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WCI traders expect the first quarterly sale of the year to settle close to the secondary market level due to its smaller size, the volume of auction indexed futures contracts purchased to date, and greater overall demand.
The Beijing municipal government on Tuesday ordered emitters set to be included in the national carbon market to stick to a scheduled deadline for submitting 2019 emission data despite the major disruptions caused by the coronavirus, a move seen as China attempting to proceed as planned with the ETS.
South Korean facilities hosting carbon offset projects under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism will be brought into the domestic emissions trading scheme from next year, the government has announced.
Oregon Democrat leaders are delaying the state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade bill timeline to allow for greater discussion in the House and to incorporate several amendments to the Senate version, though ETS proponents still expect the precursor to a floor vote to take place at the end of this week.
EUAs rebounded from an early dip below €25 on Tuesday to hit a four-week high as fears about the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus continued to weigh on global markets.
Governments representing 49% of the global economy have or are in the process of putting in place targets to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions, a report showed.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
A blip – India’s annual electricity generation from coal-fired utilities fell in 2019 for the first time in a decade, government data showed, amid a broader economic slowdown and increased use of renewable energy. Electricity generation from coal-fired utilities fell about 2.5% to 965.53 billion units in 2019, an analysis of fuel-wise electricity generation data by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed. Solar energy output rose by over a quarter while wind energy generation rose 5%, the data showed. The contribution of solar and wind energy to India’s overall energy generation rose to 8.8%, more than double their share of 3.6% in 2015. While greater adoption of renewable energy contributed to lower output from coal-fired utilities, weak economic growth added to a slowdown in overall demand for electricity, economists say. However, analysts and power sector executives say the fall in annual coal-fired generation was a blip and largely due to a broader economic slowdown. India is the second largest consumer, importer and producer of coal behind China. The world’s third largest GHG emitter consumed nearly 1 billion tonnes of the fuel in 2018/19, with utilities accounting for over three-quarters of the total demand.
Sleeping dogs – The Trump administration is preparing to finalise a rule that would allow power plants more leeway to pollute – at the opposition of the power sector itself, the Washington Post reports. The EPA said at the end of 2018 that it would make major changes in how it calculates the benefits of limiting mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, calling Obama-era limits on mercury and other toxic emissions too costly and not “appropriate and necessary.” The rule plans to change the cost-benefit formula involved in calculating the underlying reasoning for the regulation, downplaying the public health benefits of reducing emissions and emphasising the cost to industry. But major utilities have told the administration that they don’t want the change, saying they have already made changes to make plants cleaner and are worried about potential lawsuits and public health impacts. “We’ve already made these investments [in making plants cleaner],” Scott Weaver, American Electric Power’s director of air quality, told the Post. “We’re happy to comply with this rule. Let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak.”
TECHBUILD – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week issued a proposed decision outlining two new pilots that would set the state on the path toward decarbonising its buildings, which currently contribute to a quarter of the Golden State’s emissions. The commission is proposing to launch the Building Initiative for Low-Emissions Development (BUILD) programme, which would incentivise near-zero emissions technologies in new residential buildings, and the Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH) initiative, which would expand the market for low-emission space and water heaters in new and existing residential buildings. The pilots stem from the 2018 legislation SB-1477, and are estimated to cost $200 mln over four years. (Utility Dive)
Consultation time – The European Commission is assessing the overall functioning of the regulatory financial framework governing the functioning and transparency of EU financial markets. This concerns in particular the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014/65/EU (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 (MIFIR). In this context, the Commission is conducting a public consultation. Since these rules also apply to the carbon market, carbon market participants are invited to share their experience with the application of the rules in the context of the public consultation.
And finally… Sleeper agent Sanders – Russian pranksters pretending to be teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg claimed they called US Senator Bernie Sanders and offered support for his White House bid. In a video posted to YouTube this week, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov recorded a phone call that appears to depict the voice of the Democratic presidential hopeful. The nearly 12-minute call includes an unnamed female pretending to be Thunberg, while Stolyarov plays her father. A man is heard identifying himself as Sanders and thanks them for their show of support. He also suggests that “Greta” make a statement supporting his presidential bid and offers to host an event together the next time she’s in the US. Thunberg then tells the senator that she wants to have singer Billie Eilish and rapper Kanye West write a rap song supporting Sanders. The fake father-daughter duo then say Thunberg is about to visit Russia, and they ask the senator for advice, telling him that while he was visiting the country in 1988 he was recruited by the KGB to be a sleeper agent. “You were programmed to work for Russia and your memory was erased so the CIA wouldn’t track you down … Now it’s time to wake up and fulfill your mission, become president of the United States, build communism in the United States and work for Russia. I’ll tell you the code phrase and you will remember,” the pair added before the senator hung up. Sanders’ campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the call, The Hill reports, while Kuznetsov has told the AP that the prank call is part of their new project called Stars Save the Earth, in which they pretend to be Thunberg while talking to politicians and celebrities.
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