CP Daily: Friday November 30, 2018

Published 03:17 on December 1, 2018  /  Last updated at 03:17 on December 1, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

COP 24 PREVIEW: Nations aim to iron out Paris Agreement rulebook in Poland

Governments will converge in Katowice, Poland over the next two weeks to hammer out how to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, but some countries are set to spurn calls for more urgent action.

AMERICAS

TCI’s northeast US transport emissions cut plan set to begin public process

A group of northeast US states will begin the public process next month to design a carbon programme for the region’s transportation sector, sources told Carbon Pulse.

Canadian provinces, groups take sides ahead of carbon tax legal battle

A growing number of Canadian provinces and organisations are taking sides and requesting to intervene in the legal fights against the federal government’s carbon tax.

EPA finalises 2019 volume requirements for RFS programme

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected calls from refiners to lower its conventional renewable fuel quota from 15 billion gallons in 2019, while finalising a modest 3% increase to its total biofuels requirement for next year, the agency announced Friday.

Saskatchewan outlines 25 targets to complement climate plan, increase resilience

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment has outlined 25 targets across five areas to complement the province’s climate change strategy and reduce the impacts of global warming.

ICIS hires former environmental trader for North American role

News and analytics firm ICIS has a hired a long-time environmental trader for its North American carbon team, Carbon Pulse has learned.

EMEA

South African govt proposes painful penalties for emitters that exceed carbon budgets

Companies that exceed their emissions limits set under South Africa’s upcoming climate laws will be forced to pay a penalty of at least five times the country’s carbon tax.

EU Market: EUAs lift above €20 on firmer energy, lack of supply

European carbon rose further above €20 on Friday, supported by firmer energy prices and the lack of new supply.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australia’s GHG emissions rise to highest in seven years

Australia’s GHG emissions in FY2017-18 rose to their highest levels in seven years, driven by increased LNG production, mining, and manufacturing, according to government data released on Friday.

Australia’s offset issuance remain below average with 71k handed out

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator issued 71,012 carbon credits to six projects this week, more than last week’s low levels but still well below the average.

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Nov. 30, 2018

Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.

ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE

Corruption, poor enforcement hamper global efforts to end deforestation

Zanzibar’s Masingini Natural Forest Reserve provides drinking water for much of the island and habitat for dozens of rare and endangered species, but its forests are being illegally clear-cut. Meanwhile, in the Brazilian Amazon, the “lungs of the planet”, recent satellite images show 7900 square km of illegal deforestation in just the last year. Isolated transgressions? Hardly.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Why are we waiting – The launch of Mexico’s cap-and-trade scheme may face more delays due to this year’s elections, an expert said. The pilot phase was expected to get going in the second half of 2018, but the victory of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the left-wing Morena party in July complicated things, said Max Probst, a research analyst for the carbon trading platform MexiCO2. “We don’t know if Semarnat is working on the rules behind doors, or if it will wait to introduce them next year,” he told LatinFinance. Environment agency Semarnat said in a statement on Nov. 14 that it had started a two-day public consultation period on the rules of operation for the carbon market. It added that the three-year pilot was slated to start on Jan. 1, but it did not say if the regulations would be ready by then. “The market is not cancelled or frozen. What is frozen are the operating rules,” Probst said. “We hope it will start working next year.”

Sofia slam – Over 1,000 workers at Bulgaria’s largest coal-fired power plant, the state-owned 1,620GW Maritsa East 2, marched in Sofia to protect their jobs and to urge the government to support coal-fired energy production. They say a rise in EU carbon prices has deepened the plant’s financial losses and that any move to shut the plant could cause power shortages or a spike in electricity prices. The government said it would keep the plant running while Bulgaria’s two major trade unions say the European Commission has set a pace for creating a greener economy that was too fast and too costly for the Balkan country. (Reuters)

Burning up – California’s 2018 fires exceeded previously records for damage and they also released roughly 68 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. California has dealt with numerous fires in the northern and southern regions of the state, with Camp Fire burning an area equivalent to Chicago and killing more than 80 people. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Friday that the state’s 2018 fire season emitted more than the state’s power sector did in 2016. He added the data proves proper management of the forests, including prescribed burns, is necessary to reduce wildfire risk and curb emissions from those disasters. California and federal official have sparred recently over the cause of the recent wildfires, with California officials blaming climate change and federal officials citing the state’s forest management practices.

Carbon confusion – German politicians across party lines, environmental and industry groups, and researchers alike are in favour of putting a price on carbon emissions in all sectors. There is debate on the details though, such as the pros and cons of a carbon tax versus a trading scheme, but all agree that Germany ultimately needs some form of a price if it wants to succeed with its energy transition. Politicians, on the other hand, still shy away from introducing what tabloids have already dubbed “yet another tax hammer” for fear of angering voters, and protests against fuel prices in France have made them even less courageous. (Clean Energy Wire)

Coal coming – Poland will start investing in a new coal mine next year in the same Silesia region due to host UN climate talks over the coming fortnight. Despite Brussels’ plans for the EU to reach net zero emissions by 2050, Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said he still expects coal generation mid-century as plants will not have retired by then. A draft version of Poland’s long-term energy strategy lays out plans to reduce the share of coal in power production to around 60% by 2030 from around 80% now. (Reuters)

Little by little – Japan’s GHG emissions fell 1% in FY 2017, which ended on Mar. 31, 2018, to 1,294 MtCO2e, the environment ministry announced Friday. The result was attributed to bringing more renewables into the energy mix and putting some nuclear power plants back in operation. Emissions are now down 8.2% since 2013, the base year for Japan’s Paris commitments. Tokyo has pledged to cut GHG output 26% below 2013 levels by 2030.

Then there were six – Michigan GOP Rep. Dave Trott on Thursday signed on as a co-sponsor of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, the first bipartisan carbon-pricing legislation, which was introduced this week, the Citizens Climate Lobby said. Trott’s addition brings the bill up to six co-sponsors, though the legislation is still seen by most as dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress.

And finally… Survey says – Nearly 8 in 10 Americans acknowledge climate change is occurring, and an increasing number of Republicans are also getting on board, new polling shows. A poll released Thursday from Monmouth University shows that 64% of Republicans think climate change is happening, up from 49% three years ago. (Climate Nexus)

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