CP Daily: Monday April 15, 2019

Published 01:22 on April 16, 2019  /  Last updated at 01:22 on April 16, 2019  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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FEATURE: Alberta election stoking uncertainty for province’s offset industry

Offset market participants and developers are closely monitoring the outcome of Alberta’s Apr. 16 election, as a victory by the opposition and poll-leading United Conservative Party (UCP) could dramatically alter the landscape of the Canadian province’s decade-old industry.


British Steel seeking emergency £100m loan for EU ETS compliance -Sky

British Steel is seeking an emergency £100 million government loan to help it buy carbon allowances, Sky News reports, confirming earlier reports that the company was struggling to comply with the EU ETS due to Brexit-related restrictions.

EU Market: EUAs nudge back towards 11-yr high amid clamour for auction units

EUAs resumed their upward trajectory on Monday as the highest auction prices ever failed to deter buyers, helping to push carbon back towards €27 and last week’s 11-year peak.


Energy innovation necessary for California to reach 2050 GHG goals -report

California will not be able to reach its mid-century GHG target without energy innovation taking place in several key sectors, as current technologies will fall short in generating the necessary emission reductions, according to a new report.

IncubEx adds senior vice president for North American environmental markets

Product and business development firm IncubEx has hired its senior vice president to assist in the company’s expansion of exchange-traded North American carbon and renewable energy commodities.


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Paris snub – The EU has fired the starting gun on fresh trade talks with the US after a majority of member states gave their rubber stamp to negotiations on Monday. Upholding its principal the EU should only sign trade deals with countries committed to the Paris Agreement, France was the only country to vote against the mandate for talks, with Belgium abstaining. EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the move was aimed at avoiding a trade war. Tensions have been rising between the two sides in recent months over tit-for-tat import levies and the future of the World Trade Organization. (The Telegraph)

Treasure it – Finance ministers from 23 rich and poor countries have pledged to back climate action through their policy, tax and spending decisions, in a coalition launched at the World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC. The coalition signed up to the “Helsinki Principles” for climate-friendly growth, align their policies with the Paris Agreement and work towards effective carbon pricing. COP host Chile and Finland are leading the initiative, with Austria, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Kenya, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Uganda, UK and Uruguay. (Climate Home)

Mixed for Poland – The European Commission said Poland’s €5 bln co-generation energy project, entitling the facilities to a premium until 2028 and with surcharge reductions for large energy users, was in line with the bloc’s environmental and climate goals. However, the Commission said planned reductions in the capacity mechanism surcharge for energy-intensive users raised concerns as they might lead to inefficient higher demand for electricity in off-peak periods as well as a greater need for extra capacity. (Reuters)

Land plan – US Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Monday released a detailed proposal to protect public lands by banning all new fossil fuel leases and boosting renewable energy. The Massachusetts senator said she will work to increase the amount of renewable electricity generated on public lands and offshore areas to 10% of the country’s supply, up from 1% currently. Warren added that her plan would be done in a way to minimise impacts to local ecology and share royalties with states and local communities to wean their dependence off fossil fuel monies. Other components of the proposal include reinstating a slew of regulations reversed by the Trump administration, including methane pollution limits for existing oil and gas projects and clean water rules. (ThinkProgress)

Bearing the burden – A new state report released Friday on California’s wildfires and the state’s utility system concludes that any real solution to cost allocation “shares the burden broadly among stakeholders”, including ratepayers, investors, insurance companies, and local governments. The report, developed by a “strike team” convened by Governor Gavin Newsom (D), considers changes to California’s “inverse condemnation” liability laws, which means a utility can be held liable for wildfire damages even if it was not negligent. However, with wildfire damages topping $40 billion combined for 2017-2018 and investor-owned utility PG&E filing for bankruptcy in January, the state is now looking at new concepts of allocating responsibility for wildfire costs. On the subject of PG&E, the report noted that “no options can be taken off the table” to reform the embattled utility. (Utility Dive)

Even greener – Vermont utility Green Mountain Energy on Saturday announced that it will target 100% carbon-free energy by 2025 and 100% renewables by 2030, becoming the latest US utility to make a zero-carbon pledge. While the company said in December that its power sources were already 90% carbon-free, only 60% of its energy was renewable, with most of that coming from hydropower. To meet the 2030 renewables target, the utility plans to increase its purchases of wind and hydropower and add local, distributed resources and energy storage. Green Mountain’s CO2 output covered by the northeast US RGGI carbon market only amounted to some 1,300 tons in 2018, nearly a 65% drop year-on-year. (Greentech Media)

Zero chance – The US Supreme Court on Monday denied petitions to review lower court decisions upholding the Illinois and New York zero emission credit (ZEC) programmes. Trade group Electric Power Supply Association and its supporters had appealed the rulings in both cases, arguing that the ZEC regulations overstepped government authority by allowing nuclear plants to stay online and bid into the wholesale power market, lowering the wholesaler power price from where it would have been otherwise. However, both the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Second Circuits last year ruled in favour of the subnational jurisdictions.

Auction appeal – The World Bank on April 24 is hosting a webinar Climate Auctions for National Climate Action. Based on the findings of two recent reports (Climate Auctions: A Market-Based Approach to National Climate Action and ‘The Potential for Climate Auctions as a Mechanism for NDC Implementation), the session will include a discussion on how climate auctions work, why they are an effective tool for achieving climate outcomes, and how can countries can utilise climate auctions to accelerate NDC implementation and raise climate ambition.

And finally… Rebel blockade – Thousands of Extinction Rebellion environmental activists paralysed parts of central London on Monday by blocking key roads in a bid to force the government to do more to tackle climate change.  The protests will involve demonstrations in 33 countries around the world over the coming days. (Reuters)

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