CP Daily: Tuesday February 4, 2020

Published 01:50 on February 5, 2020  /  Last updated at 01:50 on February 5, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

EU foresees UK link to its ETS, but Britain baulks at trade pact rule-taking

The EU is proposing to link its ETS to a separate British carbon market under a post-2020 trade deal, but the idea faces headwinds as Britain has rejected applying similar rules in its opening salvo of post-Brexit talks.

AMERICAS

Washington senators anticipate better odds for ETS bill in 2021

Washington state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade legislation will likely stand a greater chance of passage next year as lawmakers continue engaging with multiple stakeholders on an economy-wide approach to reducing GHGs, a committee heard Tuesday.

Oregon alters fuel sector phase-in for WCI-modelled cap-and-trade proposal

Oregon could regulate transportation sector emissions across 18 geographic areas in 2025 under the state’s carbon market bill, as Democrats made a variety of other proposed changes in the hopes of bolstering GOP support for the controversial legislation.

California requests delay on Trump administration lawsuit challenging ETS linkage

California officials asked a federal district court judge on Monday to postpone the timeline for a US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit challenging the state’s cap-and-trade linkage with Quebec, arguing two pending motions could substantially alter the case.

California targets June 1 start date for LCFS price cap

The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) price ceiling will take effect on June 1 and increase annually on that date, according to a revised rulemaking package released by state regulator ARB on Monday.

ASIA PACIFIC

New Zealand to use AI to determine deforestation levels

New Zealand will be among the first countries in the world to use artificial intelligence to calculate deforestation levels, which will be used when reporting emissions data to the UNFCCC as well as under its domestic emissions trading scheme.

Australia hands out 300k carbon credits in latest issuance

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has distributed nearly 300,000 offsets in its latest issuance, with more than two-thirds of those going to developer Terra Carbon, while revoking two more projects that had failed to generate any emission reductions.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs bounce back from 4-month low as oil prices jump

EU carbon extended a four-month low below €24 on Tuesday but bounced back into the black as oil prices jumped on news of a higher proposed output cut by OPEC+ nations.

Senior EU carbon and power analyst leaves ICIS for Italy’s Snam

A senior European carbon and power analyst with ICIS has left the firm to join Italian energy company Snam, Carbon Pulse has learned.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Failed coup – Australian National party MP Barnaby Joyce on Tuesday failed in his attempt to oust party leader and Deputy PM Michael McCormack. That means former Resources Minister and die-hard coal backer Matt Canavan, who on Monday resigned in order to give Joyce his support, will not return to the post, but instead will take up his elected post as senator for Queensland. By Tuesday evening, PM Scott Morrison had yet to appoint a successor.

Squabbling – The move by Canavan and the National party’s – the junior partner in the ruling Coalition – consequent decision to stick with current leader Michael McCormack sparked a fresh spat on climate change within the government, according to the Australian Financial Review. National party members argued at a meeting Tuesday that climate change isn’t an issue for its mostly rural voters, whereas Liberal party MPs from urban electorates urged the party leadership to “get serious” about climate as it is becoming a major issue for their voters.

Divided we stand – An Ipsos survey released Tuesday showed that 64% of Australians want the government to do more to combat climate change, while as many as 60% said the country should be a global leader on the issue. However, as in countries such as the US and Canada, there was a sharp difference in responses from left-wing and right-wing voters, with almost 40% of Coalition voters saying they had serious doubts over whether climate change is real. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Down-under Green New Deal – MP Adam Bandt on Tuesday was elected new leader of the Australian Greens, after predecessor Richard di Natale stepped down on Monday. Bandt’s first action as leader was to call for a ‘Green New Deal’ for Australia, similar to what Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been pushing in the US. “I refuse to accept the dismal standard of this rotten government led by Scotty from marketing, a man whose love of coal has helped make these terrible fires worse, and a Labor so-called opposition that celebrates coal in the middle of bushfires and votes with the Liberals to give tax cuts to millionaires,” Bandt said, referring to PM Scott Morrison. (RenewEconomy)

