CP Daily: Friday April 8, 2016

Published 18:25 on April 8, 2016  /  Last updated at 18:30 on April 8, 2016  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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EPH to acquire Vattenfall’s German lignite coal assets -Reuters

Czech investor EPH is set to buy Vattenfall’s loss-making German lignite operations, Reuters reported on Friday, citing three anonymous sources.

EU Market: EUAs hit fresh six-week high after oil spike

EU carbon prices extended the previous session’s six-week high on Friday to ride afternoon gains in oil and notch a 4.6% weekly gain.

Top EU court rejects LafargeHolcim’s appeal over stolen EUAs

Europe’s top court has dismissed an appeal by cement giant LafargeHolcim in its lawsuit against the European Commission over the 2010 theft of 1.6 million EU Allowances.

Romania, Estonia cleared to hand out free 2015 EUAs to utilities

The European Commission has given Romania and Estonia the green light to hand out a total 12.88 million free EU carbon allowances to their utilities for their 2015 emissions, according to a notice published on the EU executive’s website late Thursday.

NZ Market: NZUs push higher as demand continues to grow

New Zealand carbon allowances finished the week on a strong note, pushing through the NZ$12 ($8.14) barrier for the first time since Nov. 2011 as buyers aggressively stepped into the market.

RGGI, Inc. executive director stepping down as market operator begins hunt for successor

The executive director of RGGI, Inc., the operator of the northeast US’ regional carbon market, is stepping down, the organisation has confirmed.

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Apr. 8, 2016

Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.

Voluntary market data from EEM for Apr. 8, 2016

A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, provided by European Environmental Markets (EEM) and based on voluntary market data from Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX).

BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Someone call Guinness – The UN predicts that at least 130 countries will sign the Paris Agreement at its New York headquarters on Apr. 22, Climate Home reports, beating the record 119 that signed the Law of the Sea in 1982 in Jamaica.  Separately, a UN legal official has warned that countries should move fast to sign and ratify the agreement, as those that don’t could miss out on being involved in key decisions.

World Bank pledges greater focus on adaptation – The World Bank Group unveiled its new climate change action plan, reconfirming moves to increase the climate-related share of its overall investment from 21% to 28% percent by 2020, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported, with total financing of around $29 billion per year by that date, including $13 billion leveraged from the private sector. The bank will adopt a new approach to factoring climate change into its work, and will extend screening for climate risk across all its operations in early 2017 following criticism over its support of fossil fuel infrastructure. Over the past five years, the bank has spent 73% of its climate funds on mitigation and just 27% on adaptation, but it said it would now put “a greater focus on adaptation and resilience”. Here’s the full plan.

BC’s carbon tax: raise or hold? – Eight mayors in the British Columbia Mayors Climate Leadership Council have asked the Canadian province to reinstate annual increases in the carbon tax of $6 to $15 per tonne, and to put some of the cash toward transit expansion. However, other mayors in northeastern municipalities are urging a continuation of the current $30/t freeze, fearing a boost could hurt their competitive standing in global industries such as LNG. (Metro News)

Wean off the black stuff – Quebec is aiming to cut its dependence on fossil fuels by 2030, Reuters reported, including boosting renewables’ share of its energy supply to 61% from 47% currently, and reducing its oil consumption by 40%.  It will invest some C$4 billion to pursue this, with a sizeable portion of that likely coming from the province’s carbon auction revenues.

Where were you? – Dozens of Democrats, including 10 senators and 27 House members, did not sign onto an amicus brief supporting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan in federal appeals court, according to an analysis from Bloomberg BNA. Lawmakers gave a number of reasons for not participating, including that they have a policy of not signing any ‘friend-of-the-court’ briefs and that this was merely an oversight.

Carbon price good for coal country – World Resources Institute has put out an issue brief showing that a price on carbon can be good for coal communities and low-income households across the US, as revenue can be directed to offset higher energy prices and help them transition to new industries.

California ETS adds 11 cents to gasoline prices – The inclusion of transport fuel in the state’s carbon market since 2015 has raised gasoline prices by 11 cents per gallon and diesel prices by 13 cents, according to the state legislature’s nonpartisan analyst. And yet, consumers may not have noticed at the pump, with the rise coming as gas prices plummeted nationally along with crude oil. The US average for a gallon of gasoline dropped from $3.26 per gallon at the beginning of 2014 to $2.14 a year later. (CBS Sacramento)

Connecticut clean energy cash cuts – Budget proposals from the state’s legislature would slash $20 million in funding from Connecticut’s clean energy programs, costing the state and consumers approximately $60 million in benefits from energy savings programs, according to an analysis from Arcadia Center. “Raiding clean energy and climate programs would threaten Connecticut’s progress to date addressing climate pollution, and undermine the state’s standing with partners in RGGI,” it said.

And finally… Chill dude, it’s only a carbon tax – An oil salesman has been charged after staff in Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips’ office claimed he threatened to shoot everyone there over the province’s upcoming carbon tax. Michael Enright says he didn’t make any threats and was simply calling to voice his frustration over the hurt currently being experienced in his industry. (The Globe and Mail)

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