CP Daily: Wednesday May 30, 2018

Published 23:19 on May 30, 2018  /  Last updated at 23:19 on May 30, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

South Korea mulls U-turn on plan to buy international carbon credits

South Korea is considering dropping its plan to achieve nearly a third of its Paris target through buying international carbon credits, instead making deeper emission reductions at home.

ASIA PACIFIC

China sees 4% growth in emissions so far this year -report

China’s greenhouse gas emissions are up 4% year-on-year so far in 2018, according to an analysis by Greenpeace, with the growth largely fuelled by a government stimulus programme.

SK Market: KAUs take 10% hit after auction announcement

Korea carbon allowances fell nearly 10% on Wednesday as the government announcement that it will auction 5.5 million permits on June 1 tempered the aggressive demand seen over the past three weeks.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs dive 2.8% as Italy crisis roils markets

EU carbon prices dropped 2.8% on Wednesday as a stronger auction provided only temporary relief amid wider financial market upheaval stemming from Italy’s political turmoil.

AMERICAS

New Jersey now aiming for RGGI auctions, compliance obligations to begin in Q1 2020

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has pinpointed early 2020 for the state to re-enter RGGI auctions and for emitter compliance obligations to begin should its ongoing negotiations proceed on schedule, according to new documents released on Wednesday.

California senate passes bill to avert GHG increases from major nuclear plant closure

A bill that would guide the scheduled closure of California’s last remaining nuclear plant was approved by the state senate on Tuesday, including measures to prevent against a rise in emissions resulting from the shut down.

RETRACTED

RETRACTED – South African cabinet approves carbon tax proposal, bringing long-delayed bill a step closer to passage

This story has been retracted. South Africa’s cabinet approved a separate bill – the National Climate Change Bill – for publication and public comment. The government said this bill includes new measures to cut the country’s GHGs, including provisions for mitigation and adaptation measures, as well as instruments such as carbon budgets. While the details of the bill are vague as it is not yet available online, it does not specifically address South Africa’s proposed carbon tax, which remains under review.

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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

Growth vehicles – The global fleet of electric vehicles is likely to more than triple to 13 million by the end of the decade from 3.7 million last year, according to a report by rich-nation energy advisor IEA. Sales may soar 24% each year on average through to 2030 with the effect of displacing as much oil as Germany currently uses each day. (Bloomberg)

Another delay – The German government has again postponed the official launch of its coal phase-out commission. The item was removed from the cabinet agenda only hours before it was due to start. The coal commission – officially called “Special Commission on Growth, Structural Economic Change and Employment” – is supposed to bring policymakers, industry representatives, labour unions and possibly environmental NGOs to the table to decide on a roadmap and a clear end date for coal-fired power production. (Clean Energy Wire)

So close, and yet so far – Chevron shareholders rejected two non-binding resolutions on Wednesday that sought to have the oil giant address its contribution to climate change. The first measure calling for the company to undertake more actions to cut its methane emissions received 45% approval, but the second resolution that would have seen Chevron make proposals on how to cut its fossil fuel production only garnered 8% of the votes. (Seeking Alpha)

Lending lift – Netherlands chemicals major Royal DSM is replacing its two revolving credit facilities with a €1 bln one that links its interest rate on repayments to the company’s performance in cutting emissions, adding another internal metric to its climate action efforts.

I love the 90s – US fossil fuel consumption for electricity dropped to the lowest levels since 1994, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration. The agency attributed the decline to coal consumption for electricity sinking to its lowest level since 1982, while petroleum usage was the lowest on record. Additionally, improved technology from combined-cycle generators have allowed natural-gas fired power plants to become more efficient, and may take over coal plants as the dominant technology for generating energy in the US by the end of 2018.

In alignment – The Alberta Climate Change Office (CCO) has made a minor revision to the Specified Gas Reporting Standard for 2017 under the Specified Gas Reporting Regulation to better align with federal Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Under the new amendment, agricultural emissions from enteric fermentation, soils, fertiliser application, manure management, and crop burning are excluded from reporting requirements. Additionally, the revision will provide clarity on the definition of threshold emissions to distinguish them from direct emissions, along with aligning requirements for certain manufacturing and CCS industries with ECCC.

No interference – A joint legal brief filed by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday supported the Illinois zero-emission credits (ZECs) programme for nuclear plants. Lawyers for the two agencies said that the ZECs do not interfere with FERC’s ability to regulate wholesale power markets, because the state values the zero-carbon generation regardless of whether or not the plants clear power market auctions. The brief, filed with the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, marks a setback for opponents who had hoped to throw out the state programmes to keep uneconomic plants for retiring, with a similar court challenge filed against New York’s ZEC programme and New Jersey’s governor having signed the state’s own ZEC bill into law last week. (Utility Dive)

Relief reservations – A coalition of ethanol and farm groups have sued the EPA over the hardship waivers it has granted to some refineries in relieving them of their compliance obligations to the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The groups have cited the waivers granted to CVR Refining’s Wynnewood, Oklahoma facility – owned by former Trump adviser and billionaire Carl Icahn – and two HollyFrontier refineries in Utah and Wyoming. The coalition said the waivers have allowed the companies to save $170 million in compliance costs and violate the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) mandates under the RFS. (Politico).

And finally… Coming to a cinema near you – Grist travelled to the tiny mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, to see some of the most talked-about environmental and climate change-related documentaries screening at the Mountainfilm Festival. The films take on the challenge of addressing migration — both of humans and animals around the world — as well as the startling realities of communities facing climate change and environmental degradation today. In all, there were more than 150 movies and shorts featured during the long weekend, but here’s Grist’s lowdown on a few noteworthy films.

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