CP Daily: Thursday March 10, 2016

Published 21:55 on March 10, 2016  /  Last updated at 21:55 on March 10, 2016  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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US, Canada partner to cut methane, vow more collaboration on carbon markets

The US and Canada on Thursday announced a joint effort to curb methane emissions from their oil and gas sectors, and said they would expand their collaboration on carbon markets by working together to ensure the environmental integrity of new emissions units.

World Bank’s PAF sparks secondary trade as CER supply concerns build ahead of 2nd auction

The World Bank-steered Pilot Auction Facility’s first auction has triggered secondary dealing in both the mechanism’s put options as well as the underlying CERs, as the winning companies aim to ensure enough supply is available to sell to government buyers while preparing for the next auction.

Tougher environmental laws don’t harm competitiveness -OECD

Countries that implement stringent environmental policies including emission limits do not lose export competitiveness when compared against countries with laxer regulations, according to a new OECD study.

Queensland emissions boom threatens Australia’s CO2 target

Greenhouse gas emissions in Queensland are projected to rise 35% by 2030, jeopardising Australia’s chances of meeting its climate commitments, the Queensland state government said.

State-owned carbon aggregator enters China’s emerging power market

The carbon trading arm of Huaneng, China’s biggest power generator, has bought a 20% stake in a new wholesale power company set up to participate in the nation’s emerging power market, which aims to wrestle control of electricity supply away from the nation’s big grid operators.

EU Market: EUAs tumble 3.3% to below €5 on oil dive

EU carbon prices dropped below €5 on Thursday on the back of a sharp fall in oil prices amid turbulent financial markets rocked by ECB announcements.

Italian installations cleared to receive 3.7 mln EUAs for 2015

Around 75 Italian installations have been cleared to receive a total 3.7 million free EU emissions allowances for 2015 after the government said there were no longer any reasons to block the allocations.

Bite-sized updates from around the world

People need to get their heads around the idea that fossil fuels are “probably dead,” the CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway said Wednesday. “I’m not maybe as green as I should be, but I happen to think the climate is changing (and) they’re not going to fool me anymore,” Hunter Harrison told a JP Morgan transportation conference in New York.  The veteran rail executive said the transition to alternative fuels will be long, but new investments in traditional energy sources will dry up because of environmental hurdles. (The Canadian Press)

GCF agrees to huge staff rise – The GCF board adopted a proposal to increase the size of its secretariat from 56 to 100 by the end of the year, and to 140 by the end of 2017, according to observer Brandon Wu of ActionAid. Getting people in might be another problem entirely though, as the board has cited poor pay and its remote location in Songdo, South Korea, as reasons for its struggle to recruit staff.

Green groups pressure Sweden to cancel Ugandan CER purchase – Environmental groups are calling on Sweden to cancel a deal to buy CERs from a Ugandan CDM project amid a land dispute. In an open letter, the green groups urged the government to call off its 20-year, $4 million agreement with Norwegian firm Green Resources AS, alleging that around 6,000 farmers have been denied access to land now used for a tree plantation project. (Global Forest Coalition)

Alberta’s carbon levy has helped fund the development of technology that converts plant oils into a renewable transport fuel that’s virtually indistinguishable from diesel.  The provincial government has earmarked $10 million to SBI BioEnergy, the company behind the technology, to help it build a facility to continue its work.

Arkansas is halting its effort to craft and implement a plan to comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan – The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Arkansas Public Service Commission said in a statement that stakeholder meetings will cease as a result of last month’s US Supreme Court decision to stay the CPP. (KUAR)

New analysis released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that strengthening New Mexico’s clean energy policies, together with a national ETS, provides a cost-effective way for the state to cut GHG emissions, deliver significant health and economic benefits to residents, and comply with the CPP.

Maersk, Cargill back faster shipping emissions cuts – Global fleet should be improving fuel efficiency 20% a decade says coalition of 15 companies, urging UN regulator to set targets. (Climate Home)

Statoil ASA and Statkraft received approval from a Norwegian energy regulator to permanently shut down the Karsto gas power plant in western Norway, which was expected to be unprofitable for at least a decade because of weak power prices. (WSJ)

And finally… Here’s why Donald Trump might not be the worst possible candidate on climate change – Grist argues that any effort to derail Trump as the Republican presidential frontrunner will likely translate into a boost for Ted Cruz.  And while Trump is no worse than Cruz on the issue of climate change, there is at least the potential for him to pivot toward the centre. “In short: Whereas Cruz is a guaranteed disaster for the climate, Trump is merely a very likely one.” On environmental policy more broadly, Trump has pledged to abolish or dramatically reduce in size the EPA and to roll back environmental regulations, whereas Cruz’s policy plans are more extreme. He called the Clean Power Plan “lawless and radical” and “flatly unconstitutional”, and has sponsored a bill that would forbid any federal agency from fighting climate change under the Clean Air Act and other major environmental laws.

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