CP Daily: Friday December 20, 2019

Published 20:39 on December 20, 2019  /  Last updated at 21:13 on December 20, 2019  /  Newsletters  /  No Comments

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

**CP Daily will not be published between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1. Carbon Pulse will file stories and send out CP Alerts on merit during that period. Regular coverage will resume Jan. 2. Happy holidays to all our readers, and best wishes for 2020!**

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TOP STORY

Dutch Supreme Court rules to force government to adopt higher emissions cut target

The Dutch Supreme Court on Friday ruled to order the country’s government to set deeper emissions reduction targets, in a ground-breaking decision that could help establish a global precedent in forcing states to act to prevent climate change.

EMEA

UK’s final EUA sale volumes likely to be spread over 2020 -experts

An estimated 120-150 million EU carbon allowances that remain to be auctioned by the UK before it formally exits the bloc and its ETS at the end of 2020 are most likely to be spread evenly across 10 months of sales next year, experts predict.

EU Market: EUAs recover from gas-fuelled sell-off to secure 10% weekly rise

European carbon closed a little lower on Friday, ending a four-day streak of gains, but EUAs recovered from a gas market-induced intraday sell-off earlier in the day to notch a better than 10% rise for the week.

ASIA PACIFIC

NZ Market: NZUs skyrocket on price ceiling, cap news

New Zealand carbon allowances rose a massive 15% on Friday as yesterday’s news on the future market emissions cap and plans to lift the Fixed Price Option from next year pushed prices to record highs.

World Bank loan to bolster China’s fledgling forest carbon market

The World Bank has agreed to fund almost a quarter of a Chinese government forest ecosystem programme in the upper Yangtze region set to store some 23.5 million tonnes of CO2 over the next three decades and supply carbon credits to the national emissions trading scheme.

Australia plans optional ERF delivery contract to boost offset supply

Offset delivery to Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) over the past fortnight nearly doubled compared to the previous period, as project-owners transferred over 710,000 credits with the end of the year looming.

Year-end rush lifts delivery to Australia’s ERF

Offset delivery to Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) over the past fortnight nearly doubled compared to the previous period as project-owners transferred over 710,000 credits with the end of the year looming.

CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending Dec. 20, 2019

Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.

AMERICAS

US EPA finalises 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard quotas with few changes

The US EPA finalised its biofuel quotas under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on Thursday, with the rule containing small tweaks from the draft released earlier this year.

WCI Q1 auction volume drops to 65.7 mln current, future vintage allowances

California and Quebec will auction off 65.7 million current and future vintage allowances on Feb. 19, as the quarterly sales fall significantly from 2019 levels.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Out of nowhere – New Zealand on Thursday this week released a draft cap for its ETS and put a number on how much it would increase the NZU fixed price option, 16 months after the government first announced its intentions to carry out those changes. However, the move still took many by surprise, according to the NZ Herald. BusinessNZ, the main business lobby, will seek an extension to the two-month long deadline for commenting, while Federated Farmers feels blind-sided and are concerned the new proposals will “accelerate the purchase of productive pasture land for blanket pine forest ‘carbon farming’,” the group said in a statement.

Record time – The proportion of the UK’s power generation mix made up by fossil fuels has fallen to a record low after renewable energy became the UK’s largest source of electricity, reports the Guardian. It continues: “Government figures showed the UK relied on renewables, such as wind and solar, for 38.9% of its electricity in the third quarter of this year, up from one-third in the same period in 2018.” This means renewables edged out gas-fired power (38.8%) for those three months. Overall, low-carbon sources of electricity reached new highs of 57.3% of the mix, despite lower output from nuclear reactors, as a result of strong levels of generation from technology such as wind. (Carbon Brief)

You have one job – Pacific Gas & Electric CEO and President Bill Johnson said Thursday the utility would largely eliminate wildfire-related safety shut-offs in five years, marking an abrupt shift from the 10-year horizon that he had communicated to California regulators earlier this year. PG&E has had numerous high profile power disruptions as part of its public safety power shut-off (PSPS) programme. The policy, which is also used by utilities Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, was put in place to reduce the chances of deadly wildfires. Johnson repeatedly emphasised the role of climate change in increasing fire risk for California utilities, but the company anticipates new technology to limit its use in the future. Johnson added that the policy would not prevent the state from reaching its climate goals. PG&E was forced into bankruptcy earlier this year as a result of the mounting liabilities stemming from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that were reportedly sparked by company equipment. (Utility Dive)

Data points – An independent analysis released Friday determined that US Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s Green New Deal policies could create up to 10.6 million jobs over the next decade. Warren has proposed spending $3 trillion on clean energy and shifting the federal government, including the military, away from fossil fuels. Left-leaning think tank Data for Progress determined that proposal could generate 5.4 mln jobs over the next decade, with the number swelling to 10.6 mln if accounting for increased domestic manufacturing of batteries and renewable-energy hardware for exports. (Huffington Post)

Pension crisis – One-fifth of California’s Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS) investments are heavily exposed to climate change, according to a draft report released this week. The investments were spread across the energy, materials and buildings, transportation, and agricultural sectors. The draft report, which is a result of recent legislation, could not provide details on the extent of the exposure as few companies voluntarily disclose information about carbon emissions. CalPERS, which is the largest public pension fund in the US, has been evaluating climate risk as new regulations intended to curb pollution or lawsuits could impact company valuations.

Hopes no-one notices – Irving Oil, operator of Canada’s largest oil refinery, has abandoned a pledge to cut carbon output by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020, replacing it instead with a goal to keep its performance on climate change competitive with rivals, according to documents reviewed by Reuters. The policy change appears likely to ensure the refinery – the nation’s 18th biggest greenhouse gas emitter – misses the cuts by a wide margin at a time Ottawa is seeking to slash emissions and build a reputation as a world leader in the fight against climate change.

Webinar – Offset project developer Bluesource is hosting a webinar on Jan. 16 featuring Liz Wilmott of Microsoft and Mikhail Davis of Interface. Voluntary carbon offset markets can be opaque and intimidating for new corporate buyers.  This webinar will highlight some common challenges faced by corporates looking to take climate action and will present several ideas for getting started.  It will also allow for corporate sustainability leaders Microsoft and Interface to discuss their experience with purchasing offsets and how they’ve navigated some of the same challenges. Free registration here – http://www.bluesource.com/webinar/

And finally… Sweet spot – Families with higher carbon footprints are likely to consume more sweets, alcohol, and restaurant food, according to a new study published in One Earth. Considering the spectrum of traditional to urban lifestyles across Japan, researchers at the University of Sheffield and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan, analysed the carbon footprints of the diets of 60,000 households across Japan’s 47 regions. Using a life-cycle approach which details food supply chains around the country, they found that meat consumption was relatively constant per household – but carbon footprints were not. The study shows that meat consumption could explain less than 10% of the difference seen in carbon footprints between Japanese families. Instead, households with higher carbon footprints tended to consume more food from restaurants, as well as more vegetables and fish. However, it was the level of consumption of sweets and alcohol – two to three times higher than families with low-carbon footprints – that really stood out. (Phys.org)

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