CP Daily: Monday October 22, 2018

Published 01:45 on October 23, 2018  /  Last updated at 01:45 on October 23, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Romania joins Poland in urging EU to intervene to cool EUA prices

Romania has joined Poland in formally requesting Brussels investigate the massive rise in EU carbon prices, Carbon Pulse has learned.

INTERNATIONAL

Tense GCF board approves over $1 billion in new climate funding

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) board has approved more than $1 billion in new project funding, including funds for a trimmed down version of a controversial Bahraini project, at an often combative four-day meeting that highlighted the ongoing deep divide between developed and developing countries.

AMERICAS

Canadian government to reveal ‘backstop’ carbon price plan details on Tuesday

The Canadian government will on Tuesday reveal which provincial and territorial carbon pricing plans it has deemed adequate, and which jurisdictions will face the federal ‘backstop’ programme.

Stakeholders call out California’s carbon price collars, offset regulations

California cap-and-trade participants argued the Air Resources Board’s (ARB) approach to post-2020 price collars are in conflict with the state’s overarching legislation, while stakeholders are also pushing for a more expansive definition for in-state offsets to increase future supply, according to public comments.

RINs continue downward descent as single digits breached

Biofuel credits under the US Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) continued their year-long plunge on Monday as a suite of news about future efforts to reform the federal programme next year caused prices to dip below 10 cents.

ASIA PACIFIC

BHP Billiton renews call for Australian carbon price as govt gets by-election jolt

Mining giant BHP Billiton on Monday renewed its call for Australia to put a price on emissions, adding pressure on the government, which on Saturday lost its majority in the lower house after a by-election defeat against an independent candidate running on a climate change platform.

Two more South Korean projects de-register from CDM

Two more South Korean CDM projects, collectively capable of yielding more than 1.2 million CERs annually, have been de-registered by their owner, the electronics giant Samsung.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs drop nearly 4% as new view on trading data prompts reassessment of speculator impact

EU carbon prices dropped back to €19 on Monday despite a strong auction, as market participants digested news that data suggesting a recent surge in bullish bets had misled the market.

ICYM

Gross misconduct: Revelation of “misleading” EU carbon trading data ruffles market

Data showing record open interest on EU carbon allowance futures and options this year is misleading, Carbon Pulse has learned, with the potential volume to be delivered later this year far below what one exchange is currently reporting, leading to anger amongst some market participants.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Objection – The US Supreme Court has put the brakes on the landmark youth-led climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States. In a one-page order issued Friday by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court granted a request made earlier this week by the Trump administration to stay discovery and trial pending review of its newly filed petition for writ of mandamus. The Trump administration has repeatedly asked both the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the trial via writ of mandamus, a rarely used and even more rarely granted appeal in which a higher court overrules a lower court before a verdict has been issued. Roberts also ordered the plaintiffs to respond to the government’s mandamus petition no later than Oct. 24. Lawyers for a group of youth plaintiffs urged Roberts to lift the unusual stay, arguing that it undermines the judiciary’s integrity and harms the plaintiffs. Trial in the case was previously set to begin on Oct. 29 in US District Court in Eugene, Oregon. (Climate Liability News)

Raw deal – The world’s consumption of raw materials will rise sharply, putting greater pressure on the environment, according to an OECD report. With a growing global population and rising living standards, the amount of raw materials used each year will increase to 167 billion tonnes by 2060, from 90 bln today. The resulting carbon emissions could almost double to 50 bln tonnes of CO2e by 2060. (AP)

Shift rift – Germany’s federal auditors court slammed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s record of switching the nation to clean energy, saying that it added over $180 billion to power bills since 2013 while CO2 emissions hardly shifted. In a report published this week on the German parliament’s website, the federal budget watchdog urged a root-and-branch overhaul of the country’s energy policy as the extent of its failure to achieve pollution cuts emerges. Merkel’s government risks losing confidence in its ability to manage policy “if Energiewende costs continue to rise while its aims are not met,” said the court. The right of the independent auditors to scrutinise and upbraid government policy is anchored in the constitution, while it lacks executive powers. (Bloomberg)

