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China plans to backdate the start of compliance obligations to Jan. 1, 2019 for its national emissions trading scheme, according to several sources who have seen a draft allocation plan circulated by the environment ministry this week.
South Korea could pull the power generators out of its emissions trading scheme from 2021 over a disagreement between ministries on how to best regulate CO2 emissions from the sector, according to sources, a move that would gut the world’s second biggest carbon market.
China’s Tianjin will auction off 1 million CO2 allowances on Aug. 28, with participation restricted to companies with compliance obligations under the city’s pilot emissions trading scheme and whose 2019 emissions were higher than their free allocations.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s (D) administration would support a market-based CO2 pricing mechanism for electricity generation along with a Midwestern Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for the transportation sector, according to a strategy document published Friday.
Compliance entities and speculators slightly boosted their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) positions in the lead-up to Tuesday’s quarterly auction and as blistering temperatures covered the Golden State, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) on Friday approved a $250 million loan to an EBRD-sponsored project to spur climate action in heavy industry across seven developing nations, a sum equivalent to around 10% of the UN climate finance initiative’s annual budget.
The EU ETS registry system was back online late Friday afternoon after a three-day outage that prevented physical trade in allowances in the world’s biggest carbon market.
EUAs slipped towards €25 on Friday as another weak auction and economic fears further dampened the remaining prospects for a monthly gain as the end of August’s half-volume auctions moves closer.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Fired up – Joe Biden emphasised climate change in his Thursday night acceptance speech for the US Democratic presidential nomination, as the days leading up to it offered fresh evidence of the problem’s scale, as well as tensions within his coalition. The former VP listed climate among the four “historic crises” facing the US right now, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crash, and the need for racial justice. Biden tethered climate change to his economic plans, calling it “an opportunity for America to lead the world in clean energy and create millions of new, good-paying jobs in the process,” a theme echoed by other speakers during the week. Biden’s speech came amid a scorching heatwave and rampant wildfires in California, as the state’s Governor Gavin Newsom (D) gave remarks on Thursday not far from the site of one of the fires. “The hots are getting hotter, the drys are getting dryer. Climate change is real. If you are in denial about climate change, come to California,” Newsom said. COVID-19 is also limiting the number of California inmates available to fight wildfires, as the pandemic led to the early release of many prisoners and caused lockdowns at prisons with coronavirus outbreaks. As of last week, only 90 of the 192 inmate fire crews were available. (Axios, Climate Nexus)
Fossil fall – A report from BW Research published Friday found various fossil fuel industries in the US shed a combined 118,000 jobs in the March-July period. Oil lost the most workers of the fossil fuels, offloading 69,400 jobs or 17% of pre-COVID-19 employment, with most coming from extraction. The analysis doesn’t include many temporarily furloughed or underemployed workers, BW noted. (Axios)
‘R we compensated yet? – Utility RWE wants compensation from the German government for phasing out coal power generation to be paid out as quickly as possible, the company said on Friday. Germany’s lower house of parliament will approve the relevant bill to compensate affected companies and regions next month, with the legislation pledging to pay out €50 bln for a just transition. RWE is due to receive €2.6 bln for the phased closure of its brown coal mines and power stations. “RWE wants to ensure that the contract negotiated with the government can be signed immediately because first power plant closures are to take place at RWE as early as the end of the year, unlike at other operators,” a company spokeswoman said. (Reuters)
Track those leaks – Methane leaks in municipal gas pipe systems produce an estimated 1.3 MtCO2e annually in Germany, according to a new study by an international team of researchers, including scientists from the University of Utrecht and green group EDF. In their study, the researchers say methane emissions can be reduced easily by detecting small leaks in municipal gas pipe networks. Yet most leaks came from production and transport of natural gas, rather than from local gas networks, with around 2.5% lost in the process. This potentially makes natural gas even more harmful to the climate than coal, although less CO2 is released when gas is burned. (Clean Energy Wire)
Insurance sunset – Major Australian insurer Suncorp will end any financing or insuring of the oil and gas industry by 2025, adding to the group’s existing ban on support for new thermal coal projects. The insurer revealed on Friday it had already stopped insuring, underwriting or directly investing in new oil and gas projects and would phase out underwriting and financing existing oil and gas businesses by 2025. All direct investing in the oil and gas sector would end by 2040, the company added. (The Guardian)
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try again – The owner of an emissions trading-related patent can’t sue California for infringement a second time after his first suit was dismissed, a federal judge ruled Friday. The earlier dismissal precludes Richard Sowinski from suing state regulator ARB again for the same alleged acts of infringement, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in a precedential opinion. The court previously ruled in Dec. 2017 that Sowinski was ineligible for patent protection for his method of validating and trading consumer pollution control tax credits, with Sowinski arguing his patent was infringed by California’s cap-and-trade programme auctions. (Bloomberg Law)
And finally… It’s that time of the year again – Earth Overshoot Day, the point at which human consumption exceeds the amount nature can regenerate in a year, has moved back by over three weeks to Aug. 22 this year, from July 29 last year. According to research from the Global Footprint Network, COVID-19 led to a 9.3% reduction in humanity’s ecological footprint compared with the same period in 2019, which has resulted in a later overshoot ‘date’. However, in order to keep consuming ecological resources at our current rate, humans would still need the equivalent of 1.6 Earths, the Global Footprint Network added. (The Guardian)
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