CP Daily: Wednesday October 30, 2019

Published 21:51 on October 30, 2019  /  Last updated at 21:51 on October 30, 2019  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Chile pulls out of hosting COP25 climate talks amid protests

Chile has pulled out of hosting this year’s COP25 UN climate talks, as well as next month’s APEC Summit, President Sebastian Pinera announced on Wednesday, as a wave of violent riots continues to grip the country.

INTERNATIONAL

Singapore firm launches blockchain-based exchange for CORSIA-eligible carbon credits

Singapore-based venture AirCarbon has launched a blockchain-based exchange for trading of tokens to be backed by carbon credits eligible in the global aviation sector’s CORSIA offset scheme, the company said Wednesday.

AMERICAS

New York will not complete RGGI Model Rule update until 2020

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will not finalise regulations to adopt the RGGI carbon market’s post-2020 Model Rule updates this year, and its timeline to publish a draft proposal remains hazy, sources said.

Virginia Democrats hold seat advantage ahead of pivotal election for RGGI entrance

Democrats are favoured to win control of the Virginia state legislature amid increased party enthusiasm and support from moderates and independents ahead of next week’s general election that could enable the state to join the RGGI ETS, according to a new study published this week.

Alberta’s proposed CO2 pricing regime lacking on industry benchmarks, excelling on electricity -analysts

The Alberta government’s proposed output-based pricing system (OBPS) could penalise early movers and provide windfall profits to dirtier industrial firms in the Canadian province, while the uniform electricity sector standard would prove more ambitious than the benchmarks set by the federal ‘backstop’ programme, economists and analysts said.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs hit one-week high above €26 as UK auction prospects dim

EUAs hit a one-week high above €26 on Wednesday as supply prospects appeared tight on a rare auction-free day and as the chances of a rapid influx of UK supply faded.

UK’s renewables powerhouses urge government to uphold carbon pricing

Utilities SSE, Orsted, and Drax are urging the UK government to confirm it will uphold and extend carbon pricing domestically amid its efforts to exit the EU, in order to avoid undermining billions of pounds of clean energy investments in the country.

The EU can green its industry without carbon border measures, say researchers

The EU can devise a strategy that allows its heavy industry to thrive while reaching net zero emissions by 2050 without resorting to border carbon adjustments, a consortium of European researchers found on Wednesday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australian carbon business group cautions against Safeguard crediting

Awarding carbon credits to Safeguard Mechanism facilities that beat their baselines risks harming the integrity of Australia’s emission reductions and the nation’s carbon abatement industry, business group Carbon Market Institute said Wednesday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

A central conundrum – The German central bank (Bundesbank) has to maintain market neutrality and cannot become a proactive advocate of climate action, bank head Jens Weidmann said at a conference in Frankfurt. “Our mandate is to maintain price stability,” Weidmann said, adding that the Bundesbank lacks “democratic legitimation” to intervene in climate policy. “Monetary policy that explicitly pursues environmental policy goals is at risk of becoming overstrained,” he said. Weidmann acknowledged that “climate risks touch upon the core business areas” of central banks but rejected the idea of “green monetary policy”, for example through so-called green quantitative easing, meaning that the central bank purchases green bonds to increase the economy’s monetary liquidity. But Bundesbank sustainability head Sabine Mauderer said central banks nevertheless could be “trailblazers for more sustainability” by adapting their own investment portfolios and acting as a role model for other investors. She added that the costs of climate damages and the financial risks of major transformations in the economy, for example the phaseout of fossil fuels, needed to be better included in financial supervision and called for introducing “climate stress tests” in financial market surveillance. The Bundesbank’s position might clash with that of designated European Central Bank (ECB) head Christine Lagarde, who said tackling climate change would become a “mission-critical” priority at the ECB once she assumes office in November. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has also used his tenure to promote climate action, though has stopped short of utilising the bank policies to do so. (Clean Energy Wire)

Efficiently ridiculous – Germany’s government expects the country will use less electricity in 2030, even though renewable power is meant to replace fossil fuels in many sectors from transport to heating, reports energate. In response to a parliamentary enquiry, the ministry for economics and industry forecasts that power consumption will be slightly below today’s level at 590 TWh in 10 years, but adds that “substantial efforts” will be required to increase efficiency. Oliver Krischer, deputy leader of the Greens parliamentary group, called the government forecast ridiculous “especially because there are no significant measures to increase efficiency”. (Clean Energy Wire)

Glad we agree – The Times reports on comments by BP’s chief financial officer that there is an “80% overlap” between the ambitions of his company and Extinction Rebellion (XR), the activist group known for bringing London to a standstill and being arrested in their thousands. According to the paper, Brian Gilvary said yesterday that the oil major, which has been targeted by XR protesters, agreed with them that the world should be acting faster to tackle climate change. He added that BP would unveil a new energy transition strategy by around July next year. (Carbon Brief)

Sea rise thrice – The amount of people who will be impacted by rising sea levels over the next thirty years could more than three times higher than previous estimates, new research shows. A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications used a more sophisticated method of evaluating elevation data than previous models to look at the number of people currently living on land below projected high-tide levels for 2050 and 2100. The startling new projections show that 300 million people could be affected, most of Vietnam could be underwater by 2050 and cities like Bangkok and Mumbai are at risk of being wiped out by the middle of the century. (Climate Nexus)

And finally… Breathing not so easy – Many people with asthma could cut their carbon footprint and help save the environment by switching to “greener” medications, UK researchers say, with some inhalers releasing very potent GHGs. Making the swap would have as big an environmental impact as turning vegetarian or becoming an avid recycler, they added. In 2017, about 50 million inhalers were prescribed in the UK, with seven out of every 10 coming in the form of metered-dose inhalers – the type that contain a GHG. The gas – hydrofluoroalkane – is used as a propellant to squirt the medicine out of the inhaler. Metered-dose inhalers account for nearly 4% of NHS emissions, according to experts. The researchers estimate replacing even one in every 10 of these inhalers with a more environmentally friendly type (dry powder inhalers) would reduce CO2e emissions by 58,000 tonnes. (BBC)

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