CP Daily: Monday September 10, 2018

Published 07:43 on September 11, 2018  /  Last updated at 09:59 on October 30, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

**Carbon Pulse is attending the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week. As such, our daily newsletter may be sent out later than normal to ensure it contains all of the day’s news**

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TOP STORY

EU Market: EUAs scorch above €25 as price spike extends into second week

European carbon allowances jumped by more than €2.50 on Monday to hit a new 10-year high and extend the recent sharp price spike, which has seen the benchmark contract add some €5 or more than 25% over the past three sessions.

ANALYSIS: EU ETS intervention prospects seen as limited amid shock price spike

Policymakers and industry have been caught off-guard by the rapid surge in EU carbon prices, and according to experts, the prospects to intervene may be limited and the idea generally unwelcome by many due to the painstakingly-constructed market reforms that triggered the year-long rally.

INTERNATIONAL

Nations seek stripped-down Paris rulebook as work piles up

Governments are planning to agree only core elements of global guidance for international emissions trade this year, stripping down Article 6 text to the bare essentials as work mounts up on the wider Paris Agreement rulebook.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australia drops NEG, won’t sign Paris Agreement into law

Australia’s government won’t pursue its proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy and has decided not to legislate its emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

NZ Market: NZUs extend highs again as market looks ahead

New Zealand carbon allowances on Monday continued their upwards march, although the recent bullish momentum has slowed and volumes have dropped.

FOREST TRENDS

Illegal mining forces suspension of ground-breaking voluntary forest carbon project in Brazil

As the first indigenous-led conservation effort to be financed through the sale of carbon offsets, the Suruí Forest Carbon Project (PCFS in Portuguese) dramatically slowed deforestation and incubated sustainable livelihood programs in Brazil’s Sete de Setembro Indigenous Territory (TISS), but a dramatic surge in illegal mining activities throughout the region in which TISS is located has forced the Paiter-Suruí indigenous people and their partners to suspend the program indefinitely.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Another summit – In a major speech delivered Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that climate impacts are spiralling out of control and stressed the moral duty to act, as well as highlighted the economic opportunities from accelerating action toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. The UNSG also shared that he will convene a major Climate Summit in 2019 to bring climate action to the top of the international agenda. Guterres called on all world leaders to come to next year’s summit prepared to report not only on what they are doing but what more they intend to do in 2020, when countries should update their NDCs under the Paris Agreement. (WRI)

It’s the law!California has finalised a law to establish an ambitious goal of 100% renewable energy sourcing its electricity by the year 2045. Governor Jerry Brown, who hosts this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, signed bill SB-100 mandating the electricity target on Monday. He also issued an executive order calling for statewide carbon neutrality by the same year. Read more about SB-100 here. (WGBH)

Dammit Janet – Former US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has spoken out in support of a carbon tax as the most effective and efficient way to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions, the FT reports. Yellen, who chaired the Fed until February, has joined the Climate Leadership Council, a bipartisan group pushing for the US to address the threat of global warming by introducing a carbon tax, with revenues returned to the public in dividend payments. The group is backed by large companies including ExxonMobil, BP, General Motors, and Johnson & Johnson.  Separately, the CLC released a report on Monday that found projected emissions cuts under its carbon tax plan would significantly exceed those under the Obama administration’s 2025 greenhouse gas reduction pledge under Paris. The group forecasts that its tax proposal, even if implemented as late as 2021, would cut GHGs by around 32% below 2005 levels by 2030 – well above the Obama-era goal of 26-28%.  The ‘Exceeding Paris’ report also recommended convincing green groups that a tax would lead to sufficient emissions cuts to achieve long-term climate goals while simultaneously scrapping major regulatory authority over GHGs at the US EPA and other US government agencies.  But with a Republican controlled Congress, the proposal faces huge opposition amongst lawmakers.

Car votes – The European Parliament’s cross-party environment committee narrowly voted for a more ambitious CO2 reduction target for fleets of cars and vans of 45% by 2030, up from the Commission’s proposal of a 30% cut under 2021 levels. The goal must eventually be agreed by less ambitious national governments. The committee backs introducing a credit system where carmakers would be able to lower their overall targets by selling more low-emission vehicles. (Reuters)

Hand-delivered – British Conservative Simon Clarke MP will on Tuesday hand in a letter to Number 10 calling on the government to adopt a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target before 2050. Signed by 131 MPs, the cross-party letter says the target is necessary in order for the UK to maintain its climate leadership and meet its legally-binding targets under the Paris Agreement. It comes ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act in November, which currently mandates an 80% cut in emissions by mid-century. Clarke will be joined at Number 10 by a cross-party delegation including Labour MP Mary Creagh and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

Green(er) gas – In a first-of-a-kind deal, US utility New Jersey Resources bought 14% of the gas from wells in West Virginia operated by shale gas producer Southwestern Energy at a premium tagged as “responsible” by private certifier Independent Energy Standards for an undisclosed premium. The certified gas must to meet standards for environmental impacts such as methane leakage, contamination from wells, and disposal of waste water. (Financial Times)

Sub-free solar – Some 15 subsidy-free photovoltaic projects are underway across Europe with more on the way, according to analysts BNEF. The governments are cutting incentives as prices drop, and renewables are competitive with fossil fuels in more places. Costs are low enough that they can profit from selling power at the market price or by arranging a long-term power-purchase agreements, or PPAs, with big industrial consumers. (Bloomberg)

Neutral in two – Kaiser Permanente, the multi-state network of US hospitals, doctors, and health insurance, is buying significant amounts of renewable energy and building solar and wind farms in an effort to be carbon-neutral by 2020, CEO Bernard Tyson said in an interview. According to Axios, the health care industry will have to be part of climate solutions, given that it accounts for about 10% of US GHGs.

Risky business – Most of the world’s largest public pension funds are providing little or no information about how climate change will affect the value of their assets, a report by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), part of investor pressure group ShareAction found. It tracked funds with combined assets of more than $11 trillion and found that 63% of them were at risk of breaching their duty to savers. Less than 1% of the funds’ assets were invested in low-carbon solutions and only 10% of the funds had a policy to exclude coal from their portfolios. (Reuters)

Progress report – Emissions covered under the EU ETS have fallen by 26% between 2005 and 2017, or roughly 2 percentage points per year, according to a report published by the Dutch Emissions Authority (NEa) (in Dutch) on Monday.  It means the market is already exceeding its mandate of a 21% cut by 2020, and is well on track to meeting its 2030 goal. The report profiles Dutch emitters and their progress in particular.

Moving on – Ontario’s former Environment Minister Glen Murray has resigned as executive director of the Pembina Institute. In an announcement posted online Monday, the Calgary-based environmental think-tank said Murray was leaving. “While I’m looking forward to a new challenge, the Pembina Institute is a very hard place and team to leave,” said Murray in a statement.  Murray joined Pembina in July 2017.

And finally… Airport to seaport – A quarter of the world’s 100 busiest airports are less than 10 metres above sea level, notes a New York Times feature prompted by flooding at Japan’s Kansai International Airport last week. Some 12 major airports including in Shanghai and New York are less than 5m above sea level. Last week’s events show “what could be a perilous future for low-lying airports around the world, increasingly vulnerable to the rising sea levels and more extreme storms brought about by climate change,” the article says. Regarding Kansai airport, the article notes: “Engineers had boasted that the walls were tall enough to withstand storms as strong as a major 1961 typhoon that caused the sea to surge nine feet. But Typhoon Jebi, which killed 11 as it tore through west Japan this week, generated a storm surge that reached almost 11 feet.” (Carbon Brief)

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