CP Daily: Monday March 2, 2020

Published 00:47 on March 3, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:51 on March 3, 2020  / Ben Garside /  Newsletters

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

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California offset task force may recommend amending existing protocols

The California Compliance Offset Protocol Task Force (OPTF) may provide guidance on altering existing methodologies in addition to developing new ones, state regulator ARB confirmed Monday, as the expert committee began its work to increase the supply of in-state credits under the state’s carbon market.


Singapore to halve carbon emissions, emerges as potential offset buyer

The Singapore government has said it will cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% below 2030 levels by mid-century and is eyeing use of the international carbon market as one of three pillars to meet that goal.


ETS harmonisation, integrity key to future TCI cap-and-trade system -stakeholders

Stakeholders requested a variety of changes to the US Transportation and Climate’s Initiative (TCI) draft Memorandum of Understand (MOU) to better align the proposed regional fuel sector ETS with existing North American carbon markets and improve environmental integrity and equity, according to public comments.


EU Market: EUAs erase early gains as virus fears continue to weigh

EUAs sank back from an early move above €24 on Monday, as a weaker auction outweighed positive signs from across financial markets amid prospects for stimulus measures to counter the economic impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus.


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Friday filings – The Manitoba government is pushing ahead with a court challenge to the Canadian federal carbon tax, although Premier Brian Pallister says he’d still prefer to strike a deal with Ottawa and drop the case. The Progressive Conservative government filed written arguments in federal court on Friday to back its demand that the federal tax be struck down. No date has been set for the hearing. Manitoba originally planned a flat C$25/tonne CO2 levy in 2017, but the federal government said the policy would not have complied with its rising carbon price mandate, which sets a rate of C$30/tonne starting Apr. 1, 2020 and reaches C$50/tonne in 2022. The filing comes after the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the fellow conservative province’s challenge to the federal Liberal government’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act last week, and as Saskatchewan and Ontario appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada this month after their own provincial courts backed Ottawa’s constitutional authority. (The Canadian Press)

This is a call – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on industries, citizens, and Indigenous groups to help shape the future of the country’s climate policy. Speaking at a major mining conference in Toronto on Monday, Trudeau says the government will soon launch a formal initiative to see input from a range of groups on how Canada will get to the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The prime minister added he hopes that one day soon Canada can reach the same consensus about climate change action as the country has on free trade, which was once also deeply divisive. (The Canadian Press)

Drop zone – Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer dropped out of the 2020 US Democratic primary Saturday, and was followed by former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Sunday and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar on Monday. Buttigieg and Klobuchar were among the backers of carbon pricing in the Democratic field, and Steyer vowed to declare climate change a national emergency to unlock new federal powers. Ahead of the Mar. 3 “Super Tuesday”, when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections and caucuses, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren released a plan Sunday to increase financial regulation as it relates to climate change, including tougher stress tests for banks related to climate risks and more SEC-required disclosures. (Axios, Politico)

More onshore – The UK will remove a block on subsidies for new onshore wind projects, four years after the government scrapped support for new farms. A new auction scheme, to take place in 2021, will allow onshore windfarms to compete for subsidies alongside solar and offshore wind projects. The U-turn follows the government’s pledge to cut emissions to virtually zero by 2050, which, according to its climate advisors, will require the UK onshore capacity to triple in the next 15 years. But windfarm developers will need to comply with tough criteria and get the consent from local communities in order to qualify for the auction process. (The Guardian) 

Zapping the sapling  Ryanair has dropped two carbon offset projects funded by passengers’ donations after claims they do little or nothing to reduce total emissions. The initiatives dropped were a tree-planting scheme –  abandoned before a single sapling was planted – and a whale-watching project in the Atlantic. The move has devastated the small offset organisations, which were expecting major funding from the £2.1 million Ryanair has gathered in passenger donations. Still, Ryanair – Europe’s ninth-worst polluter – has said it will instead invest in “certified” carbon offsetting projects which offer a “verification” stamp allowing companies to claim their carbon is being offset. (Daily Mail) 

At your service – Non-profit carbon market administrator WCI, Inc. has issued a request for proposal for Financial Services in Auctions and Reserve Sales. The scope of that work includes the multi-jurisdiction allowance auctions of the linked California-Quebec ETS, as well as the upcoming independent sales of Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade programme. Responses to the RFP are due by 1700 Pacific time on Apr. 2 (0000 GMT on Apr. 3).

And finally… CERO CERA and COP? – Organisers of the energy conference CERAWeek cancelled the Houston event next week, citing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, Politico reports. The spread of COVID-19 caused IHS Markit to cancel the conference – one of the biggest energy conferences in the world – for the first time in the event’s nearly 40-year history, according to IHS spokesperson Jeff Marn. The gathering has regularly featured heads of the world’s major oil and gas companies, international energy ministers and others and was set to begin Mar. 9. Concern is also growing among campaigners that this year’s UN climate talks in November in Glasgow, could be derailed by coronavirus. The frantic round of global diplomacy required to reach a settlement is already under way and is being affected by the outbreak of the virus. Campaigners fear that preparations are being hampered by both the travel restrictions and the urgent demands the outbreak is putting on governments’ time and resources. Italy, badly-hit by the virus, plays a vital role as host of some key pre-meetings. (The Guardian)

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