CP Daily: Wednesday April 3, 2019

Published 01:12 on April 4, 2019  /  Last updated at 01:17 on April 4, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

China issues new draft national ETS regulations that would welcome investors

China has circulated a set of draft regulations for its national emissions trading scheme for public consultation, the first official ETS document to surface since the government delayed the programme indefinitely in Dec. 2017.

AMERICAS

ANALYSIS: California fuel emissions drop for first time under cap-and-trade, as power sector GHGs rise in 2018

California fuel sector emissions likely dropped in 2018 for the first time in the state’s carbon market era, while the power sector could see an increase after years of GHG reductions, according to Carbon Pulse estimates.

California offset issuances could “flood” market in 2019, while tight ‘DEBs’ margins expected next decade -analysts

A backlog of registry-listed forestry projects will finally culminate in large issuances of California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) this year, though the future supply of credits that will provide direct environmental benefits to the state (DEBs) will remain low, analysts said Wednesday.

Virginia DEQ refutes RGGI programme cost estimates, removes post-2030 cap provision

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) disputed comments that its proposed RGGI-linked ETS would significantly increase costs for consumers, while the agency omitted language that would cause the cap to decline after 2030.

US EPA science panel deems biomass emissions not automatically carbon neutral

The US EPA’s push to develop rulemaking that declares biomass from managed forests as carbon neutral could run up against the recommendations of the agency’s own science panel, according to a recent review.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs soar 5% as Britain shifts closer to softer Brexit

EUAs shot up more than 5% to a one-month high on Wednesday as financial markets reacted positively to Brexit progress deemed to reduce the risk of Britain crashing out of the EU.

ANALYSIS: ETS reforms strengthen case for EU nations to forge ambitious path

EU ETS reforms have strengthened the case for countries to ramp up their own climate action in capped sectors by greatly reducing the carbon price-damping effect of national policies, according to experts.

ASIA PACIFIC

South Korea triples volume available in April CO2 auction

Around three times as many carbon allowances will be available in next week’s South Korean auction as in the previous sales, after the government announced Tuesday it has borrowed nearly half a million KAUs from the June volume to boost market supply.

INTERNATIONAL

CDM board weighs expanding struggling scheme to ride-sharing apps, other urban sectors

The CDM’s executive board held its first meeting of 2019 last week, where it weighed a number issues including whether online ride-hailing applications should receive carbon offsets and how to expand the struggling scheme’s use into urban sectors.

Campaigners urge governments boost funding to ‘overlooked’ landscape restoration

Governments are chronically underfunding the restoration of natural landscapes that can simultaneously tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, an international group of campaigners said Wednesday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Getting closer – South Africa’s National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Friday adopted the country’s carbon tax bill in its last sitting ahead of national elections. This wraps up the parliamentary process around the bill, which will now be referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa. According to Polity, if he signs it as expected, South Africa’s long-awaited carbon tax will be brought into effect on Jun. 1. However, there is an off-chance that Ramaphosa will refer it back to parliament when it reconvenes later this year following the May 8 elections. Read more about the tax here and here.

French phaseout – The French government is sticking to its previously announced target of shutting down France’s remaining coal power plants by 2022 as a report by grid operator RTE on Wednesday confirmed it could do without the 3,000 MW capacity of generators operated by EDF and Uniper under certain conditions. (Reuters)

The big man wants to chat (again) – The Vatican has invited big oil bosses for the second time in a year as part of Pope Francis’s campaign to counter climate change, people familiar with the plan told Bloomberg. Top executives from BP and Eni are among those invited to attend a two-day meeting from June 13. Exxon Mobil and asset manager BlackRock attended a similar meeting last year, in which they agreed the world needed to transition to lower-carbon fuels while ensuring adequate supply. Since then, little progress has been made on some of the key points agreed at that meeting, such as carbon pricing.

Join the club – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced Wednesday his government will launch its own legal challenge over Ottawa’s imposition of its ‘backstop’ carbon pricing plan, joining fellow conservative-controlled provinces Saskatchewan and Ontario. Initially hesitant to file a lawsuit, Pallister said Manitoba’s legal argument is more convincing now that the backstop C$20/tonne levy on fossil fuels took effect on Apr. 1. The province had initially proposed its own carbon pricing plan of a flat C$25 CO2 tax, but withdrew it after the federal government indicated it would run afoul of the backstop’s rising price mandate of C$30 in 2020. (CBC)

Aggregation avoidance – A California bill that would direct the state’s yet-to-be-determined Offsets Protocol Task Force (OPTF) to develop additional protocols with in-state benefits (DEBs) has dropped the portion of the bill recommending aggregation strategies. The most recent amended copy of California Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D) AB-293 no longer instructs the OPTF to recommend strategies for combining smaller offset projects into one, a feature that developers said would boost credit generation from the neglected rice cultivation and urban forestry protocols. However, the new copy of the bill now prioritises developing protocols on natural and working lands (NWL) – a feature not mentioned in the prior version. AB-293 remains with the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Win-win – Australia’s SA Water is seeking carbon credits for a project that plants alfalfa crops around Adelaide airport, according to InDaily. The idea is to plant crops that absorb CO2 while reducing the air temperature around the runway, allowing planes to take off using less fuel and even on very hot warm days. A number of carriers around the world have been forced to cancel flights or cut passenger numbers recently due to higher temperatures. If successful, the project could be replicated elsewhere in Australia and internationally, SA Water said.

I’ll be a backer – Arnold Schwarzenegger has voiced his support for Oregon’s HB 2020 cap-and-trade bill. In a Twitter video, the action star and former California governor called the initiative a “brilliant idea,” comparing it to California’s cap-and-trade law that came into force under his leadership. “And of course the other side came to us and said, ‘But this will be terrible for the economy and you will be losing jobs,’” Schwarzenegger said. “And exactly the opposite has happened. Our economy is booming. We’re number one economically in the United States.” Public hearings have been held on HB 2020, with the next work session by the Joint Committee On Carbon Reduction on the bill scheduled for Friday. (OrgonLive)

And finally… Very nice! – The Australian climate debate somehow found new depths on Wednesday when Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked the opposition Labor party’s policies, saying their proposal to allow access to international carbon credits was a $36 billion tax on Australian companies. “They want carbon credits from Kazakhstan,” Morrison said, proceeding to call it the “Borat tax”, referring to British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s popular yet controversial character. Morrison then plunged into his own Borat impression – in parliament – putting his thumbs up and saying the fictive figure would find the measure “very nice”. The scene can be viewed here, with the PM launching into his attack on Labor from around 3:00.

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