CP Daily: Monday April 30, 2018

Published 00:27 on May 1, 2018  /  Last updated at 22:12 on May 14, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORIES

Canadian govt forecasts carbon pricing to slash up to 90 Mt of GHGs, narrowly trim GDP

A combination of existing provincial carbon pricing schemes along with the federal ‘backstop’ would significantly reduce Canada’s GHG emissions through 2022 while slowing GDP growth less than recent estimates, according to a new report.

ASIA PACIFIC

Govt advisors back new market for offsets with additional benefits for Australia

The Climate Change Authority, an independent advisory body to the government, has recommended Australia establish a new offset type for land-based carbon cuts that also provides additional benefits for the agriculture sector.

Australian offset issuance balloons as analyst predicts 62 Mt/year market by 2030

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator last week issued over 850,000 carbon credits, some three times more than average, while an analyst on Monday predicted the domestic offset market could reach 62 million tonnes of CO2e per year by 2030.

NZ Market: NZUs track record highs after bullish report

New Zealand carbon allowances closed just 5 cents below their all-time high on Monday as last week’s Productivity Commission report was seen bullish by some major market participants.

INTERNATIONAL

Amid CDM gridlock at UN, African states seek funding alternatives

Lacking buyers for their carbon credits, African nations are appealing to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other institutions to finance their carbon-cutting activities as Paris Agreement rulebook talks drag on.

Pedal power: UN approves plans to allow bike lanes, sharing schemes to earn carbon credits

Projects that facilitate the use of bicycles in developing nations, including installing bike lanes and parking lots and implementing bike-sharing programmes, now qualify for carbon credits, a UN panel has decided.

EMEA

Emitters up share of German-auctioned EUAs purchased in March -report

The share of German carbon allowances bought by big emitters rose for a second straight month in March, with operators taking more than half of the 17.44 million sold.

EU Market: EUAs inch higher as 2017 compliance season closes quietly

EU carbon prices barely budged on Monday in trade muted by tomorrow’s European public holiday as observers grew wary over whether the market could sustain recent gains with the annual compliance season now over.

AMERICAS

California-based consultant rejoins emissions trading group IETA

A California-based consultant has rejoined IETA to work on the emissions trading association’s growing US and international research efforts.

ICYM

COP24: Inflated hotel prices, lengthy commutes await attendees at UN climate talks in Poland’s coal capital

**Free to read for non-subscribers** – Planning on attending COP24 in Poland this December? Then prepare for inflated accommodation prices and daily commutes to the venue of potentially two hours or more each way.

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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 – Oct. 16-18, 2018 in London.

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

Big spender – The European Commission is poised to propose spending 25% of funds available in the next EU budget (2021-2027) on activities related to climate protection, up from 20% in the current one, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. (Bloomberg)

Kurtyka’s on the case – Michal Kurtyka, has been named president of this year’s COP24 climate talks, Climate Home reports, taking on the more critical stage in the negotiations since the signing of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Kurtyka, is a cosmopolitan anomaly in Poland’s nationalist government, was educated at a Parisian polytechnique and a Washington DC laboratory, studied in Belgium and started his government career working on the team negotiating Poland’s accession to the EU. A doctor of economics, he serves as a deputy minister in the energy department, where he has overseen a push for electric vehicles. The COP president oversees the running of the conferences and plays an important role in brokering compromises when deadlocks appear.

Agree to disagree – The grand coalition of Germany’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) disagree on the possible introduction of a price on CO2 emissions in sectors not covered by the EU ETS, Tagesspiegel reports. After Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) had indicated support for the idea in a newspaper interview with the Tagesspiegel, members of the governing parties locked horns at a debate in parliament last week. While Schulze said it made little sense to burden electricity with taxes and levies, while not putting a reasonable CO₂ price on fossil energy sources, Christian Democrat finance politician Hermann-Josef Tebroke flat out rejected it: “We say no to a price on CO2.” Other Conservatives argued that a national carbon price would be “immensely expensive” and put jobs at risk. Separately, the German government plans to compensate operators of the country’s nuclear power plants with about €1 billion for the nuclear policy U-turn in 2011. Nuclear generators had sued because they said they lost potential revenue as a consequence of the decision of Chancellor Merkel’s government in the wake of the nuclear incident in Fukushima to speed up the phase-out of nuclear power. (Clean Energy Wire)

Fuel freeze – A draft proposal to rewrite fuel economy regulations crafted under the Obama-era EPA outlines a preferred scenario of freezing the fuel-efficiency standard for cars and light trucks at levels presently set for 2021 all the way through 2026. A federal official briefed The Washington Post that this same draft, which was largely written by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, also contains seven other proposals for weakening the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards below the levels agreed to by the EPA, California regulator ARB, and automakers in 2011. Moreover, the proposal also claims that California cannot set its own fuel economy standards, despite the state having received a waiver under the Clean Air Act to do so. However, any potential changes could lead to a lengthy court battle, with California officials indicating that they will strongly defend their ability to enforce a separate standard.

Fuel findings – A new study shows that biofuels could contribute to as much as 71% of the annual GHG reductions called for under the Canadian Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) by 2030. Consultancy firm Doyletech Corporation found that federal fuel blending levels of 20.3% ethanol and 14.1% biomass-based diesel in 2030 made possible by the impending CFS would deliver 21.3 Mt of emissions reductions annually, out of a target of 30 Mt. The report also says that this increase demand for biofuels would bolster economic activity by C$21.3 billion, while also creating over 12,600 jobs.

Icahn’t even – The latest controversy surrounding the EPA’s granting of waivers to small refiners regulated under the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) has centred on a facility owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a former advisor to President Trump. Reuters reports that two industry sources confirm that an Oklahoma refinery owned by Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc. received a financial hardship waiver from the EPA in recent months, after having been denied the same waiver from the Obama-era EPA. The news comes after CVR reported a $23 mln profit in its biofuels sector in the first quarter of 2018, despite the company being a ‘merchant refiner’ with no blending facilities for biofuels. Icahn is also under investigation by the Department of Justice for influencing biofuels policy during his time serving as Trump’s advisor.

Goes both ways – A state judge has ruled that Texas has jurisdiction over municipal officials in California who have filed suit against Exxon and other oil companies for climate change-related damages, Climate Liability News reports. Agreeing with claims made by Exxon in a petition submitted earlier this year, Tarrant County District Judge RH Wallace Jr. last week gave the oil giant the go-ahead to ask the Texas court for permission to depose officials from California municipalities that have filed climate liability lawsuits against the company. If the effort succeeds, it could have a profound chilling effect on communities or anyone making liability claims, experts say. A federal judge has already rejected Exxon’s argument that climate investigations violate the company’s First Amendment rights.

And finally… Reef grief – Australia has launched a A$500 mln ($379 mln) plan to preserve the Great Barrier Reef mainly by tackling invasive species and reducing water pollution. Environmentalists criticised the plan, saying the biggest threat to the reef is from unchecked climate change. (Bloomberg)

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