Green growth – As Germany’s federal government parties – the CDU/CSU and the SPD – suffer from voter flight due to the coalition’s constant quarrels, the German Green Party emerges as one of the big beneficiaries. After a spectacular success at the Bavarian elections, the environmentalist party hopes to land another record result in Hesse. Polls suggest that the Green wave might elevate the Hessian party branch even more – and pave the way for the second Green state premier in the country. Ironically, this could mean that progress in Germany’s climate and energy policy could become even more difficult to achieve in the short-term. (Clean Energy Wire)

Electrofuels – Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming and its rapid growth puts it on track to consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050, according to campaigners Transport & Environment (T&E). There is a way to avoid this outcome but we need to act fast. By driving out the use of kerosene through carbon pricing and requiring aircraft to switch to synthetic fuels, the climate impact of flying can be reduced dramatically, according to T&E’s new report. While high profile promises such as short-haul electric aircraft or more efficient aircraft designs every 20 years won’t be sufficient to solve aviation’s climate problem, new near-zero-carbon electrofuels can be produced today and deployed immediately using existing engines and infrastructure. Electrofuels are produced by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide, but to do this sustainably the hydrogen must be produced using renewable electricity and the CO2 captured directly from the air.

Steel haul – Several German states are demanding that the federal government and the EU protect the steel industry from stricter environmental regulations and rising electricity costs. The states are expected to call for more free EU ETS allowances for the steel sector, and compensation for higher costs due to the indirect effect of rising power prices. (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Clean Energy Wire)

Floor score – The recent reforms strengthen the EU ETS substantially and reinforce it as the world’s most important carbon pricing programme. However, the programme remains subject to influences that could cause prices to fall precipitously again and so a price floor is still needed to safeguard its success, argues Dallas Burtraw of US-based RFF in an article in the think-tanks quarterly online magazine.

Four doors – The UK is on track to phase out coal from its power system by 2021, but the carbon-intensive fuel could make a comeback in 2020-25 if the government lowers its carbon tax post-Brexit. New research published by Aurora Energy looks at the implications of the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond deciding to next week raise the tax, which is currently set at £18/t. In four different scenarios, Aurora models how various levels would dictate how long it takes for the UK’s remaining 10 GW in coal-fired capacity to be phased out. If kept at £18/t, coal plants are phased out of the grid by 2021, well in advance of the official 2025 target. If lowered to £7/t, coal units stay on until 2025. If hiked to £70 by 2030, in line with the original trajectory stated in 2011, it would compare to an £18 price but would add an extra 10 GW of renewable capacity by 2040, mainly in the form of onshore wind and solar. A fourth scenario assumes the tax remains frozen but rising EUA prices continue to be factored in. (Argus)

Six picks – The latest issue of the quarterly Carbon Mechanisms Review weighs up the crunch issues for the Paris Agreement’s Article 6, looks at the future of the CDM, evaluates options for its transition to the ‘Paris world’, presents proposals to frame sustainable development contributions in the Article 6 text, and reviews ways to operationalise the ambition raising requirement in Article 6.1. Finally, the issue covers a report on a standardised crediting framework – a Senegal-based pilot which aims to support the design of simplified and decentralised approaches under Article 6.

And finally… Unloved & ignored – Australia’s previous government in 2012 established the Climate Change Authority to provide leaders with independent advice on climate policies. The current Coalition government tried to dismantle the agency when it took power in 2013, but failed. However, in a senate hearing Monday, CCA representatives confirmed that it remains government policy to disband the CCA at the end of the current term, Fairfax reporter Peter Hannam wrote on Twitter. The CCA – which has seen all its reports over the past five years completely ignored by the government – was also not consulted for the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), the hearing was told.

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