Carbon Pules Daily: Wednesday April 22, 2020

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*TOP STORY* EU lawmakers concerned over CORSIA proposal that could breach ETS directive
A planned European Commission proposal that would legally bind the EU to implement the international CORSIA aviation offsetting scheme could take away the European Parliament’s oversight over the process, according to five EU lawmakers representing the four largest pro-European political groups.
*INTERNATIONAL* World Bank sticks to November REDD deal deadline amid virus concerns
The World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is adhering to the November deadline agreed earlier this year for tropical forest nations to sign their deforestation reduction agreements, even as several countries are running behind schedule. Exchange operator ICE launches global carbon market index
Exchange operator ICE on Wednesday announced the launch of a new carbon market index, joining a growing number of companies seeking to track allowance prices in the world’s major greenhouse gas emissions trading systems.
*AMERICAS* California relying on natural gas generation during COVID-19 lockdown
Natural gas generation is accounting for a larger share of California’s power mix amid the coronavirus pandemic, likely mitigating some electricity demand destruction caused by the statewide ‘shelter-in-place’ order. California mints 1.2 mln offsets in first issuance since March
California issued nearly 1.2 mln new offsets and reduced the invalidation period on an additional 2.3 mln existing credits, according to data published by regulator ARB on Wednesday.
*ASIA PACIFIC* Global business group launches Singapore-based voluntary carbon trading drive
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has teamed up with Singapore-based emissions exchange AirCarbon and blockchain development firm Perlin to drive voluntary carbon trading under its new ICC Carbon Council. NZ changes ETS rules to give oil refinery millions of dollars worth of free CO2 permits
New Zealand has changed its ETS regulations to ensure Refining NZ qualifies to get most of its carbon permits for free when it joins the scheme in 2023, according to newly-released cabinet papers.
*EMEA* EU Market: EUAs bounce back above €21 as wider markets rally
EUAs bounced back above €21 in rocky trade early on Wednesday after prices held a key technical support level and absorbed a bumper auction, and as wider financial markets rallied.
*VOLUNTARY* GHG removal credits clear above €30 in Finnish platform’s latest auction
Emission removal certificates sold for a weighted average of €31.60 each at the latest voluntary market auction held on the Puro platform led by Finnish utility Fortum, Puro said on Wednesday.
*Virus effect -* The coronavirus pandemic is expected to drive CO2 emissions down 6% this year, the head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said, in what would be the biggest yearly drop since World War II. But he added that the fall will likely be short-lived and won’t be enough to get the world back on track to meet the 1.5C global warming target of the Paris Agreement, which requires at least a 7% drop in emissions per year. The WMO confirmed a finding that 2015-19 was the warmest five-year period on record, with the global average temperature up 1.1C above pre-industrial levels. (Reuters)
*Gas goals -* The Gas for Climate industry consortium wants to stimulate the production of biomethane and hydrogen by getting the EU to introduce a binding mandate for 10% of all gas in Europe to come from renewable sources by 2030. The group also want to boost demand by broadening the EU ETS and to have targeted and time-bound Contracts for Difference. (EurActiv)
*Jay for Joe – *Washington state governor and former US Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee endorsed presumptive nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday, “after extensive private conversations in which Mr. Biden signalled he would make fighting climate change a central cause of his administration,” the New York Times reports. Inslee, who led a brief campaign for the nomination in 2019 centred on climate change, told the paper that he is increasingly convinced Biden is “preparing to greatly expand his policy proposals for reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy.” (Axios)
*Flurry of filings – *A flurry of lawsuits hit the courts this week as industry and environmental groups reacted to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Thursday decision to uphold its minimum offer price rule (MOPR) for the PJM wholesale grid issued in December. Illinois regulators, the American Public Power Association (APPA), American Municipal Power, and several environmental groups were among the parties who filed against FERC for its decision, with their concerns largely surrounding long-term costs to customers and what is seen as unfair discrimination against new clean energy. The FERC order effectively raises the floor price for all new resources receiving a state subsidy in the PJM Interconnection wholesale power market. (Utility Dive)
*And finally… **Bailout balk – *A coalition of tribal leaders is suing the US government to stop coronavirus relief funds intended for the country’s tribes from going to a group of private corporations who profit from fossil fuel projects. Six tribes, including three in Alaska, say that as much as $4 bln of the $8 bln earmarked for Native tribes in the federal government’s bailout could go to Alaska Native Corporations, a group of private for-profit business groups with holdings in various corporate projects across all 50 states. Critics say that the ANCs, which were formed in the 1970s to help tribes, now only benefit a select group of shareholders, and the federal government is giving them undue preference in the bailout bill thanks in part to a policy formed by Interior Department Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney, a former ANC executive and current shareholder. Additionally, a coal company in Indiana that hired former EPA chief Scott Pruitt as a lobbyist last year received a $10 mln bailout from the federal government intended to help small businesses during the pandemic, the Washington Post reports. Hallador Energy has hundreds more employees than the average company granted a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program fund, which has quickly run out of funding after many larger businesses applied for the programme. Hallador’s former government relations director is now an employee at the US Department of Energy. (Climate Nexus)
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