CP Daily: Tuesday September 26, 2017

Published 23:19 on September 26, 2017  /  Last updated at 23:19 on September 26, 2017  /  Newsletters

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

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France’s Macron calls for EU-wide ‘just and significant’ carbon price, border tax

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said the EU needs a ‘just and significant’ bloc-wide minimum CO2 price because exiting rates are too low to facilitate the shift to a low-carbon economy, adding that the EU should also impose a border carbon tax to protect industry.


More than 60% of London-listed firms don’t report climate risk, report shows

Some 61 companies in the FTSE 100 share index are not assessing or disclosing the risk posed to their businesses by climate change, despite increasing demands from investors, according to a report published Tuesday.

EU Market: EUAs give back big gains, though Macron remarks lend support

EU carbon prices gave back more than half of the previous session’s mammoth 10% gains on Tuesday, though a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron calling for a price floor helped pare losses.


China’s ICBC bank issues $2.8 bln in green bonds on Luxembourg exchange

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world largest bank, has issued $2.8 billion-worth of green bonds on the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX) in an effort to attract international investors to help fund China-backed projects at home and abroad.


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We’ll do it anyway – ExxonMobil, the US’ largest producer of natural gas, will take steps to curb methane emissions from its oil and gas production operations, the company announced Monday. The oil and gas giant’s proposed three-year programme would replace outdated technologies and equipment and invest in employee trainings to monitor leaks, although it declined to outline the cost or projected savings. The move comes as Exxon faces growing criticism from shareholders over its contribution to climate change and as the Trump administration moves to repeal Obama-era methane regulations for the sector. (Clean Energy Wire)

Rejected – Washington state on Tuesday denied a key permit sought by a company to build the largest coal export terminal in North America, which if built could ship up to 44 million tonnes of US coal per year to Asia.  The state’s Department of Ecology said it rejected a water quality permit that Millennium Bulk Terminals wanted because the proposed facility near Longview in southwest Washington state would have caused “significant and unavoidable harm” to nine environmental areas including air quality and noise pollution.

Ditched – Britain’s Green Investment Bank, which was founded by the government to develop renewable energy in the UK, has quietly ditched the country as an investment target after being bought by Australia’s Macquarie. A pledge to invest in Britain was scrubbed from the Green Investment Group’s (GIG) constitution on the day of its takeover, with the government reportedly sneaking in the change at the last minute. It is believed the amendment was made in order to help the hotly opposed sale to Macquarie, which has made no secret of its plans to use the bank to invest heavily abroad. The move has increased worries that efforts to meet the UK’s low-carbon energy and emissions targets could now be weakened through less investment, though the GIG rejected those concerns. (Daily Mail)

Greenest summer ever! – Britain’s energy system provided its greenest ever electricity to homes and businesses over the summer due to a surge in wind and solar power, which translates into lower demand for thermal power generation and therefore fewer emissions. National Grid said almost 52% of the country’s power demand was met by low-carbon sources, such as renewables and nuclear, compared to around 35% four years ago. The low-carbon boom was led by renewables, which made up almost a quarter of all power from Jun. 21 to Sep. 22 from less than 10% four years ago, and a fifth last year. The warmer months were dotted with milestone energy moments including the first working day since the industrial revolution where the UK’s energy system was completely coal-free. (The Telegraph)

And more growth to come? – Wind energy has the potential to provide up to 30% of Europe’s power by 2030, according to figures released today by industry group WindEurope.  The projections show that Europe could be on course for an average installation rate of 12.6 GW per year in the years up to 2020, which would take the continent to a total capacity of 204 GW by 2020. By this date, wind would be Europe’s largest renewable energy source, surpassing hydro and providing 16.5% of Europe’s electricity demand. However, this growth is likely to be concentrated in just six countries (Germany, UK, France, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium), with Central and Eastern Europe lagging well behind. Europe’s wind industry may also attract €351 billion of investment by 2030 if countries adopt reforms and targets for their energy systems in the next year, WindEurope added. The EU may create 716,000 jobs with a target for member states to produce 35% of their energy from renewables within 12 years, Bloomberg reports. Wind currently supplies about 10% of Europe’s electricity, and falling costs of technology are making it an increasingly viable alternative to fossil fuels, the group said. Even offshore wind, once the most expensive form of mainstream renewables, saw zero-subsidy contracts awarded in Germany this year.

Let’s chat, Mr. President – Polish environment minister Jan Szyszko met with his Estonian counterpart Siim Kiisler this week to discuss “the most important issues currently on the European [environmental] agenda,” Poland’s environment ministry said Tuesday.  Estonia is the current holder of the EU presidency and is moderating the bloc’s ongoing negotiations over a series of post-2020 legislative packages. “This was a good opportunity to present Polish [proposals] on the revision of the EU ETS Directive and the draft regulations on non-ETS and LULUCF sectors,” the ministry said, without providing more details.  Official trilogue talks over the ETS reforms resume in mid-October.

Tribal taxTribal leaders might forge ahead with their own plan to tax CO2 in Washington state, breaking away from another group that’s working on a statewide carbon-tax initiative for the Nov. 2018 ballot. Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, said “there is a very high likelihood” that they will propose their own measure for a tax that may start at $25/tonne tax because the other group, the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, didn’t seek feedback from Native American tribes when it began developing its plan for a levy that could begin at $15/tonne.  However, the two organisations may try to reconcile their visions to improve the odds of voter approval. (The News Tribune)

And finally… Eruption imminent? – Media attention has been focussed on Bali’s Mount Agung volcano, which has been experiencing unprecedented levels of seismic activity and could erupt imminently. When Agung last erupted in the 1980s, it caused a significant drop in global temperatures. In this piece from 2015, Carbon Brief looks at how volcanic eruptions can affect the climate.

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