CP Daily: Thursday December 21, 2017

Published 03:05 on December 22, 2017  /  Last updated at 03:05 on December 22, 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CP Daily will not be published Dec. 23-Jan. 1.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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EU lawmakers strike surprise non-ETS sector emissions deal to finalise Paris climate package 

The EU has finalised its post-2020 climate package after lawmakers made a surprise return to the table to unblock a provisional deal to extend the Effort Sharing Decision for non-ETS sectors.

AMERICAS

US withdrawal from Paris pact puts Canada’s climate targets in focus

Canada’s efforts to meet its Paris Agreement emissions goals by linking with carbon markets south of the border could be thwarted if the US exits the landmark climate agreement, experts have warned.

California carbon offset use rises, with emitters exceeding annual 8% limit for first time

Emitters in California’s carbon market surrendered 8.1 million offsets against their 2016 emissions, exhausting slightly more than their average annual 8% usage limit for the first time.

Virginia’s RGGI membership could come down to drawing a name from a hat

Virginia’s chances of becoming a full-fledged member of RGGI, rather than just linking to the regional US cap-and-trade scheme, could come down to pulling a name out of a hat.

WCI allowances from three phases on offer in first tripartite auction

The first quarterly tripartite WCI auction will be held on Feb. 21, 2018 with more than 110.6 million allowances from three separate trading phases on offer, including 14.9 million previously unsold units, the governments of California, Ontario and Quebec announced on Thursday.

NA Markets: Prices firm as participants focus on end-of-year housekeeping

Traders on both North American coasts were mainly occupied with closing out positions in Dec-2017 contracts or shifting them to 2018 this past week, and this was reflected by the majority of exchange volume reported as block trades and spreads.

ASIA PACIFIC

Kazakhstan approves allocation plan for 2018 ETS revamp

Kazakhstan’s cabinet this week approved an allocation plan for the 2018-20 phase of its emissions trading scheme, which after having been suspended last year is ready to relaunch on Jan. 1 with 65 additional installations covered.

China coal company profits at risk from ETS, but not yet -Moody’s

The profitability of Chinese emissions-intensive coal companies, including some major state-owned ones, are at risk from the government plan to launch a cap-and-trade programme, though the impact will be felt in the longer-term, credit rating agency Moody’s said Thursday.

EMEA

EU Market: End-of-year rally enters sixth day as EUAs flirt with 2-year high

European carbon prices rose for a sixth straight day on Thursday, extending their year-end rally to flirt with a two-year high.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Redemption song – The World Bank has made the second repayment of bonds issued under its Pilot Auction Facility (PAF). Some $9.6 million was paid at the end of November for 3.4 million tonnes of emissions reductions, with around 95% of the bonds in the scheme’s second repayment redeemed.  The carbon credits came from projects including landfill gas-to-energy facilities in Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, and Uruguay; wastewater treatment and biogas utilization projects in Thailand; and a N2O project in Egypt. Redemptions for the put option-esque Pilot Auction Facility Emission Reductions Notes (PAFERNs) will continue to 2020 after the Bank held three auctions with a total budget of $53 million pledged by Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.

Tax it – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman became the first New York statewide elected official to back a carbon tax this week, Politico reports. “That includes passing legislation to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including a carbon tax, while expanding investment in the people and places hit hardest by climate change,” he said in a statement.

Investigate it – US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse announced Wednesday the Government Accountability Office had accepted his request to examine White House calculations of the social cost of carbon and other similar figures, Politico reports. The agency said it would begin its review in the coming months. Whitehouse and six other Democrats expressed concern in their original request that the Trump administration’s lowered estimates could undermine a host of environmental regulations.

Rising trend – Germany’s primary energy consumption rose by 0.8% in 2017 compared to the previous year due to a strong economy, according to preliminary calculations by energy market group AG Energiebilanzen.  Natural gas consumption grew 5.2% due to its increased use in electricity generation and heating, while hard coal and lignite use decreased in 2017 (-10.4% and -0.6% respectively). AG Energiebilanzen expects energy-related CO₂ emissions to stagnate in 2017. (Clean Energy Wire)

Carbon loophole? Burning wood pellets to generate energy could “cause an unseen surge in carbon emissions and fatally undermine the Paris Climate Agreement”, writes freelance author and journalist Fred Pearce for Yale Environment 360. Carbon losses from forests supplying power stations are “seldom reported in national inventories”, he notes, meaning “wood burning is turning into a major loophole in controlling carbon emissions”.

And finally… Santa Cruz sues – The city of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County filed separate lawsuits Wednesday against leading fossil fuel companies, joining a growing group of California cities and counties in taking legal action against the industry for climate change impacts. Like suits filed earlier this year by the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and Imperial Beach and Marin and San Mateo counties, the two new lawsuits allege that the 29 companies named knew about the “catastrophic” impacts of burning fossil fuels but took action to “discredit” climate science. The suits also seek damages for the impacts of sea level rise, but go one step further than the other lawsuits in calling out disruptions to the hydrologic cycle and identify multiple climate impacts that they are contending with including flooding, storm damage, water supply shortages, and wildfire risk. An expected sea level rise of 4 inches by 2030 would put 850 buildings in Santa Cruz County at risk, the suit alleges, and jeopardize $742 million in assets. (Climate Nexus)

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