CP Daily: Friday March 31, 2017

Published 21:51 on March 31, 2017  /  Last updated at 21:51 on March 31, 2017  /  Daily Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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ANALYSIS: Offset freeze, potential exclusion send shivers through China’s carbon market

China’s decision to freeze its carbon offset pipeline, combined with steadfast talks about potentially drastic changes to the national ETS design just months ahead of launch, are breeding unease at the companies trying to build the country’s burgeoning emissions trading industry.

Canada needs C$150/t CO2 price to hit 2030 goal, but trading helps slash costs -study

Canada’s national carbon price must rise to a minimum C$150 per tonne by 2030 in order to achieve its emission goals, but inter-provincial trading could cut those costs dramatically, according to a study published Friday.

Remaining EU laggards start 2017 EUA allocations, raising completion level above 85%

EU member states have handed out a further 98.4 million free EUAs over the past fortnight, with laggards Spain, Italy and Ireland finally commencing their 2017 allocations.

Iceland to double national carbon tax

Iceland is doubling its carbon tax, which it called “low” by international standards, as part of a five-year fiscal plan that includes an overhaul of its tax system.

EU Market: Pre-data sell-off keeps EUAs well below €5

EU carbon prices suffered a late sell-off on Friday, ahead of Monday’s preliminary ETS data release, to post a 1.7% loss for a week that featured the highest auction supply for several years.

COMMENT: A note to UNFCCC staff on developments in the US, by UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa

A reflection by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa for staff working at the UN agency regarding recent developments in the United States.

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Mar. 31, 2017

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.

Voluntary carbon market data from CTX for Mar. 31, 2017

A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, based on voluntary market data provided by Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX).

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Goodnight lignite – German utility LEAG scrapped plans by former owner Vattenfall to expand one of its lignite mines, and is downsizing or putting on hold other development plans. While politicians and the industry said the company’s medium-term plans for the region still provided stability, other observers said the decision was the “beginning of the end” of lignite in Lusatia and Germany. (Clean Energy Wire)

Trump downgrade – US President Donald Trump’s executive order to scale back climate policies would see US climate action rating downgraded from “medium” to “insufficient”, according to research coalition Climate Action Tracker, which rates all major nations on their Paris Agreement pledges. The order sets the US on a path to miss its Paris 2025 emission pledge by a large margin, with emissions expected to be roughly at today’s levels if carried out in full.

Aligned in the sand – An innovative Arizona concept to align renewable energy output with electricity demand could hit the bigtime in California. Proposed legislation from key California lawmakers would require an increasing proportion of peak demand electricity to be served by renewable resources like wind and solar. If enacted, backers say the bills would drive growth for renewables, battery storage and demand management, as well as help the state reduce the need for fossil fuel peaker plants. Read more about this from Utility Dive.

Dirty trio – Emissions in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will continue to rise through 2050 due to their rich hydrocarbon reserves and growing populations, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank. “This reliance on fossil fuels, coupled with the legacy of carbon-intensive Soviet infrastructure and capital equipment have given rise to economies with high GHG emissions per unit of GDP … However, the countries in this region are not only exposed to climate change risks, but there is growing recognition that their carbon-intensive economies necessitate GHG mitigation,” the bank said. Fossil fuels make up 99% of the combined total primary energy supply in the three countries, consisting primarily of coal as the single largest primary energy source in Kazakhstan, and of natural gas, which dominates in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. “Given these large reserves, all three countries are expected to continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels in the next few decades.”

RGGI review – RGGI, Inc. will hold another webinar on Apr. 20, giving stakeholders another opportunity to chime in on the market’s long-running programme review. The webinar “will review the results of IPM Reference Case modelling and will present draft IPM policy case proposals for stakeholder comment and feedback.” It is scheduled to take place from 1300-1530 EST.

And finally… Who gives a hoot? – US TV host Stephen Colbert was one of several satirists to take a pop at Trump’s move this week, though cartoon owl Woodsy summed up more succinctly the message to US emitters: “You are not legally required to give a hoot, so go pollute! F**k the planet!”. (Mashable)

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