energy abandoned their $8-bln Atlantic Coast Pipeline after the project reached a regulatory dead-end. Thwarted by environmental groups repeatedly in the federal courts, the project was more than three years behind schedule and more than $3 bln over budget, with no clear path to completion after federal courts in Montana threw out a nationwide federal water quality permit that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline relied upon to cross hundreds of bodies of water in its path. The decision ends a six-year effort to build the 42-inch-wide natural gas pipeline through the heart of Virginia to connect gas shale fields in West Virginia with markets in southeastern Virginia and eastern North Carolina. Dominion also announced that it was selling its natural gas transmission and storage business to billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy for almost $10 bln. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

In the mix – The climate policy task force that US Democratic presidential nominees Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders created is slated to recommend that Biden seek a fully renewable electricity mix by 2035, the New York Times reports. The recommendation, bolstered by proposals on energy-efficient buildings and quick steps on auto emissions mandates, is the first specific idea to come out of the task force announced this spring after Sanders suspended his presidential run. Separately, Biden’s campaign created a Climate Engagement Advisory Council aimed at “mobilising” voters who prioritise climate change and environmental justice, with members including billionaire activist and donor Tom Steyer, executive director of the Center for Earth, Energy, & Democracy Cecilia Martinez, and head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Lonnie Stephenson. (Axios)

Hack for hire – Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has written to Attorney General William Barr outlining his concerns about potential “political interference” by the Trump administration in an investigation of a private espionage firm that targeted environmental groups in the US. Last month Reuters reported that US law enforcement was investigating aspects of a seven-year-long hack-for-hire operation carried out by a New Delhi-based firm called BellTroX InfoTech Services on behalf of unknown clients. Whitehouse said the investigation was being carried out by prosecutors in New York and that unnamed sources had alerted his office that the Department of Justice has taken what he said was “an interest in this matter which seems inconsistent with ordinary procedure.” Whitehouse declined to provide details or identify his sources, saying only that they had “first-hand knowledge of the matters under investigation”. He added that the interest was inconsistent with the independence of the US attorney’s office in Manhattan and raised the possibility that the case “will fall victim to political pressure from Washington.”

Summer school – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) submitted its final report on developing a cap-and-reduce programme to Governor Kate Brown (D) last week. Building off a preliminary report released in May, the document signals the beginning of a scoping phase this summer and fall that will solicit public input on key policy considerations and potential programme options. That will culminate in a rulemaking process to begin in late 2020 and extend through 2021.

And finally… Pink peaks – Scientists in Italy are investigating the mysterious appearance of pink glacial ice in the Alps, caused by algae that accelerate the effects of climate change. There is debate about where the algae come from, but Biagio Di Mauro of Italy’s National Research Council said the pink snow observed on parts of the Presena glacier is likely caused by the same plant found in Greenland. The plant, known as Ancylonema nordenskioeldii, is present in Greenland’s so-called Dark Zone, where the ice is also melting. Normally ice reflects more than 80% of the sun’s radiation back into the atmosphere, but as algae appear, they darken the ice so that it absorbs the heat and melts more quickly. (Guardian)

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