CP Daily: Wednesday January 27, 2016

Published 23:09 on January 27, 2016  /  Last updated at 11:28 on January 28, 2016  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Ukraine environment minister, two senior officials fired over Kyoto cash corruption charges

Ukraine’s acting minister of environment and natural resources Serhii Kurykin and two senior officials have been fired for allegedly attempting to embezzle 550 million Hryvnia ($22 million) in Kyoto Protocol revenues, the government said on Wednesday.

States turn to US Supreme Court to halt Clean Power Plan

A group of 29 US states and state agencies led by West Virginia and Texas on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to halt implementation of the EPA’ Clean Power Plan while lawsuits against it proceed, after a Washington DC appeals court last week ruled against the request.

RGGI states to consider Wash. State plan to use its CO2 units, but “substantive issues” flagged

RGGI states will evaluate Washington State’s draft proposal to allow it to use the regional carbon market’s allowances in its own state-wide cap-and-trade scheme, RGGI’s operator said on Tuesday, adding that the plan raises “substantive issues”.

EU Market: Carbon defies energy gains to dip back below €6

EU carbon prices fell in the face of a rising energy complex on Wednesday but kept well above the previous session’s 20-month low in a slightly calmer session than recent chaotic trading days.

Switzerland appoints new environment agency chief

Switzerland has named a new director of its Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the agency that oversees the Swiss emissions trading scheme, it announced on Wednesday.

California issues 565K offsets, adding 1.6% to all-time supply

California handed out 565,179 offsets to four projects over the past fortnight, increasing the all-time issuance total by 1.6% to 36.6 million.

Bite-sized updates from around the world

Despite the low odds of gaining enough votes to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, more than 40 groups reported lobbying Congress during the fourth quarter of 2015 on the Congressional Review Act resolutions to kill the rules, Bloomberg BNA reported.

Fifteen South Florida mayors sent letters to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush requesting meetings with the Republican presidential candidates and climate change deniers to talk about the environmental risks facing the state. The mayors underscored the economic burden of climate change in South Florida, urging the pair to acknowledge the reality and urgency of the issue and to address the crisis it presents. “Anyone who thinks that the topic of climate change is a partisan issue is not focused on the reality which we as public officials and citizens are dealing with. This is a crisis that grows day by day,” said Tomas Regalado, mayor of Miami, according to AlterNet.

Australia’s opposition Labor party on Wednesday began a consultation with industry, employers, unions and community groups that will culminate in setting a 2030 GHG emissions target that the party will take to the federal election later this year. Labor’s starting point is a 45% cut from 2005 levels, compared to the government’s pledge of a 26-28% reduction. The party is also in the midst of drawing up a proposed ETS, which leader Bill Shorten last month said would seek to link to other markets, with China and the EU as potential options.

British Columbia has also opened up a consultation on the development of its new Climate Leadership Plan, offering citizens, First Nations, local governments, and organizations a second opportunity to engage in the process via a provincial website.

The latest delay to plans to build Britain’s new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant could spell bad news for UK carbon budgets, an analysis by Carbon Brief shows.  A final investment decision on the scheme, due to be the UK’s first new nuclear plant for a generation, has just been postponed by French energy firm EDF in the latest of many delays.  Each year it fails to operate would add 10-11 million tonnes of CO2 to the UK’s emissions, assuming it is replaced by gas-fired generation, Carbon Brief estimates.

South Korea’s electricity consumption grew 1.3% in 2015, according to a data release from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, indicating that CO2 emissions in the Korean ETS might have increased slightly, although the data did not break down consumption by fuel. Machinery manufacturers used 5.3% more electricity than in the previous year, while consumption for steel mills plunged by the same percentage.

And finally… The Doomsday Clock remains at three minutes to midnight, the closest to the brink of global destruction since the height of the Cold War, representatives of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Tuesday, citing climate change and nuclear weapons as the world’s biggest threats.

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