CP Daily: Monday September 14, 2020

Published 00:28 on September 15, 2020  /  Last updated at 11:37 on May 21, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Brussels to propose “at least 55%” climate target for 2030, one-off supply cut

The European Commission will propose raising the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target to “at least 55%”, while exploring a one-off supply cut as a way of aligning the ETS with the new goal, according to a leaked draft due to be presented over the coming days.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs surge above €30 as buyers stock up ahead of Commission climate plan reveal

EUAs soared by more than 8% to hit a two-month high and notch a record close above €30 on Monday, with the aggressive buying fuelled by the emergence of a draft of a European Commission proposal to raise the bloc’s climate targets and cut supply by more than some had expected.

MEPs poised to push for EU to curb international shipping emissions, defying industry warnings

The European Parliament is likely to agree this week to fast-track the expansion of the EU ETS to include emissions from all ships using the bloc’s ports, defying industry warnings that the move risks undermining efforts to regulate the maritime sector at a global level.

EU and China agree to keep talking on climate ambition after leaders meet

China and the EU have agreed to establish a regular high-level dialogue to further discuss the extent to which Beijing can raise its climate ambition, EU leaders confirmed on Monday after talks with President Xi Jinping.

AMERICAS

California to explore accelerating climate targets following record wildfires

California will look into moving forward its GHG reduction and clean energy targets after the state registered its largest wildfire season in history this year, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) said Friday.

California’s ARB issuing forestry offsets more quickly, data shows

California-registered forestry offset projects moved through regulator ARB’s approval process faster over the past two months after experiencing lengthy timelines at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to registry and state data.

Canada eyes Clean Fuel Standard compliance payments in line with California, BC price levels

Canada’s proposed Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) will include several cost containment measures with price levels near those of California and British Columbia’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS), according to a government presentation.

US EPA confirms denial of most retroactive RFS compliance waivers

The US EPA announced Monday that it rejected many of the “gap filling” compliance waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), confirming media reports last week of the move seen as an attempt to bolster President Donald Trump’s electoral support in agriculture-heavy states.

ASIA PACIFIC

South Korea to increase KAU allocation levels in ETS U-turn

South Korea’s environment ministry on Monday announced draft plans to increase the CO2 allowances in its ETS over the 2021-25 period after previously saying the amount would be reduced, while coal-fired power plants seem to remain in the scheme following ministerial wrangling.

NZ Market: NZUs close in on price ceiling as supply remains patchy

New Zealand carbon allowances hit a record high on Monday for the third time in four sessions, closing in on the NZ$35 fixed price option as available supply remained hard to come by.

China posts first positive power consumption numbers for 2020

China’s year-to-date total power consumption at the end of August stood 0.5% above the same period in 2019, government data showed Monday, the first time this year the nation has posted positive numbers as the world’s biggest-emitting economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Peaking early? – UK energy major BP has warned of a peak in oil demand within the next few years, signalling that the coronavirus pandemic is ushering in an earlier than anticipated decline for the fossil fuel era. The company, in its annual energy outlook published on Monday, modelled three scenarios for the world’s transition to cleaner fuels that all see oil demand falling over the next 30 years.  In the “business as usual” case, which assumes government policies, technologies, and societal preferences evolve in a manner and speed as in the recent past, oil demand rebounds from the COVID-19 hit, but then plateaus in the early 2020s. (FT)

Electricity estimates – As much as 80% of the EU’s electricity could be fossil fuel-free by 2030, regardless of whether the economy faces a prolonged economic crisis, industry association Eurelectric said. (Reuters)

We, the signatories – More than 150 European businesses, investors, and business networks, including Microsoft, IKEA, Deutsche Bank, Unilever, H&M, Google, EDF, Signify, and Apple are calling on EU leaders to back the ambition set out in the European Green Deal and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. In an open letter, CEOs from across Europe and the economy have outlined their determination to work with the EU to tackle impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic while delivering a more climate-resilient and regenerative recovery. The initiative is led by the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe), a cross-sectoral group of European businesses working towards delivering climate neutrality.

