CP Daily: Tuesday February 19, 2019

Published 01:00 on February 20, 2019  /  Last updated at 09:46 on February 20, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

South Africa’s parliament approves long-awaited carbon tax bill

South Africa’s parliament on Tuesday approved the country’s long-awaited carbon tax bill, clearing a key hurdle in keeping the measure on track to enter into force this spring.

AMERICAS

WCI current vintage carbon auction expected to sell out near floor

California and Quebec’s upcoming current vintage auction will sell out within a few cents of the floor price, while the future vintage sale will fail to be fully subscribed due to limited interest, traders polled by Carbon Pulse said.

ANALYSIS: California offset developers still awaiting clarity on ‘DEBs’ eligible projects

California offset project developers believe a lack of certainty regarding how credits can show a “direct environmental benefit in the state” (DEBs) in the post-2020 cap-and-trade programme may yield near-term market impacts.

EMEA

Net gain: EEX enhances open interest reporting for EU carbon trades

EEX is enhancing the way it reports open interest figures for its EU emissions derivatives markets, the exchange told Carbon Pulse on Tuesday, after some of its members claimed its existing practices yielded misleading data.

EU Market: EUAs firm, with further gains seen harder to come by

European carbon prices firmed on Tuesday after a decent auction result, but sellers thwarted further gains and traders warned of more downside ahead.

Hartree Partners parts ways with head of carbon advisory

Trading firm Hartree Partners has parted ways with its head of carbon advisory, Carbon Pulse has learned.

ASIA PACIFIC

Norway set to make first payment to Indonesia for halting deforestation

Norway is ready to make its first payment to Indonesia under the two nations’ 2010 agreement to halt deforestation, after the South East Asian nation reported a drop in greenhouse gas emissions from the sector in 2017.

Over-achieving Tokyo ETS knocks another 0.8% off annual CO2 emissions

Tokyo ETS emitters shaved another 100,000 tonnes off their annual CO2 output in FY2017, the metropolitan government announced Tuesday, in a programme where almost 80% of the participants have already met their 2019 targets.

Top NZ carbon market expert leaves to take up US role

One of New Zealand’s top emissions trading experts and a member of the government’s interim Climate Change Commission is leaving to take up a position in New York.

AVIATION

ICAO panel agree recommendations for airlines’ CORSIA eligibility

A technical panel at UN aviation agency ICAO has settled on recommendations for how to calculate emission benefits from airlines’ use of cleaner fuels – rules that will help determine the sector’s carbon credit demand under the CORSIA offsetting mechanism.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Keep on truckin’ – EU negotiators provisionally agreed to a 30% emission cut target under 2019 levels for new trucks and buses, the first binding goals for the sector that still need signing off by lawmakers. Trucks account for almost a quarter of the bloc’s transport-related emissions. (Reuters)

A-listers – Two thirds of European companies have no target for reducing their GHG emissions, even though 80% see climate change as a business risk, according to a survey by investor non-profit CDP. Among those that have set climate goals, only one in three stretch beyond 2025. European firms still make up half of the CDP’s environmental “A-list”. (The Guardian)

Independents’ day – Seven disaffected MPs resigned from the UK’s Labour Party yesterday and have formed a new ‘Independent Group’. They include former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, former shadow energy and climate minister Luciana Berger, and former shadow environment minister Gavin Shuker. The group  has promised to pursue steps to “safeguard the planet” and “act on the urgency of climate change”. While the group’s statement of values “was light on policy details”, it “hinted it was preparing to make action on climate change a key part of its platform”, BusinessGreen reports. (Carbon Brief)

We need to talk – German CDU party head Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has called for a serious discussion about the climate action law planned by the federal government, reports Handelsblatt. Germany either has to stipulate CO2 reduction targets for each ministry’s policy field, “or you take up the idea of CO₂ pricing,” she said at a real estate conference. Both approaches would be difficult to introduce but must be debated in detail, which was “very high” on her agenda. “We must have this discussion and conclude it by the end of the year,” she said. Kramp-Karrenbauer has succeeded German Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the CDU and is a likely candidate for chancellor after the next national elections. The conservative CDU/CSU alliance and their centre-left coalition partner SPD are split over the basic design of the planned climate action law, due this year. Environment minister Svenja Schulze’s plan to set binding sectoral climate targets and hold other ministries financially accountable for failing to abide by these has met with staunch resistance from politicians of the alliance. Several CDU/CSU members have criticised Schulze’s plans for putting her ministry in a “dominating position” over others, and said the planned law “is not dead but put on hold” for now. (Clean Energy Wire)

