CP Daily: Monday October 15, 2018

Published 01:59 on October 16, 2018  /  Last updated at 02:10 on October 16, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Wales, Scotland slam ‘cavalier, unacceptable’ UK’s EU ETS Brexit plan

The partly devolved Welsh and Scottish governments have expressed serious concerns over the UK government’s plans to exit the EU ETS and replace it with a carbon tax under a ‘no deal’ Brexit, calling the approach “cavalier” and “unacceptable”.

EMEA

UK asks advisers for guidance on timing for net zero emission goal

The UK government on Monday gave its independent advisers six months to produce advice on when it should set a net zero emission goal, but was slammed by the opposition for not asking for views that would involve Britain deepening its short-term targets.

EU carbon prices to spike to €45 next year, €65 in 2020 -analysts

European carbon prices will more than double to average €45 next year before climbing to around €65 in 2020.

EU Market: EUAs plunge back towards €18 amid technical selling, Brexit fears

EUAs gave back the gains of the previous two sessions on Monday, dropping back towards last week’s one-month low as a weak auction and Brexit developments dented bulls’ confidence.

ASIA PACIFIC

Investors to launch New Zealand’s first listed carbon fund

Investment firm Salt Funds Management will next month launch a dedicated carbon fund, the first to be listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX), the company said.

Chevron Australia urges protection against poor offset market liquidity

Australia should take steps to ensure that major emitters covered by the Safeguard Mechanism won’t face excessive penalty costs from high carbon prices stemming from poor liquidity in the offset market, oil major Chevron has told the Climate Change Authority (CCA).

China’s Hebei to launch carbon offset market

China’s Hebei will launch a pilot voluntary carbon offset market across five cities by the end of the year, which could be implemented province-wide by 2020 with a view to making the credits eligible for compliance use for local industry in the national emissions trading scheme.

AMERICAS

RGGI regulating power imports could happen, experts say

RGGI could potentially regulate out-of-state power imports if the nine member states decide to reopen that discussion in the future, regulatory experts said.

NY grid to shift CO2 charge impact of external transactions to real-time dispatch

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) said Monday that it is no longer planning to internally forecast the impact of state’s proposed carbon charge on Locational-Based Marginal Pricing (LBMPc) in cross-border transactions, marking a change in the agency’s approach from this summer.

ICYM

UK to exit EU ETS under ‘no deal’ Brexit, government announces

The UK will exit the EU carbon market in late March 2019 if Brexit negotiators fail to strike a divorce deal, the British government said in a notice late Friday, while also suggesting UK entities consider opening registry accounts on the continent to retain access to their emission unit holdings.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

The kids are closer – A US federal judge has denied motions filed by the Trump administration earlier this year to halt discovery and trial in a landmark youth climate lawsuit. US District Judge Ann Aiken rebuked the government’s claims that the Juliana v. United States case falls under the Administrative Procedures Act, which outlines procedures for judicial review when plaintiffs make claims against a federal agency. She also brushed off claims by the Trump administration that the young plaintiffs lacked standing in the case and noted that both plaintiffs and defendants agree that the federal government has contributed to climate change, writing that “federal defendants have admitted that from 1850 to 2012, CO2 emissions from sources within the United States including from land use comprised more than 25% of cumulative global CO2 emissions”. The case, originally filed in 2015 by 21 youths, is scheduled to begin Oct. 29 in Aiken’s Oregon courtroom. (Climate Liability News)

Going Green – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Social Union (CSU) party and Bavarian coalition partner Social Democrats had their worst performance in six decades in the region’s election on Sunday, with the Green party nearly doubling their voter share. Preliminary results suggested the CSU secured 37.2% of the vote, falling under 40% for the first time since 1954, while the Greens attained 17.5% of the total. Meanwhile, the Social Democratic party lost its position as the second-biggest party, with support dropping to 9.7%. The results are likely to weaken Germany’s embattled coalition government, although the Greens have signalled their willingness to enter a coalition with the CSU in Bavaria. In the neighbouring state of Baden-Wurttemberg, shared rule by the conservatives and Greens has been deemed “quite successful” after their initial quarrels. (The Guardian)

‘Cause phasing out is hard to do – When it comes to progress in phasing out coal from the national power mix, Germany is the worst performing western country in the industrialised nations’ G7 club, trailed only by Japan and outperformed by the US and its pro-coal administration, according to climate NGO E3G. “Our review of the coal phase-out debate in Germany highlights that it scores poorly due to entrenched opposition from major utility companies and coal sector interests,” it said in a press release, adding that “years of denial and delay” on coal now ensued in a hasty and difficult phase-out preparation that Germany’s coal exit commission has to carry out. (Clean Energy Wire)

