CP Daily: Monday December 3, 2018

Published 23:31 on December 3, 2018  /  Last updated at 23:31 on December 3, 2018  / Matthew Lithgow /  Newsletters

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

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COP24: World Bank to double climate spending to $200b over five years

The World Bank Group will double its climate spending to $40 billion per year over 2021-2025, it said Monday, with funding renewable energy and creating markets for climate business among its priorities.


More than 70 entities join German initiative to offset emissions

More than 70 German companies, governments, and NGOs have joined a voluntary initiative launched by the German government on Monday to buy carbon credits on their way to carbon neutrality.

Caving to investor pressure, Shell to set out interim climate targets

Royal Dutch Shell will implement short-term emission reduction goals amid increasing investor pressure, it announced Monday, supplementing its longer-term targets as the oil major factors takes into account global climate progress and other internal activities.

Countries step up to host 2019 UN climate talks after Brazil withdraws

At least four Latin American and Caribbean countries have voiced interest in hosting next year’s UN climate summit after Brazil withdrew its offer.


California 2019 floor price set at $15.62, WCI to auction 258 mln V19 allowances

California’s 2019 carbon auction floor price will be set at $15.62, the ARB confirmed on Monday, while overall WCI current vintage auction volume will decline by 10% next year.

NYISO carbon charge could further support nuclear, renewable growth

New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) proposed carbon charge for its wholesale power market could extend the lifespan of nuclear generation and shift renewable energy downstate, according to new analysis.


EU Market: Carbon firms, balanced between weaker auction and higher energy

European carbon prices finished slightly higher on Monday after hitting a six-day high above €21, recovering from a weaker auction while flouting gains posted by the wider energy complex.


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Read my lips – George HW Bush, who died on Friday at the age of 94, helped raise the profile of emissions trading in the US, with the market-based system he championed in the 1990s being hailed as the main driver in acid rain being thwarted. Argus’ obituary looks at what the former president did to promote cap-and-trade and other environmental efforts.

David says – British broadcaster and environmentalist David Attenborough urged world leaders to get on and tackle “our greatest threat in thousands of years”, using his ‘People’s Seat’ at the Katowice UN climate talks to address the two dozen heads of state and government. Michal Kurtyka, Poland’s deputy environment minister and COP24 president, opened the session in the wake of Saturday’s G20 statement that saw the leading nations – except the US – reaffirm their commitment to implementing Paris. (Reuters)

Just Poland – COP24 host Poland released its political statement on the ‘Just Transition’, which was adopted by acclamation by attending world leaders on the opening day of the talks. It called on governments to recognise the challenges faced by sectors, cities, and regions in transition from fossil fuels and high-emitting industries and ensure a decent future for workers. Green groups had urged the document to include a 10-year limit on the transition.

Permanent leave? – The UN climate talks over the next fortnight could determine whether the next US president would rejoin the Paris Agreement, according to two former top Obama officials speaking with Climate Home. Todd Stern, Obama’s lead climate envoy and a lawyer in the state department, said a group of countries – reportedly led by China – are going against the treaty’s language and trying to implement different sets of guidelines for developed countries and developing nations. A hard divide between those two groups could allow China, India, and other major emitters to slip into a category with softer requirements. That outcome would not only be resisted by the US administration under Trump, but it could face backlash from any potential future Republican or Democratic president. US has held China to the same climate regime as the US for decades under bipartisan policy.

No Joe – Activists are putting pressure on Democrats, including Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, to deny Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) a promotion to the ranking position on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, according to ThinkProgress. They argue that the Democratic takeover of the House in January will provide climate champions an opportunity to push through the type of legislation needed to help avert climate catastrophe, while in the GOP-controlled Senate, climate hawks are hoping top Democrats will serve as proselytizers for bold action in their ranking positions. However, based on his voting record, Manchin, who is viewed as the frontrunner for the top Democratic spot on the Senate Energy Committee, could undermine the party’s commitment to climate action if he is chosen to head the committee for the Democrats. Along with his strong support for Trump’s efforts to keep coal plants open, Manchin has voted in favour of many of the president’s anti-environment nominees, including former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. He has also said he plans to vote to confirm Bernard McNamee, the anti-renewable energy nominee, to fill an open position on the FERC.

COP lite – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) will host a town hall of his own climate leaders entitled “Solving Our Climate Crisis” in Washington DC on Monday night. Speakers include New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is expected to discuss her ‘Green New Deal’, 350.org Founder Bill McKibben, and director of science at green group Union of Concerned Scientists Brenda Ekwurzel. The livestream will be carried here. (Politico)

Speaking of Vermont – The mayor of Burlington Miro Weinberger has announced his support for Vermont to become the first state to pass a revenue-neutral carbon fee. Weinberger also announced that he has formed a coalition of mayors throughout the Northeast US – “Northeast Mayors for Carbon Pollution Pricing” – who commit to calling on their state legislatures to enter a multi-state agreement to put a price on carbon pollution. Already, mayors from three neighbouring states, along with fellow mayors from Vermont, have joined the coalition.

Poor millionaire – Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, is disappointed nothing has happened related to Donald Trump’s promise to financially support coal plants, and he expressed doubt over the president’s campaign pledge to save the industry. “I don’t know if it’s going to happen,” Murray told Axios. “I don’t know. It’s the government. They are still studying that.” Earlier this year, Trump formally asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry to find ways to save uneconomic coal and nuclear plants from closing. The Trump administration has also rolled back many Obama-era environmental policies in an effort to help coal plants’ economic viability. The White House has since reportedly shelved a proposed effort to prop up plants due largely to the likelihood that it would raise energy prices.

Missing the point – South Florida is getting a new natural gas plant with a surprising feature. According to the Miami Herald, Florida Power & Light’s Dania Beach plant that is connected to the sea by a canal will elevate critical infrastructure 11.5 feet to protect it from sea level rise, a growing threat caused by emissions from fossil fuel plants. Gov. Rick Scott and the cabinet voted Friday to approve FPL’s tear-down and rebuild of the plant near Port Everglades. It is expected to begin operating in 2022.

And finally… What’s the point? A new poll suggests a majority of Canadians are aware of the federal government’s carbon pricing plan but don’t intend to change their behaviour when it comes to fight­ing climate change. In answering the survey conducted last week by Forum Research poll, 62% said they were aware or very aware of the plan, but 53% said it wouldn’t change their behaviour. Nonetheless, almost half of the respondents said they would accept an increase of 2-5% in their costs to help mitigate the effects of climate change. Forum said the re­sults sug­gest the gov­ern­ment needs to do a bet­ter job of ex­plain­ing the plan to Cana­di­ans, and what the costs and ben­e­fits might be. Some 38% “are not very or not at all aware, so that tells me that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has a lot to do in terms of explaining their plan,” it said. (Toronto Star)

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