CP Daily: Thursday October 11, 2018

Published 23:15 on October 11, 2018  /  Last updated at 23:18 on October 11, 2018  / Stian Reklev /  Newsletters  /  Comments Off on CP Daily: Thursday October 11, 2018

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


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Switzerland to introduce carbon floor price when it links to EU ETS

Switzerland plans to introduce a domestic carbon price floor when it links its emissions trading scheme to that of the EU in early 2020, a senior lawmaker told Carbon Pulse.


Netherlands’ proposed CO2 floor price to be ineffective until late 2020s -analysts

The Dutch government’s proposed carbon floor price won’t likely affect the country’s energy sector until the latter half of next decade due to rising EU Allowances, analysts predict.

EU Market: EUAs reverse big losses despite wider market weakness

EUAs rebounded from an early fall to a one-month low on Thursday, bucking a weaker energy complex to halt a slide that has seen carbon plunge by as much as 17.5% this week.


WCI approves Ontario cap-and-trade exit, allowance tracking report

The administrator of the California-Quebec carbon market amended its by-laws on Thursday to account for Ontario’s summer departure from the programme, and approved in principle work to help account for cross-border compliance instrument transfers.

California’s 2019 carbon floor price on track to rise to $15.60 as inflation dips

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that year-over-year inflation dipped in September, setting up a potential California carbon market floor price of $15.60 next year.

NA Markets: RGGI prices keep on upward trend as CCAs stagnate

RGGI allowances continued to find support at higher prices this week due to heightened interest from speculators, while California allowances stagnated on the secondary market.


Australian minister attacks industry for forming plans to tackle emissions

Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan on Thursday attacked the energy sector over reports that major emitters are discussing among themselves how to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the absence of a government policy.




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Pressure points – European Parliament’s cross-party environment committee voted in favour of increasing the EU’s Paris Agreement emissions pledge by 2020, EurActiv reports. In its non-binding resolution for this year’s COP24 climate talks to be put to the full parliament, it urged the EU to up its GHG goal to a 55% cut under 1990 levels, up from 40%. Read Carbon Pulse’s take on why the EU won’t seek to up its 2030 target this year.

WCI market open-source model – Think tank Near Zero released an open-source model for the Western Climate Initiative carbon market on Thursday that enables users to see the size of private bank based on various assumptions. The model allows users to alter emissions, offsets, and auction results assumptions. Those factors show users whether there are short or long positions in the market on an annual basis.

Go deeperSwedish and Finnish firms have urged the European Commission to tighten the EU ETS emissions cap in order to limit global warming to 1.5C, as proposed by a recent IPCC report. “[To reach the 1.5C objective] it is crucial that EU tightens the linear reduction factor in EU ETS from the current 2.2% to at least 2.6% between 2020-2050,” said Anton Steen, head of public affairs at Sweden’s energy industry association Swedenenergy.  Swedenenergy, which has 400 members, urged the EU executive to sharpen the bloc’s 2030 target and propose new objectives in line with the Paris agreement for 2040 and 2050. (Montel)

Scientist-free science panel – The US EPA has installed new members on a scientific advisory panel that guides the agency on air pollution, and only one of them is an independent, academic scientist, Bloomberg reports. The seven-member Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee plays a critical role in guiding the EPA’s decisions on national standards for ozone, particulate matter and other pollutants. It’s responsible for reviewing studies governing air pollution and recommending whether existing national standards need to be rewritten. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced five new members on Wednesday, calling them “highly qualified.” In a statement, he cited their diverse “backgrounds in fields like toxicology, engineering, medicine, ecology and atmospheric science.” But environmentalists raised concerns with the makeup of the panel. Most of the members now hail from state agencies that have been critical of stringent national ambient air quality standards for ozone and other material.

It’s the end of the world as we know it – EU ministers’ agreement on CO2 emissions limits on cars would “mark no less than the end of the car industry as we know it,” according to an opinion piece in Handelsblatt, adding that it would basically push combustion engine cars out of the market. “With a further reduction of 35 percent by 2030, the EU is in fact demanding a 2.5-litre car. Every drive developer knows that this can no longer be done with pure combustion engines.” It is the companies’ own fault they now have to rapidly change track as they chose to build ever bigger cars and failed to invest in new propulsion systems, the piece adds. (Clean Energy Wire)

We didn’t start the fire – A large moorland fire, which had been caused accidentally during a military exercise in northern Germany more than a month ago, has been extinguished, reports public broadcaster NDR. NGO Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union had calculated that the fire had released at the very least half a million tonnes of CO2 by mid-September. (Clean Energy Wire)

The sea is offsetting – Royal Caribbean Cruises has signed an agreement with Southern Power, a leading US wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, to source offsets from Southern Power’s 200MW Reading Wind Facility in Kansas. The initiative will offset up to 12% of Royal Caribbean’s emissions beginning in 2020, and it marks the latest addition to the company’s sustainability efforts, which include programmes to reduce GHGs through innovations at sea and in port. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Reading wind farm is Southern Power’s first to be validated as a carbon offset project under the Verified Carbon Standard.

