CP Daily: Monday February 12, 2018

Published 01:06 on February 13, 2018  /  Last updated at 01:11 on February 13, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Heineken unveils new emissions reduction goals, internal carbon price

Dutch brewing giant Heineken on Monday announced a new emissions reduction strategy that seeks to incorporate more renewable energy sources into its operations while also introducing a pilot internal carbon price.

INTERNATIONAL

Experts float international emission trade suggestions as UN talks approach business end

A group of experts have outlined how guidance on international emissions trade could look, aiming to help advance work that UNFCCC negotiators have been tasked to agree this year.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs climb 4% to 3-week high after prices spike on strong auction

EU carbon prices surged to a three-week high on Monday after the day’s auction cleared at the largest premium since late January and as observers predicted further gains this week.

Two carbon market veterans leave Finland-based GreenStream for new roles

Two long-time senior employees have left Finland-based low-carbon investment and advisory firm GreenStream to take on new roles.

AMERICAS

Ontario says proceeding with forestry offset protocols but keeps mum on conservation cropping

Ontario is moving forward with developing two forestry offset protocols against the recommendations of the province’s Environmental Commissioner (ECO), who had advised scrapping at least three proposed project types including conservation cropping over concerns about their environmental integrity.

New proposed amendments to Oregon ‘cap-and-invest’ bills alter linkage requirements, revenue distribution

Oregon legislators have tabled another round of amendments to the state’s proposed cap-and-trade bills, as a joint committee work group takes up the legislation on Monday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Data shows cut-price, opaque bilateral deals makes up most of Beijing’s carbon trade

As much as two-thirds of the volume traded in Beijing’s emissions trading scheme last year went through as bilateral deals, with prices less than half the levels on the local carbon exchange.

NZ Market: NZUs ease off highs but remain strong

New Zealand carbon allowances came off slightly on Monday after setting a series of Sergey Bubka-style incremental records last week, but the allowances continued to hover near all-time highs.

ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE

Twenty percent of US climate emissions come from fossil fuel exploration on public land

Forty two percent of all coal mined in the United States in 2015 came from public lands, as did 22 percent of all crude oil and 15 percent of all natural gas. Now, a new report from The Wilderness Society shows that fossil fuel exploration on public lands generates roughly 20 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions, and that activity shows no signs of abating.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Pick a market, any market – Massachusetts lawmakers in the Senate Committee on Global Warming introduced new climate and clean energy legislation on Monday, touching on numerous parts of renewable energy and carbon pricing policy. If the bill is passed into law, legislators must design some form of market-based carbon pricing scheme for transportation by 2020, for commercial and industrial buildings by 2021, and for residential buildings by 2022. The bill would triple the growth of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 1 to 3% a year and ban any proposed tax on electric ratepayers that may result from constructing new natural gas pipelines. The legislation also sets out a target of generating 20% of the state’s electricity generation from solar power by 2020, and 30% by 2030. Additionally, the bill calls for a 10-year moratorium on fracking and for the state to divest its pension fund of all fossil fuel company holdings. (WBUR)

Powering up – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has recommended that the state double its RPS to 40% by 2030. The more ambitious policy comes as DEEP finalised the state’s 2018 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) last week, upping the RPS requirement from 20% presently and a proposed 30% in a draft CES from last year. Having already rejected the Northern Pass transmission project, DEEP said that lowering the alternative compliance payment for Class I renewables could help limit exposure to ratepayers. (Utility Dive).

Vietnam snubbing – State-owned Vietnamese company PetroVietnam is no longer seeking American financial support to build a coal-fired power plant in the country, bringing to an abrupt end a closely watched test of whether Washington would back international projects that could potentially contribute to climate change. US government lender Ex-Im Bank said PetroVietnam had withdrawn its application, which would have allowed the company to purchase millions of dollars in of turbines and other equipment from US manufacturer General Electric. It isn’t clear why PetroVietnam withdrew but it had faced intense criticism for its contribution to climate change. (New York Times)

More cuts – President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request would cut the EPA’s funding from its current $8.05 billion down to $6.1 billion, more than the $5.6 billion the administration sought in FY18 and with most of the increase over last year’s request dedicated to boosts for key agency programs including Superfund and water infrastructure. (InsideEPA)

Shale shake – The British government does not expect a fracking boom on the scale predicted by the shale gas industry, according to confidential Cabinet Office projections seen by Unearthed website. The government foresees only 155 wells drilled by 2025, while industry would have to deploy 550 wells a year in order to reach its 2032 target. The report shows the promise of a UK shale gas boom has been dramatically exaggerated by government and fracking companies.

EU pipes – Aled Jones of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University examines how the public European Investment Bank voted to provide a €1.5 billion loan to the controversial Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). He said that by funding TAP, the EU’s investment bank is hardly signalling to the private sector that governments are committed to a green energy transition and that the pipeline project may even represent a risk to public finances. (The Conversation)

Carbon talking – Inter-governmental association ICAP, which aims to promote carbon markets worldwide, will publish its 2018 edition of the ICAP Status Report on Feb. 28. It will host two webinars discussiing the future of carbon markets with policymakers from different ETS jurisdictions on Feb. 27.

You talkin’ to me? – Robert De Niro took aim at the Trump administration’s stance on climate change, telling a packed audience in the Middle East that he was visiting from a “backward” country suffering from “temporary insanity.” He said that in the country he’s describing, the head of the EPA suggested last week that global warming may be a good thing for humanity. “I am talking about my own country, the United States of America. We don’t’ like to say we are a ‘backward’ country so let’s just say we’re suffering from a case of temporary insanity,” he added. De Niro received applause and laughs when he said the U.S. “will eventually cure itself by voting our dangerous leader” out of office.

Mind the zero – Ontario-based Kontrol Energy Corp. has announced that it is developing, in cooperation with an unnamed company it is proposing to acquire, “a utility token (GHGcoin) and carbon offset trading platform”. The GHGcoin is expected to be a unique solution based on blockchain-esque distributed ledger technology (DLT) and is aimed at sequestering up to 10 billion tonnes of C02 (not CO2!). “The GHGcoin will be designed as a utility token and is intended to offer transparency, immutability and accountability for organizations to meet their net zero emission targets. The GHGcoin will have a finite issuance based on the reduction and/or sequestration of up to 10 billion tonnes of C02 over 10 years. GHGcoins would be issued to participating organizations based on their own internal targets to become a net zero emission company. DLT smart contracts will allow organizations to grant the GHGcoin as a reward for consumer spending and engagement in support of carbon offset projects. The value of each GHGcoin will be pegged to the equivalent value of one tonne of C02.”

And finally… The cost of doing business? – US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has routinely racked up thousands of dollars on frequent and often secretive travel during his first year in office. According to agency travel vouchers obtained by The Washington Post, Pruitt spent over $1600 on a first class airline seat from New York City to Washington DC last June, over six times the amount of two media aides accompanying him on the trip. Subsequent travel that week involved taking a military flight costing over $36,000 from Cincinnati to Rome to attend a meeting of environmental ministers in Italy. The Environmental Integrity Project analysed receipts obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request to conclude that the total taxpayer-funded bill for Pruitt and his aides and security detail in early June came out to at least $90,000. Pruitt has not only made it custom to bring a larger staff for travel than his predecessors, but also to avoid disclosing his schedule from the public.

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