CP Daily: Tuesday June 5, 2018

Published 23:18 on June 5, 2018  /  Last updated at 20:22 on June 7, 2018  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Germany, World Bank gear up for €20m N2O offset auction

The World Bank will host at least one more reverse auction to buy €20 million ($23.4 mln) in carbon credits from N2O abatement projects as part of a programme to encourage host developing countries to eventually regulate those emissions.


Tokyo to launch consultation process on post-2020 ETS rules, cap

The Tokyo metropolitan government has begun discussions with experts on potential post-2020 reforms to its emissions trading scheme and will launch a public consultation process before making final decisions, an official said Tuesday.

SK Market: KAUs drift further as supply finally emerges

South Korean carbon allowances drifted further on Tuesday as emitters picked up nearly a million KAUs coming to market ahead of a deadline for banking units.

NZ Market: NZUs fall to 6-month low in quiet trade as govt issues over 3 mln allowances

NZUs recorded their lowest levels of 2018 on Tuesday as demand remained muted, while government data showed over 3 million permits have been issued to forest-owners over the past two weeks.

Shanghai pledges slower CO2 growth, coal consumption cuts

The Shanghai municipal government has set an absolute limit on CO2 emission growth for 2018 and reduced its annual coal consumption cap, while vowing to get local industry ready for the national emissions trading scheme.


California Gov. Brown appoints carbon market advisors, rounding out AB-398 panel

California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday appointed three experts to sit on the Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee (IEMAC) – a five-member panel created under AB-398 to monitor the environmental and economic performance of the state’s carbon market.

Green groups push for 12-13 Mt RGGI cap for New Jersey upon re-entry

New Jersey should adopt a 2020 RGGI cap of 12-13 million short tons in order for the state to achieve its climate goals, several environmental groups wrote in a letter published Tuesday.

DC carbon tax proposal delayed as advocates, government differ on policy

Washington DC lawmakers and an environmental coalition have delayed their plans to introduce a carbon fee bill, with price level and sectoral coverage cited as two key areas of dispute.

RINs crater to 5-year lows ahead of possible White House announcement on US RFS overhaul

Prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) sunk to levels not seen since 2013 on Monday, as the Trump administration was reportedly set to unveil sweeping programme changes to the US biofuels policy discussed last month.


EU Market: EUAs tumble back below €16 after setting new 7-year high

EU carbon prices slid back below €16 on Tuesday amid falling energy prices after EUAs stormed to a fresh seven-year peak earlier in the day.

UK watchdog issues warning over London carbon trading firm clone

The UK’s financial regulator has issued a warning about fraudsters using the details of a regulated London-based carbon trading firm to try to dupe investors.



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Bubble bursting – A collapse in demand for fossil fuel, or the bursting of the so-called “carbon bubble”, could see the world’s economy heading for another downturn, according to research published in Nature Climate Change predicting that oil companies’ reserves will become “stranded assets” before 2035, having been devalued by a quick shift to green energy and electric cars. The resulting collapse in fossil fuel prices could wipe one trillion dollars off the global economy, if no new actions to limit warming to below 2C are taken – larger than the financial crash in 2008. (BBC)

Same size – The green economy now holds roughly the same market share as the fossil fuel sector, according to market analysts FTSE Russell. In a report released last week, 6% of globally listed equity was derived from renewable and alternative energy, energy efficiency, water, waste and pollution services. This ‘green economy’ was now worth approximately $4 trillion, roughly the same as the fossil fuel sector. The green economy is also growing, the analysts said, in contrast to fossil fuels, which has shrunk. Climate Home reports.

Nice for some – The emerging White House plan to throw an economic lifeline to struggling US coal-fired and nuclear power plants would likely thwart progress on cutting GHGs, even though nuclear generation is the country’s largest source of zero-carbon power, Axios reports. This is because more coal-fired plants face shutdowns in the coming years than nuclear plants absent strong federal intervention, underscoring how climate advocates increasingly fearful of a wave of nuclear plant closures are still without policy allies in the White House despite the Trump administration’s support for the fuel. Meanwhile, the government has pointed to natural gas’ vulnerability to hackers as justification for Trump’s decision, Bloomberg reports. Gas-fired power generators are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than coal plants and nukes because gas must be delivered from remote fields via pipelines, according a draft report by the Department of Energy. Coal and nuclear plants, on the other hand, keep fuel stored on site, eliminating a potential weak point that could be targeted by malicious hackers.

