CP Daily: Thursday June 23, 2016

Published 23:45 on June 23, 2016  /  Last updated at 23:45 on June 23, 2016  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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New Zealand unlikely to cancel surplus Kyoto units -minister

New Zealand is unlikely to cancel any of its 123.7 million surplus Kyoto units to make up for the dubious ERUs it used to meet its 2008-2012 emission target, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett has told a parliamentary committee.

China’s Tianjin bars emitters from using offsets for 2015 compliance -sources

In a surprise move, the Tianjin government has told companies participating in the city’s emissions trading scheme they won’t be allowed to use offsets for compliance, several sources told Carbon Pulse.

CMIA names carbon trader as new executive director

The Climate Markets and Investment Association (CMIA) has appointed a new executive director, who will join the organisation on a full-time basis and be tasked with building a new supporting secretariat.

EC confirms industry allocation will shrink over 2018-2020 following court verdict

The European Commission on Thursday confirmed that big emitting industries will see their free EUA allocations cut over 2018-2020 following a decision by Europe’s highest court to invalidate its calculations.

Second EU tender for common auction platform “in final stages”

The EU’s second procurement process for a common auction platform is “in its final states”, the European Commission said Thursday, as the contract with the bloc’s current sale hosts EEX expires in August.

EU Market: EUAs steady as market braces for Brexit vote results

EU carbon was little changed on Thursday as traders showed little appetite for following wider financial markets in betting that the UK will opt to remain in the EU as its citizens go to the polls.

BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

It’s B-Day – Brexit polls have closed, and the fate of the UK’s place in the EU will soon be known.  According to Politico, the 73 British MEPs would be under pressure to relinquish top jobs in the European Parliament immediately if their country votes to leave, and this would have a major impact on two of the Parliament’s top three political groups.  The members would keep their seats until the UK left, but they would lose their political weight and be urged to step down from posts chairing committees and as rapporteurs in charge of new policy discussions.  That would include Scotland’s Ian Duncan, who is tasked with steering the bloc’s post-2020 EU ETS reforms through the Parliament.  Meanwhile, outgoing EU climate chief Christiana Figueres said a vote to leave would see the UK having to rework its contribution to the Paris Agreement.

Tricky, unwieldy and expensive – South Africa’s proposed carbon tax, at a starting rate of R120/tonne, is too weak provide a solid signal for investors, and it will incentivise only the lowest-cost offsets, “which are typically those that provide the least additional benefit in terms of employment and reduced externalities.”  That’s according to green group WWF-SA, which made the comments after the South African Treasury earlier this week released draft guidelines on what offsets would be usable against the country’s upcoming carbon tax.  According to iol.co.za, the organisation said carbon offsets were “a tricky concept” and their registration process was “unwieldy and expensive.” “We are glad … that credits have a specified duration, since many of the activities on the Treasury ‘white list’ have a high risk of reversibility. This means that any credit purchased will expire after a set period.”

Hong Kong emissions up – Hong Kong’s carbon emissions rose in 2013 for the third year in a row, according to new government data. The main reason for the increase was that the biggest utilities used more coal to generate electricity, according to the South China Morning Post. China has invited Hong Kong to join the mainland’s national carbon market from next year, but HK officials have not shown an interest.

Berlin divesting – The Berlin House of Representatives decided today to blacklist investments in companies that are incompatible with the city’s goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050, according to campaigners Fossil Free Berlin. The new investment policy is supposed to ban coal, oil and gas companies from the city’s €750 million pension fund, which includes shares in companies such as RWE, E.ON and Total.

Carbon-free Oslo – The Norwegian capital’s council will ban cars from its city centre by 2019 as it seeks to meet a new goal of wiping out practically all of its GHG emissions, Climate Home reports.  Late on Wednesday, Socialist, Labour and Green parties voted to slash carbon emissions 50% by 2020 and 95% by 2030 on 1990 levels, a goal lawmakers admit is demanding.

Another day, another op-ed in the California press defending the state’s cap-and-trade scheme in the wake of last month’s lacklustre auction result.  The latest one is by Dallas Burtraw of Resources for the Future.

And finally… “You are getting sleepy… You will consume less fuel…” – In an unusual experiment that could have major implications for the role of corporations in fighting climate change, Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways recently teamed up with economists to try to “nudge” the company’s pilots to use less fuel, using a variety of behavioural interventions.  And it apparently worked. The intervention was so cost effective, the researchers say, that it “outperforms every other reported carbon abatement technology of which we are aware.” Read more on this from the Washington Post.

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