CP Daily: Wednesday October 12, 2016

Published 22:52 on October 12, 2016  /  Last updated at 22:52 on October 12, 2016  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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South Korea to ease CO2 caps for ETS sectors, put Paris target in doubt

South Korea is planning to relax CO2 emission targets for power generators and industry in its 2030 climate change strategy, according to sources, raising concerns about the country’s ability to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

EU lawmakers dismayed by ICAO aviation deal but wary of sector’s full return to ETS

EU Parliamentarians gave only limited praise to ICAO’s global carbon offsetting scheme for aviation on Wednesday, but stopped short of advocating for the full reinstatement of extra-European flights in the bloc’s carbon market.

Killing with kindness? How the EU ETS helped cement sector get dirtier

Europe’s cement sector CO2 emissions are kept higher by rigid EU ETS rules that incentivise overproduction and prevent cleaner alternatives from getting a foothold, environmental campaigners Sandbag said in a report Wednesday.

EU Market: EUAs lift despite weaker spreads in auction-free session

EU carbon prices ended in positive territory for the first time in four days on Wednesday as late buying and a rare-auction free day helped offset bearish signals from the energy complex.

BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Efficiency’s efficient results – Energy efficiency policies led to a 1.8% drop in energy intensity last year, triple the average rate of decline over past decade. According to a new report by the International Energy Agency, the 35 developed nations tracked by the IEA saved $540 billion due to energy efficiency measures and enough energy to power Japan for a full year. China’s energy efficiency efforts in particular have been impressive: energy intensity declined by 30% in the past 15 years, meaning the country’s energy savings are now equal its renewable energy supply. (H/T Climate Nexus)

Slowing the blowing – The German government plans to put the brakes on wind power development in the country’s windy north because the electricity grid could not be extended quickly enough, according to leaked documents obtained by the Guardian. The government claims the steps were necessary to stop the renewables revolution from undermining its own success.

Maybe he should have done his DD – Arch carbon pricing opponent Brad Wall, the premier of Saskatchewan, says Hillary Clinton’s climate change plan is better than that announced by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau earlier this month, the Canadian Press reports.  Problem is, Clinton’s plan may include support for CCS, in which Saskatchewan is heavily invested, but the strategy is to complement Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which she has said she will defend as president and which promotes the use of market-based mechanisms by states to cut GHG levels.

Not that anyone was expecting one, but… – There’s very little chance that Congress could pass an economy-wide carbon tax in the near term, President Obama’s top energy adviser said.  White House senior aide Brian Deese said at a Columbia University event Tuesday that a clean economy-wide price on carbon would be the easiest way to reduce emissions, like the cap-and-trade proposal Obama pushed early in his presidency or a tax on carbon emissions.  But the chances of that getting through Congress are politically small, Deese said, which makes further executive action even more important. (The Hill)

And finally… Less burpy bovines – Scientists in Denmark are developing a new type of grass that’s designed to reduce methane emissions from belching cows.  Researchers at Aarhus University have used DNA technology to make the grass easier to digest, meaning less gas builds up in the bovines’ stomachs, the Berlingske website reports. (Or read the BBC’s pick-up of the story here)

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