CP Daily: Wednesday July 24, 2019

Published 23:55 on July 24, 2019  /  Last updated at 23:55 on July 24, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Australia opens ninth ERF auction amid low expectations

The ninth auction of Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) opened Wednesday, but experts expect the round to produce low volumes at subdued prices.

EMEA

Incoming British PM Johnson names new climate, energy ministers

Incoming British Prime Minster Boris Johnson on Wednesday named new minsters in charge of climate change and energy after more than half of the Conservative cabinet resigned or was sacked upon his arrival at Downing Street earlier today.

Energy Aspects raises Q3 EUA price forecast, plays down Exxon ruling impact

Energy Aspects has lifted its Q3 EUA price forecast back to near the analysts’ previous levels after the benchmark contract hit a fresh 11-year high, with the analysts also playing down the market impact of a recent EU court ruling involving oil major ExxonMobil.

EU Market: EUAs extend 13-year high, then retreat amid weaker energy

EUAs set a new 13-year high of €29.95 early on Wednesday, but sank back after failing to top the €30 milestone as key energy prices also eased.

Drax buys back coal power hedges as CO2 costs mount, output drops

British utility Drax opted to buy back some of its forward hedged coal power output over the first half of 2019 as higher emission costs ensured more of its generation would be unprofitable.

Iberdrola’s remaining EU ETS-based output jumps 72% in H1 as hydro wanes

Spain-based utility Iberdrola reported a 72% rise in its ETS-regulated thermal output over H1, as gas-fired output ramped up to cover for low hydro generation, the company said in its financial results on Wednesday.

AMERICAS

New York CO2 charge may trigger RGGI supply curbing mechanism -analysis

The New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) planned imposition of a carbon adder in the state’s wholesale electricity market could trigger the northeast US RGGI ETS’ Emissions Containment Reserve (ECR) in the next decade as more low-carbon generation come online, analysts said Tuesday.

California mints 900k WCI offsets as Quebec grants over 50k

California regulator ARB issued over 900,000 new offsets (CCOs) this week, while Quebec resumed its issuances with more than 50,000 of its own compliance-grade credits, according to jurisdictional data.

Connecticut aims to complete RGGI regulation by early August

Connecticut is hoping to finalise its RGGI Model Rule update in the next two weeks and send it to a state committee for final approval, after an initial proposal was rejected for regulatory inconsistencies, an official told Carbon Pulse.

ASIA PACIFIC

Queensland govt announces A$4m in grants for second phase of state carbon fund

Australia’s Queensland government has picked another six projects that will receive a total A$4 million ($2.8 mln) in grants under a programme designed to catalyse action and generate carbon credits for the state’s Land Restoration Fund.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Stop all the flying – Germany’s Greens plan to make domestic flights ‘largely obsolete’ by 2035, and have pledged to introduce a tax on kerosene and gradually increase rail traffic, EurActiv reports, citing a paper released by the party’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag that stops short of calling for a complete ban. To compensate for the loss of air travel, the Greens are calling for increased train frequency, more reliable journey times, cheaper tickets, and good WiFi coverage. These objectives should “ensure that rail travel becomes so attractive in the next 25 years that domestic flights are no longer worthwhile.” To achieve this goal, the German government-owned railway system would receive €3 billion annually. As well, travel time between as many destinations as possible and to neighbouring countries should be reduced to “a maximum of four hours”, and a “European night train network” should also be re-introduced in the long term.

Panel pontifications – Ireland’s domestic carbon tax should increase to €35 per tonne next year from €20 currently, a report by the country’s independent Climate Change Advisory Council has urged, calling for the levy to rise to at least €80/t by 2030 to help meet national emission reduction targets. The paper said the proceeds should fund the decarbonisation of the Irish economy, the ‘just transition’ of those negatively affected, as well as climate change adaptation measures.  The failure to outline a strategy to achieve this by 2050 represents a major obstacle to progressing climate policy, the council said, adding that using public funds to buy international carbon credits has no domestic benefit and will leave the country with a bigger and more expensive task ahead. The panel’s third annual report, which was released on Wednesday, said “robust carbon pricing” was essential, and that “a significant and sustained rate of emissions reduction of approximately 2.5% per year” was required to the country’s mid-century goals. The advisory body also concluded that alternative land-uses should be supported, reversing the recent declines in afforestation rates should be prioritised, and cutting agricultural emissions, which account for almost a third of all Ireland’s GHG output, can be achieved by slashing the size of the national herd. (Irish Times)

Back for more – Florida Republican Congressman Francis Rooney is planning to introduce legislation on Thursday that would impose a $30/tonne carbon tax, according to a document seen by The Hill. Rooney’s office estimates the policy would reduce energy-related CO2 emissions from fossil fuel producers and large industrial emitters by 42%, while utilising revenues to reduce payroll taxes for employees and employers, fund research into clean energy, and compensate low-income households for increased costs. The bill would also impose a 12-year moratorium on new regulations for power plants. Rooney co-sponsored a bipartisan $15/t carbon fee-and-dividend proposal in Congress in both 2018 and 2019. Also on Thursday, Democratic Senators Chris Coons and Dianne Feinstein will introduce their own carbon tax bill, Reuters reports. The senators’ Climate Action Rebate Act would reduce emissions by 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 en route to complete decarbonisation by 2050, while rebating 70% of the money to families making less than $130,000 annually.

Eyes on zero – Oil and gas company Canadian Natural Resources is setting an aspiration goal of reducing its operational emissions to zero. In an interview with CBC News, the company’s executive vice-chairman Steve Laut said the company will try to achieve the goal using technology and innovation rather than offsets, while adding there was no timeline yet for the plan.

Moody 427 – Moody’s has acquired a majority stake in California-based Four Twenty Seven, a leading provider of data, intelligence, and analysis related to physical climate risks. The acquisition “enhances Moody’s growing portfolio of risk assessment capabilities and underscores its work to advance global standards for assessing environmental and climate risk factors,” the companies said in a press release. “Four Twenty Seven will also strengthen Moody’s growing thought leadership and research on incorporating climate risk into economic modelling and credit ratings.” Four Twenty Seven scores physical risks associated with climate-related factors and other environmental issues, including heat stress, water stress, extreme precipitation, hurricanes and typhoons, and sea level rise. The terms of the deal were not revealed, but Four Twenty Seven will continue to be headquartered in Berkeley, operating under its existing brand, and will be an affiliate of Moody’s Investors Service.

And finally… Do it for the military – Chinese bike-sharing company Hello Bike has launched a competition for users in Wuhan in Hubei province, allowing people to earn up to 110 “carbon credits” every day by using its bikes. The winners will receive free annual bike cards and other prizes. The competition is backed by the municipal government and the Hubei carbon exchange, and verified carbon emission reductions will go towards offsetting GHG output from the 7th World Military Games, which will be held in Wuhan in October. Last month, China published rules for eligible credits that can be used to offset major events, but no information was available about which of those will underpin the Wuhan biking competition.

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