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Mexico will launch its pilot carbon market in early 2018, with an aim to kick off its official ETS later that year and to link to other North American schemes by 2021.
A large swathe of EU ETS-regulated heavy industries on Friday urged lawmakers to favour post-2020 reforms that will keep them topped up with enough free allowances, letting their cleanest performers avoid additional carbon costs.
EU carbon prices fell to their weakest levels this year on Friday, falling below the previous 2017 floor of €4.58 in afternoon trade as the annual compliance deadline approaches and as France goes to the polls this weekend.
North American accredited offset verifiers are weighing whether to continue participating in the voluntary market amid falling credit prices and tempting conditions in the compliance market.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has handed out just over 330,000 new carbon offsets in the past two weeks, with a string of savanna burning projects receiving the majority.
More than twice as many offsets traded on the Shanghai carbon exchange in 2016 compared to allowances, the bourse said in an annual report published Friday.
Washington state Democratic Senator Guy Palumbo on Friday introduced legislation that would set a state-wide carbon tax starting in July 2018.
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.
A table of Verified Emission Reduction (VER) prices and offered volumes, based on voluntary market data provided by Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX).
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Henan-bitious – Central China’s populous Henan province has released its five-year plan on GHG emissions control, vowing to set an energy consumption cap as a means to ensure it meets its goal of cutting carbon intensity 19.5% below 2015 levels by 2020. The plan also encouraged companies that provide data verification, financing and advisory to establish themselves in Henan to boost the province’s efforts to finalise the regulatory efforts required to join the national ETS. Like a number of other provinces it also pledged to boost the use of renewables, natural gas and low-carbon buildings and transport to help meet China’s 2020 climate goals.
Coal-free Friday – Britain likely had its first day without electricity generation from coal-fired power stations since the country’s industrial revolution in the 19th century, power grid operator National Grid said Friday. Coal-power generation has dipped to zero at points over the past few years but Friday is likely to mark the first continuous 24-hour period, Reuters reported. Around 50% of Britain’s electricity was generated by gas-fired power plants on Friday, with 18% coming from nuclear and almost 14% from wind, National Grid data showed. Britain has levied a £18/tonne carbon tax on heavy-emitting power plants, and has plans to close all coal-fired stations by 2025 as part of efforts to meet its climate target to cut GHGs by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. No reports of widespread job losses, power price spikes or an economic downturn immediately followed Britain’s coal-free day.
Tax time – President Trump said Friday that the process to reform America’s tax code will kick into high gear next week, with his plan for “massive tax cuts” to be unveiled as soon as Wednesday, AP reported. Several controversial trial balloons have been floated, though it’s not clear whether they actually came from the White House. Among them: a carbon tax, a value-added tax and a deep cut to the payroll tax. All were considered non-starters on Capitol Hill, and the White House knocked down the first two ideas. (Politico)
Anti-efficiency – Several EU countries are rejecting the ambitious and binding 30% energy efficiency goal proposed by the EU Commission in its winter package, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). The EU Council Presidency, currently held by Malta, aims to make the 2030 target non-binding, according to documents seen by FAZ. Germany, France, Luxemburg, Denmark and other member states will now try to prevent this weakening of proposals, the article says. (Clean Energy Wire)
Carbon tolling – The European Commission is to propose making vehicles pay higher road toll charges the more CO2 they emit as it seeks to cut road transport’s carbon footprint, Reuters reported, citing two unnamed officials. The proposal, due May 31, will for the first time set some EU-wide principles for road tolls whereby more polluting vehicles will pay more while cleaner ones will pay less. (Reuters)
Green shipping – The EU’s public European Investment Bank and private Dutch Bank ABN Amro have signed a €150 million loan guarantee agreement to support the building and re-refitting of ships to help reduce the maritime sector’s carbon footprint by allowing sustainable projects to benefit from the EIB’s AAA-credit rating to gain access to cheaper finance. It falls under the European Commission’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which provides a first loss guarantee aiming to allow the EIB to loan to riskier projects.
Bonding boost – The World Bank’s IFC and European asset manager Amundi have agreed to form a $2 billion green bond fund to help provide more financing for low-carbon investments in emerging markets. The Green Cornerstone Bond Fund will buy green bonds issued by banks in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and aims to be fully invested in green bonds within seven years. (Reuters)
Cancelled update – More than 834,000 CERs were voluntarily cancelled this week, with some 63% of the credits being annulled to offset natural gas emissions from customers of German energy supplier ExtraEnergie. A further 301,700 from a South Korean SF6 fugitive emissions project were cancelled and swapped for KOCs for use in the country’s ETS.
And finally… Positive for negative – The UK has launched an £8.6 million negative emissions research programme to investigate ways to remove GHG from the atmosphere to counteract global warming. It will evaluate a variety of options including carbon storage in agricultural soil and forests, removing methane gas from air, using waste materials from mining, as well as explore how bioenergy crops could be used in power stations in combination with CCS. Funding has been awarded to 11 projects.
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