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The post-2020 EU ETS reform process is almost complete, but while prices are expected to double within four years the outlook is still uncertain amid a raft of other carbon-cutting measures that could expand should Britain exit the market.
As partners of the Carbon Forward 2017 conference, Carbon Pulse brings you an updated conference programme showcasing the speakers and panellists who will present at the event in London over Sep. 26-28. You can view the updated programme here.
EU carbon prices on Thursday hit their highest since early January as rising power prices continued to lend support.
Prices in both the RGGI and WCI markets rose this week, with front-year RGAs posting a spectacular 39% gain on Wednesday after the nine member states published proposed post-2020 reforms.
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) on Thursday announced a raft of new policies designed at cutting air pollution across 28 cities in northern China, a move that is also likely to lead to deeper CO2 emission reductions in ETS sectors.
New Zealand’s ruling National party has reaffirmed it will not bring agriculture, the nation’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, into the ETS despite increasing pressure from experts and a surge in popularity for the opposition Labour party, which backs the move.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Coal goodness – The Trump administration released a major report urging actions to protect the “reliability and resilience” of the nation’s electric grid, a move that could lay the groundwork for future support of America’s ailing coal and nuclear industries, the New York Times reports. The study concludes the surge in supplies of cheap natural gas has weighed on power prices and was the key factor in the closure of many coal-fired power plants. However, the report falls short of previous media articles that Trump had promised coal bosses to declare a grid emergency and effectively protect coal plants from retirement.
What was your reasoning? – The Center for Biological Diversity submitted open records requests to the EPA, OMB, and the State Department, seeking all records related to the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Those include any relevant emails, telephone logs, and notes from meetings involving Trump, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and other officials. (Politico)
Come dig it – Brazil’s government has abolished a vast national reserve in the Amazon to open up the area to mining. The area in the country’s far north is larger than Denmark and about 30% of it will be open to mining. The government said nine conservation and indigenous land areas within it would continue to be legally protected but activists have voiced concern that these areas could be badly compromised. (BBC)
Listen to Ann – Michigan’s Ann Arbor is calling on federal lawmakers to put a price on carbon to help reduce pollution and fight climate change, Michigan Live reports. Once again calling climate change a serious threat and reiterating the city’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, the City Council voted 9-0 this week to voice support for a national carbon fee and dividend program as advocated by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. The city is now officially supporting the CCL’s proposal calling for imposing a carbon fee on all fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases at the point where they first enter the economy. The fees would be collected by the Treasury Department and rebated to American households in the form of dividend payments. In 20 years, such a system could reduce carbon emissions to half of 1990 levels while adding 2.8 million jobs to the American economy, according to the CCL, a California-based nonprofit group advocating for national policies to address climate change.
It got him in the end – California Assembly Republicans have selected a new caucus leader after Chad Mayes stepped down following his support for extending the state’s cap-and-trade scheme. Brian Dahle, who opposed reauthorising the scheme and was one of several assembly members to call for Mayes to step down, will take over before the end of the legislative session next month. According to the LA Times, Mayes has been trying to fend off challenges to his leadership, surviving a vote on Monday with another scheduled for next Tuesday.
Here’s the beef – Agribusiness giant Cargill, the world’s biggest ground beef supplier, has joined other A-listers in investing in start-up Memphis Meats, which grows beef and poultry from cells. It’s the first investment by a traditional meat company in a lab-meat venture, although insiders prefer the term “clean meat” to avoid having their products associated with microscopes and petri dishes. Memphis even calls its process a “meat brewery”. (Wall Street Journal, $)
And finally… Beautiful, clean coal – In an often off-topic speech at a political rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, President Trump made a series of comments on what he calls “clean coal”. “We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it’s just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine, where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal, they’re going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania,” he told the rally. To anyone else with even a weak grasp of energy or environmental issues, clean coal refers to carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology implemented at coal-fired power plants. (Washington Post)
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