CP Daily: Monday February 26, 2018

Published 00:12 on February 27, 2018  /  Last updated at 00:22 on February 27, 2018  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Guangdong CO2 exchange targets Europeans as it notches rare offshore deal

The China Emissions Exchange in Guangdong is seeking government approval for a foreign capital quota for carbon trade as it recorded its second-ever offshore CO2 permit deal, amid signs that international firms haven’t completely turned their backs on China following the national ETS delay.


California regulators release preliminary thinking on updates to cap-and-trade programme

California regulators ARB on Friday introduced new documents outlining proposed changes to the post-2020 structure of the state’s cap-and-trade programme, coming ahead of a public workshop scheduled for the end of this week.

Manitoba drops resistance to pan-Canadian carbon pricing plan

Manitoba on Friday ended its holdout against the federal pan-Canadian carbon pricing framework, agreeing to sign on to Ottawa’s plan just days before the opt-in deadline.


EU Market: EUAs sink as nations prepare to close ETS reform file

EU carbon prices dipped on Monday even as observers dismissed chances of bigger falls on the eve of a final sign-off of post-2020 ETS reforms.


COMMENT: Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund is almost empty. It shouldn’t be refilled

With the ERF fund almost empty, the federal government should ask itself a tough question. Should it spend another A$2.55 billion of taxpayers’ money while letting major polluters increase their emissions?


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** There are eight events marked for this week in Carbon Pulse’s calendar, providing subscribers with an exportable resource highlighting important events that this week include details, links and timings of the WCI’s auction result, the expected sign-off of EU ETS reforms by ministers, webinars on international carbon pricing, and the EU’s coal transition conference. **

New faces – The Green Climate Fund (GCF) opened its 19th board meeting on Monday, and started out by electing replacements for the outgoing co-chairs. Paul Oquist (Nicaragua) and Lennart Bage of Sweden will take over for Ayman Shasly and Ewen McDonald, the GCF said. The meeting will run until Wednesday.

It begins – Overnight, the Dutch government said it is allocating a total 43.2 million free EUAs for 2018 to 370 emitters regulated under the EU ETS. Member states face an end-February deadline to hand out allowances for this year’s output, with a number of governments including Poland, France, Hungary, Portugal, and Belgium having reportedly already done the bulk of their allocations. The annual practice can influence EUA prices should recipients decide to sell units to raise cash, or emitters discover they are not getting the amount they had anticipated.

Coal twist – EU cross-stakeholder Coal Regions in Transition Platform today opened a two-day webstreamed conference in Brussels aiming to help smooth the transition away from coal-fired power in the bloc’s 41 regions in 12 EU member states. Green group WWF welcomed the event’s themes of regional support but not its focus on ‘advanced coal technologies’, which it instead calls “slightly lower intensity, more expensive” plants. The event includes reports from pilot programmes in Trencin, Silesia, and Western Macedonia, and a high-level segment at 1400-1630 GMT Tuesday.

Coal stick – Coal miners are adopting one of two disparate strategies, either exit the business in a highly visible way to buff up your climate credentials, or sit tight, keep as quiet as possible and rake in the cash, writes columnist Clyde Russell. He identified BHP and its alliance partner Mitsubishi and Glencore as among those probably calculating that the monetary rewards from coal still outweigh any public backlash. (Reuters)

Reality check – President Trump told the conservative CPAC on Friday that he’s “ended the war on beautiful, clean coal” and talked up conditions in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wyoming. But according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, US coal jobs and production were falling for years under former President Obama, then had a brief upswing during his final months that continued for a while under Trump too, but have since reversed again in the most recent quarter. Experts say the recent changes have little to do with Trump and instead stem from factors like changes in global demand for metallurgical coal, while a number of factors suggest coal will not make a major US comeback, with nobody building new coal-fired power plants and old ones continuing to go out of service. (Axios)

Please take us back – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy sent a letter last week to the governors of all nine RGGI states, notifying them of his state’s intent to re-enter the northeastern US regional carbon market. This followed the executive order Murphy signed last month, directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to immediately begin negotiations to re-enter the power-only trading programme. “We are moving forward aggressively with the necessary steps to rejoin RGGI as soon as possible,” said the DEP. Separately, New Jersey’s Senate on Monday passed a measure to amend a bill that would restrict the governor from withdrawing the state from RGGI, as Chris Christie did unilaterally back in 2011. SB-611 is now identical to Assembly Bill 1212, making the legislation easier to pass in both houses.

True-up – This year’s compliance deadline for the Tianjin ETS has been set to June 30, the market regulator said Monday. Covered entities were asked to submit verified 2017 emissions data by Mar. 31, and those who were only given half their allocated allowances upfront can apply for the second half once data has been submitted, the municipal government said.

Recovery rebrand – The US-based National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative has announced it will change its name to the Carbon Capture Coalition. The coalition, which has added 12 new members, expanded its agenda to include the 45Q tax credit – reauthorised and increased by Congress this month – for CCS technologies and federal support for CCS and CO2 pipeline infrastructure as part of any federal infrastructure policy. The new members include manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, oil major Shell, and think-tanks Bipartisan Policy Center and Third Way.

And finally… Shroom for more –  The Culinary Institute of America and others recommend blending mushrooms into burgers as one way to shift mainstream US consumers’ diets without requiring lifestyle changes. Replacing 30% of the beef  in the 10 billion burgers Americans eat each year with mushrooms would reduce agricultural production-related greenhouse gas emissions by 10.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year. (World Resources Institute)

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