CP Daily: Monday April 20, 2020

Published 00:26 on April 21, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:26 on April 21, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

California developing ‘DEBs’ application for compliance offsets, sources say

California regulator ARB is working on a formal process to determine compliance offsets that provide a direct environmental benefit to the state (DEBs), but it is unclear when that application may be finalised, regulatory sources said.

AVIATION

Thailand, British Columbia to take extra time to re-apply for CORSIA eligibility

Thailand and British Columbia will miss UN body ICAO’s Monday deadline to resubmit their offset programme applications for eligibility under the CORSIA global aviation scheme, as they seek to make changes to their methodologies for future intakes.

EMEA

EU regional funds a vast source of untapped potential for climate spending, say NGOs

EU cohesion funding is a huge untapped source to help cut the bloc’s emissions, according to a report released by green groups on Monday that found only one tenth of the cash is disbursed towards climate objectives.

EU Market: EUAs stumble down to €21 as recovery tests logic

EUAs fell below €21 on Monday, continuing to stutter lower following last week’s dart to a one-month high as markets remained in thrall to coronavirus developments.

ASIA PACIFIC

NZ Market: NZUs rise to 1-mth high on healthy demand

NZUs rose slightly on Monday to their highest in a month as some emitters remain happy to get their hands on supply below NZ$25, and as the government said its virus lockdown will be eased next week.

Australia adds 355k credits to offset pool

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has distributed 355,000 new carbon credits, keeping up its issuance rate amid the COVID-19 crisis.

AMERICAS

US states, power companies argue EPA erred in ACE rule trading ban

The US EPA incorrectly interpreted the Clean Air Act by not allowing emissions trading to meet states’ Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) obligations, a collection of mostly Democrat-led US jurisdictions and power sector entities contended in court filings Friday.

PODCAST

CARBON PULSE CONVERSATIONS 003: Refinitiv

In the latest Carbon Pulse Conversations podcast, we speak to Oslo-based carbon and power analyst Yan Qin from Refinitiv about the latest developments in preparing for China’s national emissions trading scheme and the outlook for getting that market up and running this year.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Sub-zero – US crude oil futures collapsed to below zero for the first time ever as the deepening economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus crisis left traders desperate to avoid taking delivery of physical crude, Bloomberg reports. In an unprecedented day of trading, the price for contracts to be delivered in the near term wiped out all value, breaking every low since 1946. The extreme move showed just how oversupplied the US oil market has become with industrial and economic activity grinding to a halt as governments around the globe extend shutdowns due to the swift spread of COVID-19.  In contrast, US gas prices rose on the prospect of less oil production.

Sunny skies – Germany’s solar panels are producing record amounts of electricity, exacerbating market forces that were already hammering the profitability of the country’s remaining coal plants.  According to Bloomberg, Gin-clear skies over central Europe helped photovoltaic plants produce 32,227 MW on Monday, beating the previous record on Mar. 23. Bright conditions are expected to continue this week, according to Germany’s DWD federal weather service. Renewables are cutting deeper into the market share for coal, the fuel on which Germany’s wealth and industrial prowess was built. The government forecasts that green power will make up about 80% of the electricity mix by 2038, compared with just over 40% in 2019. The EU’s coronavirus response has helped accelerate the bloc’s transition to clean power by a decade as more renewables than previously thought possible are able to balance the grid, Finland’s Wartsila Corporation said last week. Falling power demand due to the virus lockdowns combined with the EU’s clean energy policies have meant that generation from renewables has stayed high at the expense of ETS-covered thermal generation.

Sweet 17 – Environment ministers from Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Malta added their signatures to a letter calling on the European Commission to put the EU Green Deal at the heart of the recovery packages to tackle the coronavirus crisis and “lead by example even in difficult times like the present.” The original letter was signed on Apr. 9 by representatives of 10 EU governments, with France, Germany, and Greece joining shortly after. That leaves only 10 EU governments – Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania – outside the appeal to align the COVID-19 recovery with the EU’s environmental objectives. (Climate Home)

87 and counting – South Australia could get as much as 87% of its electricity from wind and solar within four years, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator, up from current levels of 57%. The state already has a number of big projects underway, but the proposed new interconnector to New South Wales encourages a huge amount of new renewable capacity that could spiral the state to top of the list over the world’s biggest wind and solar generators, according to the agency’s best case scenario in a new report. (RenewEconomy).

Gettin’ out – The Philippines’ oldest conglomerate, Ayala Corp., is ditching coal and will focus on renewables instead, according to Bloomberg, citing the company president. Ayala won’t be making any further investments – a rare move in Southeast Asia where coal consumption is still growing – but did not rule out funding natural gas or diesel-fired power.

Garden State green funds – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s (D) administration on Friday released its strategic funding plan for investing the state’s auction proceeds from its renewed membership in the Northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme. Under the plan, three state agencies will work to spur the transition to electric transportation, promote blue carbon in coastal areas, enhance community and urban forests, and establish a New Jersey Green Bank to drive the evolution of grid and energy infrastructure. New Jersey raised over $20 mln at RGGI’s Q1 sale, the first auction the Garden State participated in since former Governor Chris Christie (R) pulled the state out in 2012. (New Jersey Business)

Divestment demand – New York City lawmakers introduced a resolution Monday to demand that the financial institutions and insurers with which the city does business divest from fossil fuels. While the draft resolution is largely symbolic in targeting JP Morgan Chase, BlackRock, and Liberty Mutual, Councilman Brad Lander said it will accelerate the movement to hold financial institutions accountable for climate change and preview how New York may institute radical changes in how the city handles its money. (Climate Nexus)

Protocol posting – California-based offset registry Climate Action Reserve (CAR) released the first version of its Soil Enrichment Protocol (SEP) for public comment on Friday. CAR will host an Apr. 29 webinar to discuss the draft protocol, which is being developed in partnership with and funded by agricultural technology company Indigo Ag. See Carbon Pulse’s article on how the organisations are seeking a simplified approach to additionality with the methodology.

Swiss miss? Maybe not – Switzerland cut its GHG emissions by 1.5 Mt or over 3% in 2018, according to the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).  At 46.4 MtCO2e, they were around 14% lower than in 1990 – the Kyoto Protocol’s base year. FOEN said the dip was mainly due to a decrease in fuel consumption in the buildings sector amid a mild winter. However, adjusted for weather, the YoY change figure came in as flat, with the sector’s total at 34% below 1990. Output from Switzerland’s transport sector – the country’s largest source – were unchanged at around 1% above 1990 or some 15 Mt. Industrial emissions slipped by 0.2 Mt and were 14% below that baseline.  The country has a 2020 target of a 20% cut under 1990 – a goal that it may now achieve thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

And finally… A higher power – A 40-foot-tall photovoltaic crucifix on the Catholic church in the town of Pleszew, Poland, powers a neon light show by night and the church’s lighting, heating, and air conditioning by day. It was installed by its ecologically minded priest, who said he was moved by an encyclical by Pope Francis five years ago in which the Catholic leader called on his followers to work together to save the planet. (Reuters)

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