Committee complete – The list of members of Germany’s coal phase-out commission is complete, Spiegel Online reports. Gerda Hasselfeldt, the former parliamentary group leader of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU, will reportedly join the body officially known as the “Commission on Growth, Structural Economic Change and Employment” and tasked with planning the phase-out of coal-fired power production in the country. The commission now has 31 members, and its inaugural meeting is scheduled for June 26, Spiegel Online says. Three members of parliament will also join the commission without voting rights, one from each of the ruling CDU, CSU, and Social Democrats (SPD). The commission’s leaders will be Deutsche Bahn board member and former Chancellery chief Ronald Pofalla, former Saxony state premier Stanislaw Tillich, former Brandenburg state premier Matthias Platzeck, and climate economist Barbara Praetorius, the article says. (Clean Energy Wire)

All change – Spain’s incoming centre-left prime minister Pedro Sanchez has named climate hawk Teresa Ribera to lead a new super-ministry spanning energy and environment, Climate Home reports. Ribera previously served as secretary of state for climate change 2008-11. Since then, she became director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (Iddri) in Paris and sat on the board of several climate-related organisations. Separately, Giuseppe Conte, the law professor named to lead Italy’s populist coalition, promised in his inaugural speech on Tuesday to speed up the decarbonisation of the economy. The coalition agreement between the 5-Star Movement and right-wing League parties puts a strong emphasis on the green economy, though it is short on specific policies to back up the rhetoric.

Stored in thin air – The world’s first full-scale “liquid air” plant will turn air into liquid for energy storage to help electricity grids cope with a growing amount of renewable power, the Guardian reports. The demonstration project in north-west England uses excess or off-peak electricity to chill air to -196C, transforming it to a liquid state to be stored inside large metal tanks. Pumping and heating is used later to turn it back to a gas, which is released to turn a turbine, generating electricity at times of need, but without releasing emissions. Advocates say this technology is cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, and able to provide power for longer periods. (Carbon Brief)

Appointed – Prime Minister Trudeau has appointed Patricia Fuller as Canada’s new Ambassador for Climate Change. The position, which takes effect immediately with a three-year term, will see Fuller advise both Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland on how Canada can advance its climate change priorities and work with other countries on climate solutions.

Everyone’s carbon neutral – To mark World Environment Day, Indian low-carbon project developers EnKing International have cancelled five CERs on behalf of each of 70 government officials including India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, its president, vice president, and ministers from the central and state governments, in order to offset their carbon footprint.

Remember, remember after December – With less than seven months before CO2 monitoring requirements under ICAO’s CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme come into force, the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) has reminded airlines and business aircraft operators of the urgent need to prepare. Although the voluntary pilot phase doesn’t start until 2021, all operators with international services – regardless of whether the country the operator is registered has agreed to join from the start – must start monitoring their CO2 emissions from 1 January 2019. (GreenAir Online)

Utilize it – US Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Carbon Utilization Act on Tuesday, that is designed to allow low-carbon technologies like carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and biogas production to access USDA loan guarantees, research programmes, and rural development loans. Additionally, the bill would provide for education initiatives and encourage inter-agency collaboration to promote these technologies.

Factor folly – A request from California, New Mexico, and environmental groups to revive the US Bureau of Waste Management’s methane waste rule was rejected by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. The split-decision ruling amongst the three-person panel said that the defenders of the rule – currently stayed by the Department of the Interior as it seeks to rollback the Obama-era regulation – did not satisfy a “four-factor” test that weighs issues like the likelihood of success and threat of irreparable harm. However, all three judges agreed that the case can continue, going against the wishes of industry groups and some states who had wanted the proceedings to be dismissed immediately. (Politico).

And finally… Just plain weird – It doesn’t have much to do with carbon trading or climate policy, but we felt it noteworthy nonetheless.  Members of the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are asking the Committee’s chairman to hold Scott Pruitt “accountable” following a revealing interview conducted with his former aide and more information regarding questionable practices coming to light. The New York Times on Monday reported, ranking Democrats published excerpts of their interview conducted last week with former aide Millan Hupp in a letter sent Monday to Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), including Hupp’s revelation that Pruitt had asked her to contact Trump Hotel in hopes of purchasing a used mattress. Hupp said she also helped him in his housing search, claiming that she worked with realtors for over a month on unpaid personal time. Then on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that three months after Pruitt was sworn in, he requested his EPA scheduler and Hupp’s sister Sydney set up a meeting with the head of fast food company Chick-fil-A to express interest in his wife Marlyn becoming a franchisee. Pruitt also approached the chief executive of Concordia, a New York nonprofit that ultimately paid Marlyn $2,000 plus travel expenses to help organise the group’s annual conference last September. Federal ethics laws prohibit lawmakers from using their official position for personal gain or to benefit spouses or family members, and from requesting and accepting services from a subordinate employee that are not part of that employee’s official duties. Pruitt is currently facing at least 10 federal investigations over his alleged ethical misconduct, with Republican Senator Joni Ernst blasting him being “about as swampy as you get.”

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