CP Daily: Monday February 24, 2020

Published 00:20 on February 25, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:20 on February 25, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

COMING FEB. 25: Carbon Fast Forward – Manchester

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TOP STORY

Oregon Senate Republicans vow to walk out after committee advances ETS proposal 

Oregon Democrats sent a WCI-modelled cap-and-trade bill to the Senate on Monday after passing a key committee, but the vote sparked an immediate decision by Republicans to walk out to protest the carbon market legislation.

AMERICAS

Alberta court rules against federal ‘backstop’ CO2 pricing system

The Alberta Court of Appeal sided with the province’s challenge of the federal carbon pricing policy on Monday, arguing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government does not have the constitutional authority to implement its ‘backstop’ CO2 levy or large emitter programme on subnational jurisdictions.

Joint passage of Washington LCFS, Clean Air Rule bills unlikely this year -lawmaker

The Washington legislature is unlikely to approve both of the market-based GHG reduction programmes up for debate this year, as negotiations get underway on several climate-related bills in the final weeks of the 2020 session, a key lawmaker told Carbon Pulse.

States ask court to reject US Department of Justice’s legal challenge of WCI linkage

Fourteen US states asked a federal court to reject a Department of Justice (DOJ) motion that seeks to declare the California-Quebec cap-and-trade linkage as unconstitutional.

EMEA

Montenegro cranks up EU integration efforts with law establishing an ETS

Montenegro’s climate law entered into force on Friday, paving the way for a national ETS featuring an auction floor price that could eventually help the market to link with the EU’s cap-and-trade system.

Brussels approves €251m Romanian loan to help utility meet EU ETS costs

The European Commission approved on Monday Romania’s plans to grant a €251 million emergency loan to state-owned utility CE Oltenia to help the struggling firm meet its EU ETS obligations.

German utility Uniper exits European lignite generation business with Schkopau stake sale

Uniper on Friday inked a deal to sell its stake in the 900MW Schkopau power plant to partner Saale Energie, a subsidiary of the Czechia’s EPH, with the agreement completing the German utility’s exit from European lignite generation.

EU Market: EUAs slide 4.1% as fears mount that virus can’t be stopped

EUAs tumbled by more than a euro to well below €25 on Monday, as the rapid spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus beyond China sent financial markets reeling.

Africa, Asia big winners in German government’s carbon offset tenders -report

Germany has purchased more than 1 million carbon credits between 2014 and 2018 to offset the federal government’s emissions from business trips, according to a new report, with virtually all of the units coming from Africa or Asia and almost half from a single project type.

ASIA PACIFIC

Forestry firm says can close a fifth of New Zealand emissions gap if offset rules change

A New Zealand carbon forestry firm says it can make 20% of the emission cuts required for the country to meet its Paris target if the government makes offsetting rules under the ETS more flexible.

VOLUNTARY

GHG removal trading platform plans bi-monthly sales as prices recover

The GHG removal trading platform led by Finnish utility Fortum foresees holding auctions every other month this year as its first voluntary market sale of 2020 saw prices climb back above €20/tonne.

ICYM

EU leaders delay deal on budget that could divert over half of nations’ ETS revenue

EU leaders failed to agree late Friday on the bloc’s joint budget for 2021-27, postponing talks that included among the main sticking points plans that could divert over half of nations’ future ETS revenues.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Mention its name – G20 finance officials referenced climate change in their final communique for the first time in US President Donald Trump’s administration, but stopped short of calling it a major risk to the economy. The US blocked including climate change on a list of downside risks to global growth, but it ultimately agreed to permit a reference to the Financial Stability Board’s work examining the implications of climate change for financial stability. (Reuters)

Flat for now – Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions inched down 0.3% in the 12 months through Sep. 2019, government data showed Monday. Agricultural emissions fell 5.8% due to impacts from the Queensland floods and the ongoing drought, while electricity emissions also fell as more renewables came online following the investment rush to meet the 2020 renewable energy target. However, that was almost entirely offset by a 6% increase in emissions from coal and gas extraction and a 2.6% bump in carbon output from manufacturing and construction. (Guardian)

At risk – South Korea’s majority government-owned utility Kepco is being punished by investors for continuing to fund new coal-fired power plants at home as well as abroad, according to the Financial Times. Dutch Pension Fund AFP has already sold most if its stocks in Kepco, saying the company should know it is being held responsible for its investment decisions. Other investors, including the Church of England, are considering going the same route.

Not Teck savvy – Vancouver-based Teck Resources withdrew its application on Sunday to build a massive oilsands project in Northern Alberta, citing the ongoing debate over climate policy in Canada. The federal government was slated to make a decision this week on whether to approve the C$20.6-billion, 260,000-barrel-per-day Frontier project, but Teck CEO and President Don Lindsay wrote in a letter to Canadian environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson that the debate around resource development and climate change made it “evident that there is no constructive path forward for the project”. The project was expected to produce over 4 million tonnes of annual GHGs over its 40-year lifespan. (CBC)

Arctic judgement – Environmental campaigners, including Greenpeace, have asked Norway’s supreme court to rule on the legality of the country’s Arctic oil and gas exploration licenses, in a case that could block the petroleum industry’s expansion plans. Two lower courts have found the government’s plan to drill was legal, rejecting the environmentalists’ claim it breached people’s constitutional right to a healthy environment. If the court takes up the case as expected, it would hear it this year or next and its decision would be the final word. (Reuters)

And finally… A lotta bots – The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian reported. An analysis of millions of tweets from around the period when Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris Agreement found that bots tended to applaud the president for his actions and to spread misinformation about the science. The study of Twitter bots and climate was undertaken by Brown University and has yet to be published. Bots are a type of software that can be directed to autonomously tweet, retweet, like, or direct message on Twitter under the guise of a human-fronted account. The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global heating and the climate crisis is distorting the online discourse to include far more climate science denialism than it would otherwise.

Got a tip? Email us at news@carbon-pulse.com

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