CP Daily: Tuesday October 29, 2019

Published 00:41 on October 30, 2019  /  Last updated at 00:44 on October 30, 2019  /  Newsletters  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Alberta to pursue C$30/t carbon charge, alter benchmarks in large emitter programme

Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) government on Tuesday unveiled its overhaul of the province’s output-based pricing system (OBPS), maintaining the regime’s carbon charge but weakening industry production benchmarks in what could become a potential point of contention with the Canadian federal government.

AMERICAS

ANALYSIS: California offset spreads tightening as competition grows, views on invalidation shift

WCI offset spreads are growing tighter as more Golden California Carbon Offset (G-CCO) sellers participate and stakeholders alter their views on how invalidation risk may influence prices, market participants and developers told Carbon Pulse.

LCFS Market: California prices push up against $210

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit prices extended new records in recent days and came within striking distance of the $210 mark, occurring just days ahead of the programme’s quarterly data release.

ASIA PACIFIC

Chinese carbon fraudsters lose appeal against jail time, ring leader still at large

Four people face prison sentences after losing a court appeal over their involvement in a carbon trading pyramid scheme in China, but the gang leader – who is said to have made $56.6 million from the scam – remains at large, state media reported Tuesday.

South Korea prepares for use of Paris-era international credits in its ETS

South Korea has confirmed it plans to allow limited use of international emissions units issued under Paris Agreement rules as well as CDM offsets in its emissions trading scheme after 2020.

NZ Market: NZUs rise to 7-week high on improved demand

New Zealand carbon allowances rose by 5 cents in Tuesday trade, enough to hit their highest levels since Sep. 9 as demand is showing signs of picking up.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs climb further above €25 as UK MPs plan December election

EUAs lifted clear of €25 on Tuesday as UK lawmakers appeared poised to agree a December election that could break their deadlock over Brexit.

Vattenfall’s ETS-covered output eases as hydro output ramps back up

Swedish utility Vattenfall saw its fossil-based production ease over the third quarter as hydro reservoirs filled from very low levels, while thermal output was still up 3.6% year-on-year over the first nine months.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Dropping out – A significant drop in coal consumption and a 2% drop in primary energy use in Germany is likely to lead to a “marked” decline of CO2 emissions this year, according to energy market research group AGEB. It said energy consumption will decrease due to improved energy efficiency and lower demand in energy-intensive industries during the economic slowdown, outweighing adverse effects, such as cooler weather and population growth. Hard coal use declined 18% in the first three quarters of 2019 while lignite use dropped 21.7%. Utility association BDEW said the energy industry reduced CO2 emissions by 40 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2019. (Clean Energy Wire)

Border order – ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, says Brussels’ proposed EU carbon border tax is a vital first step to enable the industry to introduce low-carbon technology and help reach the Paris Agreement emission goals by preventing carbon leakage. Analysts at consultancy CRU said a €20 EUA price adds €42 a tonne to the marginal cost for European steel manufacturers. (Reuters)

Green steel – Family-owned Liberty Steel Group aims to combine its UK, Europe, USA, and Australia operations by year-end to become the world’s eighth-largest steel producer outside China and the world’s first carbon neutral steel company by 2030. It will focus on using renewable electricity-based recycling of scrap steel that it believes can already get it two-thirds of the way to its goal, with the rest from new technologies, such as hydrogen generated from renewable power. (City AM)

Ali up – Russia’s hydro-powered aluminium producer En+ encountered a “huge amount of resistance” among its industry to its carbon disclosure plan. En+ wants the London Metal Exchange to force aluminium producers to reveal the carbon footprint of their material. Rival producers say emissions are just one part of a wider debate around responsible sourcing and some say En+ is only pushing the carbon disclosure idea because it wants to charge a premium. (Financial Times)

Spending freedom – The EU should revise its fiscal rules to allow governments to voluntarily spend more on policies to fight climate change and infrastructure, the European Fiscal Board (EFB) independent advisory body said in its annual report. The EFB proposed similar changes last year but its call could carry more weight this year as the European Commission is carrying out a periodic review of fiscal rules. (Reuters)

Here we go again – Germany’s plan to introduce a climate levy on airline tickets to finance a decrease in train fares violates an EU-US aviation treaty, according to American airlines. Airlines for America (A4A) president Nicholas Calio argues in a letter addressed to EU transport commissioner Henrik Hololei that the planned levy was “problematic” because it undermined an agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure that CORSIA remains the only climate instrument applied to international flights, writes Die Welt, which has seen the letter. A4A lost a legal challenge against the EU earlier this decade over its aviation ETS, which initially covered all flights using the region’s airports. (Clean Energy Wire)

Still in it – Australia’s opposition Labor party has been shaking in its climate policy foundations after May’s election defeat, with some senior party members pushing for dialling back climate ambitions in order not to alienate communities dependent on the coal industry. However, new party leader Anthony Albanese on Tuesday said the party will fight for Australia to become a ‘clean energy super power’, vowing to campaign on the potential economic and labour benefits of an active climate policy. He did not mention whether or not the party would maintain its former policies on putting a carbon price in place for major emitters as a means to drive emissions reductions. (SBS/AAP)

Sole to squeeze – A coalition of international automakers, including General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler, on Monday announced an effort to intervene on behalf of the Trump Administration in its ongoing fight with California on vehicle fuel economy standards. A spokesperson for the coalition said that while the group does not necessarily support the White House’s proposed freezing of fuel standards agreed during the Obama administration, the automakers support the long-standing principle that the federal government has the “sole purview” for setting national standards. The move puts the automakers at odds with four of their competitors, which this summer announced a deal with California to produce more fuel efficient cars through 2025. (The Washington Post)

Murray worry – Murray Energy, the third-largest coal producer in the US and largest privately held coal company in the country, announced Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing is aimed at restructuring more than $2.7 bln in debt, and the document shows that the company has reached a support agreement with lenders to provide a new $350 mln loan that will keep operations going during reorganisation. (Axios)

And finally… States of affairs – The US states that do the most to discourage climate action and encourage dirty energy are the states whose residents are suffering the most from climate impacts, a Mother Jones and Center for Public Integrity (CPI) investigation has found. The CPI analysis found that nine of the 10 states that did the most to block the stayed Clean Power Plan also emit the most CO2 per person, while four of those nine were among the states that saw the most natural disasters over the past 10 years. The investigation focuses on Kentucky, where flash floods that in some cases were worsened by improper mine clean-ups have devastated local communities. (Climate Nexus)

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