CP Daily: Friday October 2, 2020

Published 00:33 on October 3, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:33 on October 3, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Switzerland’s offset purchases come into play after last-gasp UN ratification

Switzerland may look to utilise its stockpile of millions of UN offsets to cover its international emissions obligations after late ratifications led the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period to enter into force.

INTERNATIONAL

Big returns and little correlation to other markets makes carbon an hot investment, analysis finds

Carbon boasts some impressive historical returns compared to other asset classes, while showing little correlation to other markets, an analysis has found.

Middle East’s Global Carbon Council resubmits CORSIA application for full eligibility

The Qatar-based Global Carbon Council (GCC) has made several revisions to its voluntary offset programme as it seeks full eligibility under the UN body ICAO’s CORSIA international aviation offset system, according to a document posted Friday.

EMEA

EU ETS must support commercial case for green hydrogen to reach net zero by 2050 -report

Making carbon-free ‘green’ hydrogen commercially viable by 2030 should be the EU ETS’ new ‘de facto’ policy objective if the EU wants to reach climate neutrality by mid-century, an asset management report released Friday said.

Carbon border measure requires gradual phaseout of free EUAs, says incoming EU trade chief

The EU should gradually put an end to free EUA allocation as it moves to implement a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), the European Commission’s candidate to take over the trade portfolio said on Friday.

EU Market: EUAs rebound from Trump virus-linked losses to notch 3.3% weekly rise

EU carbon prices swung wildly on Friday, ending the week above €27 and with a 3.3% gain, as markets reacted negatively to news that President Trump has contracted the coronavirus.

AMERICAS

Massachusetts’ third GWSA carbon auction settles at low end of secondary market levels

Massachusetts’ September auction for its Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) carbon market settled at the low end of secondary market levels, with power generators acquiring allowances for both current and future obligations, according to a new report.

Nova Scotia to auction 542k allowances at second ETS sale

Nova Scotia will offer 542,000 permits in the cap-and-trade programme’s Dec. 2 auction, the Canadian province’s environment ministry announced Friday, following the inaugural sale in June clearing 20% above the floor price.

San Diego County scraps climate plan after court rules against voluntary offset programme

San Diego County will begin crafting a new climate plan after a court this summer banned its voluntary offset programme for rural housing developments from the jurisdiction’s existing strategy, officials announced this week.

Compliance entities’ CCA length rises after September ICE delivery

Regulated entities’ California Carbon Allowance (CCA) net length rose to its highest level since late May, but the increase appeared largely the result of short positions going to delivery this week, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australia to launch carbon offset exchange platform

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator will set up an exchange platform for trading carbon credits after the government on Friday announced new funding to boost the agency’s operations.

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Oct. 2, 2020

Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Easy pickings – US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden declined to embrace the Green New Deal during Tuesday’s presidential debate, but stakeholders should not take that as a sign that a Biden administration will shy away from major energy policy changes, including adopting elements of that proposal, experts said at a panel discussion this week. While Biden is likely to pursue policies that could disrupt the oil and gas sector, industry is not as concerned by a potential Biden presidency as observers might believe because companies are able to adapt to and work within any framework and because Donald Trump’s administration has created chaos for the sector in many respects, said Frank Maisano, senior principal with Bracewell LLP, representing various energy companies. Biden will pursue easy climate solutions if he is elected such as mandating climate risk disclosure, addressing the social cost of carbon, and re-engaging in the Paris Agreement, Maisano said. Biden could also pursue major changes for the oil and gas sector such as eliminating leasing on federal lands, eliminating its tax depreciation benefits, or shifting its tax credits to the renewable energy sector, the speakers noted. (Utility Dive)

Coal’s toll – The UK’s first new deep coal mine for 30 years was given planning permission on Friday, in a move that threatens to undermine the government’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2050. Following a judicial review, the £160-mln venture must now shut by 2049 to meet environmental objectives. Developer West Cumbria Mining said it would extract specialist coking coal used in steel and chemical works, not fuel for power stations, and it argues that the coal will displace imports rather than add to emissions. (FT)

