CP Daily: Monday February 17, 2020

Published 01:34 on February 18, 2020  /  Last updated at 01:34 on February 18, 2020  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Virus dims prospects for tougher China climate action

The world’s biggest-emitting nation is looking increasingly unlikely to bring ramped-up climate ambition to UN talks in Glasgow later this year, with China laser-focused on mitigating economic repercussions from the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak that could see emission levels balloon.

Carbon Pulse kicks off 2020 with two new hires to enter investment, development phase

Carbon Pulse has expanded its workforce to kick off 2020, hiring two experts to help bolster its unrivalled news and intelligence offering as the five-year old company enters a new period of investment and product development.


New REDD standard expands to include subnational jurisdictions

The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) programme published its new standard for combatting tropical forest deforestation on Monday, giving subnational jurisdictions more authority and a longer timeframe than previously outlined to generate carbon credits for sale in voluntary and compliance-based offset markets.


EU Market: EUAs lift to 3-week high on energy gains, technical break

EUAs rose 3.1% to hit a three-week high above €25 on Monday as prices broke above technical resistance levels while strong gains in the wider energy complex helped spur the bulls.


LCFS Market: California prices retreat as hedging activity increases

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits have receded from record highs last week to near a three-week low, while market participants ramped up trade in futures contracts further out on the curve on ICE and Nodal Exchange.


Australia proposes to broaden scope for forest carbon projects

Australia on Monday proposed to ease regulations that have previously restricted access for developers to establish carbon offset projects in high rainfall areas.


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Bunglers or Boris? – The safety of world leaders visiting Britain for COP26 has been put at risk by an astonishing security breach, the Mail on Sunday reports. Highly sensitive plans of the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow – “described as a ‘manual’ for terrorists” – have been published online by bungling civil servants, the paper adds. Detailed drawings reveal secret tunnels, the venue’s power hubs and generators, and its gas, electricity, and drainage networks. The plans show where counter-terror bollards are positioned to prevent vehicle attacks and even show backstage and dressing areas, VIP lounges, security control rooms, and the media centre.” But Carbon Pulse sources question whether the documents were leaked intentionally, with the British government under Boris Johnson understood to dislike the summit’s Scottish venue and to be considering alternatives including London’s ExCeL Centre. Such a move, they add, would provide Johnson and his team with more justification for wanting to relocate COP26.

Warsaw chop – Poland would see its €2 billion share of the EU’s Just Transition Fund cut in half under the EU Council’s latest EU budget proposal, which penalises countries that have not signed up to the bloc’s 2050 ‘climate neutrality’ goal. Charles Michel’s tweaked version, due to be discussed by leaders on Thursday, is aimed squarely at Poland, the only country not to have fully committed to the objective. (EurActiv)

Volk volts – Carmaker Volkswagen is shutting down two coal-fired power stations at its main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany and has declined offers to sell them to cut down the company’s CO2 emissions, Chief Executive Herbert Diess said. Volkswagen is replacing the stations with gas plants, which will help cut VW factory’s CO2 emissions by 60%. (Reuters)

Warm RAM – The UK’s meteorological agency has secured government funding for a £1.2 bln supercomputer to improve both weather forecasts and climate projections, dwarfing the £97 mln bill for its current machine in a new project spreading full costs over 10 years. It should mean researchers can add more detail to their projections to help the UK weigh options to achieve its 2050 net zero emission goal. (Bloomberg)

Funding fun – Separately, the UK on Tuesday announced that households and businesses will benefit from a new £90 mln pot to help them cut carbon emissions in industry and homes. £70 mln will include funding for two of Europe’s first-ever low-carbon hydrogen production plants – the first on the banks of the Mersey, the second planned for near Aberdeen. A third project will develop technology to harness offshore wind off the Grimsby coast to power electrolysis and produce hydrogen. The remaining £20 mln will be used to fund projects aimed at cutting household emissions and bills through nine UK-wide local “smart energy” projects. “Over 250,000 people could have their homes powered by local renewable sources by 2030, which could lead to their energy bills reducing by as much as half, thanks to this government funding,” the government said.

Rosneft heft – Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft has pledged to invest around $5 bln in environmentally friendly projects over the next five years, up from some $3.8 bln over the past five. Rosneft said the investments would be used for projects such as restricting CO2 emissions and utilising associated petroleum gas, a by-product of oil output. The company also said it wants to cuts emissions by 8 Mt by 2022. (Reuters)

Earth girth – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his $10-bln “Earth Fund” on Monday via Instagram to invest in climate change research and awareness. Bezos said he is initially committing the money to scientists, activists, and non-governmental organisations that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts, and added he will start issuing grants this summer. That $10 bln comes from Bezos’ personal money, and none of the funds will be used in for-profit enterprises, investing in private companies, or startups, a person familiar with the fund told Axios. However, the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group immediately criticised Bezos’ announcement, accusing the richest person in the world of hypocrisy because his company is continuing to fund oil and gas operations and climate-denial think-tanks.

The only uncertainty – The Observer carries an extract from a new book, The Future We Choose, by the “architects of the Paris climate accords”, which offers “two contrasting visions for how the world might look in 30 years”.  Christiana Figueres, the former head of the UNFCCC, writes: “The demise of the human species is being discussed more and more. For many, the only uncertainty is how long we’ll last, how many more generations will see the light of day. Suicides are the most obvious manifestation of the prevailing despair, but there are other indications: a sense of bottomless loss, unbearable guilt and fierce resentment at previous generations who didn’t do what was necessary to ward off this unstoppable calamity.”

And finally… Gaming the system – A video game designed to capture the views of 20 mln people on how to combat the climate crisis has been launched by the UN Development Programme to address a growing “disconnect” between citizens and government. Mission 1.5 sees players take on the role of policymaker to try and decide how to keep global warming within 1.5C this century, and are later asked to vote on key actions they want to see adopted, with data captured from players then analysed and delivered to governments.

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