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France and Germany this week agreed to build a common position on carbon pricing ahead of December’s UN climate talks while advancing work on closer energy ties.
The price rise in New Zealand’s carbon market continued on Friday as allowances hit the NZ$22 mark for the first time in the market’s 10-year history.
Hong Kong is planning to launch a carbon crediting scheme for its building sector that could generate 2.5 million allowances a year, and it is developing a blockchain-based trading platform to create a domestic market for the units, according to government officials.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator this week issued over 77,000 offsets to the Director of National Parks, the first time the federal agency has earned credits for its efforts to control savanna fires.
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.
Restricting the use of carbon offsets in the post-2020 California carbon market may contribute to emitters’ annual compliance costs rising by more than $50 million, according to a preliminary analysis from state regulator ARB.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a weaker Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) increase on Thursday than a previous version approved by the Senate in June, while the upper chamber’s omnibus clean energy bill with carbon pricing did not come to a vote.
US-based electric utility Eversource will “pursue all available options” to build its international hydroelectric transmission line after a New Hampshire state committee on Thursday denied the company a rehearing on the project.
EU carbon prices were little changed in quiet trade on Friday, ending just above €16 following one of the weakest auction results of the year but managing to hold onto a modest weekly gain.
CARBON FORWARD 2018
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Small refiner scope – The EPA granted a total of 49 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to small refiners for the 2016 and 2017 compliance years, according to a letter sent to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) from the agency. That number is roughly double the amount granted under the Obama administration, and comes after months of opposition to the waivers from biofuel and agriculture groups and advocates, including Sen. Grassley, who represents the major corn-producing state. In addition to the 29 waivers distributed for 2017, the EPA is also considering four more for that compliance year. (Politico)
Not far from the tree – Apple will join with 10 of its suppliers to launch the “China Clean Energy Fund” to expand renewable power use in its supply network there, the company said on Thursday. These companies will work with Apple to invest roughly $300 million over four years in projects that total over a gigawatt of power. This follows the tech giant’s announcement in April that all of its direct operations are powered entirely by renewables. (Axios)
Shuttin’ em down – Saskatchewan’s SaskPower will not be transforming Boundary Dam units 4 and 5 to use CCS, and instead both units will be shut down, the provincial government and the utility announced this week. Environment Minister Dustin Duncan cited the historically low price of natural gas as a “significant factor” in the decision, along with both units – built in the 1970s – having reached the end of their usable life in accordance with federal regulations. Duncan did maintain the provincial government’s belief in CCS technology when it comes to reducing emissions from coal plants and combating global warming, and also blamed the federal government for not putting up money to fund CCS at the units. (CBC)
Maple-tinged offsets – Green group The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has acquired the Burnt Mountain forest property in northeast Vermont to create an ecological reserve and supply offsets to the California Cap-and-Trade Programme. The nearly 5,500 acre (2,200 hectare) property will become Vermont’s largest carbon offset project, with the TNC aiming for the initiative to produce over 200,000 credits, generating revenues of $2 million over a 10-year period. (USA Breaking News)
And finally… Here we go again – The US House of Representatives is set to vote as soon as next week on a measure that would condemn the idea of a carbon tax. The resolution, introduced by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) in April, would express the “sense of Congress” that a tax on CO2 “would be detrimental to American families and businesses, and is not in the best interest of the United States.” The non-binding measure mirrors one passed in 2016, shortly before the presidential election, and has been proposed to counter new efforts from another camp of former Republican lawmakers to introduce a national carbon tax. (The Hill)
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