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China has called for financial institutions to ease access to funding for high-tech industries that will help the world’s biggest-emitting nation rely less on energy-intensive, high-polluting manufacturers.
The diversity of the pledges made by countries to the UN climate summit in Paris creates accounting challenges for carbon trading and might require international oversight, according to a Wuppertal Institute report.
EU carbon prices posted their biggest daily increase so far this year, rising 8.5% on Wednesday to rise out of their bearish trend channel on the back of an afternoon jump in oil prices, which triggered wider gains across the energy complex.
EU carbon prices face more downside risks but signs are emerging that German power prices could be bottoming, US-headquartered energy consulting group PIRA said on Tuesday.
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group is urging lawmakers to make four changes to the EU ETS reform bill as a first step to fulfilling the ambition the 28-nation bloc committed to in the Paris Agreement.
Korean Carbon Units (KCUs), the offsets eligible for use in the nation’s emissions trading scheme, jumped 9.5% on the Korea Exchange (KRX) on Wednesday to close at 15,000 won ($12.24), a record high.
Bite-sized updates from around the world
Intergovernmental carbon markets body ICAP will hold two 45-minute webinars to launch its Status Report on Emissions Trading Worldwide on Feb 23. Policymakers from different ETS jurisdictions will provide updates on the latest developments in ETS and reflect on the future of carbon markets around the world at 1000 EST – New York (1500 GMT – London) and then at 1700 PST – San Francisco (0900 CST on Feb. 24 – Beijing)
Segolene Royal appointed president of UN climate talks – France’s environment minister replaces Laurent Fabius in build-up to next round of annual talks in Marrakech in November. (Climate Home)
Germany’s environment ministry is about to enter the second phase of consultation for its Climate Action Plan 2050, and has published a 288-page “measure set” as a basis for the upcoming discussion with stakeholders. There are six different proposals for a coal exit, ranging from establishing a consultation process to run-time limitations for coal plants. In the building sector, property taxes could become tied to energy efficiency, and using renewable energy for heating could become compulsory. The number of allowances in the EU ETS could be further reduced, and a speed limit could be introduced on motorways, the paper suggests. The Climate Action Plan 2050 is aimed at helping Germany achieve its mid-century target of an 80-95% reduction in GHG emissions and is due in summer 2016. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)
Palestine to submit UN climate pledge mid-year – As disputed territory gets increasing international recognition, lead envoy says it is ready to contribute to global warming efforts. (Climate Home)
A bipartisan group of governors from 17 US states has pledged to accelerate their efforts to create a green economy in the US by boosting renewables, building better electricity grids and cutting emissions from transport. The group includes California, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania. (Guardian)
While some US states say they will continue the implementation of the Clean Power Plan despite the recent Supreme Court stay, others most decidedly will not. In Kentucky, two senior energy and environment public servants have lost their jobs, including John Lyons, who was in charge of implementing the EPA’s climate regulations. Governor Matt Bevin, who took office only in December, is known for having referred to climate science as “fluff and theory”. (Courier-Journal)
Infrastructure Australia, an independent statutory body releases plan for Australia’s future infrastructure – Among its recommendations were several points on how Australia’s energy and transport sectors should deliver emissions reductions in line with the nation’s international commitments.
British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax is losing some of its neutrality, to the benefit of taxpayers – The government has to maintain tax breaks that equal or exceed the amount generated by the tax. In 2014-15, the tax reductions amounted to $326 million more than the $1.2 billion collected, and in 2015-16 the gap is estimated to be $514 million, growing to $540 million by 2018. The spread in the tax reductions between personal and business tax measures is almost two-to-one in favour of businesses. (Times Colonist)
The city of Ottawa’s environment committee has voted to set more ambitious GHG reduction targets – The measures aim to lower emissions to 80% below 2012 levels by 2050, up from the previous target of 20% below 2012 levels by 2024, which was set two years ago. (CBC)
The European Commission will on Mar. 3 publish a status report on the 2016 allocation of free EU Allowances by governments to industry, updating the data every two weeks until May.
And finally… The prospect of President Obama tapping Sri Srinivasan for the US Supreme Court is spawning a sharp debate among at least one part of the Democrats’ liberal grass roots: environmentalists turned off by his high-profile defense of giant fossil fuel companies, Politico reports. Mind you, Srinivasan was on the DC circuit court panel that initially rejected the CPP opponents’ request to have the rules stayed, meaning this could be part of a strategy based on reverse psychology and aimed at getting him appointed without much uproar from the Republicans.
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