CP Daily: Thursday March 12, 2020

Published 00:05 on March 13, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:05 on March 13, 2020  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Judge hands California early victory in ETS linkage suit, two challenges remain

A federal judge on Thursday ruled California’s ETS linkage with Quebec does not violate the US Constitution’s Treaty and Compact Clauses, but the court did not rule on two remaining legal challenges brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ).


EU Market: EUAs crash nearly 6% as markets react to US virus lock-up

EUAs suffered their biggest daily drop so far this year on Thursday, tumbling below €23 as markets reeled following US travel restrictions as part of a global scramble to limit the impact of the coronavirus.

RWE advances EUA hedging up to 2030 as ETS emissions fall 25%

Europe’s top emitter RWE slightly advanced its hedging rate for future generation over Q4 2019, extending EUA purchases to cover as far as 2030, even as its emissions collapsed 25% last year, the company said in financial results on Thursday.


NA Markets: WCI prices crater on recession and coronavirus fears, as RGAs fall before auction results

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices plunged to a nearly one-year low this week as the unravelling stock market and spreading COVID-19 virus stoked fears of a global recession, while RGGI allowances (RGAs) saw more modest drops ahead of Q1 auction results.

Washington LCFS, Clean Air Rule bills flounder on Senate opposition

Legislation to implement a Washington state low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) and extend the market-based Clean Air Rule (CAR) to fuel suppliers will not pass in the 2020 session because the Senate does not have the votes to approve the policies, the sponsor of the bills told Carbon Pulse.

RFS Market: RIN prices plummet as coronavirus impacts weigh

US biofuel credit (RIN) prices under the Renewable Fuel Standard tumbled on Thursday as the global macroeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus exerted bearish pressure on the market.


GCF approves funding for MUFG Bank forest carbon venture

The Green Climate Fund board has agreed to co-finance a forest carbon venture initiated by Japan’s biggest bank in at least seven countries across Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

Sweden pulls plug on Ugandan carbon forestry project

Sweden has cut short a carbon credit delivery contract with a controversial Uganda-based forestry project over legal issues, having bought fewer than a quarter of the intended offsets from the scheme.



One price for all – German firms are calling for an EU-wide electricity price for industry as a simple instrument to safeguard the sector’s global competitiveness during the continent’s quest for climate neutrality. Such a price would open the door for the decarbonisation of the EU primary industry and should be an elementary component of an EU industrial strategy, according to chemicals maker Wacker Chemie in views backed by copper producer Aurubis. (Clean Energy Wire, Handelsblatt)

To ETS or to IMO?  A declaration on clean shipping signed by EU transport ministers released on Wednesday avoided any explicit mention of including this sector under the EU ETS, despite pledging to intensify decarbonisation efforts. The declaration states that it welcomes the Commission’s EU Green Dealwhich aims to weigh including shipping under the ETS, but EU ministers seem keener on taking action at the global level as they acknowledge the importance of further work within the IMO”. That work may run aground, however, as the UN’s shipping agency today postponed, among others, its MEPC environment committee meeting that was due to advance climate initiatives between Mar. 30 and Apr. 3 on coronavirus concerns.

Climate corona cure? – US federal policymakers should consider climate change as part of any economic aid package for the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, say environmentalists and Democrats. In response to Trump administration officials suggesting they may steer money towards the airline, cruise, and fossil fuel industries due to the economic downturn caused by the virus, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) said he would seek to include carbon offsets as part of any stimulus for carbon-intensive industries. Additionally, Whitehouse said he would vouch for a “menu” of other clean energy options, such as a price on carbon and tax incentives for clean energy. However, it’s unclear whether Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate even would consider climate as part of future stimulus negotiations. (E&E News)

HFCs in the House – The US House Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee on Thursday advanced legislation to phase down potent global warming gases HFCs over a 15-year time period. The move sets up a vote before the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, and comes after the bipartisan act failed to make into a 600-page energy bill that stalled in the Senate on Monday. The move not to include the HFC provision in the omnibus legislation drew the ire of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D) on Wednesday, who accused the EPA of sitting on an analysis showing the amendment phasing down HFCs would save consumers $3.7 bln. (Politico, InsideEPA)

Danly can – The US Senate voted mostly along party lines to confirm James Danly to join the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as a Republican commissioner on Thursday. Conservative Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama, and Kristen Sinema of Arizona broke ranks with their fellow Democrats to vote to confirm Danly, who will serve the remainder of a term that expires June 30, 2023. FERC’s Republican contingent will enjoy a 3-to-1 majority, but this may not last long as Republican Bernard McNamee has announced his intent not to seek another term when his expires in June. (T&D World)

And finally… If I had half a trillion dollars – Coal developers risk wasting more than half a trillion dollars as it has become cheaper to generate electricity from new renewables than from new coal plants in all major markets, a new study by NGO Carbon Tracker shows. Even though coal has long been considered the cheapest option for power generation, the narrative is quickly changing as low-cost renewable energy is taking larger shares fast. There is currently 499 GW of coal capacity either announced, permitted, or under construction globally, which Carbon Tracker sees as potential ‘stranded assets’. (Carbon Tracker)

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