CP Daily: Tuesday March 31, 2020

Published 22:37 on March 31, 2020  /  Last updated at 22:37 on March 31, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Trump administration finalises rollback of national vehicle CO2 standards

The US federal government released its final rule for vehicle fuel economy and emission standards on Tuesday for the next six years, a move that is estimated to increase transportation sector CO2 emissions by nearly 1 billion more tonnes compared to Obama-era regulations and setting up a legal showdown with Democrat-led states.

EMEA

Germany seeks EU court ruling on extent of CHP plants’ ETS coverage

Germany has asked the EU’s top court to decide whether installations with adjoining facilities covered by the country’s anti-pollution laws should also be included in the EU carbon market.

EU Market: EUAs hit two-week high above €18 after strong auction

EUAs topped €18 for the first time in two weeks on Tuesday, as a strong auction and rising energy prices spurred buying and some quarter-end short-covering to leave prices down a massive 25% this month.

EU carbon analyst bulls cut price forecast for second time this month

One of the market’s most bullish analyst teams has slashed their forecast for EU carbon allowances for the second time this month, as the wave of coronavirus-led EUA price downgrades continues.

EU ETS emissions plummeted by 8% in 2019 -analysts

Verified emissions in the EU ETS fell by around 8% in 2019, a team of analysts predicted on Tuesday, adding to estimates that the bloc’s carbon market saw the largest drop in greenhouse gas output in a decade.

Fuel tax better than EU ETS for vehicle emissions, says former top climate official

Extending the scope of the EU ETS to cover road transportation may not be the most suitable idea to tackle pollution from cars, a former EU top climate official said on Tuesday.

AMERICAS

Canada holds firm on ‘backstop’ CO2 tax increase amid coronavirus pandemic

Ottawa will go ahead with Wednesday’s scheduled rise of its federal carbon levy, maintaining the revenue-neutral tax will financially benefit most Canadians at a time of economic turmoil due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

TCI carbon market plans advancing during COVID-19 outbreak, but delays may be coming

The US Transportation and Climate Initiative’s (TCI) final Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) remains on track for completion this spring, but the coronavirus pandemic is likely to postpone the future approval of the proposed regional fuel sector cap-and-trade programme, regulatory sources said.

Massachusetts generators achieve compliance with in-state ETS for 2019

Massachusetts power plants complied with the state’s annual CO2 limit under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) cap-and-trade programme, an official confirmed to Carbon Pulse.

ASIA PACIFIC

As China’s virus measures ease, manufacturing expands with power tipped to follow

China is showing signs of economic recovery following its lockdown to tackle the COVID-19 virus outbreak, with government data released Tuesday showing the manufacturing industry expanded in March and analysts expecting power demand to return to growth as well.

New Zealand emitters get 4-week extension on ETS reporting

Companies covered by the New Zealand emissions trading scheme can get a four-week extension on the Mar. 31 deadline to report 2019 emissions amid the coronavirus outbreak, the EPA said on Tuesday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Finnish blessing – Finland’s centre-left government has given its blessing to majority state-owned Fortum’s strategy to cut emissions. It promised to push the company further towards carbon neutrality but rejected a WWF proposal to amend Fortum’s articles of association as a means of pressuring Germany’s Uniper, in which Fortum holds a majority stake, to get rid of coal as an energy source. (Reuters)

Thought I was living but I’m dying on Lake Ontario – New York State’s coal burning era ended on Tuesday, as Somerset Operating Co. officially retired its power plant on the shore of Lake Ontario in Niagara County. The 675-MW plant, opened by New York State Electric & Gas Corp. in 1983, last generated electricity on Mar. 13, when it burned off the last of its coal. New York state CO2 regulations effectively make it illegal to burn coal power for electricity in the state at the end of 2020, and Somerset did not meet its interim compliance obligation under the Northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme for 2019. (The Buffalo News)

RFP please – The US-based Ecosystem Market Services Consortium (EMSC) has released a request for proposals to identify, assess, test, and map the development of advanced tools and technologies that can more efficiently and cost effectively measure and quantify soil carbon changes and net GHG reductions to help ESMC generate carbon and GHG assets. The RFP, due by Apr. 7, comes as ESMC is advancing a voluntary market programme for promoting soil carbon sequestration and water conservation in agriculture by 2022. A second RFP calls for the evaluation, improvement, and scaling of water quality quantification approaches for water asset generation in ESMC’s protocol.

And finally… Pandemic priorities – Oil major TC Energy Corp., formerly TransCanada, is advancing with its controversial Keystone XL pipeline after receiving a C$1.6 bln ($1.1 bln) “strategic investment” from the Alberta government. The United Conservative Party government of Alberta will also provide an C$8.5 bln ($6 bln) loan guarantee for the project, with Premier Jason Kenney saying TC Energy will begin construction on the long-delayed pipeline export project as early as Apr. 1. Kenney also said the ongoing global oil price war in the middle of the COVID-19 health crisis highlights why the Canadian province needs its energy independence more than ever. TC Energy has been looking to build the 830,000-bpd pipeline for over 10 years, with the cross-border project rejected by US President Barack Obama before Donald Trump approved it. (Financial Post)

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