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California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) on Tuesday released proposed amendments to the state’s cap-and-trade programme that would set a price ceiling and reserve tiers, establish post-2020 offset rules, and offer some avenue to account for the allowance surplus resulting from Ontario’s WCI exit.
The EU risks a repetition of the large-scale ETS VAT fraud that has cost governments billions of euros in tax revenue unless it extends protections beyond this year, a group of business associations said on Tuesday.
European carbon will hit €30 before the end of 2019, as the current momentum could combine with structurally bullish factors ahead to lift EUA prices to record highs, analysts predict.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday named Francois de Rugy as the country’s new environment minister, after the previous minster Nicolas Hulot resigned abruptly last week.
EU carbon prices held their ground on Tuesday to consolidate above €20 after another weak auction result and yesterday’s big losses.
A rapidly-rising EU carbon price is helping to boost confidence that the Paris Agreement rulebook will be finalised this year, though this could mean leaving out guidance on how carbon markets will operate under the UN pact.
New Zealand’s Productivity Commission on Tuesday released a government-commissioned report on how to shift to a low-carbon economy, backing efforts to reform the emissions trading scheme and set a price on emissions from agriculture.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Border banter – Sweden’s green party has proposed imposing a border carbon adjustment on US goods if the country leaves the Paris Agreement, the party’s joint spokesperson Isabella Lovin said as she unveiled the party’s climate plans ahead of Sunday’s election. The platform said Sweden should work within the EU to impose the measure in all sectors covered by the EU ETS via a levy or by requiring the purchase of EU Allowances. The Greens are junior partners in the current government, a left-learning coalition that currently leads in polls. (The Local)
Case closed – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday upheld the state’s authority to cap GHG emissions from power plants to comply with a 2008 climate change law. “Its name bespeaks its ambitions,” wrote Justice Scott L. Kafker for the court, MassLive reports. “The Global Warming Solutions Act … was passed to address the grave threats that climate change poses to the health, economy, and natural resources of the Commonwealth.” A coalition of electricity generators panned the decision, while the Conservation Law Foundation proclaimed “an unqualified win for climate leadership in Massachusetts.” The New England Power Generators Association and GenOn Energy in 2017 sued the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, contending that it acted unlawfully in establishing a “cap regulation” for in-state power plants. MassDEP had told the power sector to reduce its total CO2 output from 9.1 Mt in 2018 to 1.8 Mt in 2050. The cap regulation stemmed from a landmark 2016 case where teenagers sued MassDEP for its failure to comply with the state’s climate law. Gov. Charlie Baker subsequently ordered the agency to create new regulations for “volumetric reductions” across all economic sectors, including an in-state ETS that complements the RGGI scheme, of which Massachusetts is a member.
Coal talks rising – The German coal exit commission will debate the impact of rising EUA prices at its upcoming meeting on Sep. 18. Volatile prices for CO2 mean that a plan to phase out coal in Germany, which the coal commission wants to present by the end of 2018, could already be outdated by the time it is decided. (Spiegel Online, Clean Energy Wire)
German tax – Andreas Pinkwart, economy minister of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) – Germany’s most populous state and home to one of three German lignite mining regions – has called for a CO2 tax on oil and gas to ensure that power consumers do not have to shoulder all of the financial burden of the energy transition. Pinkwart, a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), added that a high price for electricity would hinder sector coupling. (energate messenger, Clean Energy Wire)
And finally… You spin me right round, bergy – A trillion-tonne iceberg five times the size of London has begun spinning after coming loose amid unusually warm weather in the Antarctic. The massive chunk of ice, known as A-68, broke off from Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf last year. Experts say weather conditions and ocean currents are conspiring to swing the iceberg in an anticlockwise direction, and they predict the A68a will continue rotating as it is now until what is currently the northern edge collides with the Larsen C ice front. (The Sun)
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