CP Daily: Monday August 17, 2020

Published 00:28 on August 18, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:28 on August 18, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

ANALYSIS: Optimism grows about WCI Q3 auction sellout, though doubts persist

WCI market participants see encouraging demand signs ahead of Tuesday’s quarterly carbon allowance sale, but a majority still anticipate the California-Quebec auction will to fail to sell out again due to the impact of the coronavirus.

PODCAST

CARBON PULSE CONVERSATIONS 016: EDF and WWF on CORSIA

In the latest edition of our Carbon Pulse Conversations podcast, we speak with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) International Counsel Annie Petsonk and WWF Director of Carbon Market Governance and Aviation Brad Schallert about recent developments regarding UN body ICAO’s global aviation offsetting mechanism CORSIA.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs surge 3% after finding support near €25

EUAs jumped higher on Monday after strong support near €25 appeared to encourage bullish bets that drove prices high enough to trigger short-covering.

European Commission revises EU national targets for LULUCF carbon sinks

The EU’s executive arm on Monday launched a consultation on proposed legislation setting land use emissions targets, in an attempt to ensure the bloc’s carbon sinks will not decrease in the next five years.

South Pole carbon markets director to join BP

South Pole’s director of climate policy and carbon markets has left the company to take up a similar role at BP, Carbon Pulse has learned.

AMERICAS

California heatwave brings more CO2-intensive generation online ahead of WCI auction

Hotter weather across California is pushing power consumption above pre-coronavirus levels and leading to rolling blackouts, with carbon-intensive sources making up a larger share of the grid, according to California Independent System Operator (CAISO) data.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australian developers deliver 400k carbon credits to the ERF

Developers under contract with Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) have delivered 400,000 more offsets to the government fund in the latest issuance round, while the Clean Energy Regulator has doled out a similar amount of new credits.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Tanking – The world’s largest listed oil companies have seen almost $90 bln wiped from the value of their oil and gas assets in the last nine months as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates a global shift away from fossil fuels. In the last three financial quarters, seven of the largest firms have slashed their forecasts for future wholesale prices, triggering a wave of downgrades to the value of their oil and gas projects totalling $87 bln. Analysis by the climate finance think-tank Carbon Tracker shows that in the last three months alone, companies including Shell, BP, Total, Chevron, Repsol, Eni, and Equinor have reported downgrades on the value of their assets totalling almost $55 bln. The oil valuation impairments began at the end of last year in response to growing political support for transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, and they have sped up as the pandemic has taken its toll on the industry. (The Guardian)

Rarefied air – A new refrigerants safety standard proposed by an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) working group could slash emissions from potent HFC gases under the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, according to the UK-based campaigners Environmental Investigation Agency. If approved by a vote of IEC member countries by Oct. 30, the proposal is on course to be adopted in the international standard for air conditioning – IEC 60335-2-40 – allowing greater use of climate-friendly and energy-efficient refrigerants in systems around the world. Once adopted into the revised IEC standard, various regional and national standards bodies will need to approve the proposal for it to take full effect in some markets globally.

It’s the pits – One of England’s last commercial coal mines was set to close on Monday. The Bradley Mine in County Durham has operated for almost 200 years, but after plans to expand the site failed, the open-cast pit that produces 150,000 tonnes of coal a year will close, with this demand now mainly satisfied by imports from Russia and the US. Banks Group, which operates the mine, is currently waiting for the government to decide whether its plans for a new mine at Highthorn in Northumberland can go ahead. (Sky News)

No refuge – President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing ahead with plans to allow drilling in the US Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as the first leases to drill for oil and gas in the area could be sold by the end of 2020, Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt said as his agency formally announced its leasing programme on Monday. Laying out the terms of a leasing programme on some 1.57 mln acres (63.5 mln hectares) is one of the last steps in a controversial plan to tap into the gas and oil resources in the Alaskan region that has been fought over for decades. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other green groups argue oil operations in the federally protected lands threaten the pristine landscape, which sustains caribou, polar bears, migratory birds, and other animals. Additionally, it’s not clear how much demand there will be for Arctic leases as the oil industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. It’s also not clear exactly how much oil is in the refuge, and a growing list of investors have responded to environmental concerns and said they won’t fund oil and gas projects there. (NPR)

And finally… Dead canary – Greenland’s ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research published in the journal Nature Communications Earth & Environment suggests. Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning 34 years through 2018 and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting, which is already causing global seas to rise about a millimetre on average per year. If all of Greenland’s ice goes, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of 6 metres, or enough to swamp many coastal cities around the world, though this process would take decades. “Greenland is going to be the canary in the coal mine, and the canary is already pretty much dead at this point,” said glaciologist and study author Ian Howat of Ohio State University. (Reuters)

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