Paradise lost – From Axios columnist Felix Salmon: There’s $500 trillion of wealth on planet Earth, give or take – maybe $230 trillion in land and property, $200 trillion in debt and $70 trillion in equity. All of that wealth comes, ultimately, from the planet and from a stable climate. Last week’s Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus points out in his 2013 book “The Climate Casino” that “the last 7,000 years have been the most stable climatic period in more than 100,000 years,” and they have also seen the rise of civilization and the creation of that wealth. This is not a coincidence. According to Axios, last week’s IPCC puts the cost of a 1.5C increase at $54 trillion, in today’s money. That number comes from research that also says that a 2.0°C increase will cause $69 trillion of damage, and a 3.7°C increase will cause a stunning $551 trillion in damage – more than all the wealth currently existing in the world, which gives an indication of just how much richer humanity could become if we don’t first destroy our planet.

Battery boost – The EU is planning to allow state aid for electric battery research and will offer billions of euros of co-funding to companies willing to build giant battery factories in the bloc. Roughly 80% of current and planned battery production capacity is in Asia. (Financial Times)

Risk rate – Britain’s banks and insurers must come up with credible plans for protecting themselves against risks from climate change and may need to hold more capital, the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority said in a policy proposal. It expects firms to understand how climate risks will affect their business model. If the risks are material, the PRA said firms should show how they will mitigate them “and to have a credible plan or policies in place for managing exposures”. It called on firms to help it work out what good measurement and public disclosure of risks would look like. (Reuters)

Maintain with blockchain – Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has opened a docket to consider how blockchain technologies could help in tracking portfolio energy credits (PECs) under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The commission decided the existing PEC tracking scheme, called NVTREEC, was in need of an upgrade as the state’s largest utility NV Energy had stopped maintaining it. According to Commissioner Ann Pongracz, several providers were exploring blockchain to provide “simpler, easier and more accessible” PEC tracking and trading systems that would accommodate smaller generators. (Utility Dive)

Silent treatment – California and EPA officials have expressed a willingness to talk about a compromise over the 2021-2025 fuel economy standard, but neither side has taken steps toward having discussions about the issue. The EPA announced earlier this year plans to roll back Obama-era fuel standards that would have raised the 2025 MPG to 54.5. California has vowed to maintain that standard in the face of inaction at the federal government, and state officials said they would fight their Clean Air Act waiver in the courts. EPA Acting Chief Andrew Wheeler said the state has offered to submit a counterproposal, but they’ve failed to do so thus far. State officials have said they do not have the necessary data to have a serious dialogue about the issue. (InsideEPA)

Under wraps – A report commissioned by the US Energy Department failed to reach conclusions favouring the Trump administration’s efforts to prop up coal and nuclear power – and remains under wraps six months after submission, Bloomberg reports. “The report hasn’t seen the light of day,” the principal author, Michael Webber tweeted on Friday. The analysis by the University of Texas’s Webber Energy Group was delivered six months ago and debunks the administration’s primary argument for taking extraordinary measures to keep coal plants operating, Webber said. “The three points the report makes are useful and counter to the narrative — and squashed,” he said in an interview.

Get your popcorn ready – The BBC has commissioned a major new documentary film on climate change, the first of its kind to air in primetime since 2007, Carbon Brief reports. The 90-minute film, tentatively titled “Two Degrees”, is scheduled to air on BBC One at the end of March and will likely be structured in three distinct parts. The first part will include a short history of climate science and summarise the recent year’s extreme weather events, the second will focus on the science, politics, economics involved in rising global temperatures, and the final portion will ask “how do we save ourselves?”, with an emphasis on human ingenuity while avoiding the narrative of “sacrifice”.

And finally… It’ll change back  President Trump appeared on a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night, where he answered questions about climate change and Hurricane Michael, which battered the Florida panhandle last week. While Trump admitted he doesn’t think climate change is “a hoax”, as he suggested in a now infamous 2012 tweet, he went to question whether it was “manmade”, saying scientists “have a very big political agenda”. “I think something’s happening [with the climate]. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he added. Trump’s remarks came after his economic advisor Larry Kudlow said in an earlier interview with ABC’s This Week that IPCC scientists “overestimated” the possible impacts of climate change in last week’s Special Report on 1.5 C, while Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio also claimed on CNN’s State of the Union that “scientists would debate the percentage of what is attributable to man versus normal fluctuations” in climate. (Climate Nexus)

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