Feel it still – US Senator Bernie Sanders (I) will once again seek the Democratic party’s nomination for president in 2020, he announced Tuesday. Sanders, who lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, will in the next few months unveil his own “Green New Deal” proposal to slash GHGs through an enormous public works programme. The plan is expected to contain significantly more details on how to transition the nation’s economy to one that zeros out carbon emissions, according to aides to the senator. In contrast, the non-binding GND resolution introduced by US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) and Senator Ed Markey (D) earlier this month mostly laid out ambitious targets for carbon reduction. (The Washington Post)

Build a different wall – President Donald Trump should be building a wall to protect the American people, but it shouldn’t be along the southern border, former US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano wrote in an op-ed for Politico. Napolitano, who served under President Barack Obama, said Trump’s national emergency ignores the growing climate change crisis facing the US and the rest of the world. “If Trump wants to build a wall to make America safe, he should start with a seawall,” she wrote. “The public understands these [climate change] realities far better than President Trump.” (Politico)

Let’s not make a deal – Talks between California and US federal officials on vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards have broken down, Bloomberg reports. The US EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had been meeting with California regulator ARB to pursue a compromise as the agencies finalise a replacement for the Obama-era regulations by late March or early April. However, sources told the news agency that no further discussions are scheduled over the rules. The Trump administration last year proposed to freeze the standards at 37 miles per gallon (15.7 kilometres per litre) for the fleet average, instead of rising to around 47 mpg (20 km/L) as under the Obama-era standards. The Trump Administration’s proposal would also revoke California’s waiver authority to set its own higher targets and set electric vehicle sale mandates. The federal regulators are also considering a final rule that would mandate only marginal fuel efficiency gains after 2020.

Now we wait – Meanwhile, California’s ARB last week submitted its approved cap-and-trade rulemaking package for the post-2020 programme to the state’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The suite of amendments (see Carbon Pulse’s article here) alter several price and offset-related elements of the WCI-linked market, and includes language to ease concerns about oversupply, cost containment, and indirect emissions. The OAL has until Mar. 29 to approve the package, which would then allow the amendments to take effect Apr. 1.

Willing to talk – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said he is open to renegotiating the rate of the Canadian federal government’s ‘backstop’ carbon price with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In an interview with Bloomberg, Pallister said the federal government’s move is a “tactical error”, touting the province’s original carbon pricing plan that sought to implement a flat C$25/tonne fee in contrast to Ottawa’s mandate for an escalating rate. Pallister last October announced that the province would scrap its carbon tax strategy entirely after receiving “no respect” from the federal government, but he has not joined fellow conservative leaders in Saskatchewan and Ontario in suing Ottawa over the matter.

Call for comments – The Alberta Climate Change Office (ACCO) has published for comment the draft chapters of quantification methodologies for venting and on-site transportation for the Canadian province’s Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) and Specified Greenhouse Gas Reporting Regulation (SGRR). These chapters will be included in the mandatory quantification requirements for 2019 SGRR reporting, the CCIR beginning in reporting period 3 of 2019 for forecasting facilities, and reporting period 4 of 2019 for non-forecasting facilities. The comment period on the draft chapters is open until Mar. 22, and the ACCO will host a one-hour webinar on Feb. 26 at 1030 Mountain time (1730 GMT) to review the draft venting chapter.

Charging on eggshells – Discarded chicken eggshells can be used in batteries for power storage, an international group of researchers has found. The Karlsruhe Institute for Technology together with Australian researchers used a powder created from eggshells as an electrode with a metallic lithium anode and tested it through over 1,000 charge and discharge cycles, maintaining a capacity of 92%.

New job – Carbon Market Watch’s former policy director is joining EURIMA. Femke De Jong told Carbon she will start as the European Insulation Manufacturing Association’s climate and energy manager in late March. De Jong was with the carbon market watchdog group for nearly five years, and before that worked as a policy advisor to Dutch Greens MEP Bas Eickhout for four years.

And finally… Farting focus – More attention is being paid to the contribution of the farming and food sectors to emissions, with burping cows more damaging to the climate than all the cars on this planet, according to Barclays analysts warning of the increasing regulatory risk for sector firms. EU leaders should therefore foster the expansion of lab-grown meat to help tackle climate change, according to a report by think-tank Chatham House that suggests that high-tech food will be key to the EU meeting its goals on climate change, human health, and drug resistance. (Financial Times)

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