CP Daily: Tuesday March 15, 2016

Published 18:01 on March 15, 2016  /  Last updated at 18:01 on March 15, 2016  / Stian Reklev /  Newsletters

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

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China national ETS launch likely in second half of 2017 -sources

The launch of China’s national emissions trading scheme will likely be pushed to the second half of 2017 as more time is needed put in place the necessary legal groundwork, the market’s lead designer told a conference in Guangzhou this week, according to sources who attended the event.

Japan releases draft climate action plan, commits to 80% GHG cut by 2050

Japan on Tuesday released for public consultation a climate action plan that commits the nation to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by mid-century, but it contained little in terms of new policies.

UK to enshrine net-zero emissions pledge into law -minister

The UK will commit to reducing its net GHG emissions to zero by enshrining the pledge into law, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said on Monday, an ambitious target in line with what was called for in last year’s Paris climate agreement.

EU industry got €24bn windfall from the EU ETS -report

European industries pocketed a windfall of at least €24 billion over 2008-2014 under the EU ETS, according to consultancy CE Delft, which said steel, cement, refineries and petrochemicals firms got the lion’s share.

EU ETS administrative costs could soar after 2020 as regulators strive to curb windfalls -study

Changes to the way the EU calculates free carbon allowance allocations to industry could mean administrative costs reach €173 million next decade, more than double the amount expected by the European Commission, consultancy Ecofys said late on Monday.

EU Market: EUAs end flat, holding up against weaker energy prices

European carbon prices closed flat on Tuesday, holding up in the face of a softer energy complex.

SK Market: Korean CO2 prices soar to fresh highs as supply squeeze persists

Prices in South Korea’s emissions trading scheme rose to new all-time highs in Tuesday trade as sellers refuse to budge until there is more clarity on whether the government will step in to address the market’s allowance scarcity before the June 30 compliance deadline.

Huge supply of cheap offsets could spawn two-tiered Australian CO2 market, cut need for UN units -Reputex

Australia could generate 300 million carbon credits at a cost of only A$1-4 each and another 200 million below A$16, potentially paving the way for a two-tiered domestic carbon market and reducing the need for international emissions units, analysts Reputex said Tuesday.

Australian environment minister to announce further CO2 write-downs

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt said his ministry’s internal data show that the country will overshoot its 2020 GHG emission target by even more than forecast, and claimed that Australia’s CO2 output in 2005 will represent the peak, despite levels rising under the current government.

Emissions up, CO2 unit holdings down for Czech utility CEZ in 2015

Czech utility CEZ Group increased its EU-regulated emissions by 3.4% in 2015, while its carbon unit holdings dropped by 8.6% due mainly to smaller government allocations, the state-owned power generator said in its 2015 earnings report released Tuesday.

Shanghai exchange eyes China’s first carbon forward contract

The Shanghai carbon exchange and the Shanghai Clearing House are working on China’s first on-exchange CO2 allowance forward contract, which they hope to launch in September, the exchange announced Tuesday.

Bite-sized updates from around the world

Obama to limit Arctic, Atlantic drilling – Virtually all of the Arctic and much of the Atlantic coast of the US will become off limits for offshore drilling, the Interior Department is expected to announce as soon as today as part of a new five-year drilling plan. Along the Atlantic coast, the oil industry and some Republican governors are in favour of offshore drilling, but there has been a huge outpouring of protest from coastal communities. More than 100 coastal cities and towns signed resolutions asking the Obama administration to shut down plans for new drilling. The Pentagon also recently came out strongly against Atlantic drilling, saying it could interfere with the Navy’s work along the coast. (H/T Climate Nexus)

Germany’s Constitutional Court will on Tuesday and Wednesday hear parties in the case of the country’s nuclear phase-out, which utilities claim interfered with their property rights. Power generators say the government’s decision to shut all reactors by 2022 will cost them billions of euros in future earnings, with E.ON’s lawyers claiming that the bill could top €120 billion. The government is countering with an argument that the sector was already facing a 2022 phase-out since the first nuclear exit decision in 2001. However, the entire lawsuit would be withdrawn as part of a deal between companies and the government over who pays to decommission old nukes and store the radioactive waste – efforts also estimated to cost in the tens of billions of euros, if not more. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)

Poland has adopted a resolution targeting stricter EU climate policies, hardening its opposition before negotiations begin over GHG-cutting efforts should be shared amongst the bloc’s 28 member states, Bloomberg reported.  Poland’s Law and Justice government, which took power after general elections in October, said current goals already require “huge investment effort” to modernise the country’s energy sector.

Swedish-owned Vattenfall is allegedly thinking about pulling the sale of its lignite operations in Germany, just as the bidding period is due to end, the daily Bild Zeitung reports. Bid prices for the assets by the interested parties were not high enough, and Vattenfall reportedly won’t sell at any price, an insider told the paper. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)

Alberta’s oilpatch could start tackling harmful methane emissions, but it must first wait for details from government, especially surrounding the role that carbon offsets might play. (CBC)

Carbon offset project developers have traditionally targeted high-volume corporate buyers looking to reduce massive carbon footprints, but the universe of enlightened corporations has proven limited. As a result, a small but growing number of marketers are now selling to individuals and small businesses, where volumes are lower but margins are high – and so is appreciation. Ecosystem Marketplace reports.

And finally… Exhausted by the annual two-week mass-gatherings that are the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties?  The UN’s climate secretariat is now considering switching to biennial COPs (with three intersessional subsidiary body sessions in-between), and the SBI outlines the pros and cons in this document. In the meantime, the UNFCCC is encouraging potential hosts for the 2017 (Asia-Pacific) and 2018 (Eastern Europe) COPs to step forward.

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