CP Daily: Monday May 15, 2017

Published 20:13 on May 15, 2017  /  Last updated at 20:13 on May 15, 2017  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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South Korea’s new president moves to curb coal-fired generation

South Korea has ordered a temporary shutdown of eight old coal-fired power plants in an early move to set off newly elected President Moon Jae-in’s fight against air pollution that will also make a dent in the nation’s CO2 emissions.

Bundle offsets with energy-intensive exports to support industry, developers -Australian business group

The Australian government should help industry bundle carbon offsets with energy-intensive commodity exports in order to maintain competitiveness as the Paris Agreement gradually starts to impact global trade, a business group proposed.

Half of Guangdong ETS firms yet to partake in CO2 trading

Half of the roughly 200 participants in China’s biggest pilot emissions trading scheme did not execute a single trade in the first three years of the programme, while covered entities accounted for just 30% of total traded volume, an official report showed.

EU Market: EUAs dip but analysts see upside in impending auction pause

EU carbon prices dipped on Monday despite signs of a pickup in auction demand and slightly bullish analyst views ahead of a three-day sale pause.

RWE advances hedging in wake of new strategy, EnBW steady after scaling back

Utility RWE kept pace in Q1 with its new strategy to become more hedged, though the potentially bearish effect for EUAs could be limited as rival EnBW held steady in its strategy to hedge less.

ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE: China, India to beat climate pledges as Trump drags US backwards

When it signed the Paris Agreement in 2016, China pledged that its GHGs would peak no later than 2030 and would plunge after that, while the US set a lacklustre emission reduction target that it intended to dramatically improve over time, and India pledged to slow growth in emissions by ratcheting up its renewable sector. Writing from the intersessional UN climate talks in Bonn, Ecosystem Marketplace’s Steve Zwick looks at how the landscape have drastically changed in the past 18 months.

COMMENT: Australia’s biggest emitters opt to ‘wait and see’ over Emissions Reduction Fund

Many of Australia’s most carbon-intensive companies are either not participating in the federal government’s flagship Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), or are adopting a wait-and-see approach, according to a survey of senior executives.

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Job listings this week:

National Climate Assessment Program Coordinator, ICF – Washington DC
Research Fellow, International Climate Governance, IDDRI – Paris
Regional Lead, North America, Global Initiatives, CDP – New York
Managing Director (maternity cover), Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) – London
Fachplaner im Kompetenzcenter Klima und Umweltpolitik, GIZ – Eschborn, Germany

Or click here to see all our job adverts

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Old Dominion’s new plan – Virginia’s attorney general says the state’s Air Pollution Control Board can legally regulate GHGs, including setting a statewide cap “for all new and existing fossil fuel plants,” in response to a request by a state delegate for an advisory opinion, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The three-page opinion by Attorney General Mark R. Herring was issued Friday in response to a request by Del. David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) and comes as a working group assembled by Gov. Terry McAuliffe prepares to deliver its recommendations on executive action to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. McAuliffe’s working group, created last summer, has until the end of this month to deliver its report, but an announcement could be coming sooner. The governor’s spokesman said McAuliffe will make a “significant announcement” regarding the working group on Tuesday.

Washington DC wants a CO2 tax (it’s not what you think) – A coalition of green groups, economic justice advocates, labour organisers and local faith leaders last week announced a proposal to introduce a carbon ‘fee-and-rebate’ system in Washington DC.  The plan would put a price on carbon emissions from natural gas and oil consumed in the nation’s capital (excluding public transportation) and pay out 75% in rebates to residents quarterly, while using 20% to invest in local green infrastructure projects and 5% to create tax credits for local businesses.  The initiative, which would start at $20/tonne in 2019 and rise by $10 annually to $150/tonne in 2032, is forecast to cut the city’s emissions by 23% over that timeframe.

Leave and believe – A Brexit from the EU ETS creates opportunities for innovative climate policies in the UK and it is important for continued decarbonisation that the country strengthens its carbon pricing, according to a report by environmental campaigners Sandbag. The key UK policies of Carbon Price Support and the Climate Change Levy still need to be modified and strengthened, it added. However, in the longer term the UK could create its own stronger ETS which could be linked to schemes like the Californian carbon market though full EU ETS linkage should be avoided while the scheme remains in surplus to avoid UK emitters buying ‘hot air’, Sandbag added.

Occidental override – Shareholders of one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies rejected the board’s opinion and voted Friday to require reporting on climate change’s impacts on its business – the first time such a measure has passed at a major US oil and gas company. Requirements set by the board of Occidental Petroleum Corp. in the resolution include annual environmental scenario planning reports beginning in 2018, and evaluating risks under global efforts to keep warming under 2 degrees C. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager and Occidental’s largest investor, provided a key vote in favor of the proposal. Friday’s vote is the first time BlackRock has supported a climate change-related shareholder measure, a spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Brown abroad – California Governor Jerry Brown is getting ready to go back to China four years after his last trip across the Pacific Ocean, the LA Times reports. The first week of June, the governor plans to attend an international summit on clean energy and meet with other members of a coalition dedicated to fighting climate change. The coalition includes cities, states and provinces who have signed the international Under 2 MoU agreement promoted by Brown to reduce emissions at faster rates than called for under the Paris agreement on global warming. During the weeklong trip, Brown is stopping in Beijing, Chengdu and Nanjing to talk with regional and national Chinese officials. Brown has been trying to build closer relationships between California and China despite some saber rattling coming from President Trump in Washington.

And finally… Well, someone’s “being boofed” here – President Trump is set to nominate Sam Clovis, a former economics professor and conservative talk show radio host, to the US Department of Agriculture’s top scientific position, according to reports. Clovis, an early advisor to the Trump campaign, has an MBA and a doctoral degree in public administration, and appears to have no published scientific or academic work to his name. In a 2014 interview, Clovis called evidence of climate change “junk science,” claiming that he has “enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed.” (Climate Nexus)

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