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North American methane-cutting projects are becoming more lucrative as regulators and standards update their offset crediting calculations, but developers are still seeking alignment with other policies and considering whether more profitable incentives lie elsewhere.
Chinese investor Ant Financial and automaker BAIC Group have bought shares in the Beijing Environmental Exchange, increasing the bourse’s registered capital by 67% to 500 million yuan ($72.7 mln).
New Zealand carbon allowances rose to record highs again on Friday as emitters continued to hedge against the risk that the government might increase the NZ$25 price ceiling during the current compliance year.
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
The New York grid operator’s (NYISO) plan to exempt wholesale market suppliers holding active Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) contracts under its CO2 pricing proposal drew criticism from a clean energy group this week for undermining market design and the state’s business environment.
California LCFS Roundup: Prices scale new average highs in July while the ARB publishes latest rulemaking
Average prices in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in July gained almost 10% to extend the previous month’s record high, while regulator ARB published the latest formal rulemaking documents on programme amendments this week.
European carbon prices climbed back above €18 on Friday amid rising energy prices, lodging a 1.4% weekly gain and consolidating near the 10-year peak reached earlier in the week.
TECHNICAL ANALYSIS COURSE
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CARBON FORWARD 2018
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.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Brown Brexit – Leading pro-Brexit MP Iain Duncan Smith – a former UK senior minister and one-time party leader with the ruling Conservatives – wants to axe the UK’s £18 carbon floor price to save on energy costs as a first step on emissions trading and other reforms to climate policy upon its UK exit. But such a stance is not supported by all Brexit-backing politicians, BusinessGreen reports.
Trading pilots – Bloomberg profiles the World Bank’s Transformative Carbon Asset Facility, outlining that Canada and the UK are among six countries funding the programme to prepare the first emission trades under the Paris Agreement. Carbon Pulse’s International Mechanisms dossier contains extensive details about the initiative, plus other facilities both inside and outside the UN such as the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) and Pilot Auction Facility.
Halve some coal – The decline of the US coal industry is expected to proceed faster than even previous estimates and could lead to the country’s fleet being nearly halved again by 2030. In a note issued this week by research firm Rhodium Group, under the most favourable market dynamics for coal, the analysts projected at least 71 GW of retirements by 2030 – about 65% more than currently planned. However, if renewable energy costs dropped in line with the most optimistic path and natural gas prices stayed near current lows, coal retirements could top 124 GW, with total generation falling even further. Yet Rhodium cautioned its predictions were made absent “market interventions at a grand scale”, such as the Trump administration’s plan to bail out uneconomic coal plants in the name of national security. (Greentech Media)
Doing their part – Each German federal ministry must come up with a plan to help achieve the country’s 2030 climate goals by the end of 2018, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze wrote in a guest article for Tagesspiegel Background. The federal government’s climate protection law, to be adopted next year, will “clearly” set out how much carbon can be emitted, both on an annual basis and by economic sector. “Any ministry that does not fulfil its duties must be responsible for the financial consequences. I will no longer accept inadequate measures that clearly undermine the targets,” she wrote. Referring to friction between the ministries involved in climate action, the minister writes that “tactical games are irresponsible” and climate protection is everyone’s responsibility. (Clean Energy Wire)
Transition thoughts – Despite significant gains in renewable energy technology, changes to the global energy system “have been a matter of addition, not transition,” according to think-tank Resources for the Future members Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi. Writing for Axios, the authors said that rapidly falling costs and growing investments have given a boost to wind and solar power, but they are building on top of existing energy sources rather than replacing them. In order to reach the International Energy Agency’s projection of how to meet the Paris Agreement target, coal consumption would need to shrink by over half by 2040, oil consumption would have to drop by nearly 25%, and renewables would have to grow tenfold from today’s levels to, along with nuclear, produce over 25% of global energy.
Ethanol for an end – With public comments on the proposed 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) due on Friday, Frank Macchiarola of the American Petroleum Institute (API) outlined his group’s view on the policy during a call with reporters on Thursday. “Very simply what we want is an end to this programme by 2022,” Macchiarola said, noting that the API was “willing to compromise” with the biofuels industry on policies like allowing the year-round sale of 15% ethanol blends (E15) in exchange for an RFS sunset in four years. He added that legislation is being drafted in both the House and Senate to continue ongoing efforts in reforming the policy, but noted that challenges and lengthy debate lie ahead. (Politico)
Signature sign-off – An initiative to set a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in Arizona moved one step closer to appearing on the state’s November ballot this week when the Secretary of State’s office determined more than 70% of signatures were valid, far more than necessary to comply with state law. Supporters, led by the billionaire Tom Steyer-funded Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona campaign, submitted more than twice the necessary 225,000 signatures in July to ensure compliance with the law. Still, opponents of the measure led by the utility-supported Arizonans for Affordable Energy can challenge individual signatures in attempting to invalidate the proposal. (Utility Dive)
And finally… The new Pruitt? – US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke conducted a series of interviews Thursday in relation to the record wildfires in California in which he appeared to waver on the role of humans in driving climate change. In an interview with Fox Business, Zinke said that climate change was “irrelevant” in explaining the fires while reasserting his view that environmentalists have contributed to the fires by preventing logging. However, Zinke appeared to walk back that comment to CBS later in the day, saying that “of course” climate change is part of the science behind the fires. Finally, President Trump asked Zinke at a Thursday afternoon cabinet meeting to repeat his statement that “it’s not a global warming thing”. (Climate Nexus)
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