CP Daily: Friday July 8, 2016

Published 21:56 on July 8, 2016  /  Last updated at 21:56 on July 8, 2016  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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Australia climate policy faces uncertainty as Coalition poised for fragile election victory

Australia’s ruling Coalition looks set to maintain power after last weekend’s election, pushing Labor’s proposed double carbon market off the table but leaving the government’s ability to reform climate policy more dependent on internal Liberal party wrangling than the final balance in parliament, according to observers.

EU unveils project to help develop Korea’s carbon market

The EU and South Korea on Friday unveiled a €3.5 million project to help develop the Korean emissions trading scheme, underpinning expectations that Seoul plans to reform the market.

China’s Guangdong brings aviation into its ETS

Guangdong on Friday announced it would bring the province’s aviation sector into its emissions trading scheme, becoming the second of China’s pilot carbon markets to do so.

EU Market: EUAs post 1.5% weekly loss as feeble auction, spreads test resolve

EU carbon prices slipped slightly on Friday to post a 1.5% weekly loss after one of the weakest ever German auctions and a very bearish energy complex deterred buying.

NZ Market: Carbon lingers near NZ$18 as bull run ends

New Zealand carbon allowances have lingered just below NZ$18 ($13.05) for most of this week as buyers shifted focus towards the potential outcomes of the second part of the government’s ETS review.

COMMENT: 11 essential questions for designing a policy to price carbon

When it comes to developing a carbon pricing policy, a host of devilish details arise. The US-based Brookings Institute outlines 11 essential design questions for lawmakers to consider, with each featuring several potential answers with their own considerations, pro and con (recognizing that one person’s pro can be another person’s con). The goal here is to elucidate at a high level the options for carbon pricing policy design, not to build the case for a carbon price itself or quantify the benefits or costs of specific approaches.

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

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

Voluntary market data from CTX for July 8, 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

Meanwhile in Germany – The country’s federal parliament has approved a controversial revamp of the country’s energy transition. According to Clean Energy Wire, the coalition of economy minister Sigmar Gabriel’s Social Democrats and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives secured a majority vote for the fundamental reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the main mechanism behind the Energiewende.  The reforms will expose renewables to market forces by introducing competitive tenders, which the government says are necessary to lower costs and get a better grip on the expansion of green energy. But critics fear the changes will put Germany’s climate targets out of reach, and also shift the energy transition from a collective effort into the hands of big business.

Separately, preliminary figures published by the Energy Charts tool of research institute Fraunhofer ISE show that renewables made up more than 36% of electricity generation in Germany in the first six months of 2016.

The ROI on California’s carbon market RO-sucks – State Assemblyman Adam Gray has called for the state auditor to look at how proceeds from the cap-and-trade program are being spent.  In an op-ed published by the Modesto Bee, Gray argues that the state “should be implementing air quality improvement programs to clean up the air, but instead the Legislature and California Air Resources Board are fixated on lofty long-term greenhouse gas reduction programs.”  He adds: “At the heart of the issue is the $3.1 billion generated from the air board’s cap-and-trade program. This pot of money has sparked a feeding frenzy for a multitude of pet projects and programs. These funding fights are over pork – not climate change.”

Staying with California – Governor Jerry Brown’s administration has been talking directly with oil companies in hopes of reaching a consensus on extending California’s landmark climate programs, opening a back channel with an industry the governor has harshly criticized as a barrier to addressing global warming, the LA Times reports.  The dialogue was described by sources who requested anonymity to talk about private discussions and later confirmed by the Western States Petroleum Assn., which represents oil companies in Sacramento.

Banks pressured for facilitating EPH’s coal spree – green groups have written to nine banks including Citibank, HSBC and JP Morgan for their role in helping raise €3 billion in finance for Czechia-based firm EPH. They are urging the banks not to refinance the firm or advise it on any further deals. EPH, poised to become one of Europe’s biggest emitters following Sweden’s clearance of its purchase of Vattenfall’s German lignite assets, is betting on a rebound in power prices as Germany seeks to maintain a stable power supply while it phases out nuclear by 2022. But the greens fear the privately-held firm will seek to actively undermine CO2-cutting efforts and renege on land reparation costs. (Climate Home)

This is disproportionately interesting – When it comes to power plants, research suggests that there may be new and more effective ways to tackle emissions in the future.  A new study in the journal Scientific Reports examines the issue of “disproportionality” in fossil fuel-burning power plant emissions — the idea that some plants produce a heftier share of a nation’s total electricity-based emissions than others. The Washington Pose reports on the paper.

Catnip for wonks – The July issue of JIQ magazine is out, with the quarterly climate policy title featuring articles on how the EU can make its non-ETS emission goals compatible with the Paris Agreement and a model for pre-2020 voluntary credit trading based on NDC mitigation targets.

Also, the latest edition of Carbon Mechanisms Review, the quarterly magazine on Carbon Market Mechanisms, is out.  The issue deals with the implementation period of the Paris Agreement ahead, looking at both the results of the intersessional meeting in Bonn in May and the tasks ahead on the road to Marrakesh. It also takes a renewed look at the question of sustainable development benefits, which has been given greater emphasis in Article 6, it explores ways for the Green Climate Fund to make use of the CDM, and it reports on the support needs of parties when combining the use of market mechanisms with NDCs.

DALYs & ADALYs – Working with thought leaders in health, air quality, and climate science, Gold Standard is pioneering a way to quantify the health benefits delivered by technologies that provide clean cooking and heating solutions to vulnerable communities around the world. This first-of-its kind approach uses Averted Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) as the impact metric. The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or premature death. Reducing or averting DALYs can demonstrate an improvement in health and life expectancy.  “Quantifying the health impacts from a project enables public and private investors to see where their money has been spent and how their investments have made a difference, helping them to maximize their impact and track their progress towards SDG#3 while also contributing to climate action in SDG#13,” Gold Standard said. “It will also help build investor confidence – driving more finance into those projects and regions that need it the most.” Click here to read more.

And finally… This heat is making me so angry! – One of the uncomfortable facts of life is that some countries – and within the US, some states – are more violent than others. Drawing on a host of studies, a new paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences – lead-authored by Paul A. M. Van Lange of Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam – proposes a model for understanding violence with the only somewhat forced-sounding acronym CLASH, short for CLimate, Aggression, and Self-control in Humans.  The authors argue that climate – in the form of the culture it gives rise to – is the primary driver of aggression.  Read more on this from CNN.

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