CP Daily: Wednesday February 20, 2019

Published 01:29 on February 21, 2019  /  Last updated at 01:33 on February 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

WCI market to be long nearly 13 Mt in 2019, as offset demand expected to rise -analysts

The California-Quebec cap-and-trade programme is expected to be long almost 13 Mt in 2019, while offset usage is expected to increase in the WCI market’s third compliance period, analysts said.

EMEA

EU Parliament sets out to pressure leaders to aim high in bloc’s 2050 strategy

European Parliament members have this week laid groundwork to pressure EU leaders to frame a more ambitious 2050 bloc-wide climate strategy.

EU Market: EUAs gain ground as 2019 free allocations begin

European carbon closed 1.3% higher after shilly-shallying through most of an auction-free session on Wednesday, holding in the narrowest range in a month as EU member states kick off the annual free allocation process.

Spain’s Iberdrola sees ETS-based output fall 5% in 2018 as hydro recovers

Spain-based utility Iberdrola reported a 5% drop in its ETS-regulated thermal output over 2018 as hydropower output rebounded after 2017’s prolonged drought, the company said in its full-year results on Wednesday.

AMERICAS

Green groups back off more stringent New Jersey RGGI cap demands

Environmental groups will not oppose New Jersey’s proposed 2020 RGGI cap after further consideration, but they urged the state to adopt a larger Emissions Containment Reserve (ECR) in the northeast US carbon market to account for the possibility of a low emissions outcome.

INTERNATIONAL

Glencore to cap coal production, set climate targets in line with Paris

Glencore will cap its global coal production at current levels and develop fresh emissions targets, the company announced Tuesday, after investor pressure to limit its impact on climate change.

COMMENT

Ontario’s plan vs the federal backstop: What companies need to know

In the run-up to the Carbon Pricing for Canadian Industry conference – April 25-26 at the Hilton Toronto – Canadian Clean Energy conferences is running a series of articles on key topics for industries complying with provincial and federal carbon regulations.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Trade bind – The EU’s resolve to make signing the Paris Agreement a condition for trade deals appears to be wavering amid US threats to slap tariffs on European car imports. The European Parliament’s cross-party trade committee backed a non-binding resolution to start talks on two relatively narrow deals with the US. The resolution text was watered down, with centre-right EPP/ECR and centrist ALDE groupings inserting a caveat limiting the Paris condition only to “comprehensive trade talks”. (Climate Home)

Industry push – Europe needs to pool its strengths with “a genuine European industrial policy” to remain a manufacturing powerhouse in the transition to a low-carbon economy, according to France and Germany. “We can only succeed if we pool our funding, our skills, and our expertise,” according to a Franco-German manifesto for a European industrial policy presented by German economy minister Peter Altmaier and French finance minister Bruno Le Maire. (Clean Energy Wire)

Can’t touch this – German utility and lignite mine operator RWE has agreed to refrain from clearing the embattled Hambach Forest in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) until autumn 2020, said state premier Armin Laschet in a parliamentary session. As the federal government decides how to implement the phaseout recommendations by the country’s coal exit commission, it must also negotiate with the mine and power plant operators regarding a concrete shut-down timetable and possible compensation payments, he said. His state government stands ready to “fully implement” the commission’s proposals. (Clean Energy Wire)

Balkan bother – Environmentalists are urging EU policy makers to take a tougher stance on air pollution from 16 coal power plants in the Western Balkans. The countries are members of the Energy Community that had a commitment to implement EU rules to curb pollution by 2018 but investments have largely been delayed. The greens called for stricter rules to be imposed to make meeting those regulations a requirement for joining the EU. (Reuters)

Compensation calling – Brussels is seeking views on the revision of state aid guidelines for the EU ETS to help determine compensation for carbon leakage and indirect costs faced by industries. Current guidelines are due to expire Dec. 2020. The consultation runs until April 4.

I’ll prove it – Alberta’s incumbent NDP government said that sharp reductions in GHGs from electricity production in the oil-rich Canadian province prove that carbon pricing is effective, coming as the poll-leading opposition United Conservative Party has pledged to scrap the carbon tax. Preliminary data provided by the government to the National Observer showed that Alberta’s total electricity sector emissions were 38.1 mln tonnes in 2018, with electrical output and emissions from coal falling by roughly a quarter year-on-year. The government said the drop in electricity sector GHGs was thanks to early efforts to phase out coal by 2030, adding that “proving that carbon pricing is effective”.

Green New Buildings The California Energy Commission just approved its latest report that outlines steps the state should take to decarbonise its buildings sector to achieve its long-term goal of reducing emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. The Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) found the state should set zero-emission goals for new and existing buildings, develop a plan to reduce GHGs from the sector, encourage electrification, and address refrigerant leakage. All of those would be critical to helping the state reach its long-term climate goals. Buildings account for the second-largest source of emissions in the state behind the transportation sector, according to the report.

They’re in charge – New Mexico’s Senate confirmed two of the cabinet secretaries to lead the state’s Climate Change Task Force, which will look into a market-based mechanism and other clean energy measures for cutting emissions. Cabinet Secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Sarah Cottrell Propst was confirmed on Feb. 15, and Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department James Kenney’s confirmation was announced Monday. The two will oversee the development of strategies to hit the southwest US state’s new GHG reduction targets of 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, created through Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order last month, with the task force’s initial recommendations and status update due by Sep. 15. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

Climate denials 101 – The White House will establish a panel to examine the impacts of climate change on national security, but it will include an adviser whose views are at odds with scientific consensus about global warming, according to The New York Times. The White House would create a 12-member Presidential Committee on Climate Security that would include William Happer, who serves as President Donald Trump’s deputy assistant for emerging technologies. The Princeton physicist gained fame for claiming greenhouse gases were a benefit to humanity. Critics said Happer’s inclusion on the panel would ensure the committee would “neither be independent nor rigorous”. (The New York Times)

Nice for ICE – The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced that in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, UK-based exchange ICE will be recognised to provide their services in the EU. “ESMA has adopted these recognition decisions in order to limit the risk of disruption in central clearing and to avoid any negative impact on the financial stability of the EU,” it said in a notice on its website. ICE is the main exchange for European emissions trading.

And finally… Goodbye little guy – Australia’s Bramble Cay melomys has become the first mammal to go extinct as a result of climate change, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, quoting Environment Minister Melissa Price. The little rodent used to live on a tiny island in the Torres strait, near Papua New Guinea, but is now gone forever, according to the Australian federal government, three years after the Queensland state government came to the same conclusion. Rising sea levels as well as increased frequency and intensity of tropical storms were cited as the cause of the demise of the little brown rat. 

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