CP Daily: Monday May 11, 2020

Published 02:01 on May 12, 2020  /  Last updated at 02:01 on May 12, 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 retreat from CORSIA could “bury” aviation offsetting system, warns transport chief

The UN’s CORSIA flight offsetting scheme could fall to pieces if the EU abandoned it, the bloc’s transport commissioner said on Monday during a hearing with European lawmakers sceptical of aviation body ICAO’s climate ambition.

PODCASTS

CARBON PULSE CONVERSATIONS 008: New Zealand Climate Change Commission/Motu Research Institute

In this latest episode of our Carbon Pulse Conversations podcast, we speak to Catherine Leining, policy fellow at the Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute and a member of New Zealand’s independent Climate Change Commission, about the ongoing NZ ETS reform work and the prospects of the country accessing the international carbon market.

AMERICAS

California power sector emissions increased as COVID-19 lockdown began, data shows

California electricity sector emissions climbed year-on-year during March as the coronavirus pandemic forced a statewide ‘shelter-in-place’ order, with natural gas-fired generation making up a larger share of the state’s power, according to California Independent System Operator (CAISO) data.

Mexico’s Baja California legislature approves carbon tax

Lawmakers in Mexico’s Baja California have passed a proposal that will see the Pacific Coast state impose a new emissions levy at a higher rate than the federal CO2 tax.

RFS Market: RIN prices shrug off legal news to hold steady through May

US biofuel credit (RIN) values have held in a narrow range over the past three weeks, coming amid the EPA giving regulatory relief to a bankrupt company on its overdue Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligations and another regulated party indicating it will challenge a lower court’s ruling on small refinery exemptions.

EMEA

EU Commission to explore using ETS revenues in effort to cut building GHGs

The European Commission launched on Monday a consultation on an initiative to tackle GHG emissions and energy efficiency from buildings, which may see a portion of ETS revenues used to finance the EU’s so-called “renovation wave”.

EU Market: EUAs ease, stick around €19 amid lack of driving forces

European carbon prices eased on Monday, as competing bullish and bearish forces and a general lack of strong drivers continued to keep prices stuck around €19.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australian developer fulfills ERF contracts in just one month

One of the project developers that bid successfully at Australia’s March Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction has already completed delivery under the contract, Clean Energy Regulator data showed.

ICYM

EU to withdraw another 330 mln carbon allowances from ETS after supply glut drops 16%

More than 330 million more carbon allowances will be withdrawn from the EU ETS through next summer and inserted into the MSR, the European Commission announced late Friday in its annual ‘TNAC’ update, with the market’s oversupply falling by over 16% from 2018 levels.

EU emitters ramp up Kyoto offset usage as cheap ETS compliance option enters final year

Companies regulated by the EU ETS exchanged over 27 million Kyoto Protocol offsets for EUAs in the past 12 months, ramping up the practice with just a year left for emitters to tap this cheaper compliance option.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Wrong number – Centennial Coal, one of the biggest coal miners in New South Wales, has been reporting wrong Scope 3 emissions figures for years, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The company has regularly reported figures to local authorities as low as 1/30 of the actual carbon emissions from the coal. The company admits to have “stuffed up” after the reporting errors were spotted by green group the Nature Conservation Council.

Green steel – Australia has the ability to establish a steel industry running on renewable energy that could provide jobs to thousands of workers currently employed by the coal industry and develop an export industry as profitable as coal has been while cutting large amount of GHGs at prices lower than current EU carbon allowance values, according to a new report by think-tank the Grattan Institute. It would take A$200 billion ($130 bln) in investment, but could see Australia corner 7% of the global steel market, the researchers said. (RenewEconomy)

Party of the free market? – Republican lawmakers have called on President Trump to prevent US banks and investors from withholding financial support for fossil fuel projects. In a letter led by Sens. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and Kevin Cramer (ND), and Reps. Don Young (Alaska) and Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the lawmakers contend that the banks should not be able to benefit from the CARES Act, H.R. 748 (116) if they rule out funding for the sector. The letter, which does not specify which administrative or regulatory tools the administration should use, is intended as a major show of strength to counter a wave of announcements from financial institutions that they won’t fund coal developments or oil drilling operations in places like the Arctic. Sen. Brian Schatz , who heads an ad-hoc Senate Democratic panel on climate change, told Politico the move is the opposite of the free-market principles that Republicans say they support. “Banks choosing not to finance new oil and gas extraction is the free market moving to clean energy,” he said. “It is also responsible risk management for banks that don’t want to hold risky assets or fund a climate crisis that could take down the entire economy. What Republicans want is the opposite of the free market: they want massive government subsidies to prop up failing companies.”

Coal record – The UK’s record-breaking run without coal power passed another milestone on Sunday, as the national grid confirmed it had completed a full month without any input from the country’s coal-fired power stations. The run is set to continue with a combination of forecast blustery and sunny weather conditions and depressed energy demand due to the UK’s ongoing home-working guidelines, expected to mean demand for fossil fuel power will remain lower than usual for several more weeks at least. (BusinessGreen)

Seal of approval – The European Commission on Monday approved a state aid request from Romania to partially compensate its energy-intensive industries from higher electricity costs as a result of the EU ETS. The scheme will cover the period 2019-20, with a provisional budget of approximately €291 mln (RON 1397 mln). This makes Romania the 13th EU nation to compensate for indirect costs, which currently does not have a harmonised system and is subject to the 27-nation bloc’s state aid guidelines.

Wonk corner – The May issue of the Wuppertal Institute’s quarterly Carbon Mechanisms Review is out, analysing the implications the coronavirus pandemic might have on Article 6 negotiations. It also features new ways of setting crediting baselines or using auctions, carbon pricing developments in Pakistan, and an update on the current trends in carbon market digitisation and technology.

Oh, the humidity – The frequency of humid heat so high it comes close to overwhelming the human body’s ability to regulate its temperature has more than doubled since 1979, a new study finds. The research, published last week in Science Advances, shows that temperatures hitting the upper threshold for human survivability are already occurring in areas including coastal southwest North America, on the shoreline of the Persian Gulf, and northern South Asia, and could make those places unliveable sooner than expected for parts of each year. The body’s ability to release heat through sweating is rendered ineffective at wet-bulb temperatures of 35C, leading to hyperthermia. (Climate Nexus)

And finally… Dancing on thin ice – British Olympic ice-dancing champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are spinning out their ice skating reality TV show Dancing On Ice to a new show in Alaska to find out how rising temperatures are affecting communities who skate every day. (The Sun)

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