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Australian ‘soft start’ ETS would seek links to international carbon market, but demand seen limited
Australia’s main opposition party on Wednesday revealed plans for an emissions trading scheme with access to international offsets and potential future links to other cap-and-trade systems, although analysts said initial CER demand would likely be limited due to a ‘soft start’ approach.
EU carbon prices have spiked by as much as 25% in the past week and are up a massive 40% from a month ago, but traders warned that while the recent rally seems to have been largely fuelled by big gains in wider energy prices, it has become detached from underlying fundamentals.
European carbon prices continued to climb on Tuesday after the previous day’s stellar rise, notching a 3.3% gain on the back of a bullish energy complex and after EUAs hit their highest since mid-January.
Demand for carbon offsets from airlines can provide a lifeline to the ailing CDM, which in return will be able to comfortably provide supply to an upcoming international market-based mechanism for civil aviation over the next decade, analysts say.
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc urged lawmakers not to isolate the bloc in tackling aviation emissions after several MEPs suggested the EU should go beyond UN-led efforts.
Interest in the Hubei carbon exchange’s new forward contract beat market expectations on Wednesday as a total of 6.8 million allowances for May 2017 delivery traded, the biggest daily volume yet in any of China’s pilot cap-and-trade systems.
Spot NZUs climbed to their highest levels of 2016 on Wednesday as comments made by Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett resurrected the bullish mood in the market.
California’s carbon market regulator ARB issued nearly 315,000 offsets this week, lifting all-time supply by 0.8% to 39.5 million units.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
GOP voters warming to climate change – The number of conservative voters in the US who believe in climate change has almost doubled in the past two years, according to a new poll reported by ClimateWire that attributes the rise in part to a lessening hostility toward the issue by Republican leaders. Some 47% of conservatives now say the climate is changing, a leap of 19 percentage points since the midterm elections of 2014, according to the survey released Tuesday by Yale and George Mason universities. The poll did not ask respondents whether climate change is caused by people.
EU ETS ‘skeleton’ plan unpicked – Analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon reproduce MEP Ian Duncan’s ‘skeleton’ options for ETS reform and give their take on each of the 12 points. On the headline idea to possibly choose a deeper annual CO2 cap cut, they said: “We see it as quite unlikely that any proposals to strengthen the Linear Reduction Factor in the phase 4 review will gain majority support in the Parliament,and find it even more unlikely that the Council would support this.” Carbon Pulse reported the main points and initial reaction to Duncan’s options on Tuesday.
UK power goals – The UK should set a 2030 power sector emissions target of 100g/CO2/kWh, a cross-party Energy and Climate Change committee said. This would limit the use of gas-fired power as back up for when renewable plants are not running. (Reuters)
Do more! – Pressure is growing on the New Zealand government to take stronger climate action. On Wednesday the Royal Society released a report outlining a number of policies across all sectors of the economy available to achieve affordable greenhouse gas emission cuts.
Five-day weekend – Venezuela’s government has imposed a two-day working week for public sector workers as a temporary measure to help the country overcome a crippling energy crisis. Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz announced that civil servants should turn up for work only on Mondays and Tuesdays until the crisis was over. Venezuela is facing a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam.
DC or bust – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is travelling to Washington DC this week to extol her government’s climate change plan, the Canadian Press reports, roughly six months after President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline that would have helped transport crude oil from the province’s tarsands to US refineries. Notley said Alberta taking steps to reduce its emissions is a story that needs to be told to Canada’s southern neighbour.
EEX’s carbon cash – German energy exchange EEX has increased its carbon trading revenues by 23% to €1.6 million over the past year, it announced Wednesday, a rise it said was largely due to volume growth in its secondary EUA market spurred by a revision of its offerings.
Aufhören! – REDD-Monitor expends on our story that German authorities last week reissued a public call for help in tracking down three men suspected of being involved in a €136 million tax evasion and money laundering scheme linked to the EU ETS. Citing a 2012 report from Der Spiegel, REDD-Monitor notes that one of the men ran a firm that allegedly became one of Deutsche Bank’s top trading partners in carbon units.
And finally… Was Prince’s favourite colour green, not purple? – Media coverage following the American musician’s death has uncovered that the notoriously private star funded a lot of green causes, including Green for All, a group working to fight climate change and bring green jobs to underprivileged populations. “His politics were not red. They were not blue. They were purple. He had a mind that let him see answers — musically, spiritually, even politically. Rather than argue about global warming, he said, ‘Let’s help kids put up solar panels,’” said activist Van Jones. (Grist)
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