CP Daily: Tuesday January 31, 2017

Published 18:37 on January 31, 2017  /  Last updated at 18:37 on January 31, 2017  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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South Korea to start auctioning CO2 permits from 2018

South Korea will begin auctioning a share of the CO2 allowances in its emissions trading scheme from 2018, according to government documents.

EU Market: EUAs rise for 2nd day to eye €5.60 test, break-out

European carbon prices marched higher for a second day on Tuesday, helped by an array of bullish factors, with EUAs ending near the top of their intraday range and up nearly 4%.

NZ Market: NZUs slip to 7-month lows amid waning demand

New Zealand carbon allowances have fallen to their lowest levels since mid-June amid low demand as emitters appear to have picked up sufficient permits to cover their 2016 GHG output.

ICE opens Ontario carbon allowance futures market

Exchange operator ICE launched trade in Ontario emissions allowance futures on Monday, but opening day saw no market activity.

COMMENT: Why is the EU cement sector resisting a CO2 border measure?

Former cement industry executive Bruno Vanderborght questions why EU cement association Cembureau opposes a border carbon adjustment measure for the sector when it was once promoted the idea.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

On track, despite the laggards – The EU is on track to meet its 2020 goal for renewables to supply 20% of its energy, according to a leaked report obtained by Reuters, although Britain, Ireland and Luxembourg are lagging behind. In a stock-take on the bloc’s climate targets, due to be published on Wednesday, the European Commission saw renewables accounting for 16.4% of overall consumption in 2015.  However, it said EU nations will have to redouble efforts to meet steeper targets in coming years and were struggling to reduce emissions in the transport sector.

Let it flare – Republicans in the US House of Representatives are preparing to roll back President Obama’s methane regulations that target oil and gas sector drilling and transportation, The Hill reports, rules that were expected to cut 510,000 short tons of methane by 2025 – equivalent to around 11 million tonnes of CO2.  Similar regulations were also adopted by Canada and Mexico.  The move could come in the aftermath of President Trump on Monday signing an executive order requiring that requiring that two regulations be eliminated for every new rule that federal agencies pass.

Gassed up – US natural gas capacity additions in 2017 and 2018 could be as much as 36.6 GW or 8% higher than 2016, the EIA forecasts, marking the higher rate of increase since 2005.  Utility Dive reports that the hefty expansions follow five years of capacity losses in the coal sector, which lost an estimated 47.2 GW between the end of 2011 and the end of 2016.  More gas-fired capacity coupled with the rise of renewable energy could maintain the downward trajectory in US emissions and further displace coal, obstructing any federal moves to save the beleaguered sector – as promised by Trump during his campaign.

Focus on the vulnerable – Fiji will use this year’s UN climate summit to highlight the risks faced by low-lying countries in a warming world, its prime minister has said.  The tiny Pacific Island state will host the 2017 meeting at the UN climate body’s headquarters in Bonn, Germany, where talks will continue on developing a set of rules for the 2015 Paris Agreement.  “Our Presidency will keep the interests of all nations – including those that are low-lying and vulnerable – at the forefront of our negotiations,” Frank Bainimarama said. “We are also focused on turning the words and commitments of the Paris Agreement into measurable actions on the part of all nations, and are calling for transparent systems of accountability and practical outcomes to ensure the agreement is a success.”

Bigger sources – Forest clearance and other changes to the landscape are responsible for more CO2-emissions than previously thought, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have found. “Forests, grasslands and fields contribute considerably to climate protection” by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, KIT said. Comparing the absorbency patterns of natural and transformed landscape now suggested that vegetation’s capacity to store CO2 was even “greater than expected. […] In any case, our results support efforts to prevent further large-scale forest clearance in order to protect the climate,” KIT added. (Clean Energy Wire)

Cancelled – Another 54,000 CERs have been cancelled from the UNFCCC registry over the past week, a UN website showed. Almost 51,000 credits from a Korean landfill gas recovery projects will be converted into offsets eligible in the domestic Korean market, while just over 2,800 CERs from a mini hydro power project in Sri Lanka have been cancelled in order for the Ceylon Tea Services Plc to carbon neutralise its operations for 2015.

Hello? Is anyone there? – Anyone that may have dialled into today’s RGGI stakeholders’ webinar on the programme review will know that it didn’t take place. Due to the unexpected, heath-related unavailability of key presenters, the date has been changed to Feb. 8. The meeting time (1300-1500 EST/1800-2000 GMT) and agenda remain the same.

And finally… More sucking needed – Countries will need to speed the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) if they are serious about reaching global goals on climate change because renewables alone won’t be sufficient, according to a new study. Slow progress on CCS is a weak link compared to “booming” wind and solar, while the 2C goal is still achievable “but the hard work is about to start”. (Carbon Brief)

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