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The US Department of Justice and California attorneys faced scrutiny from a federal judge on Monday during the first court hearing on a case that could decide the legality of the WCI ETS linkage with Quebec, but a ruling might not be made until the remaining issues are litigated.
Global power sector emissions and coal-fired power generation saw the biggest falls in 2019 since 1990, though maintaining such a trend to limit global warming to 1.5C will be “extremely difficult, a report found on Monday.
The EU should use ETS-based benchmarks to determine whether manufacturing investments are sustainable, an EU expert group said Monday in a report recommending an economy-wide structure for green lending.
European carbon prices tumbled on Monday to their lowest in five months as crude oil crashed and wider financial markets plummeted, though EUAs recovered throughout the day to end near Friday’s close.
Expanded carbon pricing could ensure the UK meets its net zero 2050 emission target while leaving poorer households better off, according to two linked reports published Monday.
S&P Dow Jones Indices on Monday launched an index to track EU carbon allowance prices, it said in a press release.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) is expected to announce an executive order on Tuesday to implement a carbon reduction programme after a Republican walkout thwarted Democrats ability to pass a WCI-modelled cap-and-trade bill for the second straight year.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday secured its request for more time to consider an appeal on a court ruling that may restrict the EPA’s use of compliance waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) going forward.
This year’s North American Carbon World (NACW) conference in San Francisco has been cancelled due to mounting concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus, California-based offset registry Climate Action Reserve (CAR) announced Monday.
New Zealand carbon allowances fell into the NZ$25s for the first time this year as arbitrage opportunities from the fixed price option and forestry export losses maintained downward pressure.
South Korean CO2 prices remain largely unscathed from the twin economic troubles of the coronavirus and Monday’s oil price crash, as the spot-focused market remains slow in reacting to short-term economic signals.
CANCELLED – Carbon Fast Forward Mediterranean
Our Apr. 2 Carbon Fast Forward conference in Athens has been cancelled, following discussions between event partners Carbon Pulse and Redshaw Advisors and after consulting with sponsors, speakers, venue and delegates. Given that the COVID-19 coronavirus situation is likely to worsen, we have opted to cancel the event with a view to Carbon Forward holding a similar event later this year.
Job listings this week
- Senior Manager, Economic Analysis, US Climate, EDF – Washington DC
- Research Associate/Staff Scientist, Climate and Energy Policy, SEI US – Seattle
- Vice President for Policy, Climate Action Reserve – Los Angeles
- Policy Associate, Climate Action Reserve – Los Angeles
- Policy Analyst, European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) – Brussels
- Policy Intern, European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST) – Brussels
- Senior Business Development Manager for Denmark, South Pole – Stockholm
- Senior Business Development Manager for Norway, South Pole – Stockholm
Or click here to see all our job adverts
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Spirits in the sky – Airlines have wasted thousands of gallons of fuel running empty “ghost” flights during the coronavirus outbreak because of European rules saying operators can lose their flight slots if they keep their planes on the ground. Under Europe’s rules, airlines operating out of the continent must continue to run 80% of their allocated slots or risk losing them to a competitor. This has led to some operators flying empty planes into and out of European countries at huge costs, according to UK media. On Thursday, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote to Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) asking for the rules to be suspended during the outbreak to prevent further environmental and economic damage. ACL has already suspended the rules for flights to and from Hong Kong and mainland China. However, they remain for all other flights.
Hydrogen push – Tuesday’s Brussels announcement of its latest EU industrial strategy will also feature plans for an EU clean hydrogen alliance intended to span trade, competition and procurement policies and to spur the technology increasingly seen as vital for ETS-covered heavy industry and aviation sectors as well as transport. (Financial Times)
Steel solution – China’s Jingye Group has acquired the UK operations of stricken firm British Steel, promising to spend £1.2 billion over ten years to modernise its two big-emitting ETS-covered sites. The number two UK steelmaker went bankrupt last year soon after getting a £120 million government loan to cover its 2018 EU ETS compliance. Jingye said there was no current deal on acquiring British Steel’s operations in France, which had threatened to veto the deal as it is major supplier to the French rail network and is designated as a strategic national asset. (BBC)
Set to miss – Austria is on track to miss its climate targets, according to a government-commissioned study. According to Der Standard, the country’s existing measures will see it fall short of its 2030 target by 5.2 million tonnes. Austria is also on course to miss its end-of-decade renewable energy goal, despite its large hydro and wind power capacities.
