CP Daily: Friday March 8, 2019

Published 23:44 on March 8, 2019  /  Last updated at 23:44 on March 8, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Speculative length in EUAs said to halve amid slurry of uncertainty and bearish factors

Speculative length in the EU carbon market held by both long-term investors and short-term players has roughly halved from its peak last year, traders said, with at least one major fund taking a big hit early this quarter and buyers remaining cautious over a slurry of uncertainty and bearish factors.

AMERICAS

Legislative officials urge California to reveal more about WCI’s surplus

California regulators ARB should take steps by year-end to provide clarity about the number of allowances and offsets banked in the WCI market, the US state’s legislative officials wrote in a letter.

Washington state ETS bill introduced as rival CO2 tax proposal clears senate committee

A Washington state senator formally introduced a cap-and-trade bill this week that would allow for a linkage with the WCI programme, while a separate $15 carbon tax proposal advanced in the upper chamber.

New Hampshire Senate approves bill with post-2020 RGGI changes

The New Hampshire Senate approved a bill Thursday that would install the northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme’s post-2020 Model Rule, moving the proposal to the lower legislative chamber, a state official confirmed.

US Carbon Pricing Roundup for week ending Mar. 8, 2019

A summary of legislative action on carbon pricing and clean energy bills at the US state level taken this week, including carbon tax proposals in Hawaii and Maryland and 100% carbon-free electricity bills in Minnesota and New Mexico.

ASIA PACIFIC

South Korea to bring in ETS market maker from June 10

South Korea will introduce a market maker in its emissions trading scheme from June 10, the environment ministry announced Friday, in a bid to boost the sluggish liquidity in the programme.

Australian offset issuance remains low as govt legislates Safeguard changes

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator’s carbon credit issuance fell to below 30,000 this week, around a seventh of the long-term average, while the government finally legislated softer Safeguard Mechanism rules flagged last year that likely ensure lower offset demand from the private sector.

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Mar. 8, 2019

Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs hold above €23 as traders brace for Brexit fireworks

EUAs settled just above €23 for a modest loss on Friday after a choppy session that saw carbon briefly extend this week’s one-month high as traders eyed next week’s looming UK Brexit votes and ETS compliance deadline.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Drilling up – Norway took a half step toward divesting oil and gas stocks in its $1 trillion wealth fund, saying it approved selling pure exploration companies while sparing the biggest integrated producers like Shell, BP, and the country’s own Equinor. The plan applies to holdings currently worth roughly $8 billion in 134 companies. “The objective is to reduce the vulnerability of our common wealth to a permanent oil price decline. Hence, it is more accurate to sell companies which explore and produce oil and gas, rather than selling a broadly diversified energy sector,” said Finance Minister Siv Jensen. (Bloomberg)

Agri-TS – The Irish government should consider the “most appropriate and effective mechanisms” for pricing GHGs from agriculture, a new draft committee report recommends. Although the white paper report, compiled by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, outlines that a carbon tax on agriculture is not seen as appropriate for the time being, and therefore is not expected to be implemented “in the medium term”, the government is being urged to consider the feasibility of creating an emissions trading scheme for the sector. The report – seen by AgriLand –is due to feed into the Government’s National Climate Action Plan, which is aimed at helping the country meet its emission reduction targets that are currently far out of reach.

Don’t forget the batteries – Energy storage doubled in the US during 2018 and it could further expand in 2019, according to a new report from consultancy Wood Mackenzie and business group the Energy Storage Association. Energy storage grew to 777 MWh in 2018, but those gains were dampened by supply issues in the latter half of the year. California led the nation in deployment as its ambitious state goals helped to drive that trend. Texas, New York, and Hawaii also saw steady increases, according to the report. The authors estimate 4 GW of energy storage could be added by 2024. States are increasingly looking at energy storage amid rising renewable power that has created surplus generation during peakload hours. (Utility Drive)

Get to cutting – A federal judge order embattled utility Pacific Gas & Electric to remove trees, limbs, or any vegetation around electric transmissions lines to comply with existing law in order to minimise the chances of further wildfires during the upcoming season. Judge William Alsup also ordered the utility to go through regular, unannounced inspections of those fire mitigation efforts. His ruling was a slight reprieve from an early January ruling that would have prevented the utility from delivering power to areas of the grid that it deemed safe. (Utility Drive)

Ares you serious? – Ares Management, the alternative investment firm overseeing more than $130 billion, is seeking to profit from efforts by governments and companies to tackle climate change. The firm is creating a strategy, dubbed “climate infrastructure,” that will make investments aimed at cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and promoting better use of natural resources, according to an email to investors that was viewed by Bloomberg. Ares started officially marketing the Ares Climate Infrastructure Partners fund at the end of January, the email shows. A spokesman for Los Angeles-based Ares declined to comment.

Compost for climate change – A group of environmental and agriculture groups are working to secure funding in Colorado to assess various soil-building practices, including composting, to sequester carbon, according to a Waste 360 report. The groups say the project costs could be defrayed by the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service as the practice could jump start vegetation. (Waste 360)

And finally… A sincere but heroic “ballparks” figure of an estimate – US Republicans have been circling the Green New Deal resolution like sharks in recent days, sensing blood in the water and coordinating attacks ahead of an upcoming floor vote in the Senate. One number constantly pops up in their onslaught: $93 trillion. That’s how much they say the non-binding resolution will cost. But where did it come from? The eye-popping figure came from a price estimate crafted from a report by the conservative think-tank American Action Forum, but the number does not actually appear in the document, Politico Pro reports ($). Instead it’s the sum total of high-range estimates the report’s authors put on various aspects of a GND platform – and most of which are based on sweeping assumptions about universal health care and jobs programs rather than the costs of transitioning to carbon-free electricity and transportation. AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin said he was interested only in “ballparks,” adding the study is best viewed as “a sincere but a heroic estimate of a not very well-specified proposal.” But greens say the number is a convenient way for Republicans to get out of talking about the high cost of unchecked climate change.

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