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Germany’s ruling CDU/CSU parties will next week propose a comprehensive national climate package centred around an emissions trading scheme for transportation and buildings, which recycles revenue back to consumers and companies and features allowance price controls.
The EU risks backsliding on its climate commitments by not defending its right to include flights in its ETS, a senior lawmaker said Thursday, amid signs that several member states oppose speaking up at the UN on the issue.
Switzerland’s carbon credit procurement agency Klik aims to select 20 GHG-reducing activities by the middle of next year, with three confirmed Paris Agreement emission trade initiatives serving as insight into what the country is seeking.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) expects external modelling for an economy-wide carbon market in the US state to be completed by Q1 2020, a source told Carbon Pulse.
RGGI allowance (RGA) prices will increase ahead of and during the post-2020 phase as a result of higher hedging activity from new and existing compliance entities, but the programme will not see a fundamental deficit over that period, analytics firm ICIS said Thursday.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices hit a five-month low amid increased spread trading, as RGGI allowance (RGA) flatlined on the secondary market following the Q3 auction.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that year-on-year inflation skewed lower in August, setting up a potential 2020 WCI carbon floor price of $16.67.
European carbon prices posted a modest gain on Tuesday after rising by almost 2% intraday to near €27 on firmer energy prices and a bullish auction result.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator issued fewer than 60,000 carbon credits this week, but delivery to the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund has picked up pace in recent weeks.
The surrendering of Colombian offsets to comply with the country’s carbon tax has slowed this year due to an extreme supply squeeze and administrative delays.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Project dump – BP’s CEO plans to sell some oil projects and curb the development of others to align its business with the Paris Agreement, Bloomberg reports, in the latest sign climate concerns are starting to impact the investment decisions of the world’s largest fossil fuel producers. Senior BP executives met within the last few days to discuss how to cut carbon as the company grapples with a shareholder resolution requiring it to explain how its spending is aligned with Paris, Bob Dudley said on a Wednesday conference call. One proposal weighed up by BP’s management team was exiting the most carbon-intensive projects, though Dudley wouldn’t say which assets were targets because there are “governments and partners involved.”
Out to sea – The shipping industry is falling behind in its attempts to meet its climate target of reducing emissions to 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, according to class society DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook 2019. It found LNG will play a pivotal role as a bridging technology to get the industry past its 2030 milestone of a 40% improvement in carbon intensity. Carbon pricing would initially accelerate the use of LNG as it is an easy way to achieve carbon reductions, then ammonia after 2035. (Seatrade)
Black box – Climate Home profiles the operations of UN aviation agency ICAO, which is tasked with curbing fast-rising flight emissions. Via interviews with delegates and observers, it found scrutiny is restricted and key information protected by non-disclosure agreements, while climate advocates say oversight is critical in a matter of such high public interest.
Missing the point – China’s central bank is finalising new rules for the domestic green bond market, and is likely to allow so-called ‘clean coal’ projects, the South China Morning Post reports, citing unnamed sources. Coal-fired power plants would be deemed ‘clean’ if they install equipment that reduces air pollution emissions, although that won’t have any impact at all on their carbon output. China has emerged as the world’s biggest green bond market over the past couple of years. Some local banks have included coal in their green issuances previously, but if the practice wins the backing the central bank, the market’s credibility will likely suffer a massive blow.
Not doing it – Australia will not be announcing any new climate policies or targets at the UN summit in New York later this month, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Guardian newspaper. As expected, Australia will only reiterate the targets it pledged in Paris four years ago, nothing more. Morrison will be in the US at the time of the summit, but he won’t attend, leaving that job to his foreign affairs minister instead. The news is in line with Carbon Pulse’s recent feature on how most major emitting countries are set to disappoint anyone expecting ambitious climate action announcements at the summit.
Hey bidders – Colorado released a request for proposals (RFP) on Wednesday to commission a feasibility study of a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) programme in the state. The first phase of that RFP would run through Dec. 2019 and it would be tasked with determining the current lifecycle emissions of fuels used in Colorado’s transportation sector. The second phase, which would run through May 15, 2020, would provide additional analysis to inform policy and programmatic development. The state’s desire to explore an LCFS stems from HB-1261, which was approved in May 2019, that calls for GHG reduction goals of 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 90% by mid-century. If the state adopted an LCFS, it would be the third US state to do so after California and Oregon.
Concrete plan – EP Henry, a manufacturer of unit concrete products in North America, in collaboration with Solidia Technologies, a cement and concrete technology start-up, has introduced the world’s first products made with low-carbon Solidia Concrete. Using LafargeHolcim’s Solidia Cement as its base, which requires lower temperatures during production and thereby emits less carbon, Solidia Concrete products are cured with CO2 instead of water, reducing their overall carbon footprint up to 70% compared to traditional concrete.
Happer wraps it up – Several US publications report that one of the Trump administration’s most well-known climate sceptics – William Happer – is leaving his position on the White House National Security Council. The New York Times, who describes Happer as “the White House architect of a stalled plan to attack the established science of climate change”, reports that he will leave on Friday, according to three people “familiar with plans”.
And finally… Hot blobs – A mysterious blob covering 130,000 square miles of ocean has been heating up extremely rapidly – by over 2C – over the past century, or double the global average. At its centre, it’s grown even hotter, warming by as much as 3C according to one analysis. The entire global ocean is warming, but some parts are changing much faster than others – and this hot spot off the coast of Uruguay is one of the fastest. It was first identified by scientists in 2012, but it is still poorly understood and has received virtually no public attention. What researchers do know is that the hot zone has driven mass die-offs of clams, dangerous ocean heat waves and algal blooms, and wide-ranging shifts in Uruguay’s fish catch. And it is part of a global trend. Around the planet, enormous ocean currents are travelling to new locations. As these currents relocate, waters are growing warmer. Scientists have found similar hot spots along the western stretches of four other oceans – the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, the South Pacific, and the Indian. (Washington Post)
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