CP Daily: Thursday December 8, 2016

Published 22:12 on December 8, 2016  /  Last updated at 19:16 on December 9, 2016  /  Newsletters

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

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Germany urges lower post-2020 EUA auction share, tighter cap

Germany wants to cut the share of auctioned EUAs after 2020 to allow more free units to go to industry in a move that appears to have support from many member states.

China tangles with carbon accounting guidelines as ETS launch nears

China is drawing up carbon accounting guidelines for ETS participants in a move some observers hope will improve transparency for what will become the world’s biggest emissions trading market.

EU Market: EUAs soar 8%, spurred by coal gains

European carbon prices jumped on Thursday, buoyed by short-covering and higher coal and power but capped once again by a technical barrier in the mid €4.60s.

South Australia premier to push for state-based carbon market

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill on Friday will ask other state leaders to back a state-based CO2 intensity trading scheme after the federal government this week confirmed it would not pursue a carbon market.

Canada’s New Brunswick unveils climate plan, with carbon pricing details to follow

New Brunswick has announced a plan to phase out coal and expand energy efficiency and renewables programmes, but the Canadian province postponed a decision on how it would price carbon.


Low-carbon spending bonanza (in C$) – Canada plans to slash GHG emissions through a “clean century growth plan” to string new power lines between provinces, encourage the purchase of electric cars and, when Canadian efforts fall short, buy carbon credits from abroad.  That’s according to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who according to the Globe and Mail will at a provincial-federal leaders’ meeting on Friday unveil what she is calling a “national project” to use a deluge of infrastructure spending to slash GHG output.

Uneconomical – Research by the Environmental Defense Fund shows that new coal plants are uneconomical in 97% of US counties. Read more about the study here.

Greener meadows – The University of Nevada, Reno is working on a methodology to allow the restoration of meadows to earn carbon offsets under California’s cap-and-trade scheme. Read more here.

Hit list – The energy agenda of the incoming Trump administration just got a lot clearer. A memo sent by Thomas Pyle, president of the Koch-funded Institute for Energy Research (IER) and head of the Trump transition’s energy team, laid out “The Trump Administration’s Energy Plan.” The memo reads like a fossil fuel industry wish list, including 14 policy proposals such as:

  • Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement;
  • Increasing federal oil and natural gas leasing;
  • Lifting the coal lease moratorium;
  • Eliminating the Clean Power Plan;
  • Expediting approvals of LNG export terminals;
  • Moving forward with pipeline projects including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline;
  • Rolling back federal fuel economy standards;
  • Ending the use of the social cost of carbon in agency rulemaking; and
  • Reconsidering the “endangerment finding” that found greenhouse gases to be a threat to public health and welfare.

“Until I saw the price tag” – Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, a climate change denier and one of the foremost opponents of US climate action, said he originally believed scientists’ warnings about climate change but changed his mind after he learned how much it would cost to address the issue.“I assumed like everybody else, way back when everyone was talking about global warming and all that, I assumed that that was probably right, until I found out what it was going to cost,” Inhofe said, according to Morning Consult.  It would cost between $300-400 billion a year, he said, referring to the combined cost of all of the Obama administration’s GHG regulations.

And finally… Muddying the narrative – Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest climate change activist to have been summoned by President-elect Trump, just days after former US Vice President Al Gore stopped by New York’s Trump Tower for a meeting.  But journalists Judd Legum and Karl Mathiesen argue that “these meetings are the entertainment to distract you while [Trump] guts Obama’s climate policy and environmental protections.” Gore generated hundreds of headlines about how Trump was potentially moderating his climate stance, but Climate Home’s Mathiesen argues that if Trump was serious in any way about climate change, Gore would have said so rather than using platitudes like an “extremely interesting” meeting and “a sincere search for areas of common ground”, which is diplomat-speak for everything is going to hell behind the scenes.  “All the media could take away was that a meeting occurred. The appearance was that Trump had jumped into his daughter [Ivanka]’s meeting and was searching for information from a range of views. It was a bait and switch,” Mathiesen writes, adding that the effect is that the media is left on the back foot. “Politics is about controlling the narrative, [and] Trump does that by muddying it.”  Meanwhile, Thinkprogress’ Legum points out that this strategy is being repeated again and again throughout the transition, with perhaps the most prominent example being Trump’s infamous dinner with Mitt Romney last week, which was organised under the auspices of the former Republican presidential candidate being considered for Secretary of State.  In reality, Trump’s policy on climate change has not wavered and that was proven with his nomination of fossil fuel industry defender and climate sceptic Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

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