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Bringing agriculture into its emissions trading scheme would allow New Zealand to reduce the financial risk involved with stockpiling some 50 million surplus carbon allowances in 2020, the Treasury has told the government.
Utility Vattenfall has completed the transfer of the large EU carbon allowance portfolio associated with its German lignite operations to new owner EPH, ending the risk of any market volatility over a hedging book thought to amount to around 8% of last year’s total ETS emissions.
EU carbon prices had their narrowest trading range in five weeks on Thursday, barely budging despite the wider energy complex making EUA-buying a more tempting prospect for utilities.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
How do you say “it’s a bit much” in Polish? – Poland’s environment ministry says the country will struggle to meet the 7% non-ETS emissions reduction target proposed by the European Commission, branding the goal an “inconvenience”. The Commission on Thursday released a plan for how the bloc’s 28 members would contribute to the 2030 goal to cut emissions by 40% below 1990 levels. “Poland cannot afford to take such a big effort reduction,” said deputy environment minister Paul Salek in a statement on the ministry’s website. Poland’s 7% goal is the fourth smallest after Bulgaria (0%), Romania (2%) and Latvia (6%). Read more on this from Climate Home.
Nick’s our man – Nick Hurd, formerly Britain’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, has been appointed the UK minister responsible for climate change at the new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the ministry’s boss Greg Clark. “On his first day in office, Mr. Clark (who has a long-standing personal engagement on climate issues) confirmed that tackling climate change remains a key priority for the government and is essential in ensuring economic prosperity and security for our country,” the ministry said in a statement. “BEIS will maintain all of the existing functions of DECC and will enable a united focus on markets, investors and consumers. Bringing energy, industrial strategy, science and climate change together in a single department is a considerable opportunity and will help ensure efficient paths to carbon reduction.”
Trees might suck a little less – The power of North American forests to become an effective mechanism to absorb carbon from the atmosphere could diminish due to global warming. According to a study in Ecology Letters, longer, hotter summer could not only make forests unhealthy, it could also stunt their growth, diminishing their ability to act as carbon sinks. The authors challenge previous studies projecting that the warming world will make North American trees bigger, by arguing there is a tipping point to the benefit. According to the authors, by 2075 North America could become 43F hotter than it was 1925 and slow the growth of trees by 75% in the American Southwest and north to the Rocky Mountains, Canada and Alaska. (H/T Climate Nexus)
Coal train – A reduction in the transportation of coal into the UK due to a rise in the country’s carbon floor price last year has dented revenues at rail freight company GB Railfreight, which is owned by Eurotunnel – the operator of the Channel Tunnel between France and Britain.
And finally… Renewables gone bad – An EBRD study has found that much of Turkey’s growing geothermal power generators emit as much CO2 as coal-fired output due to a geological quirk that dislodges the gas as adjacent limestone comes into contact with the steam, Bloomberg reports. One utility – Zorlu Enerji – disputes the findings, suggesting the discharges were only as much as gas-fired power plants. It sells a small part of the CO2 to fizzy drinks manufactures and another firm is studying how to bury the gas back underground.
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