CP Daily: Wednesday August 22, 2018

Published 03:11 on August 23, 2018  /  Last updated at 16:20 on September 26, 2018  /  Newsletters  /  No Comments

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

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UN approval to open gates for international credits in South Korea’s ETS

The UN’s CDM Executive Board has registered a Korean-funded emission reduction programme in Bangladesh, a move expected to trigger a wave of fresh investments in schemes that can generate carbon credits eligible for use in the South Korean emissions trading scheme.


Why investors have learned to love EU carbon again

**THIS IS A FREE ARTICLE** – Investors have piled into the EU ETS over the past year as prices have tripled, with buyers hunting the lucrative returns predicted amid another doubling of the carbon price seen in the years to come.


EU Market: EUAs fall just short of €20 in hitting another 10-year peak

European carbon prices got within a few cents of €20 on Wednesday to continue their August bull-run that has repeatedly extended a decade-high amid curtailed auction supply.


California distributes nearly 265,000 offsets as forestry projects net vast majority

California regulator ARB doled out roughly 264,600 California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) this week as forestry projects took home nearly 90% of the credits issued.

California approves legislation to prevent rise in GHGs from nuclear plant shutdown

The California Assembly this week sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown’s office that would avert GHG increases stemming from the scheduled closure of the state’s last remaining nuclear power facility, bolstering the state’s commitment to clean energy resources over the next decade.


Guangdong issues nearly 200k offsets from provincial carbon scheme

China’s Guangdong province has issued nearly 200,000 carbon credits under its regional programme, supplying the local emissions trading scheme with offsets in the absence of a functional national system.



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Ambition snub – EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete’s suggestion to raise the EU’s 2030 GHG reduction target from 40% to 45% relative to 1990 levels is misguided, Federation of German Industries (BDI) Deputy Director Holger Loesch said. “Stricter EU climate goals bring nothing. We reject the idea of the EU going it alone,” he says. “Instead of talking about ever more ambitious goals, it is imperative now to focus on the tools with which the existing goals can be achieved.” (BDI)

Rule rally – Following the release of the US EPA’s replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan on Tuesday, President Trump attended a rally for supporters in coal-centric West Virginia later that evening, where he applauded both the new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule and fossil fuels themselves. “We announced our new Affordable Clean Energy proposal that will help our coal-fired power plants and save consumers — you, me, everybody — billions and billions of dollars,” Trump said, leaving out any reference to the additional 1,400 premature deaths estimated every year under the weaker rules, which are forecast to cost the country between $1.4 billion and $3.9 billion annually. Additionally, Trump touted the advantages of coal over wind or solar power “in times of war”, calling it “indestructible stuff”. (Politico, The New York Times, Climate Nexus)

Trees please – A group of prominent scientists is calling on California Governor Jerry Brown to incorporate tropical forest conservation into the state’s cap-and-trade regulation ahead of next month’s Global Climate Action Summit, which is being held in San Francisco. The letter, signed by 20 scientists from a range of institutions, highlights the climate change mitigation potential of tropical forests, which lock up vast amounts of carbon in their vegetation and soils. The state currently only allows domestic forestry projects. It has been mulling the inclusion of REDD in its carbon market for a decade, but various concerns from different corners, including over issues of permanence and  have prevented the idea from advancing. (Mongabay)

For the record – Courts have played a central role shaping in US climate change policy, starting with a landmark Supreme Court case last decade that led to the mandatory regulation of GHGs. But what kinds of legal strategies are most effective? Researchers at George Washington University have published a study in Nature Climate Change that analyses all US climate change lawsuits over a 26-year period. The researchers found the most common issues brought in the 873 cases involved coal-fired power plants and other air quality concerns. Litigants asking the courts for more regulations to curb emissions more frequently lost than won such lawsuits, the study found, with the courts being swayed by the industry argument that while regulations to cut GHGs will affect a plant’s bottom line, the effects on health and welfare have not been adequately measured. In contrast, litigants who want to address climate change often win renewable energy and energy efficiency cases, the authors said, adding that such cases may be an under-appreciated opportunity for those who want more government climate action. The study identified four typical goals of pro-regulatory plaintiffs in climate change lawsuits: force government regulators to take steps to reduce GHGs; change corporate behaviour; assign responsibility for impacts; and change the public debate. (Phys.org)

Coal regulations – South Africa’s first privately built coal-fired power plants Thabametsi and Khanyisa must have the latest emission curbing technology when installed, energy minister Jeff Radebe said, without giving further details. The government and investors are coming under pressure from environmental campaigners mounting court challenges over the facilities’ climate impact. Korea’s KEPCO, Japan’s Marubeni, and Saudi firm ACWA are all investors along with banks Absa, Nedbank, and Standard Bank. (Reuters)

Variety volume – Forests containing several tree species could store twice as much carbon as the average monoculture plantation, research has found. The findings suggest that afforestation programmes – which aim to plant trees to “suck” CO2 out of the atmosphere – should switch from using just one plant species to a more diverse mix. (Carbon Brief)

Broken up – The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up north of Greenland, a phenomenon never before recorded. Once referred to as “the last ice area” because it was assumed to be the final northern holdout against a warming planet, abnormal temperature spikes in February and earlier this month have made the location more vulnerable to winds that pushed ice away from the coast further than at any point since satellite records began. One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”, while others said it would force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest. (The Guardian)

And finally… Do the bamboo – High-rise buildings, concert halls, airports can all be built out of bamboo, writes UNFCCC official Martin Frick after attending the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress in Beijing, noting that the material might become eligible to earn offsets under China’s ETS. He said climate mitigation with bamboo is not only about sequestering carbon, but it’s available, it’s cheap, and it has the ability to replace other building materials, such as concrete and steel, which gives it a double climate benefit. (International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation)

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