CP Daily: Monday January 21, 2019

Published 23:08 on January 21, 2019  /  Last updated at 23:11 on January 21, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

With EU rules keeping lignite in play, Greece eyes completion of sale of utility PPC stake

Greece has set a Wednesday deadline for bidders to participate in the sale of its 40% stake in state-controlled utility PPC’s big emitting lignite facilities, as recently agreed EU rules give a boost to the stake’s value despite high carbon prices.

AMERICAS

Appeals court rules in favour of California’s LCFS

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has found California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) does not impede on interstate commerce and challenges against the carbon intensities of prior versions were without merit, according to a ruling filed late Friday.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs dip 1.6% as cold snap set to ease

European carbon prices weakened on Monday as the prospect of a rapid end to this week’s cold snap weighed on sentiment.

British carbon fraudster gets 8 years in the slammer

A British man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his involvement in a £2.4 million scam that saw him and his accomplices sell illiquid and overpriced carbon credits to 130 vulnerable investors.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Short term: bad; Long term: probably worse – Flooding, drought and wildfires driven by climate change pose threats to two-thirds of the US military’s installations, the Defense Department said in a new report required by Congress. The authors of the report, which the Pentagon delivered to Congress on Thursday, note that it probably underestimates the full extent of risk to military facilities because it only looks at likely impacts over the next two decades. (Politico)

Not now – India’s refusal to join ICAO’s CORSIA international offsetting scheme has led to surprise and consternation within global aviation trade group IATA, its director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said. “I would like India to join CORSIA, but frankly for the moment, I do not see things moving and do not expect it to during the election period,” he added, referring to the country’s federal elections scheduled from April to May of this year and followed by state elections set to continue until the end of 2019. “It was a great surprise to us that India did not join CORSIA given it was part of the Paris climate change agreement,” de Juniac said. At a recent forum, Indian secretary of civil aviation RN Choubey said India had encountered difficulty committing to requirements of CORSIA adopted in 2016. “The main issue for negotiation is what should be the baseline and the reference to which we should regulate ourselves,” Choubey said. (AIN Online)

Wolverines out – Michigan is removing itself from two legal battles challenging the right of the EPA to regulate various air pollutants at coal plants. In a motion to withdraw Friday, the state’s new Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel moved to remove Michigan as a petitioner from a case challenging the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and limits on mercury, arsenic and lead for coal plants. Michigan had previously joined the lawsuits against EPA brought under its former Republican AG Republican Bill Schuette who ran for governor in 2018 but lost. (The Hill)

All rise – On Tuesday (Jan. 22), Climate Case Ireland’s legal case hearing starts in the national High Court. The legal case, which was initiated by the Friends of Irish Environment, argues the government’s 2017 National Mitigation Plan is in violation of Ireland’s Climate Act 2015, the country’s Constitution and its human rights obligations, and the plan also falls far short of the Paris Agreement’s requirements. Citizens are increasingly taking legal actions to hold their governments accountable for lacking necessary measures to protect them from disastrous consequences of climate change. Last week, the French Climate Case, which was launched a month ago by four French NGOs, gathered more than 2 million signatures from citizens supporting their claim.

Climate avenue – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg intends to use climate change and gun control to differentiate himself from potential Democrat presidential candidates if the 76-year-old opts to run. Bloomberg has previously said he intends to make climate change the top issue during the 2020 presidential cycle, which could include him as a candidate. However, according to a Politico story, Bloomberg believes climate change and gun control could also help him win support among Democrats if he attempts to win the party’s nomination.

Pacific outpost – The UK government has announced it will open three new diplomatic posts in the Pacific next year – Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga – and a new UK regional development expert will be based in Fiji from 2019 onwards. “These new UK posts will work with New Zealand and like minded partners to maximise the impact of multilateral spending to address Pacific Island countries’ vulnerability to climate risks.”

Heading for the exit – A fourth South Korean CDM project has been deregistered from the scheme, UNFCCC records show. KEPCO’s SF6 project with a reduction capacity of 135,700 tCO2e/year was delisted last week with no reason given. This is the fourth South Korean SF6 project to be deregistered in the past year, with the first three operated by tech giant Samsung exiting over what was understood to be a lack of abatement activities.

And finally… Hello, my name is Mr. Snrub – Two public relations strategists representing Exxon recently posed as journalists in an attempt to interview an attorney representing Colorado communities that are suing Exxon for climate change-related damages, Climate Liability News reports. The strategists – Michael Sandoval and Matt Dempsey – are employed by FTI Consulting, a firm long linked with the oil and gas industry. The duo are also listed as writers for Western Wire, a website by the Western Energy Alliance, which is a regional oil and gas association that includes Exxon as a member and has an Exxon executive on its board. The duo called EarthRights International General Counsel Marco Simons, who is representing the communities in the suit filed last year that seeks climate damages from Exxon. That call potentially runs afoul of ethics rules for both the legal and public relations industries, and it appeared to be a fishing expedition for information about Simons’ clients in that suit. On the call, the two men pressed for an interview even though Simons quickly said he couldn’t talk to them if they represented Exxon in any way. When they evaded the question, Simons refused to comment. Western Wire bills itself as the “go-to source for news, commentary and analysis on pro-growth, pro-development policies across the West.”

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