CP Daily: Tuesday January 28, 2020

Published 23:14 on January 28, 2020  /  Last updated at 23:14 on January 28, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

COP26 seen as “last chance” to forge Paris carbon trading rulebook

The 2020 COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow will be the final opportunity for countries to agree to the rulebook for the Paris Agreement’s market-based Article 6, but countries will still press on with carbon market deals over the next decade if negotiations come up short for a third straight year, experts said Tuesday.

EMEA

‘Focused’ EU climate law needs teeth, says climate chief

A law to bind the EU to a 2050 net zero emissions goal should give Brussels powers to act when interim targets are not met, the bloc’s climate chief Frans Timmermans told a conference on Tuesday.

Tighter market in 2021 will attract investors back to EU carbon -analysts

EU carbon allowances will struggle to rise much beyond current levels until later this year, when a return of speculative investors eyeing a tighter balance in 2021 could propel prices to a record above €30, analysts predict, citing early signs of buyers potentially returning.

Rising coal power imports are undermining EU climate goals -report

The EU is increasingly importing cheap coal-fired power and encouraging the build-out of new carbon emitting facilities that undermine its GHG reduction goals, as the current soft approach of promoting climate policies in neighbouring countries has little effect, according to a new report.

EU Market: EUAs nudge further towards €25 as energy markets recover

EUAs inched higher on Tuesday after a strong auction and a recovery of energy markets that had been weakened by fears about the spreading coronavirus.

ASIA PACIFIC

China pilot CO2 markets to stay closed with extended holiday amid virus concerns

The carbon exchanges for Beijing and Shenzhen on Tuesday confirmed their emissions markets would remain closed until at least Feb. 4, with the other Chinese pilot markets expected to follow suit after the central government extended the Lunar New Year holiday to curb spread of the coronavirus.

NZ Market: NZUs dip below NZ$29 as buyers step back

NZUs on Tuesday fell below the NZ$29 mark for the first time in two weeks as buyers see no need to drive prices higher at the moment, while the government announced a September election.

AMERICAS

Washington governor seeks Clean Air Rule extension to indirect sources

Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) is requesting legislation that would expand coverage of the partially reinstated Clean Air Rule to fuel suppliers and natural gas distributors after a recent court decision limited the market-based GHG reduction programme to only stationary emissions sources.

New York would see few environmental benefits from cross border hydro line -report

A proposed 1,000-MW transmission line to bring Quebec hydroelectric power to New York would increase power costs and fail to stimulate carbon abatement, according to a utility-funded report that was dismissed as inaccurate by a project backer.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

On target – According to the Australian government, the country is on track to reach a 48% renewable energy share in its power mix by 2030, cutting its GHGs by 23%. The Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania have already reached 100% renewable power generation, South Australia is averaging 50% renewable power generation, and Queensland and Victoria are heading towards the 50% milestone by 2050. In addition, New South Wales is seeking to reduce coal consumption by 2030. Australia added 6.3 GW of new renewable capacity in 2019, against 4.8 GW in 2018, according to preliminary estimates by the Clean Energy Regulator. In 2015, the previous government amended its Renewable Energy Target (RET) for renewable power generation, that was launched in 2001 and included two parts, the Large Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). In 2015, the LRET was set at 33 TWh for 2020 (23% share of renewable power generation) and in Aug. 2018, the newly-elected government decided not to replace the Renewable Energy Target (RET) “with anything“ when it expires in 2020, considering that raising the share of renewables in the Australian power mix would be disastrous for the economy. (Enerdata)

Solitary confinement – More than 55 scientists backed US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal climate plan on Tuesday, in a direct rebuke to comments made by fellow candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. While Biden said that “not a single solitary scientist” thought Sanders’ plan could work, the collection of scientists said the Vermont senator’s strategy follows UN scientific body IPCC’s timeline for climate action. They added that his proposals to move the US to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and cut GHGs by 71% below 2017 levels by 2030 are “realistic, necessary, and backed by science”. The first Democratic primary caucus will take place in Iowa on Feb. 3.

Garden variety – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy released on Monday a wide-ranging plan to help his state achieve 100% clean energy by 2050. The “Energy Master Plan” admits that New Jersey’s efforts to reduce GHGs thus far are insufficient to hit its target of an 80% reduction from 2006 levels set by the state’s Global Warming Response Act, which was passed last summer. Major proposals in the new plan include additional steps to ensure that 7.5 GW of offshore wind is part of the Garden State’s energy mix by 2035. Murphy also announced proposals to have state regulators require utilities to explore “non-wire solutions” like storage and distributed energy resources (DERs) and establishing an electric vehicle “ecosystem” to build up EV charging infrastructure. As well, New Jersey will become the first state to require that builders take into account the impact of climate change, including rising sea levels, in order to win government approval for projects. (Utility Dive)

Carbon capture chums – Canadian firm Svante and Swiss company Climeworks have a new “joint development agreement” to pilot the combination of the former’s industrial capture system alongside Climeworks’ direct air capture (DAC) technology. The companies said one potential benefit of the agreement is that waste heat from Svante’s industrial capture process, which is designed for industries like cement and steel, can be used to power Climeworks’ DAC machines. Climeworks opened a plant in Switzerland in 2017, and Svante has a plant that captures 30 tonnes of CO2 per day in Saskatchewan. (Axios)

25 (million) or 6 to 4 – Commodity exchange Xpansiv CBL Holding Group (XCHG) announced the closing of an additional $25 mln in funding on Tuesday. The money was raised from oil major BP, Occidental Petroleum subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, and financial services company Macquarie. XCHG was formed from the merger of emissions exchange CBL Markets and commodity data firm Xpansiv last summer.

Green grocer Sainsbury’s has pledged to spend £1 bn to become a carbon-neutral business by 2040, 10 years ahead of the UK government’s target for a net-zero economy. The supermarket chain said the 20-year programme would include cutting its carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging and water usage, while increasing recycling, promoting healthy and sustainable eating, and ensuring that its operations are net positive for biodiversity. Measures planned by the retailer include making its fridges more efficient, increasing the use of alternative and low-carbon fuels among its vehicles, as well as halving its use of plastic packaging by 2025. The retailer is piloting a deposit return scheme in five stores where customers receive a 5 pence coupon for every plastic bottle they recycle. (Guardian)

And finally… Sucking less – The world’s tropical forests are losing their ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, while boreal forests are absorbing emissions at an increasingly fast rate, a study finds. The new analysis, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, uses a combination of remote-sensing data and modelling to create a detailed picture of carbon loss and gain across all of Earth’s biomes from 1992 to 2015. Carbon Brief takes a detailed look at its findings.

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