CP Daily: Monday July 20, 2020

Published 23:22 on July 20, 2020  /  Last updated at 23:25 on July 20, 2020  / Matthew Lithgow /  Newsletters

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

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ANALYSIS: California offset buyers get picky as probes shine light on registry checks

California offset buyers may become more choosy as a spate of non-compliance violations has drawn closer attention to the different ways that registries screen their projects.


Latest EU budget compromise proposal sees Just Transition Fund halved

The latest proposal for a seven-year EU budget and recovery from the coronavirus crisis, currently being negotiated by member state leaders, may see funding for coal-dependent regions under the bloc’s Just Transition Fund slashed to under €20 billion, Carbon Pulse has learned.

EU carbon prices could average €36 through 2030 under single-wave pandemic -BNEF

EU carbon prices could average €36 over the next decade under a scenario where Europe avoids a second wave of COVID-19 and the MSR’s current injection rate is maintained, BloombergNEF (BNEF) analysts have predicted.

EU Market: EUAs reverse Friday gains to resume downward path

European carbon reversed Friday’s gains to start the week, tumbling to a three-week low as buyers struggles to absorb an increase in supply and sellers kept the pressure on prices.


California power emissions bounce back in May as natural gas and imports displace hydro

California electricity sector emissions rebounded in May after slipping to a monthly low in April during the state’s coronavirus shutdown, data from the state’s main power grid showed.

BP plans investment in Maine voluntary forest carbon project

Oil major BP is set to make a multi-million-dollar investment in a Maine voluntary offset initiative in partnership with a US-based forestry developer.


NZ farmers support move to restrict forestry carbon credits

New Zealand’s leading farming industry group has backed a proposal by the Labour party to impose restrictions on which types of land can earn carbon allowances by planting forests, but says that’s not enough to stave off what it claims is a threat to farmland by the nation’s emissions trading scheme.


Why BNEF thinks the EU ETS does not need a price ceiling

The price of EUAs topped €30 on July 13, the highest since 2006. At that point, EUAs had risen by over 60% since May 12, and had almost doubled compared to their March lows. The rally has prompted the discussion around additional stability mechanisms. Analysts at BloombergNEF discussed the concept of a carbon price floor after EUAs declined almost 40% in March. This time, the price spike has raised the question of the need for a carbon price ceiling.


US federal judge sides with California in final ETS linkage challenge

A federal judge on Friday ruled California’s cap-and-trade linkage with Quebec does not violate the US Constitution’s Foreign Affairs Doctrine, settling all four challenges filed by President Donald Trump’s administration.


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True contribution – Investment bank Morgan Stanley on Monday announced it will publicly disclose how much its loans and investments contribute to climate change. The bank is joining the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, a global body with 67 financial company members managing $5.3 trillion of assets, which counts the GHGs from projects and investments that are financed by asset managers, banks, and other institutions. Morgan Stanley will sit on the group’s steering committee to help deliver a final methodology for financial institutions to follow this fall. (Politico)

What is new is already old – German coal phaseout legislation that came into effect in July, stipulating the complete closure of the country’s 40GW fleet by 2038, already looks dated given the current weak outlook for coal-fired generation in Europe, incentives for early plant closures, and political pressure building for a faster phase out. Germany has set out staged closures for coal and lignite assets over almost two decades in legislation finalised around 18 months after the government-appointed commission published its initial recommendations in Jan. 2019. But a lot has changed since then. Gas markets have fallen to record lows, carbon prices reached decade highs, and other European countries have either pledged to accelerate coal phaseouts, as in the case of Portugal, or have seen coal generation fall to zero for significant periods, as seen in the UK. In Germany, economics have not favoured hard coal assets in 2020, with output falling to its lowest total on record over the first half of the year, while gas production has risen to a decade high. (ICIS)

Green is golden – A group of 35 cross-party MPs have urged the UK government to commit hundreds of millions of pounds towards decarbonising the country’s aviation sector, arguing the recovery from COVID-19 offers a “golden opportunity” to invest in greener aircraft fuels and technologies. A letter signed by MPs representing regions throughout the UK calls on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to “supercharge a green aviation recovery” to the coronavirus crisis, which has devastated the industry and led to thousands of job cuts due to travel restrictions and plummeting passenger numbers. Last week’s letter urges Sunak to commit £500 mln in funding, matched by industry, to support the development of sustainable aviation fuel production facilities in the UK, touting such fuels as a “here and now technology” it claims could boost the economy by £2.7 bln and support almost 19,000 jobs. (BusinessGreen)

What the doctor ordered – The UK government has announced that patients will be given prescriptions to plant trees or take countryside walks, under £4 mln plans for ‘green prescribing’ to help tackle the worst effects of Covid-19. Nature will be at the heart of the coronavirus recovery amid concern from environmental groups that green issues are being overlooked, various media reported. The UK is redoubling its efforts to be a green leader as it leaves the EU, and will call for more ‘experimentation and innovation’ by involving ecologists in policy discussions. Plans for green prescribing will be piloted in four areas later this year, with the potential to be scaled up across the country in the hopes of easing the burden on the NHS. They could see patients prescribed joining walking and cycling groups in national parks or beauty spots, outdoor gyms or gardening, as the government attempts to tackle an obesity crisis that is believed to have contributed to COVID deaths. NHS Shetland in Scotland has been issuing ‘nature prescriptions’ for rambling, birdwatching, and beach walks since 2018, while New Zealand GPs have been using the idea for decades. (Carbon Brief)

SMUD running – The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) last week committed to delivering carbon neutral electricity by 2030 – 15 years ahead of California’s broader goal of supplying 100% of electricity from zero-carbon and renewable energy resources. The commitment is included in a “climate emergency declaration” that was unanimously approved by SMUD’s board of directors last Thursday, and exceeds the publicly-owned utility’s 2018 commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. (Utility Dive)

And finally… Free-wheeling – The increase in state subsidies to purchase electric vehicles in some European countries has reached the point that in Germany buyers can go to a dealer, sign a two-year lease contract, and drive away in an electric Renault Zoe for free, with the cost of the deposit and the €125 monthly payment covered by the recently doubled subsidy. Purchasers will still have to insure the car separately and pay a little more if they want to keep it after two years. The company that launched the offer, Koenig, has been avalanched with thousands of requests for information and says it cannot keep up with demand in the short term. (Forbes)

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