CP Daily: Monday November 2, 2020

Published 01:35 on November 3, 2020  /  Last updated at 01:36 on November 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

China releases draft rules for national CO2 emissions trading scheme

China’s Ministry for Ecology and Environment (MEE) on Monday released draft rules for its national ETS, as well as registry and settlement regulations, marking a major step towards launching the market.

AMERICAS

RGGI emissions rise in Q3 on hotter weather, displaced workforce

The RGGI cap-and-trade programme reported a year-on-year rise in CO2 output during the third quarter, as hotter weather across the Northeast US coupled with more people working from home prompted heavier electricity demand.

Greater Massachusetts emissions in Q3 force six facilities above GWSA carbon market caps

Higher Massachusetts emissions in the third quarter pushed several electricity generators above their annual Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) CO2 limits, potentially reducing the in-state cap-and-trade programme’s surplus, according to RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (COATS) data.

New Mexico to prioritise stakeholder engagement on cap-and-trade next year

New Mexico’s Interagency Climate Change Task Force identified the development of an economy-wide carbon market as a priority area for stakeholder engagement in 2021, according to a report published Friday.

ASIA PACIFIC

China carbon market pilots finalise 2019 compliance

Three of China’s regional pilot emissions trading schemes have reported that they successfully completed 2019 compliance, though details were scant as in previous years.

NZ Greens retain climate change minister in Labour government

Green Party co-leader James Shaw will continue as New Zealand’s climate change minister, keeping his place in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s new cabinet that was announced Monday.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs rebound from new 4-mth low on stronger industry data, auction

EUAs touched a new four-month low below €23 on Monday but rebounded as better-than-expected industry data and a stronger auction helped boost sentiment battered by new COVID lockdowns.

ICYM

PREVIEW: US election marks critical juncture for the future of domestic, international climate policy

Tuesday’s US election is primed to have a significant impact on future national and global climate mitigation efforts, with former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump offering starkly different views on environmental policy and clean energy.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

*Carbon Pulse is organising and moderating a series of side events at the IETA-ICAP Carbon Markets Virtual Pavilion on Nov. 11-12, including sessions on the EU ETS, China, Canada, RGGI, and carbon as an investible asset class. The full event programme also offers high-level discussions and interactive sessions, along with an informal carbon markets networking area for people to connect and stay in touch. Registration is free and open to the public, but spaces are limited for the Carbon Pulse side events so sign up now!*

Settling for zero – Australia’s A$57-bln ($40 bln) Retail Employees Superannuation Trust has settled a court case brought by a 25-year old member who had accused it of not properly taking climate change into account when making investments, the Guardian reports. The settlement requires the fund to ensure its actions are considered to be in line with a 2050 net zero carbon footprint. Observers say the settlement might have far-reaching consequences for Australia’s A$3-trillion superannuation industry, who could be looking to make similar commitments to avoid lawsuits.

The price of nothing – Australia could see its economy shrink 6% at a cost of A$3 trillion over the next five decades and see almost 900,000 jobs lost if it chooses to not act on climate change, found a new report by consultancy Deloitte. Near-term action would pay off as the economy 50 years down the road would be 26% bigger compared to continuing as currently, the consultants concluded. (ABC)

Pile-on – Less than a week after South Korea’s president said the country will reach net zero emissions by 2050, eight affiliates of industrial conglomerate SK Group have said they will be the first group in the country to sign up to the Renewable Energy 100 programme, according to Korea JoongAng Daily. The RE100 is a 2014 initiative launched by The Climate Group, under which companies pledge to get all the electricity they use from renewable sources by mid-century.

Offset uptake – Air New Zealand saw a solid rise in the percentage of customers offsetting carbon emissions generated by their journey in the 2020 financial year. The airline’s annual sustainability report shows that the number of people “ticking the box” to offset their emissions through Air NZ’s “FlyNeutral” program increased from 4.6% in the 2019 financial year to 7.1% for fiscal 2020. The uptake was particularly high on flights to the UK, where it hit 14%, compared to 9.6% a year earlier. Uptake on the flights to the US rose from 7.3% to 10.3% and on flights to Canada from 6% to 9%. New Zealand flights were close to average, rising from 4.6% to 7%. Coming in below the average were Australian services, although they still rose from 4.3% to 6.3%. The airline calculated that customers, along with the airline’s own voluntary scheme, offset 92,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2020 compared to 63,000 tonnes in 2019. (Airline Ratings)

