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Industries across Europe are bracing for more disruption as governments struggle to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus, with initial steps already curbing demand for power and carbon units.
EUAs crashed to a 22-month low near €14 early on Monday, but recovered somewhat by day’s end as other markets rebounded after the US Federal Reserve announced another major round of stimulus measures and coronavirus epicentre Italy reported a slowdown in new cases.
An EU proposal to put shipping emissions in the EU ETS will likely face wrangling over carbon intensity targets and its baseline emission year, analysts said in a report released Monday.
Italy on Saturday ordered the closure of all non-essential factories as it struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices rebounded on Monday after crumbling below the 2014 WCI floor price in early trading, with several speculators buoying the market in response to more participants unwinding their positions.
British Columbia will suspend next week’s CO2 levy price increase as the Canadian province rolls out a C$5 billion action plan to help businesses and residents affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus fallout, Premier John Horgan announced Monday.
The Alberta environment ministry on Friday pushed back the true-up deadline for the Canadian province’s outgoing Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while the department also updated a compliance offset protocol and removed several other inactive methodologies.
NZUs continued their downward trend on Monday after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a shutdown of all non-essential services from Wednesday in a bid to prevent the COVID-19 virus taking hold.
The Wuhan-based carbon exchange in China’s Hubei province reopened for business on Monday after being closed since Jan. 23 due to the widespread COVID-19 virus.
Job listings this week
- Energy and Carbon Manager, Climate17 – London
- Senior Policy Adviser, Climate Change, HM Treasury – London
- Senior Analyst, International Action, UK Committee on Climate Change – London
- Climate Director, The Nature Conservancy – Seattle
Or click here to see all our job adverts
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Grand opening – Voluntary offset certifier Verra said it is on track to launch its new registry on Apr. 6, and is hosting a webinar on Mar. 31 at 1100 EDT to introduce the platform to stakeholders and share some helpful updates and reminders. Register here.
Coming back for seconds – UN aviation body ICAO on Monday issued its second call for emissions unit programme applications to supply the global airline offset mechanism CORSIA. The call comes after the ICAO Council this month approved six offset programmes in full and two conditionally from the first round of applications for initial eligibility in the market’s 2021-2023 pilot phase. ICAO will host a webinar on the application process on Apr. 3, and submissions are due by Apr. 20.
Domestic CORSIA for corona – US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) on Monday unveiled Congressional Democrats’ counterproposal for a coronavirus stimulus package, placing an emphasis on decarbonising the aviation sector. Under the bill, the US Federal Aviation Administration would require all airlines receiving a federal bailout to offset their domestic emissions. Beginning in 2021, those carriers would need to slash their GHGs in a manner consistent with lowering the sector’s emissions by 25% below 2005 levels by 2035, and 50% by 2050. In the opposite legislative chamber, Senate Democrats rejected Republicans’ stimulus proposal on the grounds that it bailed out large companies at the expense of workforce protections.
We want in – Meanwhile, the US coal industry is asking a bailout, joining a growing list of industries seeking federal help as the virus sweeps across the country. The president of the National Mining Association sent a letter to the Trump administration last week asking the government to pause or cut back the royalty fees for mines, a 50% cut in mine reclamation payments intended to clean up old mines, and to slash payments from the industry to pay for miners’ black lung care. (Climate Nexus)
Decade planning – The European Commission has launched a consultation into its 2030 impact assessment, seeking views until Apr. 15 and setting out the parameters for how it will perform the study on whether to up the bloc’s 40% emission cut target to 50-55%. Ahead of the coronavirus, the EU’s climate chief Frans Timmermans said he would be “extremely surprised” if Brussels didn’t propose a goal of at least 55%. He has insisted on waiting for the completion of a detailed analysis on the impacts before proposing a revised goal by September. However, the pace of EU legislative activity on climate policy is set to slow as the response COVID-19 takes the attention of the bloc’s institutions and as non-essential meetings are postponed, with Timmermans himself in quarantine last week after coming into contact with France’s climate minister Brune Poirson, who tested positive for coronavirus.
Border watch – The US is keeping a wary eye on EU carbon border tax plans, with government officials wondering why their country should be penalised for not having a carbon price when they are reducing emissions through other measures. US stakeholders are seen as trying to understand how real it is and are sceptical as to whether the EU could actually pull it off, especially if it has to do without other countries joining its campaign. (Clean Energy Wire)
And finally… Guilty as charged – California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced on Monday that it pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter related to California’s most destructive wildfire that burned much of the town of Paradise in 2018. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, PG&E said it reached the settlement with the Butte County district attorney’s office on March 17. Under the deal, PG&E said prosecutors won’t pursue further criminal charges. Mounting liabilities from the utility’s role in multiple wildfires over the past several years led the California ETS-regulated company to declare bankruptcy in 2019, which it hopes to exit by this June. That comes after the company announced on Friday it would not pay dividends to investors for the next three years and promised “a complete overhaul of its board selection process”, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) office. If the reorganised PG&E is “unable to succeed” after it emerges from bankruptcy protection, it would be sold, Newsom’s office added. (LA Times, Politico)
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