CP Daily: Thursday July 14, 2016

Published 00:51 on July 15, 2016  /  Last updated at 01:03 on July 15, 2016  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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China’s petro industry pledges 10% CO2 intensity cut by 2020

China’s petroleum and petrochemical industry will cut its CO2 intensity 10% below 2015 levels by 2020, an industry association pledged Thursday, a target well below the country’s overall ambition that will likely guide the sector’s carbon cap in the national ETS.

The world’s top offset buyers, according to Ecosystem Marketplace

US carmaker General Motors has topped a global list of voluntary offset credit buyers for the third year in a row, with two airlines making the top 20, according to NGO Ecosystem Marketplace.

UK merges climate and energy ministry with business amid reshuffle

The UK government merged its energy-climate and business ministries on Thursday as part of cabinet appointments and departmental overhauls under newly-installed prime minister Theresa May.

California, Quebec dole out 700k offsets in largest issuance since Feb.

California and Quebec this week handed out a total 700,491 offsets in its latest issuance, the largest batch handed to carbon-cutting projects since February.

CN Markets: Hubei CO2 extends losses as supply rush continues unabated

Carbon prices in Hubei’s emissions trading scheme plunged a further 10% in Thursday trade on over supply, adding to the depressed mood dominating most of China’s pilot CO2 markets.

EU Market: Carbon ends steady after hitting 7-day high near €5

European carbon hit a seven-day high on Thursday but ended little changed following an unremarkable auction result, balancing out higher oil and coal and lower power prices.

GOLD STANDARD: Why do prices vary by project type?

Investing in climate and development projects is a powerful way to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon, climate secure world. However, it can seem complex – especially answering what appears to be a simple question of how much you should pay for a carbon credit. While your carbon provider can guide you through the process, this series of articles aims to provide some clarity in how carbon credits are valued, taking into account the differences among the projects that issue them.

BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Montreal Protocol – The Open-Ended Working Group of Parties will meet in Vienna on Friday to work towards phasing out HFCs.  Then, on July 22-23, nearly 40 ministers have committed to resume negotiations after parties last year agreed to reach an agreement in 2016 on cutting down the gas, which according to the Climate Action Network represents the fastest growing GHG in many countries.

Renewables chopped – Global investment in renewable energy fell 23% in the first half of this year as the cost of installing solar panels declined and China paused the pace of its spending.  Wind, solar and other clean energy industries attracted $116.4 billion in the first two quarters of the year including $61.5 billion in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which also revised up 2015’s total by almost $20 billion to a record $348.5 billion.

UK set to lose EU steering role – The rotating six-month presidencies of the Council of the EU will be reshuffled next week, as a result of Brexit, diplomats told EurActiv.  It is now certain the UK will not assume its presidency assigned for the second half of 2017 for its presidency, but it is unclear if same order will merely be rolled forward to Estonia or whether a larger, older member state will get it.

Brexit blues – A Brexit will force the EU’s remaining 27 countries to spend billions of euros on cutting carbon emissions more deeply to compensate for the UK leaving, the Guardian reports.  According to CAN Europe, once Britain invokes Article 50 and begins its journey to the EU’s exit door, the bloc will have to draw up new targets under the Paris Agreement, and because the UK is a large economy with a relatively advanced green sector, its departure will oblige each EU member state to raise their climate ambition by between 0.2-1.7%.

Paris ratification count – Ukraine’s parliament ratified the Paris Agreement on Thursday, while Climate Home reported that big-emitting Brazil took a step closer to doing so after its House of Representatives unanimously approved the step, which now awaits endorsement by the Senate and President.

CalSTRS cash – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System – one of the world’s largest pension funds with a portfolio valued at nearly $200 billion – today committed up to $2.5 billion to low-carbon strategies in US, non-US developed and emerging equity markets.  The passively managed equity portfolio will be invested in an index designed to have significantly lower exposure to carbon emissions than the broad market and nearly complete reduction in exposure to fossil fuel reserves.  “By underweighting high greenhouse gas emitters and fossil fuel reserve holders, the strategies are expected to benefit CalSTRS if carbon or emissions taxes become prevalent,” it said in a release.

Strange bedfellows – The oil industry, environmental organisations and aboriginal groups face a thorny task of advising the Alberta government on which future oil sands projects will fit under tough new carbon limits, the Globe & Mail reports.  Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government has assembled a diverse 18-member oil sands advisory panel to help figure out how to prepare the industry for keeping emissions under a target of 100 million tonnes by 2030.

HSBC backs carbon floorMinimum prices for emissions will help attract financing for the $80 trillion needed to weanthe world’s economy off fossil fuels, according to HSBC. The bank’s vice chairman of global banking and markets said  carbon markets can win over investors spooked by repeated collapses in prices worldwide and without a price floor clean-energy projects will probably struggle to compete against coal, oil and natural gas. (Bloomberg)

And finally… Two Pence for his thoughts – Media reports suggest presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will announce Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his VP pick. Pence, who boasts a lifetime score of 4% from the League of Conservation Voters, does not accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change.  Bloomberg BNA collates six comments made by Pence on the issue since 2000.  And check out Reuters’ profile on the “coal advocate who defied Obama’s climate agenda”.

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