Eco-unfriendly – The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will investigate descriptions and labels used to promote products and services claiming to be ‘eco-friendly’, and whether they could mislead consumers. This new programme, which includes a public consultation, is a response to the growing number of products and services being marketed as environmentally friendly, as awareness of environmental issues increases. In 2019, UK consumers spent £41 bln on ethical goods and services – almost four times as much as people spent two decades ago. Based on its own research and evidence from other enforcers, the CMA is concerned that this surge in demand for green products and services could incentivise some businesses to make misleading, vague, or false claims about the sustainability or environmental impact of the things they sell, for example by exaggerating the positive environmental impact of a product or service, using complex or jargon-heavy language, or implying that items are eco-friendly through packaging and logos when this is not true. The CMA will examine a wide range of sectors, although it is likely to focus on those industries where consumers appear most concerned about misleading claims, including textiles and fashion, travel and transport, and fast-moving consumer goods. It will also consider whether failing to provide all relevant information about the sustainability of a product or service could break consumer law. The CMA intends to publish guidance for businesses next summer to help them support the transition to a low-carbon economy without misleading consumers.

Deal of the century – Statkraft has signed an agreement to buy the London-based renewable energy developer Solarcentury. The £118 mln ($152 mln) deal will hand the Norwegian state-owned utility 6 GW of solar projects under development in Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Greece, Italy, and Chile. “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to ramp up as a wind and solar developer and become one of the leading renewable energy companies globally,” said Statkraft CEO Christian Rynning-Tonnesen. Statkraft has pledged to develop at least 8 GW of wind and solar power by 2025, and the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Solarcentury has 180 employees across 12 countries. (Bloomberg)

CO2-sta Rica – The Costa Rican government last week launched an initiative for tourists to voluntarily offset their CO2 emissions from travelling to the Central American country. Under the programme, tourists can visit the online calculator at the National Fund for Financing Forestry (FONAFIFO) website. Tourists who choose to purchase carbon offsets will directly fund FONAFIFO, which in turn aids landowners who conserve or protect nature. By involving tourists in fundraising efforts, FONAFIFO says it will be able to support more landowners, in turn leading to more protected land and more ecotourism opportunities where visitors can see the immediate advantages of conservation. (The Tico Times)

Soil standard – A working group led by Houston-based Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy on Monday released a proposed nationwide protocol for storing soil carbon. The “BCarbon” standard is voluntary designed and specifically to work for landowners and businesses in the US, with the researchers saying the approach could unlock the potential for removal, storage, and certification of upwards of 1 bln tonnes of CO2. BCarbon is comprised of 10 principles that emerged out of comparing existing soil carbon standards and contemplating the challenges in launching a new one.

Up and down – Participants in the WCI cap-and-trade programme completed 255 priced transactions of Vintage 2013-23 California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) during the third quarter for a weighted average price of $17.05, according to Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS) data published Monday. This was up 5% from the price for these allowances in Q2. Additionally, entities carried out 197 transactions of California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) for a weighted average price of $13.45 – a 21.1% discount to the average CCA weighted price in Q3 and a 6.7% drop from the weighted average CCO price in Q2.

Mr. Blue Sky – Emissions trading lobby group IETA, together with ITN Productions Industry News, are to produce a news-style programme for next year’s COP26 called Blue-Sky Thinking: The race to achieve net zero emissions, which will “explore the methods of creating a cleaner future that don’t cost the earth”. A trailer for the programme features IETA CEO Dirk Forrister, who talks about how climate change is happening at an alarming rate. The co-production will raise awareness and develop understanding of market mechanisms to help achieve net zero emissions, in relation to their two branches – offsetting and cap-and-trade. Anchored by an ITN Productions Industry News presenter, the programme will showcase the latest developments and game-changing initiatives in carbon offsetting schemes, energy-saving innovations, renewable energy and natural climate solutions. The collaboration will combine key industry interviews, sponsored editorial profiles, and news reports from leading organisations, thought-leaders, researchers, and industry innovators.

HijackedSBC – Activists in 10 UK cities have covered billboards and bus stops with spoof HSBC adverts, accusing HSBC of ‘climate colonialism’ and demanding the bank end its financing of fossil fuels, detention centres, and climate destruction. Over 250 billboards, bus stops, and tube ads featuring HSBC advertisements have been hijacked, including in London and Bristol today, in a national grassroots campaign by Brandalism activists. “The campaign aims to expose the bank’s harmful impacts on the climate and communities globally,” the organisers said.

And finally… Makin’ less bacon  – Major pork producer Denmark is to impose at least two meat-free days a week on state canteens, including in army barracks, police stations, and ministries. The initiative is set out by finance minister Nicolai Wammen to reduce carbon emissions. He also suggested that lamb and beef be served at most once a week because of their relatively large carbon footprint. (The Times)

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