Mag swag – The latest edition of market-based climate policy magazine JIQ is out, featuring articles on progress in the Dutch domestic offsetting pilot programme, enhancing NDC ambition and the role of gas in decarbonising Europe.

DC carbon reduction – The District of Columbia held its first hearing on a clean energy bill proposed by five city council members that would require the jurisdiction to be carbon neutral by 2032. The proposal would enable DC to enter into agreements with Virginia and Maryland to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The proposal has been hailed as the most aggressive emission reduction target to date, and the District has already set a 50% renewable target for its power sector by the 2032 date. Environmental campaigners had previously expressed disappointment that the city council ultimately dropped carbon pricing from the legislation when it was formally introduced this summer. (Utility Dive)

Environmentalists eye Quebec emissions – Environmentalists are pushing for the newly elected Coalition Avenir Québec party to add measures to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and to ensure the province reaches its 2030 goal. Greenpeace Canada said the province needs to increase public transit and look for additional measures to reduce its transportation emissions if it wants to reach its 2030 climate goal. The province has so far reduced its emissions by 9% from 1990 levels, but it has set a 37.5% goal for 2030. (CBC)

Google aiming to go carbon-free 24/7 – Google is already buying enough renewable power to offset all of its energy needs, but the tech titan is planning a bolder challenge – going carbon-free 24/7. In a report, the company says the goal can be achieved if policy and market reforms open up carbon-free sources to the market. They add that new contracting and technological advances in the nuclear, storage, and carbon capture spaces could enable companies to go carbon-free.

Differing opinion – President Trump’s recent order for the US EPA to begin promulgating a year-round regulation to allow 15% ethanol blends (E15) has been criticised by the oil industry, who may have an ally in newly-sworn in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In a 2012 case on a partial E15 waiver that was dismissed on procedural grounds, Kavanaugh wrote in a dissenting opinion that the EPA was misinterpreting the Clean Air Act, and that Congress would need to enact a law permitting the change. Meanwhile, though legislative action on efforts to reform the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has largely fizzled out for the year, a spokesman for Illinois Representative John Shimkus (R) said the congressman hopes to get a draft bill out by the end of the year. (Politico)

Dark matters – Planting new forests across Europe to tackle climate change could come with trade-offs, including a rise in local levels of warming. Research finds that planting trees would darken the landscape, leading it to absorb more sunlight. Consequently, forest management could offset CO2 emissions without halting global temperature rise. (Nature, Carbon Brief)

North by Northwest Territories – The Government of Canada and Dehcho First Nations Assembly announced the first of new indigenous protected areas in the country on Thursday. The Edehezhie Protected Area and National Wildlife Area, located in the southwestern part of Northwest Territories, covers over 14,200 square kilometres, and will be managed through a consensus-based management board and the stewardship activities of First Nations guardians and stewardship programmes. The government said the initiative will help fight climate change, protect biodiversity, and allow for indigenous reconciliation.

And finally… Say it ain’t Soviet – The US Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed Jeffery Bossert Clark to be assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Environment and Natural Resources Division. Clark, a partner of law firm Kirkland & Ellis, successfully defended oil major BP against a billion-dollar appeal filed by 11 Louisiana parishes after the company’s massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. He was also lead counsel on BP’s appeal of the historic damages awarded in the Deepwater Horizon Case, a case prosecuted by the same department Clark now runs. Delaware Senator Tom Carper (D) also warned in a statement on Thursday that Clark has a “strong opposition to critical environmental protections.” In a 2010 talk at the conservative Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention, Clark said the Obama administration’s policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were “reminiscent of kind of a Leninistic program from the 1920s to seize control of the commanding heights of the economy”, and he also said during a 2017 panel that agencies like the EPA are acting “like a wayward football team. They are calling their own plays”. (Think Progress)

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