See you in court – The New Zealand High Court has decided to allow a lawsuit filed by Iwi Chairs’ Forum climate spokesperson Mark Smith against some of the country’s biggest emitters to move forward, the Spin Off reports. Smith filed the suit last year, and while the High Court dismissed two of his three arguments, the case will move forward to hear his argument that the companies should recognise their duty to reduce emissions. His aim is to force the firms to cut their GHG output to net zero by 2030, although observers initially think that although it is unlikely Smith will win, the case could shape future national climate legislation. The case was filed against Fonterra, Genesis Energy, Dairy Holdings, NZ Steel, Z Energy,the NZ Refining Co., and BT Mining.
Price tag – Denmark’s goal to reduce 70% in GHG emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 will come at a “manageable” price, the Danish Council on Climate Change has said. The cost of reaching the target would be 15 billion to 20 billion Danish crowns ($5.35 billion) annually in 2030, less than 1% of the country’s GDP, Reuters reports. But in order to achieve that, the Council recommended to raise the country’s carbon tax to 1,500 crowns ($230.08) per tonne CO2e up from just 170 crowns ($26.08) currently. However, such a tax is unpopular among businesses, fearful of carbon leakage. Danish MPs have already agreed on a 70% reduction target, but the roadmap remains unclear. (Reuters)
And the winners are – The World Bank has belatedly announced the 15 winners of its fourth Pilot Auction Facility (PAF) sale, which after nine auction rounds resulted in the procurement of 4.2 million tonnes of methane offsets. They include:
- Asja Brasil Servicos Para o Meio Ambiente
- Battre Bahia Transferencia e Tratamento de Residuos
- Biogas Riograndense
- Central de Tratamento de Residuos Nova Iguacu
- Ciclus Ambiental do Brasil
- Ecopesa Ambiental
- EcoSecurities Group
- Ecourbis Ambiental
- EKI Energy Services
- Essencis Solucoes Ambientais
- Kub-Berjaya Enviro
- Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management
- Vital Engenharia Ambiental
The auction held last week spent $8.25 million on the credits, equating to a price of $1.98 per unit. Twenty-one companies from nine countries took part in this week’s event, with the winners paying $0.30/tonne for the effective put options, or the right to sell credits to the facility.
You’re getting a Del Duca – Former Ontario transportation minister Steven Del Duca was elected as the new leader of the Canadian province’s Liberal party on Saturday. In a first-ballot victory, Del Duca vanquished his five rivals to take the helm of a party that was trounced by Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives in 2018, with the Liberals now holding only eight seats in Ontario’s 124-member legislature. Del Duca also likened Ford to a “climate change dinosaur” for abruptly scrapping Ontario’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme in summer 2018, and he promised a greener future for the province. (Toronto Star)
Top tracker – Resources for the Future (RFF) on Monday launched the RFF Carbon Pricing Bill Tracker – a handy tool that allows users to compare the eight carbon pricing bills introduced in the 116th Congress. Modeled on the RFF Candidate Tracker, this new tool demonstrates where there is and is not agreement on the array of policy options for implementing a price on CO2 emissions. The tool includes basic information (such as whether each bill is a cap-and-trade programme or a carbon fee) and also delves into the complexities of each proposal (including whether the price will automatically adjust if emissions targets are not met).
Feeling (20)22 – California regulator ARB will hold a public workshop on Apr. 8 in Sacramento to discuss potential regulation revisions to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in 2022. Topics slated for discussion include potential revisions to streamline and clarify the regulation, the triennial update to the Oil Production Greenhouse gas Emissions Estimator (OPGEE) model and crude lookup table, and feedback on the LCFS programme.
And finally … Glasgow gains – The partly-devolved Scottish government of the UK has cut the estimated cost of hosting the Glasgow COP26 UN climate summit by tens of millions of pounds, easing fears that the event could be moved to London, which the central government has kept as a “fallback option”. According to the FT, clarity about requirements and shared venues led to the cuts, with projections down to under £270 mln from some £360 mln previously. However, concerns surrounding the coronavirus, which is forcing the cancellation of most major events across Europe for the foreseeable future, continue to threaten the annual summit. Added to the list of event cancellations was the annual REC Market Meeting conference in Amsterdam, which had been scheduled to take place Mar. 31-Apr. 1.
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