CP Daily: Wednesday March 18, 2020

Published 23:29 on March 18, 2020  /  Last updated at 23:29 on March 18, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

EU Market: Carbon craters for fifth day, as virus crisis knocks price to €15

EU carbon prices cratered for a fifth straight day, crashing by nearly 18% to a near two-year low just above €15 as widespread selling due to the COVID-19 coronavirus continued to spare no market.

AMERICAS

California carbon allowances crash below $16, hits percentage low to floor price

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices traded underneath $16.00 on Wednesday afternoon, after a wave of selling throughout the day caused front-month prices to plummet to the lowest percentage below the current WCI floor price in the scheme’s history.

US carbon markets await power use impacts from virus pandemic, restrictions

Electricity demand is shifting in numerous power markets operating in the US’ two cap-and-trade programmes due to the coronavirus pandemic, but grid operators said it is too early to determine the exact impact of more employees working from home and government-imposed travel restrictions.

LCFS Market: California prices unwind further as corona fears consolidate

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit prices took on significant losses Wednesday as the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus roiled the transportation sector programme.

Canadian Clean Fuel Standard will yield only a fraction of promised GHG reductions -report

Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) will deliver under a quarter of the policy’s anticipated emissions abatement as a result of overlap with existing federal and provincial policies, researchers said Tuesday.

ASIA PACIFIC

S. Korea ruling party flags net zero target, carbon tax ahead of April elections

South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party has included a 2050 net zero emissions target and a new carbon tax as part of its platform ahead of next month’s parliamentary election, moves that would significantly increase the country’s climate ambitions.

China’s carbon emissions rise 2.6% in 2019 -researchers

China’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 2.6% to almost 14 billion tonnes of CO2e last year, driven by an increase in energy-intensive manufacturing and oil and gas consumption, according to a study released Wednesday.

NZ Market: NZUs hit 7-mth lows as bearish sentiment takes hold

NZUs fell to their lowest levels since August on Wednesday, with the NZ$25 FPO until recently considered a price floor barely even relevant as a bearish outlook takes hold amid a flailing economy.

EMEA

Pressure mounts on Fortum to drop support for German coal plant

Finnish utility Fortum should commit to phasing out coal and drop its support for western Europe’s last coal plant it will soon control as part of its takeover of German rival Uniper, investors wrote in a joint letter on Wednesday.

EU glass manufacturers launch pilot project, seeking to halve CO2 emissions

EU glass packaging manufacturers are collaborating on a pilot project that they believe cut help cut the sector’s emissions by 50% by firing furnaces from green power sources.

Switzerland picks five more ITMO activities for potential emission trade deals

Switzerland’s carbon credit procurement agency this week selected five GHG-reducing activities for its second call for proposals, adding to three picked earlier in its efforts to tie up its first emission trade deals under the Paris Agreement’s market-based Article 6.

AVIATION

China could supply 40 mln early offsets to CORSIA -report

Chinese projects could generate some 40 million carbon credits eligible for the international aviation industry’s offset market, according to a report published on Wednesday, which stressed the programme would need improvements to remain competitive.

INTERNATIONAL

Good UN emission trade rules can smooth path to net zero, says UN climate envoy Carney

Robust international emissions trading rules under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6 can smooth the path to net zero emissions and boost the credibility of offsetting and CCS, UN envoy Mark Carney said on Wednesday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

COP stop – UK government officials believe it is “increasingly likely” that November’s COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow will be postponed given the current coronavirus situation, according to the Financial Times, which cited a government spokesperson saying Britain will continue to work towards hosting the event and that the situation was being monitored. The UNFCCC has already postponed all meetings through April, with its intersessional spring climate talks in Bonn also likely to be delayed.

Chasing fossils – More than £2.2 trillion has been channelled into fossil fuels by the world’s 35 major investment banks since the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to analysis by green groups including BankTrack. It found JP Morgan Chase has been the largest fossil-fuel financier with £220 billion even as last month its economists warned that the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity. (The Guardian)

State stay – A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Massachusetts consumer protection lawsuit against oil companies for climate-related damages should return to state court. Judge William Young rejected oil major ExxonMobil’s claim that the case should stay in US District Court because the case touches on federal issues. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy accused the energy giant of concealing its early knowledge of the climate change impacts of its products from the public and misled investors about the future impact of global warming. (Bloomberg)

Coal stutter – The timetable for making Germany’s coal exit plans law looks shaky after a parliament hearing due next week was postponed until at least after Easter to give priority to tackling the coronavirus. Debates had been scheduled through April with a vote in mid-May. (Clean Energy Wire, Energate)

See you in court – Greenpeace Poland has filed a lawsuit against a subsidiary of state-owned utility PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, demanding the company stop any further fossil fuel investments and achieve net zero GHG emissions from its existing coal plants by 2030 at the latest. PGE is the biggest utility in Poland. About 90% of the power produced by the PGE conglomerate comes from burning coal. The lawsuit is just one of many steps being taken by Greenpeace Poland to address the climate crisis in the country.

Suited and booted – The Heartland Institute is undergoing its second leadership change in less than a year. The American group, which rejects climate science, is ousting its president Frank Lasée after being buffeted by financial turbulence that led to significant layoffs, according to two sources close to Heartland. “He’s being kicked out,” one source told E&E News. HuffPost reported earlier this month that former staffers blamed Lasée for blowing through the group’s budget. Those assertions came as Heartland hired a 19-year old German woman to publicly reject climate science in an attempt to establish her as an anti-Greta Thunberg figure and to raise money.

And finally… Green in the face – An observer to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) has become the first reported case of the coronavirus in Liberia, after attending the fund’s board meeting in Switzerland last week. The meeting was moved from the GCF headquarters in Songdo to Geneva, at a time when South Korea had become one of the world’s hotspots for the virus. But that came after some board members raised concerns about holding the meeting physically in Geneva, where at the time 40 cases of coronavirus had been reported, rather than online. However, French board member Cyril Rousseau said “some board members objected” to proposals to hold the meeting online, despite an in-person event threatening to introduce the virus to countries where it would put significant strain on their health systems. (Climate Home)

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