Smaller in stature – Most Canadians will receive more money back from the federal government’s carbon tax than it will cost them, according to a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) on Tuesday. However, the PBO’s assessment, its second analysing the effects on households of Ottawa’s climate change levies, said the net benefits are smaller than its earlier analysis after accounting for federal and provincial sales taxes. And in Ontario, the top-earning 40% of households will be worse off under carbon pricing, compared to the previous report – and the federal government’s sales pitch – that 80% of households subject to the federal carbon tax would be net beneficiaries. (The Globe and Mail)

Consultation commendation – The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by indigenous groups challenging the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project — clearing yet another major legal hurdle for the long-delayed C$7.4 bln project, which will carry nearly a million barrels of Alberta oil per day to the British Columbia coast. In a unanimous 3-0 decision, the court ruled that Ottawa carried out “reasonable” and “meaningful” consultations with indigenous peoples affected by the project’s construction before approving the pipeline for a second time. The federal government has a constitutional duty to consult and, to the extent it can, accommodate indigenous peoples before approving major projects on their traditional lands. But the court said those consultations don’t have to be “perfect” and cabinet should be given leeway to design the consultation process. (CBC)

Earlier does it – The UK has brought its coal phaseout date ahead by one year to 2024, PM Boris Johnson announced today as he officially kicked off the countdown to this autumn’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Johnson said the UK has slashed its coal-fired power from a 70% share of electricity supplies in 1990 to just 3% today. The 2025 phaseout date was originally announced in 2015 and was followed by a wave of coal plant closures, as operators have struggled to turn a profit in the face of the government’s carbon floor price. Today, the only a handful of UK coal plants remain in operation. Johnson also confirmed UK plans to pull forward the target phaseout date for the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by five years to 2035, and he reiterated his commitment to the UK’s net zero target for 2050. (BusinessGreen)

On the radar – The UK aviation industry has pledged to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 – despite still planning for 70% more flights over the next three decades. Members of the Sustainable Aviation coalition, which includes most major airlines and airports, as well as aerospace manufacturers, will sign a commitment to reach net zero by mid-century. More than a third of the proposed net reduction will be achieved through offsetting. A “decarbonisation road map” will be published outlining how aviation can cut its carbon footprint – replacing a previous road map that only committed the industry to halving emissions over the next three decades. The plan sets out potential reductions coming from smarter flight operations, and new aircraft and engine technology – including some yet to be invented. Modernising airspace and developing sustainable aviation fuels will also contribute to reducing pollution. (Guardian)

True blue – The European Commission has launched the BlueInvest Fund, a €75 mln equity investment fund to help protect oceans. Ocean Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said: “Oceans … hold many solutions to tackle climate emergency in every single marine industry, from fisheries and aquaculture, to offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, blue biotechnology and many other innovation-related fields.”

Wait, what? – Emissions marketplace operator ICE confirmed news reports that it had approached eBay “to explore a range of potential opportunities that might create value for the shareholders of both companies.” But ICE said eBay has not engaged in a meaningful way, and therefore the bourse is not in negotiations regarding a transaction.

And finally… Green crap COP – Former British PM David Cameron has turned down an offer from Boris Johnson to be president of this year’s COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, several media outlets reported Tuesday. According to The Times, former Tory leader and foreign secretary William Hague was also sounded out for the role but declined as well. The disclosure comes after Johnson refused to answer questions about who would take on the job during the event’s launch on Tuesday, where the PM confirmed that the event would remain in Scotland rather than being moved to London, as had been rumoured this week. Cameron is seen as having questionable environmental credentials, despite his pledge to lead the greenest government ever, after allegedly ordering aides in 2013 to “get rid of all the green crap” from energy bills in a drive to bring down costs. Former clean growth minister Claire Perry O’Neill, who stood down as a Tory MP last year to take the COP26 president, was sacked last Friday by the PM’s special adviser Dominic Cummings, according to the Press Association. Britain’s plans for COP26 are “miles off track”, she wrote in a leaked letter published Tuesday, adding that Johnson admitted to her that he doesn’t really understand climate change. O’Neill “is now likely to be replaced by an existing minister such as Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove or business secretary Andrea Leadsom,” the FT reports.

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