CP Daily: Tuesday February 27, 2018

Published 22:59 on February 27, 2018  /  Last updated at 23:03 on February 27, 2018  /  Daily Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORIES

EU nations approve post-2020 ETS reforms in last step to becoming law

EU member states on Tuesday formally approved the post-2020 EU ETS reforms, the final stage of a 2.5-year lawmaking process that will now enable the bill to become law within weeks.

EU Market: EUAs surge to new 6-year high after ETS reforms secure final lawmaker approval

European carbon prices surged to a new six-year high above €10 on Tuesday after EU member states gave final approval to post-2020 ETS reforms, meaning the supply-curbing measures now become law.

AMERICAS

Former Ontario PC boss Brown exits leadership race, leaving four anti-carbon pricing hopefuls

Former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown has withdrawn from his party’s leadership race, leaving four candidates who all oppose carbon pricing in the province.

Indigenous fund joins push to soften California’s stance on out-of-state offsets

A fund supporting Native American tribes has joined a coalition lobbying for all offsets from indigenous lands to be eligible under California’s carbon market, despite post-2020 rules limiting the number than can be generated outside the state.

EMEA

Energy Aspects raises EUA price forecasts by nearly 30%

London-based Energy Aspects has boosted its EU carbon price forecasts by as much as 28% as it expects EUAs to continue ratcheting up for at least the next three years.

UK utility Drax sees coal-based output nudge higher despite phase-out plans

UK utility Drax reported a 1.5% increase in its coal-fired generation over 2017, nudging up its demand for EUAs even as the company plans an exit from the carbon-intensive fuel in the medium term.

ASIA PACIFIC

NZ Market: NZUs drop below NZ$21 as steady supply puts pressure on prices

New Zealand carbon allowances fell below the NZ$21 level for the first time since early January on Tuesday, as steady selling from foresters undid most of the contract’s gains over the past seven weeks.

China ponders absolute pollution caps for selected cities -officials

An absolute cap on smog levels in some cities could be the next step in China’s fight against air pollution, government officials said Tuesday, a move that would put additional pressure on big CO2 emitters such as coal plants and factories.

COMMENT

What does WCI linkage mean for Ontario industries?

In the run-up to the 2nd Annual Ontario Cap and Trade Forum on April 18-19 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, Canadian Clean Energy Conferences is producing a series of articles featuring the key topics concerning regulated entities under Ontario’s program.

ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE

The dirt on soil carbon

Late last year, on the eve of global climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the National Academies of the Sciences published a paper called “Natural Climate Solutions”, which showed how we could simultaneously feed more people while slashing greenhouse-gas emissions just by improving the way we manage our forests, farms, and fields.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

** 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. **

Fuel duel, part two- Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that no deal had been reached on modifying the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and market for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), the latest development in the ongoing feud between the oil and agriculture industry over the federal biofuels policy. This came after President Trump held a meeting with several GOP senators on Tuesday and met with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA head Scott Pruitt on Monday to discuss changing the programme. Previously, Politico reported that the possible changes consisted of a proposal to cap the price of RINs, create a new RIN category for exported ethanol, and allow a waiver for the year-round use of 15% ethanol blends (E15). While Grassley and other Midwest Republicans have fought to maintain or expand the existing RFS2, GOP politicians from oil-reliant states, like Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, have criticised the RFS2 as a financial burden for refiners.

Fuel duel, German edition – Germany’s Federal Administrative Court has ruled that German cities are generally allowed to introduce driving bans for older diesel cars to enforce EU clean air rules as a last resort. The court upheld two decisions by local courts in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf in which judges had called upon cities to impose or consider driving bans for older diesel cars to meet EU clean air standards. (Clean Energy Wire)

Combatting cap-and-trade – The Virginia Senate Committee on Commerce and Labour has approved a bill that would prevent the state from adopting or linking to a cap-and-trade programme without receiving majority approval in both legislative chambers. HB-1270 passed out of the committee by an 11-4 margin along party lines, following a 50-48 House vote several weeks ago. Although Republicans possess a one-seat advantage in the Senate, Governor Ralph Northam (D) can veto legislation that doesn’t garner two-thirds support in the House and Senate. Despite the action in the legislature this month, the cap-and-trade proposal released by the Department of Environmental Quality does seek a formal RGGI linkage nor direct auctions that would need legislative approval.

Sustainable surge – Over 100 cities worldwide are sourcing more than 70% of their power from renewable energy, according to new findings from CDP. This figure has doubled in only the past three years, and more than 40 of these cities have said that they are now running on 100% renewable energy. The data was taken from more than 570 cities that report to CDP. (Climate Nexus)

Swampy slippage – The world’s mangrove forests, with their archetypal twisted roots protruding from the water, store more than 4 billion tonnes of carbon, new research shows. But deforestation – often to make way for fish farming – has seen the global area of mangroves decline by 2% between 2000 and 2012. This releases 24m tonnes of CO2 per year – equivalent to the annual emissions of Myanmar. (Carbon Brief)

Failing grade – A group of US House Republicans may have bucked their party on climate change, but one environmental group says they have poor voting records on the matter. GOP members of the bipartisan “Climate Solutions Caucus” scored an average of just 16% on a scorecard released Tuesday by League of Conservation Voters, which tracks how lawmakers voted on major environmental issues last year. The group, which now counts 35 Republicans in its ranks along with an equal number of Democrats, was formed to great fanfare in 2016 with hope it could break through congressional gridlock on climate legislation. But it’s drawn criticism as being a vehicle to help politically endangered Republicans burnish their green credentials without having to take hard votes. (Bloomberg)

And finally… Polar bear funeral – The Center for Biological Diversity will be staging a symbolic polar bear funeral on Wednesday outside the San Francisco Public Library, where the EPA will be holding a listening session on the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The organisers call the session a “sham”, arguing that EPA boss Scott Pruitt is already committed to scrapping the CPP and is unlikely to consider any opposing views. The “funeral” will begin at 0800 local time on Wednesday, with the listening session scheduled to begin a half hour later.

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