CP Daily: Monday March 19, 2018

Published 23:21 on March 19, 2018  /  Last updated at 16:56 on March 26, 2018  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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“Sign of change”?: Japan’s environment ministry to draw up carbon pricing proposal

Japan’s environment ministry (MoE) will begin drawing up a detailed policy proposal for a carbon pricing mechanism despite lingering opposition against emissions trading in parts of the Abe administration.


ANALYSIS: What are the timeline, challenges for New Jersey re-joining RGGI?

RGGI received a boost last November when Democrat Phil Murphy, a proponent for New Jersey re-joining the north-eastern US carbon market, was elected as the state’s governor.

Ontario should bury the idea of ‘no-till’ farming offsets, experts warn

‘No-till’ farming has important environmental benefits but does not make sense as an offset protocol in the Ontario cap-and-trade programme, according to offset developers and registries.

Manitoba tables carbon tax and trade bill, opening door to linking via offsets

The Manitoba government on Thursday introduced legislation underpinning its new provincial carbon tax and trading system, opening the door to linking with other jurisdictions through the use of offsets.

Hawaii lawmakers pass offset bill, though disagreement on design remains

A group of Hawaii Senate committees approved the most recent version of a proposed state-administered carbon offset programme on Friday, but state agencies and outside groups expressed reservations about the design of the scheme.

Maryland RPS, carbon tax bills stopped in House committee

A pair of bills that would have expanded Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) were withdrawn from a House committee last week, while a proposed carbon tax was also given an unfavourable recommendation by the same body.


EU, UK reach deal on transition period to the end of 2020

Brexit negotiators have struck a deal on a transition period to the end of 2020, the parties said on Monday, a decisive step towards an orderly UK withdrawal from the EU but one that stops short of confirming whether British emitters will also be kept in the EU ETS over that period.

Swiss carbon prices continue to climb in latest auction

Swiss carbon allowances climbed to a two-year high in the country’s latest auction, continuing to reverse the downtrend that had gripped the market for much of its first decade.

EU Market: Stronger auction helps EUAs recover from 6-day low below €11

EU carbon prices recovered from an early dip to a six-day low below €11 after Monday’s stronger auction, which helped bolster sentiment following a string of weaker sales.


Australia’s new flagship climate policy to achieve less than business as usual -report

Australia’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is set up to achieve a smaller emission cut in the electricity sector than the nation is on track to make without any new policies thanks to ambitious renewable targets in some states, a new report said Monday.



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Blow hard – Wind power in the UK set a new record this weekend by generating 13.9 GW for the first time – nearly 37% of the the country’s electricity and the highest ever metered wind output, according to the National Grid. (The Independent)

Look Ma, no subsidies – The Dutch Government has awarded Vattenfall in a tender to develop the twin Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farms. The two 350MW wind farms, to be built by 2022, will be the world’s first to be built without public subsidy. The costs of offshore wind in Europe have been falling dramatically in recent years as manufacturers bring ever larger turbines to the market. Going zero-subsidy means the wind farms will sell their electricity on the wholesale power market instead of relying on a revenue stabilisation scheme (e.g. a Contract for Difference) that locks in a fixed revenue. The news follows the zero-subsidy offshore wind tender in Germany last year that was a landmark for the industry. The German offshore tender was the first to attract zero subsidy winning bids, but the projects will only be built in 2024-25, after Hollandse Kust Zuid is commissioned.

Franco-German stitch-up – France and Germany need to closely coordinate the reduction of nuclear and coal power, French and German think-tanks IDDRI and Agora Energiewende said in a joint study. The analysis said a minimum EU ETS price would be essential for climate protection and suggested that CO2 prices of €30-50 will help to reduce power generation from coal, but not by enough. Higher CO2 prices would benefit French nuclear and gas-fired power plants. But for this not to lead to higher exports of nuclear energy from France, a political agreement between the two countries would make sense. France could undertake to reduce the overcapacity of its nuclear plants. In return, Germany could actively support a Franco-German initiative for a minimum CO2 price.

Bankruptcy blip – The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has called for a federal judge to stop the Ch. 11 bankruptcy proceedings of refiner Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), saying that the company owes roughly $3.8 billion in fuel taxes. The figure comes from a pending audit of PES’ books, and is the latest development in the company’s highly-publicised bankruptcy filing over what it attributed to the high costs of complying with the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2). Just last week, the EPA moved to relieve PES of a large portion of its outstanding compliance obligation under the biofuels policy. (Reuters)

Tariff trepidation – Friday was the final day for solar panel manufacturers to petition the US Trade Representative to exempt their products from the 30% tariff on imported solar panels announced by the Trump administration in February. One company, California-based Sun Power, stated in its filing on Regulations.gov that its copper-plated IBC could not be sourced from anywhere besides foreign producers, even though the technology utilised US research and patents. In turn, the company said it would invest additional funds into American research and development through the money saved from avoiding the tariff. (Politico)

Who’s flying the plane? – The European Commission earlier this month published an updated version of the EU member states’ emissions trading list. In it, all aircraft operators are assigned to an EU member state, indicating their jurisdiction under the ETS.

And finally… What perks do you offer? – Only 12% of 1,681 companies in 14 countries explicitly linked executive incentives such as bonuses or a greater chance of promotion to climate-related targets, according to a report from CDP, an environmental impact charity, and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board CDSB, a grouping of businesses and environmental groups. Even though awareness of climate change issues is high, the low proportion of companies linking climate-related objectives with how executives are rewarded reduces the likelihood that companies will do enough to tackle climate change, said Simon Messenger, managing director of the CDSB. (Financial Times)

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