CP Daily: Friday April 29, 2016

Published 22:49 on April 29, 2016  /  Last updated at 22:51 on April 29, 2016  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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China’s Sichuan province aims to launch pilot carbon market this year

Sichuan province in southwestern China aims to launch the nation’s eighth regional pilot carbon market this year, state media reported Friday.

Beijing expects to link ETS to more regions by year-end

Beijing expects to link its pilot emissions trading scheme to more cities and regions elsewhere in China before the end of the year, according to a municipal government official.

Pressure mounts on RGGI to examine steeper CO2 cuts

RGGI states are coming under greater pressure to consider deeper CO2 cuts after much of a key hearing on Friday was taken up looking at the effects of keeping the programe’s emissions cap flat through 2030.

Australia shaves 50 million tonnes off cumulative CO2 estimate to 2020

Slower-than-expected emissions growth in agriculture, land-use and fossil fuel projects means Australia will emit 50 million tonnes of CO2e less than previously thought over 2013-2020, extending the country’s over-achievement of its UN emissions target, the government said Friday.

NZ Market: NZUs extend year-highs, but volumes drop

Spot NZUs rose to year-high levels for the third day in a row on Friday, rising 1.4% on the day to settle at NZ$14.50 ($10.11) although on thin volumes.

EU Market: EUAs fall further after rally but notch 3.5% weekly gain

European carbon prices declined for a second straight day on Friday on profit-taking, falling further away from Wednesday’s three-month peak of €7.07 but still notching a weekly 3.5% gain.

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Apr. 29, 2016

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

Voluntary market data from CTX for Apr. 29, 2016

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

BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

French CO2 floor could be €30 – France’s carbon price floor could be fixed at €30/tonne, so as to be close to levels that would trigger fuel switching, said Gerard Mestrallet, CEO of French utility ENGIE, during the firm’s quarterly results. The floor is expected to mimic the UK’s carbon price floor and take the form of a top-up tax on EUAs, which would vary according to allowance prices. Mestrallet said the commission is he co-chairing – tasked by France to examine measures to strengthen carbon price signals at national, EU, and global levels – would report in July (read the Carbon Pulse take on that here).

A floor? Not for us – A senior German environment agency official said the French floor price proposal would fail in his country, which will have to find other tools to tackle emissions, Montel reports.  Uwe Leprich said it would have unintended consequences in Germany and fail to cut emissions because the country’s vast lignite-based production is cheaper than using slightly cleaner hard coal or gas. He added that CO2 prices would probably need to be above €40 to displace lignite.

California to easily meet CPP – The state could be as much a third below the 2031 target set for it by the federal government under the US Clean Power Plan, a draft analysis from California environment agency ARB found. The findings go some way to quieting concerns that in order to comply, California would need to impose drastic changes to its climate policy, which is underpinned by its cap-and-trade system.

CPP no big deal – Illinois is in a strong position to meet or exceed its targets under the Clean Power Plan, according to new analysis by the World Resources Institute. The state can get more than half way towards complying with the CPP by meeting its existing energy efficiency and renewable energy targets, WRI said.

Coal fall – US power plants in America used 739 million short tons of coal last year, down 29% from a peak of 1.045 billion short tons in 2007, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. Demand tanked in nearly every state, with Pennsylvania’s coal consumption falling by as much as 44%. A drop in natural gas prices, as well as significant uptake in renewable energy, contributed to this decline, the report said. (H/T Climate Nexus)

Investors feel the climate stressUtilities should undergo stress tests to show how their business models are in line with the 2C limit on climate change, said a global network of more than 270 institutional investors with assets worth more than $23 trillion led by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. The group added that the power generators also needed to set long-term strategies for lowering their emissions and dealing with higher carbon prices even though fossil fuels would continue to have a role in power generation for years.

But one investor not waiting for stress testing is Norway’s massive $868-billion wealth fund, which is looking at excluding around 40 more companies, mostly power producers, from its investments due to their use of coal. “They are spread across all the countries we are invested in. A majority are in countries where we have had problems to get good information,” said CEO Yngve Slyngstad. Some 52 companies have already been banned following last year’s announcement to divest from firms that derive more than 30% of their turnover or activity from coal. The list of the additional companies is expected to be published in connection with the fund Q3 results later this year, though Slyngstad indicated that the fund had likely moved some of that money already. (Reuters)

And finally… This is starting to reek of desperation – Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer and other leading environmentalists like Bill McKibben are the targets of an expensive new negative campaign from America Rising Squared, the 501c4 arm of Republican opposition research group America Rising, Politico reports.  Launched Friday, the push will include a deployment of trackers with video cameras to follow the activists, a significant effort to research them and their work, a six-figure digital ad campaign focused on social media, and a website that will serve as a hub for the group’s content.  “I’m of course flattered that our work has exposed the fossil fuel industry enough that they feel the need for this kind of personal attack – but as usual, the real news is the lengths they will go to avoid talking about the greatest issue of our time, their ongoing wreckage of the planet’s climate, and in the process so many of its people,” said McKibben in a statement.

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