CP Daily: Friday June 15, 2018

Published 23:47 on June 15, 2018  /  Last updated at 18:26 on May 8, 2020  / Stian Reklev /  Newsletters

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

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Ontario to abstain from August WCI auction as new Premier Ford announces end of carbon market

Ontario will not participate in the next quarterly WCI auction in August after its new premier announced that his government’s first act will be to scrap the provincial cap-and-trade scheme.

RGGI auction clears above secondary market as compliance entities shy away

This week’s quarterly RGGI auction settled slightly above the secondary market at $4.02/short ton, the market’s operator announced Friday, while compliance buying dropped significantly from the previous sale in March.


Massachusetts Senate passes extensive carbon pricing, clean energy bill

The Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved an omnibus clean energy bill on Thursday night that provides for the creation of a market-based mechanism for economy-wide pricing carbon and several other renewable energy goals.


Secondary market drives up ERF auction price in Australia as volumes hit new low

The Australian government bought its lowest volume of offsets yet at last week’s seventh Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction, purchasing just 6.67 million units.

Australia deepens details on NEG but refuses to budge on key issues

The Australian federal government and the Energy Security Board (ESB) on Friday provided fresh details on the country’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) but refused to discuss the scheme’s overall emissions ambition, which may lead to its ultimate demise.

China’s biggest generators rack up huge coal-power losses

China’s five major state-owned power companies last year racked up combined losses of 13.2 billion yuan ($2.1 bln) from generating coal-fired electricity, a sign of the challenges facing the industry in the world’s biggest-polluting nation.

New Zealand opposition backs non-political body to oversee climate strategy, ETS

New Zealand’s opposition leader on Friday backed the establishment of a climate change commission, brightening the outlook for a non-partisan body to set up national carbon budgets and oversee the emissions trading scheme.


EU Market: EUAs tumble to 4-wk low for an 8% weekly fall

EU carbon prices plunged heavily on Friday to their lowest levels since May 16 as traders sold in anticipation of a pause in the year’s stellar gains ahead of a key option expiry date and as auction volumes approach a record.

Dutch court jails EU carbon trading tax fraud ringleader for 8 years

A court in The Hague on Tuesday sentenced a 46-year-old Pakistani man to eight years in jail over his role in masterminding a €6.5 million ($7.5 mln) tax fraud scheme via the EU ETS.

Germany extends support work for poorer nations on carbon markets, orders EU ETS liquidity study

Germany is to extend beyond this year a three-year project to support poorer nations on carbon markets, while also opening a tender seeking experts to study EU ETS market liquidity, documents showed.


CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Jun. 15, 2018

Below is a table of the closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week. All prices are in RMB, and volumes in tonnes of CO2e. Data sourced from local exchanges.



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Another small step – Japan’s environment minister, Masaharu Nakagawa, on Friday asked the Central Environment Council – a leading government advisory body – for a consultation on carbon in Japan, and the council is now considering setting up a special carbon pricing sub-committee to examine the issue. The ministry would hold discussions with that committee regarding its work to develop a carbon pricing policy proposal, an official told Carbon Pulse Friday.

I’ll show you mine – Argentina and Canada have agreed to a decision to undertake a collaborative review of their fossil fuel subsidies. The Ministers of Energy from Argentina and Canada announced the development of peer review process on their fossil fuel subsidies schemes, in the context of the G20 Energy Transitions Working Group Meetings. Argentina is the current presidency holder of the G20, which has committed to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies since 2009. (CAN)

Time for bed – A marathon all-night session of voting in the Canadian House of Commons used as a procedural tactic by the Conservatives in an effort to have the government release a breakdown of how much its carbon pricing will cost Canadians ended early Friday. Following the nearly 12 hours of votes, MPs agreed to end proceedings and call it a day, marking the failure of the Tories’ strategy. (CTV)

Survey says – A wide-ranging new report on a decade’s worth of US public opinion surveys shows that backing for taxing carbon emissions has grown but remains limited and deeply split along partisan lines, Axios reports. The findings are another sign of why carbon pricing in the US faces massive hurdles, despite the view among many advocates and economists that it’s an essential tool for fighting climate change. It shows how Republicans surveyed still oppose CO2 taxes, but the level of that opposition has lessened significantly between 2013 and 2016. When assessing all participants, 47% supported taxing CO2, compared to 44% in opposition.

Another fox… – President Trump has nominated Daniel Simmons, a former fossil fuel lobbyist who has questioned climate science, to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Utility Dive reports. Simmons, currently the principal deputy assistant secretary in that office, is the former vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a coal- and oil-backed think tank, and the American Energy Alliance (AEA), its lobbying arm. In 2015, AEA called for the elimination of the EERE office. Simmons has said recently that he “likes” renewable energy and efficiency, but critics say his appointment is part of a conservative strategy – outlined in an IER memo – to nominate DOE officials “dedicated to hit reset on the Obama administration’s harmful policies”.

Fair value – A resident from the German coal mining state of North Rhine-Westphalia is demanding €80 billion for a piece of land that energy company RWE needs for lignite mining, arguing that the sum equals the revenues the company intends to make with the local lignite mine, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports. “That price is negotiable,” accountant Kurt Classen says. He knows that the field he owns near the Hambach Forest, which is a battle ground between anti-coal activists and RWE, is not worth that much money but he calls it “a big symbol of resistance”. RWE initially offered €12,500 for the land but now has decided to try expropriate Classen, saying “there has never been a financial claim like that”. Classen argues that the former argument of coal companies that their product serves a basic need of society is no longer valid as more renewables mean the inevitable end of coal-fired power production. (Clean Energy Wire)

Warming warning – Global warming is on course to exceed the most stringent goal set in the Paris Agreement by around 2040, according to a leaked final draft of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on 1.5C. Governments can still cap temperatures below the limit agreed in 2015, the draft says, but only with “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in the world economy. There is no sign that the latest draft has been watered down by Donald Trump’s scepticism about climate change, notes Reuters. The final report is due for publication in October in South Korea after revisions and approval by governments. (Carbon Brief)

And finally…  Too early to act on climate – Australia’s ruling Coalition government is well-known for its right-wing faction torpedoing most of the nation’s climate policy proposals. One of them, Craig Kelly, is now asking for clarification from his party colleagues on the plan to meet the nation’s Paris target through a trajectory requiring a steady decrease in emissions until 2030, reported Fairfax media. “It’s essential the trajectory of the reduction in the emission intensity of the electricity sector is done in a hockey-stick shape, where the majority of the heavy lifting or major reductions are backloaded towards the end of the next decade,” Kelly said in a Facebook post.

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