CP Daily: Monday March 18, 2019

Published 22:25 on March 18, 2019  /  Last updated at 22:25 on March 18, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

California task force to review existing offset protocols as member applications expected in April

California’s proposed Offset Protocol Task Force (OPTF) could design new offset protocols or tweak existing ones to bolster the supply of credits that could provide direct environmental benefits to the state (DEBs) in the next decade, regulatory sources told Carbon Pulse.

EMEA

Brussels flags timeline for 2018 ETS data releases

The European Commission will release preliminary raw data on 2018 EU ETS emissions on Apr. 1, it said on Monday, figures that are expected to show a resumption of the market’s declining trend.

EU Market: EUAs slide to March low as power drop stokes bearish bets

EUAs fell to their lowest so far this month in a volatile session that saw carbon crash through several technical supports before rebounding strongly late on.

AMERICAS

Virginia aiming to finalise RGGI cap-and-trade regulation by April

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is aiming to send its RGGI cap-and-trade regulation to the state’s Air Pollution Control Board for final approval by mid-April, a state official said.

Connecticut utilities, Dominion agree to retain major nuclear plant  

Connecticut’s two electric utility companies struck a deal Friday with Dominion Energy to keep its zero-emitting Millstone Nuclear Plant from early retirement, while the six New England governors also signed an agreement to cooperate on bolstering nuclear power in the US region.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Lock shock – A section of last week’s widely-covered UN Environment report on climate change erroneously claims that a massive amount of Arctic warming is “locked in”, according to an investigation by Carbon Brief. An accompanying press release to that report warned that even if the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement were met, Arctic winter temperatures will increase by 3-5C by 2050 and 5-9C by 2080 compared to 1986-2006 levels. However, the media outlet found that the relevant section of the report erroneously conflated the Paris Agreement target of remaining “well below” 2C by 2100 with a scenario of much more modest emissions reductions that result in around 3C of global warming. In reality, although the Arctic will still warm faster than the rest of the world if the Paris Agreement goal is met, future warming in the region will be on the order of 0.5-5C by the 2080s, rather than being “locked in” to the 5-9C values stated in the report.

Suit seeker – Washington DC may become the next US jurisdiction to file a climate change-related lawsuit against oil major ExxonMobil. Attorney General of the US capital Karl Racine posted a link to a solicitation on Friday seeking outside legal council to support an investigation and possible litigation against Exxon for potential fraud. The solicitation said that Exxon has known since the 1970s that its products contributed significantly to climate change, and stated the company may have violated local law that prohibits “deceptive and unconscionable” business practices. Rhode Island and New York attorneys general have already sued Exxon in similar cases, while Massachusetts is investigating if the company deceived shareholders by deliberately downplaying the climate risks to its long-term financial health. (Climate Liability News)

Fun in the sun – Utility-scale solar output on California’s grid peaked at 10,765 MW on Saturday afternoon, setting a new all-time record even before the start of astronomical spring. Those figures from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) do not include behind-the-meter solar that likely produced a further 50% of that total, nor the cities of Los Angeles and Sacramento that are outside of CAISO’s grid. With demand peaking at around 18,000 GW on Saturday afternoon, utility-scale solar was meeting nearly 60% of CAISO demand. (PV Magazine)

Flight risk – Germany’s voluntary offsetting schemes for aviation should be regulated by standards set under the country’s wider Climate Action Law, according to research institute IKEM. The institution appears concerned by the distinction between consumers’ use of intermediaries and public institutions’ direct tapping of offsets under the UN’s CDM. (Frankfurter Rundschau, Clean Energy Wire)

And finally… Strike-a-million – Around one million students took part in more than 2,000 school strikes against climate inaction in 125 countries on Friday, inspired by schoolgirl and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg. Many students expressed anger, fear and disappointment that adults have not acted on the issue. (CNN)

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