CP Daily: Monday August 14, 2017

Published 21:23 on August 14, 2017  /  Last updated at 21:44 on August 14, 2017  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORIES

China considering power sector-only ETS, reports say

China might shrink its planned emissions trading scheme further to only cover electricity generators from the start, domestic media reported Sunday, citing unnamed government officials.

Massachusetts unveils new state-wide cap-and-trade scheme under wider climate package

Massachusetts on Friday unveiled a new state-wide cap-and-trade scheme that will operate parallel to RGGI, part of a wider state plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions and comply with a 2016 court order.

ASIA PACIFIC

China sees surge in coal consumption, though carbon market likely unaffected

After several years of flatlining, coal-fired power generation has surged in China this year, likely pushing up carbon emissions but not necessarily boosting CO2 demand in the soon-to-be-launched national ETS, according to analysts.

EMEA

Utility RWE reports increased hedging position in wake of new strategy

German utility and the EU’s biggest corporate emitter RWE kept pace over H1 with its aim to hedge more proactively, a move that could prove bearish for EUA prices.

EU Market: EUAs climb to fresh 1-month high after auction

EU carbon prices jumped to a one-month high above €5.50 early on Monday in a week featuring the lowest supply from auctions so far this year.

AMERICAS

Report advances New York power grid operator plan to implement carbon price

New York state is looking into adding a carbon charge to the price of traded electricity, with an independent report finding that it would be effective at cutting emissions while minimising customer impacts.

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Job listings this week:

Senior Analyst, Chinese Carbon Markets, ICIS – Beijing
Senior Policy Advisor (Federal), Clean Energy Canada – Ottawa
Sales Trader – German Desk, ACT Commodities – Amsterdam
Sales Trader – Italian Desk, ACT Commodities – Amsterdam
Environmental Products and Power Analyst – London
Climate and Agriculture Project Assistant, European Environmental Bureau – Brussels
Climate Fellow, US Forest Service Office of International Programs – Brazzaville

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Conflict of Pruitt – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against the EPA on Friday for failing to turn over documents regarding agency chief Scott Pruitt’s potential conflicts of interest. While Pruitt has promised to recuse himself from the cases where he sued the EPA as former Oklahoma attorney general, his intent to abstain from rulemaking on the same issues is unclear. The court order would compel the EPA to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Becerra in April for documents on Pruitt’s known conflicts of interests and any steps taken by EPA or the Administrator to ensure he is in compliance with federal ethics laws. (Climate Nexus)

Not good enough? – Just days after deciding to pull out of funding the controversial Adani coal mine, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on Monday became the last of the nation’s four major banks to release a climate policy statement. It promised among other things to decrease the emissions intensity of its business lending, cut its own CO2 output and finance A$15 billion worth of low carbon projects by 2025. However, environmental groups slammed the plan for “not even pretending to make an effort”, and said the plan lacked solid targets and detailed strategies, the Guardian reported.

Pragmatic Saskatchewan truckers – Saskatchewan‘s truckers remain against the notion of a carbon tax, but they are coming to terms with, and starting to plan for, this potential reality. “We have supported the provincial government’s stance on a carbon tax since the beginning, and that has not changed,” said Susan Ewart, executive director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association, when releasing a related white paper on Friday. “The next step for the trucking industry is to prepare and protect itself, should a carbon pricing system be unavoidable … While it may seem like a burden on a diesel-dependent industry, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association views this as an opportunity for the trucking industry and policymakers to work together to create innovative solutions that will reduce consumption.” The organisation recommended a number of measures including reducing the red tape that creates barriers to simple innovative solutions, and using tools such as ‘green fund’ rebates that would be funded by carbon pricing revenues. “Change must come faster, to allow the industry to adapt more quickly, to ensure Saskatchewan can remain competitive on a national scale.” (Today’s Trucking)

And finally… Game of thrones – Some White House and GOP officials are eyeing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for Energy Secretary in hope of expanding the GOP’s slim majority in the senate, reports Bloomberg, citing four people familiar with the discussions. If Manchin accepted the position, it would allow West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, who recently switched to the Republican party, to appoint a GOP successor to Manchin’s senate seat. Trump is reportedly considering Energy Secretary Rick Perry to replace John Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security. Manchin, who in a 2010 campaign ad took “dead aim” at a US cap-and-trade bill by firing a rifle bullet through a printed copy of it, has said that members of the Democratic party are in “denial” about the importance of fossil fuels.

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