CP Daily: Monday March 26, 2018

Published 23:52 on March 26, 2018  /  Last updated at 23:52 on March 26, 2018  /  Daily Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

POLL: EU ETS emissions seen up in 2017, rising for first time in seven years

Emissions covered under the EU ETS likely rose for the first time since 2010 as a resurgence in European industrial production more than offset another annual reduction in CO2 output from the power and heat sector, according to a poll of analysts.

ASIA PACIFIC

China meets Copenhagen climate target early, vows to stick with ETS despite govt re-shuffle, delays

China has already met its 2020 carbon intensity target, according to a senior climate change official who also stressed that the country will continue building its national emissions trading scheme despite the recent government shuffle.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs extend 6.5-year high above €13 as auction supply tightens

EU carbon prices extended their 6.5% high above €13 on Monday, maintaining their recent rally as observers eyed further gains ahead of auction supply tightening due to the Easter holiday.

AMERICAS

Climate Trust delays launch of US offset guarantee facility

US non-profit The Climate Trust has delayed the launch of its facility to offer guarantees to US offset project developers while it searches for someone to lead the initiative.

California’s ARB adopts more ambitious HFC regulations to withstand court ruling

California regulator ARB voted on Friday to accept a new regulation to curb potent heat-trapping gases in fulfilling the state’s GHG reduction goals, coming after a 2017 US federal court decision limited the EPA’s authority to regulate these gases.

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CARBON FORWARD 2018

SAVE THE DATE: Carbon Forward 2018 – Survive and thrive in the global carbon markets

Don’t miss the 3rd annual Carbon Forward conference and training day. Spend two days with top experts, players, and decision-makers from the global carbon markets as they address today’s most attractive opportunities and pressing challenges. And join us for the EU ETS pre-conference training day organised by carbon market experts Redshaw Advisors, where you will learn how to effectively manage your carbon risk ahead of the looming overhaul of the bloc’s emissions trading scheme.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

**The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition High-Level Assembly (HLA) will take place on Apr. 19 as part of the World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, and will bring together leaders from government, private sector, and civil society organizations. The HLA provides an opportunity to report back on the achievements of the CPLC and to recognize new developments, commitments, or plans for new action. It also provides an opportunity to discuss strategic issues that will shape the continued advancement of the carbon pricing agenda.  It will be followed by a CPLC Technical Workshop on Apr. 20.**

Meet the new boss – The White House will select Wells Griffith, a Department of Energy (DOE) official and member of President Trump’s 2016 campaign team, to lead its international energy efforts, E&E News reports. The new position will consist of a three-month trial period at the National Economic Council where Griffith will advise the president on international energy and climate issues. As principal deputy secretary in DOE’s office of international affairs, Griffith helped coordinate a shipment of Pennsylvania coal to Ukraine in promoting the administration’s “energy dominance” agenda. Griffith will fill the vacancy left by George David Banks, who in February resigned after being told he would not receive permanent security clearance due to marijuana use five years ago.

No coal for you! – The UK government has rejected plans for an opencast coal mine in Northumberland on the grounds that it would exacerbate climate change, reports the Guardian. Communities secretary Sajid Javid said he had concluded a new coal mine at Highthorn should not go ahead. The decision was the first time the UK government had rejected a planning application citing climate change as the reason, according to environmental lawyers ClientEarth. (Carbon Brief)

Fines undermined – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill on Friday that would limit fines for utility non-compliance with a potential expanded Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The bill, a product of Republican legislators and the Arizona Public Service Commission, sets a range of fines between $100 and $5,000 for electricity providers under the possible new programme, which would require utilities to source half of their energy from renewables by 2030 – over three times the current target. However, the RPS expansion is being decided through a ballot initiative this November, leading Democrats and environmentalists to counter that Ducey’s bill is influencing voters before the legislation can come to a vote. (Climate Nexus)

Impacted investment – Over two dozen environmental and social justice groups penned a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and the state legislature on Friday, requesting that the state adopts a 2018-2019 budget that directs RGGI auction revenue to energy efficiency and solar programmes in disadvantaged communities. The organisations said that the current proposal advanced in the Executive Budget and Senate plans should not divert the $23 million in carbon market proceeds to the General Fund to pay for tax credits, which they argue does not benefit lower income and environmental justice communities negatively affected by climate change and fossil fuel use. The deadline for the state to pass a final budget is Apr. 1.

Thin ice – Provisional data from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre shows that Arctic sea ice only reached 14.48 million square km at the 2018 winter peak, the second lowest total in 39 years of satellite data. This total exceeded 2017’s record low by a mere 60,000 sq km, which may have been surpassed this year if not for a mid-March cold surge that helped the sea ice grow late in the winter. At the opposite pole, Antarctic sea ice also set its second lowest total during the summer melt season, registering 2.18 million sq km, only 70,000 sq km more than last year’s record. (Carbon Brief)

And finally… Take this idea with a grain of salt – The latest notion for slowing the pace of global warming, proposed at a scientific conference in Texas, would involve dusting the atmosphere above the Earth’s surface with a fine layer of table salt, writes The Times. The proposal is similar to some other geo-engineering proposals in its function to help Earth reflect more of the sun’s rays. “The tricky part [for doing this] is finding a substance that would be both cheap and safe enough. … It occurred to [Robert Nelson, a senior researcher at the US Planetary Science Institute], that one of the most reflective and easily available substances he could get his hands on would be sodium chloride, or ordinary table salt.” A separate article in San Francisco Chronicle looks at a geo-engineering experiment which aims to sprinkle reflective sand on a frozen lake in Alaska to try to stop it from melting. A study published last year, covered by Carbon Brief, found artificially cooling the planet through solar geo-engineering could have some dramatic side effects if it is carried out in an unregulated way. (Carbon Brief)

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