CP Daily: Tuesday December 19, 2017

Published 21:43 on December 19, 2017  /  Last updated at 17:37 on December 20, 2017  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

CP Daily will not be published Dec. 23-Jan. 1. Carbon Pulse will file stories and send out CP Alerts on merit during that period. Regular coverage will resume Jan. 2.

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TOP STORY

Long-awaited China ETS announcement leaves major questions unanswered

China on Tuesday formally announced the launch of its national emissions trading scheme, which will start with just the power sector, but it left out major details such as when the market would actually begin operating and how exactly it would work.

AMERICAS

Canadian govt to give provinces 1-year reprieve on carbon pricing but keep 2019 tax floor at C$20/tonne

The Canadian government is poised to give provinces an extra year to implement their carbon pricing plans, but will require any tax-based programmes starting in 2019 to begin at at least C$20/tonne.

Alberta carbon prices rise after government eases credit usage limits

Alberta carbon credit prices have risen and a sense of normalcy has returned to the market after the provincial government eased usage limits following widespread criticism from stakeholders.

ASIA PACIFIC

South Korea hands out 538.5m carbon allowances for 2018

The South Korean government on Tuesday handed out 538.5 million CO2 permits to participants in its emissions trading scheme for 2018, nearly 15% below their 2014-16 emission levels.

Australia open to buying foreign credits, snubs calls for new climate policies

Australia on Tuesday said it “in principle” supports buying international carbon credits but its long-awaited climate policy review dismissed the need for new climate policies, despite the country being on track to miss its Paris Agreement target by some 900 million tonnes of CO2e.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs rise for fourth day to hit 2-wk high as supply-constrained holiday period begins

European carbon prices rose for a fourth straight day to hit a fresh two-week high on Tuesday, as the market entered its annual supply-constrained holiday period.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

The final stageRGGI released its updated 2017 Model Rule on Tuesday with no major changes to previously published versions, concluding the regional cap-and-trade scheme’s 2016 programme review and kicking off the state-level legislative process to convert the changes into law. All nine members are expected to have the amendments legislated before 2021 (For a summary of the agreed changes, click here and here). RGGI members also released the results of REMI macroeconomic modelling by consultants ICF, which uses the previously completed IPM modelling as an input while also incorporating larger-scale economic effects of the RGGI emissions cap changes and the reinvestment of RGGI proceeds. “Compared to the reference case, REMI modelling projected that the proposed programme review scenario will result in more than 130,000 additional job-years over the modelling period, and more than $9 billion in additional gross state product,” market operators RGGI, Inc. said.

Dumped – BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, on Tuesday said it was reviewing its membership of several industry organisations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, the World Coal Association (WCA) and the Mining Council of Australia (MCA), due to disagreement on energy and climate change policies. It has already reached a preliminary conclusion to leave the WCA but will give the MCA a year to stop lobbying against climate policy measures. (ABC)

You’re better than this – Canada’s decentralized approach to putting a price on carbon is overly complex and will be difficult to implement, the OECD said in a new report. The international organisation praises Canada for making some progress in the last decade and a half on reducing emissions, in particular from the power sector, but it says the country remains the second-most energy-intensive OECD member. For example, for every $1,000 in GDP created in Canada, the resource-heavy country uses 62% more energy and produces 44% more carbon emissions than the OECD average. The agency also notes that implementing the Pan-Canadian Carbon Pricing Framework, where every province can essentially design its own strategy, will be “a huge challenge”, especially in trying to figure out not to measure cap-and-trade systems against carbon tax regimes or the federal ‘backstop’ model. (Canadian Press)

Innovation corner – An new steelmaking technology has entered a final stage of testing at Tata Steel’s plant in the Netherlands, the FT reports ($). The Indian group said its ‘HIsarna’ method removes several pre-processing steps, resulting in significant efficiency gains and at least a 20% reduction in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. It said that technology could eventually replace blast furnaces as a way of making steel. Steel is one of the biggest industrial sources of greenhouse gases. (Carbon Brief)

Disconnected – UK cross-industry coalition group Sustainable Aviation (SA) says the sector has succeeded in disconnecting the growth in passenger numbers from the rate of growth in CO2 emissions. In its latest progress report, carbon emissions from the six airline members of the group – British Airways, easyJet, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways and Virgin Atlantic – increased by less than half a per cent between 2014 and 2016 despite a 9% increase in the number of passengers flown. (GreenAir Online)

And finally… Not-so-Wintry Olympics – The athletes’ half-hour commute in the Swiss Alps – up two gondolas, then through a tunnel in the world’s highest underground train to a glacier at 11,000 feet – served up daily grim reminders that global warming is threatening their line of work. After exiting the train, they squelched through a field of grayish mud to reach shrinking snowfields scarred by new crevasses. Occasionally, they heard the sharp roars of glacial ice breaking off in monster chunks, then echoing across the peaks where they trained jumps, tricks and turns for the Pyeongchang Olympics. Climate change is forcing athletes to hunt farther from home for wintry conditions, particularly just months away from the games. (AP)

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