Bond agreement – MEPs Pascal Canfin and Bas Eickhout are calling on the EU Commission to issue a first tranche of €100 bln of greens bonds in 2021, saying there is currently immense appetite in the market. The Commission, they say, would become by far the largest green bond issuer worldwide. Some €250 bln is to be dedicated to green investments in the bloc’s Recovery and Resilience Facility overall. (Euractiv)

Picking winners – As part of a speech on how Britain will achieve net zero emissions by 2050, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to back floating wind turbines and greener steel plants as clean technologies that boost jobs in northern English regions. Johnson also plans to use new post-Brexit state-aid freedoms to foster green industries for coastal and post-industrial communities, though plans to ban peat-burning appear to have been abandoned. (The Times)

Offsetting like it’s 1999 – Tech giant Google aims to power its data centres and offices using solely carbon-free electricity by 2030, the company announced Monday, building on its previous goal of matching its energy use with 100% renewable energy. Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, but the company also announced Monday that it has offset roughly 1 Mt of GHGs from its 1998 launch through 2006. Google said it would continue to offset CO2 emissions unrelated to electricity use, such as from employee travel. (Reuters)

Another lawsuit – Connecticut filed a lawsuit on Monday against oil giant ExxonMobil for misleading the public over the impacts of climate change, becoming the latest US state to target the fossil fuel industry for violating subnational consumer protection laws. The state’s attorney general William Tong filed the lawsuit in Connecticut’s Superior Court, alleging that Exxon violated the Constitution State’s unfair trade practices act, deceiving Connecticut consumers about what the company knew about fossil fuels’ impact on climate change. Unlike other states’ lawsuits, which either target multiple companies or trade groups or bring up other violations like fraud, Connecticut’s is focused on one company and one law. (Reuters)

Shattering – A big chunk of ice has broken away from the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf – 79N, or Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden – in Northeast Greenland. The ejected section covers about 110 square km, and satellite imagery shows it to have shattered into many small pieces. (BBC)

For peat’s sakeA new study by the UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology suggests that restoring the Falkland Island peatlands could generate up to £47 mln in carbon offsets. With a UK target to reach net zero by 2050, peatland restoration offers the potential to help they are capable of absorbing and storing large amounts of CO2. They offer additional climate change benefits too, helping to prevent flooding, protect soils and improve biodiversity. With peatlands making up around 40% of the islands, the Falklands are one of the most peat rich places in the world. (phys.org)

Do NEa answer the phone – The Dutch Emissions Authority (NEa) has been alerted by a number of people to telephone calls in which the caller identifies himself as an employee of the agency. These caller attempts to convince the recipient to switch to another, cheaper energy supplier. NEa informs stakeholders that it has nothing to do with these calls, but “unfortunately, it is not possible to stop the use of the name NEa in this context because the sender cannot be reached.”

And finally… A tremendous amount of gas – Last summer, US oil and gas industry groups were lobbying to overturn federal rules on leaks of natural gas, with their message being that the companies had emissions under control. But in private, the lobbyists were saying something very different. At a discussion convened last year by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, participants worried that producers were intentionally flaring far too much natural gas, threatening the industry’s image, according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The New York Times. “We’re just flaring a tremendous amount of gas,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, at the June 2019 gathering. “This pesky natural gas,” he said. “The value of it is very minimal,” particularly to companies drilling mainly for oil. A well can produce both oil and natural gas, but oil commands far higher prices, and flaring it is an inexpensive way of getting rid of the gas. Separately, 20 states and Washington DC on Monday sued President Donald Trump administration over its rollback of methane regulations, which they argue will hike emissions of the short-lived climate pollutant by 850,000 tons by 2030. (Courthouse News Service)

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