CP Daily: Thursday July 28, 2016

Published 00:14 on July 29, 2016  /  Last updated at 00:23 on July 29, 2016  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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Australian minister plays down talks of move to market-based climate policy

Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg on Thursday said Australia would meet its emission targets with its current policies, playing down speculation that the country might put in place a baseline-and-credit scheme to cut CO2.

Director trio barred in UK over African cookstove swindle

Three men have been disqualified from acting as directors in the UK over their role in what they claimed was a Gold Standard-certified investment scheme involving the distribution of clean cookstoves in Africa.

Italy’s Enel hedges more power, burns less coal in H1

Italy’s Enel has hedged a higher share of its forward power generation compared to a year ago, the company said in its first-half earnings report released late on Thursday.

Germany’s EnBW increases forward power hedging, cuts coal-fired generation in H1

EnBW increased the rate at which it hedges its forward power and decreased its coal-fired generation compared to a year ago, suggesting less demand for EU carbon allowances from the German utility.

NZ Market: NZUs come off highs amid review uncertainty

New Zealand Units have edged back from recent highs as buyers are unwilling to pay much above NZ$18 until the government announces decisions on the second part of the ETS review.

EU Market: Falling oil, lacklustre auction weigh on EUA prices

European carbon prices eased on Thursday on the back of falling oil and a lacklustre auction, remaining within their recent narrow trading range that straddles €4.50.

California, Quebec offset issuance slows again

California handed out only 39,140 offsets eligible in its cap-and-trade programme in the latest issuance round, while Quebec did not issue any carbon credits at all.

COMMENT: The overwhelming case for a carbon tax in China

A single policy could do it all for China. A carbon tax – an upstream tax on the carbon content of fossil fuel supply – could dramatically cut greenhouse gases, save millions of lives, soothe the government’s fiscal anxieties, and boost green growth.

BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

“We will fight them in the atmosphere!” – Hillary Clinton will mobilise a global effort on a scale not seen since the second world war to tackle climate change if elected US president in November, Climate Home reports.  According to the Democratic policy adopted on Wednesday at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia, within 100 days of assuming office Clinton promises to bring together engineers, scientists, policy experts and activists “to chart a course to solve the global climate crisis”.  The party called for a clean energy revolution and a federal investigation into fossil fuel companies accused of misleading the public about the risks of climate change.  It did not embrace all the most climate hawkish proposals, rejecting a carbon tax, fracking ban and climate test for new energy infrastructure.

The other JC – Also on Wednesday, climate change took centre stage at the DNC thanks to a short film by James Cameron (the director, not the former chairman of Climate Change Capital). Watch it here.

Legal trouble – The world’s largest oil, coal, cement and mining companies have been given 45 days to respond to a complaint that their greenhouse gas emissions have violated the human rights of millions of people living in the Phillippines, the Guardian reports. In a potential landmark legal case, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR), a constitutional body with the power to investigate human rights violations, has sent 47 “carbon majors” including Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, a 60-page document accusing them of breaching people’s fundamental rights to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self determination”. The move is the first step in what is expected to be an official investigation of the companies by the CHR, and the first of its kind in the world to be launched by a government body.

And a bit more – Deutsche Umwelthilfe and Friends of the Earth Germany are launching an official complaint against Germany with the European Commission because of the “inadequate implementation” of the Energy Efficiency Directive. The environmental organisations want the Commission to start infringement proceedings to put more pressure on the German government to increase its climate action. They claim the country’s current measures are not enough to achieve the target of 1.5% energy savings per year. They also say that many instruments (e.g. truck toll, air transport tax and emissions trading) are not clearly geared towards achieving more energy efficiency. Read the complaint. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)

Subsidy play – Vattenfall’s lignite business results ahead of the sale of its coal mining and production facilities in eastern Germany offer some insight into why the Swedish utility is selling. They also raise the question of why Czech investor EPH is interested in the lignite operations, according to the research institute IEEFA. Vattenfall’s lignite business has been loss-making, but while the Swedes see this as a risk worth divesting from, EPH is in a “subsidy play” by buying regulated fossil-fuel assets that are supported by regulated payments. (H/T Clean Energy Wire)

Survey says – Investors in European coal, the year’s best-performing commodity, should strap in for a bumpy ride as demand for the fuel wanes. Coal for delivery in Europe in 2017 will fall about 11% by December, taking the gloss off the longest rally in year-ahead prices since 2010, according to a survey of traders and analysts by Bloomberg. The mineral’s 48% jump this year is more than double crude oil’s advance.

CCS: CO2 Contained Safely – A study of natural-occurring 100,000 year-old CO2 reservoirs shows no significant corroding, suggesting the greenhouse gas hasn’t leaked back out – one of the main concerns regarding CCS and suggesting the technology could be wielded safely and more predictably than previously thought.  The study, published in the journal Nature Communications and reported on by Phys.org, also notes that the timeframe is 10 times longer than the estimated times thought to be required to store the CO2 underground to avoid the impacts of climate change.

And finally… This Blood’s for you – A South African brewery has launched what it says is the world’s first carbon neutral beer.  Blood Serpent, a 5% ABV dry-hopped lager, is brewed by Darling Brew, with the scope 1 and 2 emissions of the brewing process, as well as the scope 3 emissions from the packaging, offset through the triple-certified Kariba REDD+ project in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Read more about it from Engineering News, or check out a review of the beer from Brewmistress (Spoiler alert: she gave it 3.5 hops out of 5).

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