Presenting CP Daily, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter. It’s a daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here
UN aviation body ICAO has once again postponed decisions on eligible credits and cleaner fuels under its CORSIA global offsetting mechanism, miring it in further uncertainty as the EU takes steps to safeguard its ability to continue regulating flight emissions.
The continuation of the CDM and its CER credits when the Paris Agreement takes effect in 2021 has emerged as a major point of contention in the early days of the UN climate summit in Poland, as developers and NGOs remain widely split on the issue.
The UN has identified six action areas with a high potential to drive GHG reductions and resilience as it encourages countries to bump up their Paris Agreement targets at a New York conference next September, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced on Tuesday.
The French government is suspending the imminent increase of its domestic carbon tax on fuel and power, backing down to pressure following weeks of violent protests in Paris.
EU carbon prices nudged higher for a second straight day on Tuesday, boosted by a strong auction result, though market participants remained braced for more volatility ahead.
Market participants anticipate Wednesday’s RGGI auction will clear at a 10- to 15-cent discount to the secondary market, bucking a recent trend of above-market settlements.
New Mexico should impose an escalating carbon tax or install a cap-and-trade programme across large emitting sectors if it wants to reach its long-term emissions goals, a new report has proposed.
California’s ARB is slated to discuss the cap-and-trade amendments at its December board meeting, potentially enabling the state agency to approve those changes this year.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
High (after) five – CO2 emissions from the world’s advanced economies are slated to rise by 0.5% in 2018, breaking a five-year decline. Based on the latest energy data, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the higher CO2 emissions came from oil and natural gas use in North America, the EU, and other advanced economies in Asia Pacific. The IEA will release the full 2018 figures in March. (Reuters)
California consumption sinks – California gasoline and diesel demand continues to dip compared to 2017 totals, according to state data. California drivers have consumed a total of 10.3 billion gallons of gasoline through Aug. 2018 – a 0.8% dip from the 10.4 bln consumed over the same time period in 2017. Diesel sales declined to 2 bln gallons – a 1.8% drop from the 2.04 bn consumed in 2017. Carbon Pulse estimates a total of 105.8 million tonnes of CO2e has been emitted over the first eight months of 2018. That represents a nearly 1% decline from the same period in 2017. If that trend continues, it would mark the first year-on-year decline for the sector since the state’s cap-and-trade scheme started.
Lost cause – Even with rapid deployment of electric vehicles and the accelerated development of renewables, fossil fuels will still play a dominant role in the global economy for decades to come, according to new analysis released last week by consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The report estimates fossil fuels will retain a 77% share of global energy demand in 2035 under carbon-constrained conditions, only slightly lower than the 79% estimate in the firm’s base case scenario. The analysis concludes that even with policies designed to accelerate development of clean energy resources, it will not be possible to keep global warming under 2C.
A step closer – The lower house of the Swiss parliament voted late on Monday for the country to join the EU ETS. A majority of 116 out of 200 members in the council voted in favour of the draft bill, while an additional proposal in the draft to block the construction of further fossil-fired plants passed by one vote. The approval of the upper house is still required. The country aimed to become a member of the ETS in 2020. (Montel)
Article 6 update – A group of developed countries, as well as the Independent Association of Latin American and the Caribbean (AILAC) nations, submitted a document on double-counting at COP24 in Katowice on Monday. The countries, which include Canada, Colombia, the EU block, and Japan, among others, said it is necessary to ensure environmental integrity via a corresponding adjustment for international transfers under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. This includes “any transfer of claim or ownership of any mitigation outcomes authorized for use towards NDCs.” Negotiators on Tuesday said a new draft of the Article 6 text – currently over 70 pages and consisting of 360 options – should be distributed sometime during the night.
Worse plan, higher cost – Ontario will either hit its new, less ambitious climate target at a higher cost than the old plan, or could very well miss it due to the overlapping nature of the policies. That’s according to the Ecofiscal Commission think-tank, which dug into the province’s new plan, and came up with more questions than answers. Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government last week released their new environmental plan that includes a reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, plus a policy package that, as expected, does not include a broad-based carbon price. It does, however, include industry performance standards and offsets, which are both forms of carbon pricing.
Neutral future – Heathrow Airport has signalled its intention that by the time its proposed third runway begins operations in 2026 all new growth will be carbon neutral, GreenAir Online reports. This would mean that growth in emissions from additional flights after expansion would be offset through carbon credits. It expects 95% of flights departing Heathrow in 2026 to be covered by the global CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme and the airport aims to offset any remainder.
Coal-hard cash – Though burning so-called ‘clean’ coal may actually increase emissions at power plants, investors are generating millions by profiting off government subsidies for the fossil fuel, Reuters reports. US EPA data analysed by the news agency shows only 18 of 56 plants receiving a subsidy for burning refined coal managed to reduce their NOx emissions by the required threshold last year, while emissions were actually higher at 22 plants. Reuters also said tax credits investments in refined coal have yielded significant profits for major investors, including Goldman Sachs, which is earning an estimated $50 million in tax credits from just two Missouri-based power stations. (Climate Nexus)
Offset sunrise – Japan’s environment ministry has announced another four projects under its Joint Crediting Mechanism that will receive government funding. Among them was a rare Mexico-based project under which Japan’s Suntory Spirits will install an energy efficient distillation system at a Mexican tequila factory, cutting GHG emissions 1,493 tCO2e per year. The other identified projects, also small-scale, were based in Chile, Indonesia, and Myanmar. In total, 134 projects have been approved for funding over the past five years, with a total capacity to generate almost 900,000 offsets per year, government data showed.
And finally… Generally Malicious – White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters Monday the Trump administration wants to end subsidies for electric cars and “renewables,” Reuters reports. Trump last week threatened to eliminate subsidies for GM in retaliation for the company’s decision to shut down several manufacturing plants. Kudlow didn’t provide details on what action the White House would take to eliminate or reduce the tax credits, and changing existing laws would require Congress to step in.
Got a tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org