CP Daily: Wednesday September 5, 2018

Published 23:01 on September 5, 2018  /  Last updated at 23:01 on September 5, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

China makes fresh reassurances on carbon credits

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) will support the revamp of the country’s carbon credit programme as soon as possible to ensure offsets will be eligible in the national emissions trading scheme, Vice Environment Minister Zhuang Guotai said Wednesday.

AMERICAS

California EIM purchases will hold carbon obligations from Apr. 2019

California will require utilities to cover indirect emissions associated with purchases from the energy imbalance market (EIM) starting on Apr. 1, 2019, according to proposed regulations released late Tuesday.

RGGI urging incoming member New Jersey to set tighter CO2 cap

RGGI officials are pushing their New Jersey counterparts to consider a lower emissions cap in order to strengthen the regional carbon scheme upon rejoining, sources have told Carbon Pulse.

Q3 RGGI auction expected to clear close to secondary market levels, traders say

Traders are anticipating September’s RGGI auction will settle at a discount to current secondary market levels despite recent price increases and rising speculative activity in the previous sales.

INTERNATIONAL

Climate action could add $26 trillion to world economy if governments act -report

Strong climate action including robust carbon pricing could add at least $26 trillion to the world economy by 2030, accumulating 65 million jobs and avoiding 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution in the process, according to a wide-ranging study released on Wednesday.

CDM board celebrates centennial meeting, makes scheme tweaks ahead of key summit

The CDM’s Executive Board held its 100th meeting last week in Bangkok, ahead of intersessional UN climate talks this week in the Thai capital, agreeing a handful of scheme modifications in advance of this year’s crucial COP24 summit.

ASIA PACIFIC

NZ Market: NZUs creep to new highs but momentum dwindles amid lingering uncertainty

NZUs edged up 5 cents on Wednesday to hit yet another all-time high, but the recent strong upward trend has run out of steam as emitters are wary about the market going much higher than the fixed price option level.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs resume gains in jumpy trade amid rising energy complex

EU carbon prices were back on a positive path on Wednesday, continuing to track gains in key energy contracts, which hit fresh multi-year highs.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

One bracket at a time – The latest round of UN climate talks in ongoing in Bangkok this week, with rules for the international carbon market under Art. 6 of the Paris Agreement among the most contentious issues. Two informal notes on Pars. 4 and 6 were released by the UNFCCC secretariat Wednesday, but contained little new and were mostly a reorganisation of the texts that came out of the prior meeting in Bonn in May. “Further, where the May informal note contains a ‘to’ obligation, that ‘to’ has been replaced with ‘[shall][should]’ or, where clearly not mandatory, a ‘[should]’,” one of them explained.

Dazed and confused – Australia can meet its Paris target “at a canter” even without any new policies, new PM Scott Morrison confidently told Sydney radio station 2GB on Wednesday. The problem is, however, that the government’s own latest estimates from last December show Australia is on track to miss the target by some 900 MtCO2e over the 2020s. The country is likely to meet the goal in the electricity sector, probably even without the National Energy Guarantee, but in much of the rest of the economy – two-thirds of Australia’s total emissions – carbon output is still increasing. (Guardian)

Carbon import loophole – The huge problem of “outsourced pollution” whereby wealthy countries such as the UK and the US offload their CO2 emissions to poorer nations via trade, is typically achieved by importing more steel, cement, and other goods from factories in China and other places, rather than producing it domestically. This trend has slowed since the financial crisis in 2008, with outsourcing between developing countries now the growing pattern. With the potential solution of a global carbon price not imminent, policymakers are exploring other ideas such as California’s clean public procurement rules.

It’s Happer-ing – President Trump is expected to tap William Happer, a Princeton physicist who has argued that increased CO2 would benefit the planet, to be senior director for emerging technologies on the National Security Council, CNN reports. Happer also served in the Energy Department’s Office of Science under former President George H.W. Bush. (Politico)

Another day, another carbon blockchain thingy – Chinese electric car manufacturer and new energy solution provider BYD this week released a carbon credit app, which the company co-developed with DNV GL, an international risk management company and low-carbon project auditor, and VeChain, a Shanghai-based blockchain application company. The new app was created to encourage travel by EVs, enabling BYD to calculate a user’s CO2 carbon emissions with a smart contract built on VeChainThor, VeChain’s public blockchain. The technology helps gather data on mileage, fuel consumption, and electricity consumption, and then issues carbon credits that can be exchanged for goods and services. A user can log into the app’s calculation system from an application programming interface (API) installed in BYD’s new energy cars by scanning a QR code. According to an official release TechNode acquired from VeChain, the company believes that “this will be the first enterprise-level application moving the data of millions of cars, buses, trains, and other vehicles onto a public blockchain platform.”

Rich mangroves – The vast mangroves of the Amazon store twice as much carbon per hectare as the region’s tropical forests, new research shows. The findings provide “yet more evidence of the extraordinary carbon stocks found in mangroves” worldwide. (Carbon Brief)

And finally… Lego that plastic – After 85 years of production, Lego has announced plans to make new pieces from plant-based plastic instead. In a bid to turn more eco-friendly, the Danish toymaker has begun production on 25 various brick shapes that will resemble leaves, bushes, and trees. Other sustainable shapes will include the brushes in the car washes, street sweepers on the Lego City line, and dragon wings. The newest blocks will be made out of polyethylene, which is made from sugar cane, and will be rolled out in Lego box sets later this year. However, the toy manufacturer admits that this material is not strong enough to make regular Lego pieces. (impact4all.org)

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