Back from the dead – Two modern gas power units in Germany are selling electricity on the power market again, after having been demoted to back-up capacity since 2013. Utility Uniper, which operates the Siemens-built turbines that held a record for being the world’s most efficient gas-fired plant between 2011 and 2015, has revived the plant because of improved market conditions. Low gas prices, higher CO2 costs, and a decrease in coal power generation in Germany have all contributed to gas-fired power stations being able to turn a profit again. (Clean Energy Wire)

Lands of plenty – Within 10 years, the economies of Central and South Eastern Europe could cover 34% of their rising energy demand cost-effectively with renewables, according to a report from renewables agency IRENA. Accelerating the take-up of renewables in the region could save CESEC citizens an estimated €3 bln per year in energy costs in 2030. The report also calculated the economic value of avoided health, environment, and climate damage could push total benefits to society up to €35 bln per year in 2030.

Priority slots – Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye has urged policymakers to give the aviation sector priority access to the world’s sustainable biofuel capacity, warning that a failure do so could undermine the carbon-intensive industry’s transition to net zero. “We shouldn’t be competing with cars and trucks for biofuel,” he said. “There are alternatives, such as electric, for trucks and cars but there is no alternative for sustainable aviation fuels for flight. One important policy measure is to protect global capacity of sustainable for aviation. That is the only way we can get to net zero by 2050.” (BusinessGreen)

Baltic links – EU nations agreed on Thursday on a European Commission proposal to invest €998 mln in European energy infrastructure projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The largest sum of funds (€720 mln) will go to the Harmony Link electricity interconnector between Poland and Lithuania, which will integrate the three Baltic states to the EU’s grid and decouple them from Russia’s power networks. Some €102 mln will also be granted to a CO2 transport network between the Belgian and Dutch ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Vlissingen leading to an offshore storage site in the North Sea.

Hard to abate husbandry – An independent report assessing the carbon intensity of all UK livestock production systems has identified that currently available technologies cannot deliver even half the industry’s 2050 carbon emissions reduction goal. “The report identified that even if all known methods for mitigation of carbon emissions were taken up rapidly, the industry could only deliver 19% of the aspirational carbon reduction target by 2035, highlighting the urgent need to advance technologies and develop new innovations to address this critical issue,” the lead scientist said. (Aberystwyth University)

Rock of Ages – Members of the Rockefeller family, whose wealth comes originally from John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co., have launched a new effort to leverage their fortune and network to pressure US banks to stop investing in fossil fuels driving climate change, Politico reports. The initiative, called BankFWD, aims to expand on the success of climate activists in pushing banks and asset managers to reevaluate their gas, oil, and coal investments. Organisers hope to gather pledges from wealthy individuals to press their banks to cut fossil fuel investments and move their assets away from banks that fail to do so. Though the wealth held by the BankFWD co-chairs and their networks is substantial, they acknowledge that it is still outweighed by big banks’ fossil fuel investments. Instead, they seek to leverage the access they and their network have to attention from bank executives. (Climate Nexus)

Back to the Lab again – Newfoundland and Labrador Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Siobhan Coady’s budget speech on Thursday noted that the Canadian province’s carbon tax rose to C$30 on Oct. 1 from C$20 presently to align with the federal ‘backstop’ rate. However, the Atlantic jurisdiction is still reducing the provincial portion of the tax on gasoline by two cents/litre, meaning the price of gas will only rise by 0.21 cents/L. The price of diesel will increase 2.68/L. (The Telegram)

And finally… Green grocer – Swedish food brand Felix has launched a grocery store, the “Climate Store”, where products are priced and labelled on their CO2e emissions. The company states that in order to halve their climate impact, customers would need to keep to a weekly budget of 18.9 kg CO2e. The store is part of Felix’s long-term work to highlight the connection between grocery products and their climate impact. (New Food Magazine)

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