CP Daily: Tuesday February 20, 2018

Published 23:06 on February 20, 2018  /  Last updated at 23:48 on February 20, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

‘Isolated’ EU nations willing to waive through CORSIA rulebook –EC official

EU nations are prepared to waive through the draft rulebook for the CORSIA international offset market because they lack enough support to force changes, an EU official said on Tuesday.

EMEA

UK Supreme Court rejects Citibank’s appeal in £10m EU ETS tax fraud case

The UK Supreme Court on Friday denied US investment bank Citibank’s request to challenge a lower appeal court’s ruling that British tax authorities were not required to prove the bank was dishonest amid their allegations that Citi knew, or should have known, that its EU carbon trading activities were linked to VAT fraud.

EU Market: EUAs slip on weak auction after failing to return to €10

EU carbon prices gave back almost half of the previous session’s gains on Tuesday, as another weak auction dented confidence that EUAs could climb back above €10.

AMERICAS

Latest Oregon ‘cap-and-invest’ amendment would buy legislators over a year to hammer out programme design

A new proposed amendment to Oregon’s ‘cap-and-invest’ proposal would temporarily strike the section of the bill governing programme design, possibly hinting that lawmakers do not have enough support for the legislation this term.

ASIA PACIFIC

NZ Market: NZUs slide to 4-wk low as aggressive buyers cool down

New Zealand carbon allowances fell 1% on Tuesday to reach a 4-week low as buyers pulled their most aggressive bids.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Still fighting – Former UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday was elected president and chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), a South Korea-based international organisation supporting sustainable growth in developing nations. “His vision and leadership will help GGGI deliver even greater impact in our mission supporting member governments to achieve the ambitions set out under the SDGs and the Paris Agreement,” said director-general Frank Riisberman. Ban will serve two years in the role.

Log off – Poland’s decision to triple logging in its old-growth Bialowieza forest breaks EU law, an adviser to the EU’s top court said, backing the European Commission’s efforts in a preliminary opinion, which are mostly followed in full rulings. Logging quotas to 2021 have already been reached and in one part of the forest an expanded quota, declared illegal by Brussels, has been more than half filled despite an injunction, official forestry data shows. Poland has promoted the CO2-absorbing ability of its vast swathes of forests as one of its key solutions in its climate action plans. (Reuters)

Renewed strength – The EU can increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix to 34% by 2030 – double the share in 2016 – with a net positive economic impact, finds a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report ups pressure on member states to agree to a more ambitious 2030 renewables goal than 27% in the ongoing trilogue negotiations to finalise the target into law, despite the heightened risk that this could dampen the EU ETS price signal without further safeguards.

Not so fast- The Trump administration’s swift rollback of environmental regulations during its first year in office is now running into legal problems for its actions. The EPA in particular has seen several of its attempts to delay or rescind new environmental standards and policies blocked by federal courts, including attempts to suspend new measures for reducing methane in July and smog-causing air pollutants in August. Observers have attributed the EPA’s accumulating court losses to the fact that it has engaged in a habit of suspending public comment periods for new regulations, omitting rationales for why delay or repeals should be implemented, and targeting Obama-era environmental policies without merit. (The Guardian).

Mixed messages- Michigan’s largest utility said it will aim to phase out coal and generate 40% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2040. Patti Pope, president and CEO of Consumers’ Energy, said that the company factored in the effects of climate change and the declining price of renewables and other sources of energy into the decision, further noting that the move sees the company positioned on “the right side of history”. However, Consumers’ Energy has criticised past efforts to increase the renewable energy mandates for the US state’s utilities, lobbying to defeat a ballot initiative in 2012 and opposing a similar measure that was proposed earlier this month. (Climate Nexus).

Pass-ive aggressive- Massachusetts will choose Central Maine Power’s New England Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line to help the state meet its renewable energy goals after its original plan hit a roadblock, reports Utility Dive.  The selection comes weeks after New Hampshire regulators denied permits for construction of the Northern Pass project that Massachusetts had initially picked for the endeavor. The 145-mile NEC project, developed in a joint bid with Hydro-Quebec, would provide New England states with 1,200 MW of transmission capacity from clean energy. Central Maine Power anticipates receiving state permits for the project this year, with federal permits to follow next year.

And finally… Maintain the swamp- After being denied permanent security clearance for past marijuana use last week, the Trump administration is reportedly trying to find a former climate advisor a position at the Department of Interior or Energy. In an interview with E&E News, George David Banks, who served as the special assistant to the president on international energy and environment, said that while the Trump team may be looking for a new position for him, it remains to be seen what is available or a “good fit”. Banks also stated that the administration’s “clean coal” initiative, which he said was led by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, will also include other fossil fuel interests to be branded as “clean fossil”.

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