CP Daily: Monday May 21, 2018

Published 22:50 on May 21, 2018  /  Last updated at 22:50 on May 21, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

President Xi holds firm on China’s pollution fight, backs away from climate leadership role

Chinese President Xi Jinping this weekend reiterated plans to step up his country’s fight against pollution, but softened language on the role China wants to play in international climate politics.

INTERNATIONAL

Peru agrees to ‘nest’ Althelia’s REDD projects into its Paris efforts

Peru’s government has agreed to ‘nest’ two REDD projects financed by fund Althelia, claiming a global first that enables the developers to sell carbon credits abroad while later integrating with the government’s Paris emission pledge.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs scale new high on auction-less European holiday

EU carbon prices scaled a new seven-year high above €15.50 on Monday, as a continental European holiday kept volumes low and an auction off the calendar.

Governments dole out almost 500k more free EUAs for 2018

EU nations handed out almost 500,000 free carbon allowances to industry over the past two weeks, the European Commission said in its final allocation update this year.

ASIA PACIFIC

Court case could prove stumbling block for some Australian offset projects

An ongoing federal court case in Australia could cause problems with carbon offset issuance to a number of the nation’s savanna burning schemes.

AMERICAS

Michigan utilities, environmental campaigners agree to RPS compromise

Michigan’s two largest utilities will aim to source at least 50% of their energy from clean sources in 2030 after forging an agreement with an environmental group campaigning for stricter standards.

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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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Job listings this week:

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Another looking for the exit? – Iran’s Guardian Council has declined to approve the Paris Agreement, national news outlet ISNA reports. According to Iran’s deputy environment chief for legal affairs Karim Shafie, the Council, a 12-member panel that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic, has proposed amendments, “so the deal is now being hammered out in agriculture, water and natural resources group of the Majlis (parliament).” The decision follows President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement and reimpose sanctions on the country. Shafie said there are some concerns Paris may “act against our national interest” and that’s why “we should proceed with extreme caution”. “We should be wary of not being forced to make and legally binding commitments which may later result in more sanctions and penalties for us,” he warned. In its NDC, Iran has pledged to cut its GHGs by 4% below BAU by 2030, but will up that to 12% with foreign financial assistance, access to carbon markets, and the end of international sanctions. (Tehran Times)

BECCS breakthrough– British power company Drax will start work this month on a £400,000 pilot bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project at its plant in Yorkshire, northern England, Reuters reports. The project is the first of its kind in Europe, and will examine the potential of capturing CO2 from bioenergy sources, effectively removing the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Drax operates the UK’s largest emitting plant, though it has converted three of its facilities units to burn biomass instead of coal. A fourth conversion will be complete by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that the first major international initiative to galvanise CCS will be unveiled this week by some of the world’s largest polluters. The annual Clean Energy Ministerial will play host to the new global co-operation plan to develop the technology, with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Norway preparing to lead the work, and their efforts being supported by the UK, China, the UAE, Mexico, and the European Commission.

Improvements all around – Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Andrea Horwath would not only keep the ruling Liberal party’s cap-and-trade programme if elected as the province’s premier on June 7, but would also improve it. Speaking in Ottawa on Sunday, Horwath said that she would make the carbon market more equitable for disadvantaged residents in Ontario, which builds off her platform in proposing to direct 25% of cap-and-trade funds to lower-income, rural, and northern Ontario households. Additionally, a new poll from Abacus Data concludes that Horwath’s NDP is now only one percentage point behind Progressive Conservative (PC) candidate Doug Ford, who has pledged to both scrap cap-and-trade and reject the federal government’s ‘backstop’ carbon pricing system. (The National Observer)

Forest carbon cash in sight – The financial arm of the state-owned Guangxi Forestry Group in southern China has set up a carbon subsidiary firm named Senjie together with Guangdong-based carbon trading firm Avi. The new company will seek to develop forest carbon credits as well as provide consulting services to local emitters. Neighbouring Guangdong province allows the use of forest offsets in its pilot emissions trading scheme, and has said it will give priority to projects in poorer regions such as Guangxi.

Revision request – A coalition of oil and energy companies formed last month have petitioned the US EPA to revise the monitoring requirements for CCS technology eligible for expanded tax credits passed by Congress this past winter. The Energy Advance Center, which includes BP, ExxonMobil, and Southern Company amongst its members, has asked the EPA to drop the requirement that CO2 sequestered underground in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations be monitored, with the coalition arguing that the provision could potentially violate some states’ property rights and require the renegotiation of hundreds of leases. However, while the Internal Revenue Service has said that industry tax returns indicate that nearly 59 Mt of CO2 were captured through CCS since 2008, EPA data shows that only three million tonnes from one company were reported in 2016, questioning whether or not other companies are properly engaging in the monitoring protocol at the present time. (Axios)

Do-it-Pruitt – Environmental group the Sierra Club launched a digital advertisement campaign Friday aimed at US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The ad highlights a number of controversies tied to Pruitt’s relationship with lobbyists, including reports that he rented a $50-a-night condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist and worked in tandem with a number of special interest groups when booking international work trips. Titled “Do-it-Pruitt,” the satirical digital campaign advertises services to everyday users similar to those utilised by Pruitt since his time heading the EPA. (The Hill)

And finally… Rock forever – No, we’re not talking about the Judas Priest song. The Hellisheidi power station, 15 miles outside Reykjavik, is Iceland’s main geothermal plant and is one of the largest in the world. However, it may soon be renowned for something even more monumental: the site for a scientific breakthrough in converting CO2 into rocks forever. Since experiments began in 2014, it’s been scaled up from a pilot project to a permanent solution, cleaning up a third of the plant’s carbon emissions, according to the BBC World Service. The CarbFix project is pioneered by an international consortium led by Reykjavík Energy, the French National Centre for Scientific Research, the University of Iceland and Columbia University. (Carbon Brief)

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