CP Daily: Monday January 20, 2020

Published 22:18 on January 20, 2020  /  Last updated at 22:18 on January 20, 2020  / Ben Garside /  Newsletters

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

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Shipping climate goal to cost 100 times more than industry proposing to raise

Global investment of $50-70 billion a year will be needed to halve emissions from shipping by 2050, a scale 100 times greater than an industry-proposed $2/t levy would raise but a level experts say has already been borne by the maritime sector within living memory.


UK supply suspension to mean smaller EUA cuts under MSR from Sep. -experts

The quantity of EU carbon allowances to be removed from the market over the 12 months from this September by the supply-slashing MSR will be reduced by tens of millions of tonnes due to the UK being suspended from auctioning and allocations.

Unshaken belief: analysts reiterate €65 target for EU carbon prices in 2020

A German investment bank has reiterated its view that EU carbon allowances will almost triple in value in 2020 and could even top €100, despite prices languishing in the mid-€20s for most of the past year.


Pennsylvania Republicans warn RGGI against linkage with state

Pennsylvania joining the US Northeast RGGI ETS via executive order would prompt a legal challenge and create prolonged regulatory uncertainty for the scheme, a state Republican warned the programme’s top official.

RGGI compliance buying rose amid higher prices last week, data shows

Increased buying of RGGI allowances (RGA) by compliance entities led to higher prices on the secondary market last week, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data.


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Coal aid – British foreign aid for coal mines and power plants will end to help combat climate change, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday. The ban was announced at a UK-Africa investment summit in London attended by 21 African countries. Last year research by the Overseas Development Institute found the UK government had spent almost £700 million of its foreign aid budget on fossil fuel extraction abroad since 2010. (Daily Telegraph)

Trade fade – The yet-to-be-ratified EU-Mercosur trade deal is incompatible with the EU’s commitment to carbon neutrality and “may undermine global efforts to avert runaway climate change”, according to analysis conducted for the Greens/European Free Alliance political group in the European Parliament. Austria, France and Ireland are set to block the deal, which is in the process of technical and legal revision. The analysis found the deal will mean the EU will import more meat and other agricultural products. “With them, we will import emissions, deforestation and human rights abuses – while endangering local farmers’ livelihoods,” the study concluded. (Irish Times)

Gas overkill – Europe does not need new gas infrastructure to safeguard security of supply, according to a new study by industry consultants Artelys, which warns that there is a risk of €29 billion being wasted on 32 mostly “unnecessary” gas projects under the so-called fourth EU list of Projects of Common Interests (PCI) in the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility. The findings come ahead of a European Parliament industry committee vote on Wednesday on the list, which contains 151 energy infrastructure projects, 70% of which are related to electricity and smart grids. (EurActiv)

Oil company report card – The International Energy Agency (IEA) will conduct an annual review of the world’s oil and gas companies to assess how they are doing on climate change and clean energy issues, according to an Axios report. The decision comes after an IEA report released Sunday found companies spend around 1% outside of the oil and gas sectors and few examples of large-scale change in capital allocation for sustainable technologies. The IEA has not determine what companies would be reviewed or the process used.

The long and binding road – Critics of Germany’s roadmap for phasing out lignite power plants have detailed where they see deficiencies in the agreement reached last week by the government, federal states, and plant operators, arguing a gradual phaseout rather than continuous reduction will lead to higher emissions, writes Tagesspiegel Background. According to the timetable for the shutdowns, the total amount of lignite capacity will be taken offline as recommended by the coal exit commission, but only right before the dates at which Germany’s power sector emissions reduction targets become binding, meaning in 2020 (280 Mt of CO2), 2022 (257 Mt) and 2030 (175 Mt). The critics warn that this could lead to higher emissions compared to a more linear phaseout, which had been recommended by the coal exit commission. Felix Matthes, energy expert at the German Institute for Applied Ecology (Oeko-Institut), says the proposed path will lead to additional emissions of about 40 Mt from the power sector by 2030 compared to a continuous shutdown. Paul Lehmann, energy economist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, estimates that 20% of additional lignite capacity will be connected to the grid over the entire period, compared to a linear reduction path. (Clean Energy Wire)

Hungry for decarbonisation – The government of Hungary has presented the main goals of its National Energy and Climate Strategy, which aims at reaching 90% carbon neutral power generation by 2030, mostly from nuclear and solar. Hungary will maintain nuclear capacity, promote renewable power generation and substitute fossil fuels in the transport sector. (Enerdata)

London is the place for me – London Mayor Sadiq Khan has vowed to make the UK capital carbon neutral by 2030 if re-elected. The former Labour MP, who had previously committed to a target of 2050, said he wanted to make the capital the “greenest city in the world”. Announcing his “green new deal”, Khan said he would also focus on improving air quality and access to green space in London. (The Independent)

Bigger problems – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is seeking a deal with Ottawa on a climate change plan that would replace the federal carbon tax imposed in his province. Pallister made his intentions known after a bilateral meeting with PM Justin Trudeau, who is holding a three-day cabinet retreat in Winnipeg. Manitoba announced in 2018 that it would not agree to Ottawa’s conditions on a carbon tax, but Pallister said it is now time to stop playing politics with environmental policy in Canada. “There is going to be a dialogue between the province and the federal government in respect of our made-in-Manitoba green plan, and that dialogue will include a carbon price of some kind,” Pallister told reporters. He added that if the Liberal government cannot come to an agreement with Manitoba, it will face bigger problems with provinces that are even further from the federal policy on the environment. Manitoba abandoned efforts to reach a deal in 2018 after Ottawa refused to sign off on the province’s plan to maintain a $25/t carbon tax. The federal plan calls for the levy to increase to $50 by 2022. (Canadian Press)

And finally… Make up your mind – Declaring that the “findings of climate scientists are real, and the world is on an unsustainable path,” oil major BP launched a public relations campaign this weekend to promote putting a price on carbon in Washington state. This latest chapter in BP’s political activism comes less than two years after the company spent nearly $13 mln to defeat Washington Initiative 1631, a carbon-pricing ballot measure the oil major criticised because it included refiners but exempted many other polluters. BP sent a statement Tuesday to legislators calling for passage of Senate Bill 5981, which would place an overall cap on the state’s carbon emissions.  “Together we can help Washington meet its carbon reduction goals,” declares an initial print advertisement touting the merits of SB 5981. According to the Seattle Times, BP’s decision to publicly campaign this year for carbon pricing represents a significant change in the corporation’s strategy in Washington, which has emerged – through legislative efforts and two ballot initiatives – as a kind of political testing ground for US climate policy. Even with BP’s support, the carbon pricing bill introduced by state Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), chair of the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, appears a long shot for passage in this year’s 60-day legislative session.

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