CP Daily: Thursday May 14, 2020

Published 00:49 on May 15, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:52 on May 15, 2020  / Ben Garside /  Newsletters

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

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South Korea ETS emissions fall in 2019, leaving market marginally over-supplied

South Korean ETS emissions fell for the first time in 2019, driven by CO2 cuts in the power sector and leaving the market overall marginally over-supplied, the environment ministry said Thursday.


Utility RWE covers more of its fading lignite output in Q1

German utility RWE ramped up hedging of its remaining big-emitting lignite output over Q1 as its thermal output continued to declined rapidly, the company said in quarterly results on Thursday.

EUAs to recover as low-carbon shift to be focal point in EU’s post-virus rebuild -JP Morgan

European carbon prices will recover in the coming years as the EU puts decarbonisation front and centre in its post-coronavirus rebuilding efforts, investment bank JP Morgan said.

Germany struggling with non-ETS emission goals Merkel seeks to review -report

Germany had been badly lagging behind its EU target for cutting emissions from non-ETS sectors before the coronavirus pandemic kicked in, with 2019 marking the fourth year in a row the country missed its goal, a study released on Thursday found.

EU Market: EUAs nudge higher after late swing

EUAs dipped on Thursday to stay close to this week’s five-week bottom, shrugging off stronger energy prices on light volume.


NA Markets: California allowances rise toward floor price as RGGI slides to 2-week low

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices continued to zero in on the WCI floor price this week as strong demand persisted on the secondary market, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) fell back on thin volume.

COVID-19 impacts presenting challenges for California offset developers and verifiers

California Carbon Offset (CCO) prices collapsing this spring has made the process of selling and developing compliance offsets more difficult, as ‘shelter-in-place’ restrictions across the US could present issues for certain verification activities down the road, stakeholders said Thursday.

US Justice Department’s final challenge to WCI linkage to be heard in late June

A federal court will hear arguments in late June about whether California’s ETS linkage with Quebec violates the US Constitution’s Foreign Affairs Doctrine by conflicting with the Trump administration’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, according to documents filed late Wednesday.


NZ Market: NZUs rise to 2-month high as govt splashes out on recovery

NZUs rose to their highest levels since mid-March on Thursday as the government announced major spending in a budget to get the economy back on track, though the ETS still faces large uncertainties.



Stringent vision – Members of the US Climate Action Network (USCAN), a network of more than 175 organisations, on Thursday announced the Vision for Equitable Climate Action policy platform for combatting the climate crisis while advancing justice for workers and frontline communities. The platform laid out stringent requirements for carbon pricing, citing UN scientific body IPCC’s call that the minimum CO2 price must be $135/tonne in 2030 and $245 in 2050, as a value “smaller than these numbers will not be worth enacting”. The groups also said a carbon price must not be enacted outside of a broader policy platform, must cover all economic sectors except for soil carbon and land-use, must prevent the use of free permits, and must not create pollution hotspots or perpetuate environmental injustice.

Cleaned out – The American clean energy sector lost nearly 600,000 jobs in March and April – about 17% of its total workforce – according to a new analysis. The analysis of Department of Labor data published by Environmental Entrepreneurs shows job losses in those two months alone are more than double the number that the fast-growing sector had created since 2017. Although the number of Americans employed in the clean energy sector was about triple the workforce of the US fossil fuel industry, President Donald Trump has focused instead on propping up the oil and gas sector, reportedly telling top administration officials to direct the Federal Reserve to alter a lending programme to help mid-sized oil and gas companies – something the Fed is legally barred from doing. (Climate Nexus)

Capacity costs – States like New Jersey, Maryland, and Illinois that are considering pulling out of the PJM capacity market are risking increasing power prices for their consumers, according to a trio of reports prepared by the independent market monitor for the 13-state electricity market. Those states may exit the long-term capacity market after the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved rule changes in December that limit the participation of subsidised nuclear and renewable energy resources, and they are instead considering using an existing provision in PJM rules that allows them to determine their own power needs outside of the capacity market. However, PJM’s independent market monitor said such actions may raise electricity prices for consumers in those states, as removing all of New Jersey from the capacity market could raise power prices in the state by as much as $386.4 mln, or nearly 30%. (Politico)

And finally… Unfulfilled promises – Over the past three decades, the perceived wisdom for how to approach climate targets has changed several times, explains a Carbon Brief guest post by Lancaster University Professor Duncan McLaren. From initial ideas of climate stabilisation, suggested approaches have focused on percentage CO2 emissions cuts, atmospheric CO2 concentrations, carbon budgets, and today’s dominant framing of temperature rise limits. But as McLaren explains, “each shift in target framing has opened the door to new hopes of future technological solutions … Yet, while these technologies have promised much, as promises they have instead delayed the immediate acceleration of action to change behaviours or transform economies.”

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