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The US Senate approved President Trump’s controversial pick Scott Pruitt as the new head of the EPA on Friday by a vote of 52-46, which was mostly along party lines with the exception of a few rebels.
Singapore will introduce a carbon price in order to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy but has yet to decide whether to opt for a tax or emissions trading scheme.
Experts predict moderate price levels in the Chinese emissions trading scheme’s early years but are concerned that unclear policies and regulations might be a barrier to trade and lead to low liquidity, a survey showed.
Institutional and private sector forces will continue to drive global efforts to reduce GHG emissions even if US climate policy is moderated or reversed by the President Trump and his administration.
EU carbon prices nudged up to end just shy of €5 on Friday but still posted a small weekly loss despite lawmakers voting for more ambitious post-2020 ETS reforms.
The CEO of Leipzig-based energy exchange EEX on Friday said it would launch an unspecified number of contracts this year aimed at the Chinese emissions trading system.
UK utility Drax reported a 55% drop in coal-fired power output in 2016 as it converted more of its generation from coal to wood pellets, while operating fewer hours due to poor market conditions and the UK’s high CO2 price.
Four more UK-based men have been penalised by the British government for selling illiquid voluntary carbon credits at inflated prices as investments.
Below is a table of the closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week. All prices are in RMB, and volumes in tonnes of CO2e. Data sourced from local exchanges.
**Argus Emissions Markets 2017: Prague, Feb. 28-Mar.2 – Join Ian Duncan, Rapporteur of the EU ETS and MEP, the European Commission, CEZ, Commerzbank, BP, SinoCarbon and other industry leaders, compliance buyers, global experts, regulators and market facilitators in a discussion on the development of emissions trading systems and climate finance. Visit the website**
** Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2017: San Francisco, Apr. 19-21 – NACW brings together the most active and influential players in North American climate policy and carbon markets to address the most pressing topics in domestic and international policy, subnational leadership, carbon markets, climate finance, and carbon management initiatives. Visit the website**
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Stress test – Climate change is a potential threat to the entire financial system, according to Geoff Summerhayes, a board member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. While climate is usually considered a future threat, Summerhayes said “many of these risks are foreseeable, material and actionable now” and pledged that the authority would stress test the Australian system going forward. (ABC)
Muddying the waters – President Trump has officially killed the Office of Surface Protection’s Stream Mining Rule. Surrounded by lawmakers, coal miners and a few coal executives, Trump blasted the law as “another terrible job-killing rule” and promised to save jobs “especially in the mines, which, I have been promising you — the mines are a big deal.” A report issued by the Congressional Research Service last month found that the rule would have eliminated a minimal amount of jobs in the coal industry, while generating an additional 250 jobs per year. (Climate Nexus)
Bolivia needs help – Drought-hit Bolivia will seek $250 million from the Green Climate Fund for projects to bolster water management and food security, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is supporting the application. Bolivia declared a state of emergency in November amid protests and conflicts over the use of aquifers as the country’s worst drought in 25 years prompted water rationing and slashed harvests, requiring a sharp rise in imports. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
CEO moves – UK-based non-profit The Climate Group has appointed Helen Clarkson as its new CEO, She was formerly chief operating officer at sustainability charity Forum for the Future. Clarkson will take over from Damian Ryan, who has been leading the charity on an interim basis since Mark Kenber’s departure in July 2016.
Wonky-tonk goodness – The spring issue of Carbon Mechanisms Review by the JIKO unit of the German environment ministry is out. It examines using crediting mechanisms for results-based climate finance, how the Paris Agreement architecture puts the voluntary market’s business model to the test and profiles efforts to price carbon in the Caribbean.
RFP alert! – The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has issued a request for proposals from firms or individuals to provide for the supply of carbon offsets and to operate The Good Traveler, a carbon offsets program. The program has been operating at the San Diego International Airport for the past year and is now expanding to other airports in North America. Bidding ends on Mar. 13 at 1400 PST. Click here for more details.
And finally… Blowin’ past the previous record – Wind briefly powered more than 50% of electric demand on Sunday, the 14-state Southwest Power Pool (SPP) said, for the first time on any North American power grid, Reuters reported. SPP coordinates the flow of electricity on the high voltage power lines from Montana and North Dakota to New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. Wind power in the SPP region has grown significantly to over 16,000 MW currently from less than 400 MW in the early 2000s and is expected to continue growing.
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