CP Daily: Monday September 18, 2017

Published 00:12 on September 19, 2017  /  Last updated at 11:08 on September 26, 2017  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

France to raise domestic carbon tax by 46% next year

France will raise its domestic carbon tax by 46% in 2018, Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announced, as he set out more measures under the country’s new five-year climate plan.

AMERICAS

More confusion as EU, US make conflicting statements about Trump’s Paris withdrawal

There was more policy confusion surrounding the US position on the Paris Agreement this weekend after claims from government officials that the country would remain in the 2015 climate pact were refuted by White House spokespeople and members of Trump’s cabinet.

Two RGGI offset protocols to bite the dust as states publish more details on proposed market changes

RGGI’s operators on Monday revealed more tweaks to be made to the US regional carbon market under proposed amendments to its Model Rule, including doing away with two little-used offset project types.

ASIA PACIFIC

China ETS needs more auctioning, longer allocation periods -experts

China should auction a bigger share of CO2 permits to avoid over-allocation and opt for longer allocation periods to provide certainty for market participants, a group of experts said Monday.

China govt agency eyes ETS for forestry carbon goal

China should use its national emissions trading scheme to fund forestry projects and help meet its LULUCF targets under the Paris Agreement, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) said.

Australian forest project earns 356k carbon credits

A Queensland-based forest regeneration project has been awarded nearly 356,000 carbon credits in one of Australia’s biggest single offset issuances this year.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs retreat further from recent highs as energy market cools

European carbon prices fell by more than 3% on Monday, giving back more of their recent gains as coal and German power prices eased.

Vertis acquires Brussels-based carbon traders Alco2 in Western European push

Vertis Environmental Finance has acquired Brussels-based emissions trading firm Alco2, as the Budapest-headquartered company further expands its operations into Western Europe.

VOLUNTARY

ALLCOT’s Voluntary Carbon Market Report – September 2017

After the summer break, activity is beginning to pick up again in the voluntary market, sources report.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Try again next year – At the end of their 2017 legislative session on Friday, California lawmakers shelved a landmark renewable energy bill that would have required the state to get 60% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, up from the current legal mandate of 50%. According to Desert Sun, it also would have tasked state regulators with charting a path to 100% CO2-free electricity by 2045, which could have included energy sources not considered “renewable,” like nuclear power, large hydropower plants and gas-fired power plants that capture their carbon emissions. State senators approved the legislation by a 25-13 margin in May, and for months its eventual passage in the Assembly looked like a foregone conclusion. But the bill got held up after unexpectedly strong opposition from investor-owned utilities like Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, which argued it did not adequately protect their customers from potential increases in electricity costs. Unions also worked to kill the bill in the final week of session, after legislative leaders wouldn’t include provisions sought by organised labour.

Back to the drawing board – A US federal appeals court in Denver on Friday told the Bureau of Land Management that its analysis of the climate impacts of four gigantic coal leases was economically “irrational” and needs to be redone. When reviewing the environmental impacts of fossil fuel projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the judges said, the agency can’t assume the harmful effects away by claiming that dirty fuels left untouched in one location would automatically bubble up, GHG emissions and all, somewhere else. (InsideClimate News

Big oil, modest cuts – Sixty-two of the world’s 100 largest companies consistently cut their emissions on an annual basis between 2010 and 2015, with an overall 12 percent decline during that period, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance released ahead of its conference in London on Monday.

Dirty diesel – Two years after the Dieselgate scandal exposed the dirty nature of diesel cars, a new study by Brussels-based campaigners Transport & Environment (T&E) shows that diesel cars not only pollute the air but also emit more CO2 than petrol (gasoline) cars. A lifecycle analysis of vehicle emissions proves that diesel cars over its lifetime emit 3.65 tonnes of CO2 more than a petrol equivalent. Diesel’s higher climate impact is due to a more energy-intensive refining of the diesel fuel; more materials required in the production of heavier and more complex engines; higher emissions from the biodiesel blended in the diesel fuel; and longer mileage because fuel is cheaper.

Green team – The UK government has established a taskforce of senior financial experts to accelerate growth of green finance and the country’s low-carbon economy to help deliver the investment required to meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets.  The proposals announced Monday include development of world’s first green financial management standards with the British Standards Institute.  The taskforce includes 16 experts including the panel’s chair Sir Roger Gifford, London Stock Exchange CEO Nikhil Rathi, and representatives from the Bank of England, Barclays, HSBC, Linklaters, Aviva, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Hot idea – The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) proposes to introduce a CO₂ price for energy consumption in heating, reports Tagesspiegel. According to a study carried out by consultancy Prognos, a levy of €25 per tonne of CO₂ could be added to the energy tax, with the additional €3.4 billion in revenues bring refunded to households.

Free allowances – Quebec on Monday published the number of free allowances it handed out for 2016.  The province said it awarded 18.48 million to 51 installations, and while it named the companies it did not provide a breakdown of the allocations.  The figure was expectedly lower than the 18.83 million handed to 53 facilities last year for their 2015 emissions.

Sign us up – The Marshall Islands, Mozambique, the US state of Maryland and Australia’s Queensland are amongst the 10 new sign-ups to California governor Jerry Brown’s Under2 coalition – a growing group of governments that have committed to deep GHG cuts by 2050. The coalition now boasts membership of 187 national and sub-national governments. Signatories agree to reduce their CO2 emissions drastically by the middle of the century. According to Climate Home, Brown’s office said the new additions brought the number of people represented by governments in the coalition to 1.2 billion, or 16% of the global population, while the covered jurisdictions have a combined GDP of $28.8 trillion, or 39% of the world economy.

Water down under – Carbon exchange operator CBL Markets has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Australian water exchange H2OX Markets Limited. “This acquisition is a natural progression for CBL Markets into the broader soft commodity space, expanding its product set beyond energy and environmental markets, which remains a core focus for the company.” CBL also appointed Wilsons Advisory and Aitken Murray Capital Partners as financial advisors to assist with its capital requirements “to facilitate its growth strategy including targeted acquisitions.”

And finally… Want to understand climate deniers? Watch American football – As a science journalist who has written about climate change for a quarter century, Daniel Glick has struggled to understand climate change deniers. “How, I wondered, could a group of otherwise intelligent people reject the clear and growing scientific evidence that the planet was warming, climate systems were going haywire, and human activities were at the root of the problem?” he wrote in a column for the Washington Post. Then, as the new NFL season kicked off last week, he realised the he was himself a science denier too. “Even in the face of mounting evidence that football is hazardous for players’ brains, I couldn’t stop myself from watching … How different am I from people who put their skeptical heads in the sand and keep burning fossil fuels like there’s no next season? If I deny the neuroscience about the long-term implication of banging heads for sport, then I can continue being a fan, right?”

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