CP Daily: Wednesday May 17, 2017

Published 19:38 on May 17, 2017  /  Last updated at 19:38 on May 17, 2017  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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Macron names environmental champion as France’s new ecology and energy minister

Incoming French President Emmanuel Macron has named France’s top environmental campaigner and former TV presenter and journalist as his new ecology and energy minister.

Australian offset prices could rise fivefold over next decade -analysts

Domestic and international demand for carbon credits could push Australian offset prices to more than five times current levels by the late 2020s, meaning the government should look for alternative options to meet its Paris Agreement obligations, according to analysts Energetics.

EU Market: EUAs inch higher as traders brace for auction pause

EU carbon prices rose for the second straight day as the auctions continued to show signs of strong demand from buyers ahead of a three-day pause in sales.

EU ETS emissions fell by 2.7% last year -European Commission

Emissions covered by the EU ETS fell by 2.7% last year, according to an official estimate from the European Commission based on like-for-like installation output figures.

UK’s SSE sees uptick in thermal output after securing capacity payments

UK utility SSE reported a 1.4% increase in its ETS-regulated production over the year to March, though its EUA demand has likely fallen as more of its output switched from coal to gas.

ClearView Energy hires ex-Obama staffer as new carbon market analyst

ClearView Energy Partners has hired an ex-Obama staffer as its new carbon market analyst, the Washington DC-based research firm said Tuesday.

CO2-cutting experts Natural Capital Partners hires new MD of global markets

Environmental consultants and carbon offset company Natural Capital Partners has appointed an expert from the North American renewables industry as its new managing director of global markets.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Ambitious – Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) wants to develop a national climate protection law and introduce a CO2 floor price, according to a first draft for the federal election campaign programme. “We will continue to develop European emissions trading as a key instrument to protect the climate and introduce a minimum price for CO2,” the draft states. The party’s leadership will further discuss the draft and decide it on May 22. The final programme will be decided at the federal party conference on June 25. According to Clean Energy Wire, other key provisions on energy and climate policy include:

  • Develop a national Climate Protection Law with targets for climate-relevant sectors based on technology neutrality and innovation
  • Examine all subsidies and taxes for the effects on the climate
  • Examine alternative ways to finance Energiewende, while making it environmentally-friendly and affordable
  • “Will make Germany the most energy efficient economy in the world”
  • Secure competitiveness of German industry during energy transition
  • Prevent carbon leakage/take into account different competition conditions regarding climate protection
  • Deem fossil fuels as necessary for successful and complete energy transition/natural gas becomes more important
  • Uphold ban of unconventional fracking
  • Push other countries to exit nuclear power generation/promote removal of EU support for construction of new nukes
  • Promote e-mobility “for climate and industry policy reasons”/push for ambitious EU passenger car emissions limits

Keep ball rolling – The 48 nations of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) have re-stated their commitment to the Paris Agreement at the ongoing UN climate talks in Bonn. “We really believe that, right now, without increased climate action, no country can ever be great again,” said Emmanuel Guzman of CVF member Philippines, parodying the words of under-fire US President Donald Trump, who is mulling pulling out of the pact. At the Nov. 2016 UNFCCC talks in Marrakech, the CVF made a joint pledge to update their national climate plans before 2020, putting pressure on major economies to ratchet up their Paris contributions at the earliest opportunity, albeit requiring substantial finance from those industrialised nations.

More chopping – The Trump administration wants to cut the Energy Department’s renewable and energy efficiency program by nearly 70%, and nuclear support by 31%, according to a draft agency budget document seen by Axios.  But while the outlet says Congress is probably not going to grant such deep cuts, the numbers are nonetheless important for two reasons: 1) It shows how extreme the administration wants to go with its budget cuts in policy areas its rhetoric hasn’t supported. 2) It puts a low marker down to negotiate with Congress. The lower the starting point, the lower the ultimate numbers could well end up.

Dinero por favor – Spain is seeking to lure investment of as much as €3.9 billion ($4.3 billion) through its biggest auction yet for contracts to supply electricity from clean-energy sources, part of an effort to meet EU targets. The government on Wednesday will seek bids to supply at least 2 GW and as much as 3 GW of power in time to meet the its EU goals for 2020. This is expected to cost €2.4 billion to €3.9 billion, according to estimates by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Decrease.Those.Emissions – US energy company DTE Energy Co said on Tuesday it will build more natural gas and renewable power plants and shut all of its coal units by 2040, reducing CO2 by more than 80% from 2005 levels by 2050, Reuters reports. “We have concluded that not only is the 80 percent reduction goal achievable – it is achievable in a way that keeps Michigan’s power affordable and reliable,” DTE’s chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson said in a statement. Detroit-based DTE said its efforts to cut emissions will result in a 30% reduction by the early 2020s, 45% by 2030, 75% by 2040 and more than 80% by 2050.

And finally… Outsized – Norway’s $945 billion wealth fund owns stakes in companies that are responsible for emitting 90 to 100 million tonnes of CO2e, or about twice what Norway emits per year, its CEO said on Tuesday. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has a mandate from the Norwegian parliament to address climate change, either by divesting or entering an active dialogue as an owner, with companies that produce “unacceptable” levels of GHGs. Divestments are recommended by an ethics watchdog, which is expected to make its first recommendation based on this criterion to the board of the Norwegian central bank by July. (Reuters)

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