CP Daily: Friday May 29, 2020

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*TOP STORY* Australia to rely on voluntary demand to grow carbon market
Australia is in the process of reforming its carbon market, but the government will not put in place new policies to drive private-sector demand, hoping instead for an increase in voluntary buy interest, Energy and Emission Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said Friday.
*EMEA* Lawmaker snub could mean bid to add shipping to EU ETS drifts into doldrums
A European Parliament initiative to fast-track shipping into the EU ETS faces being blown off course after an influential committee rejected the idea this week. Moldova given plan to establish ETS, in line with closer EU ties
Eastern European nation Moldova has this week been handed a plan to establish carbon market regulations within two years as part of efforts to ramp up climate action among the EU’s southeastern neighbours. EU Market: Bullish technicals, bearish fundamentals collide to leave EUAs flat on week
EUAs inched higher on Friday to end the week flat as bullish technicals continued to overshadow dips in the energy complex and wider fundamental weakness.
*ASIA PACIFIC* China takes coal off green bond eligibility list, adds emissions trading services
Chinese companies will no longer be allowed to use the green bond market to finance efficient coal power plants, according to a proposal published Friday by the central bank, but the bonds can be used to back service providers for carbon credit and renewable energy credit trading. Australia’s offset issuance climbs above 550k, as blue carbon shows promise
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator issued just over 550,000 carbon credits and registered 10 new offset projects this week, while researchers identified offset generating potential in a blue carbon site. CN Markets: Pilot market data for week ending May 29, 2020
Closing prices, ranges and volumes for China’s regional pilot carbon markets this week.
*AMERICAS* California budget’s ETS proposal moves to reconciliation discussion
California lawmakers will advance language to a joint legislative discussion that would require regulator ARB to conduct an ETS rulemaking, though the provision’s ultimate inclusion in the state budget is not a foregone conclusion, a senator’s aide told Carbon Pulse on Friday. WCI compliance entities added further length to CCA position ahead of auction results
WCI compliance entities built their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) holdings on the secondary market as they awaited Q2 auction results, while speculators’ net long position remained roughly unchanged, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data. Trump administration opposes timeline change to lawsuit against WCI ETS linkage
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) urged a federal judge on Friday to reject a request that would push back a hearing for the government’s constitutional challenge over the California-Quebec carbon market linkage, saying the state had created the time conflict it is now seeking to remedy. RGGI administrator distances carbon market from unauthorised CORSIA application
A third-party submission to qualify RGGI ETS allowances and offsets for eligibility in the global aviation scheme CORSIA was not sanctioned by the Northeast US cap-and-trade programme and runs counter to existing regulations, the market administrator has told Carbon Pulse.
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*BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD*
*In 19th century fashion – *America consumed more energy from renewable sources last year than it did from coal, the first time that’s happened since 1885, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). While coal still accounted for more electricity generation than renewables in 2019, renewables outpaced coal for a record 40 straight days earlier this year, and the EIA projects it will do so for 2020 overall. (Climate Nexus)
*What are the rules? – *The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) late Thursday unveiled proposed rules of how it will oversee the country’s carbon capture tax credit program, which was extended and expanded more than two years ago in a bipartisan budget deal. The IRS’s new proposal offers answers to tough questions that were skipped over when it outlined initial guidelines in February, including how companies must demonstrate they are securely storing carbon underground, in what situations the government can reclaim the tax incentive if projects fall short of requirements, and how to account for emissions reductions from carbon stored in products. For example, the IRS is proposing to allow companies to use an international standard developed last year as an alternative to demonstrating they are securely storing CO2 underground, rather than the current requirement of using a specific section under the EPA’s GHG reporting programme. (Washington Examiner)
*Own it – *The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to approve Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) reorganisation plan at a virtual meeting Thursday, bringing the utility one step closer to exiting bankruptcy. The regulators, however, remained critical of PG&E’s track record on safety, with CPUC President Marybel Batjer saying the company needs to “own its own transformation” beyond the commission’s requirements. The utility is currently in the midst of a multi-day confirmation hearing​ at the Northern California bankruptcy court, after which US Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali, who is presiding over its reorganisation case, will decide whether to confirm its plan. (Utility Dive)
*Gas chat -* Germany’s government has failed to agree on a national clean hydrogen strategy , with ministers divided over proposed capacity and implementation times. An email from the economy ministry seen by Reuters showed the strategy was not ready for adoption by the cabinet on June 3 – a date environment minister Svenja Schulze had earlier said could be achieved. However, sources said that timeline remains possible. (Reuters)
*Let the sun shine down* – The UK government has approved the country’s biggest solar farm, which will stretch across 900 acres on the north Kent coast, reports BBC News. The 350MW subsidy-free Cleve Hill Solar Park, which will supply power to 91,000 homes, could also include one of the world’s largest energy storage systems. The project has been opposed by some local people and environmental groups, who say the 800,000 solar panels are industrialising the countryside and may harm an adjacent wildlife site. (Carbon Brief)
*Crunch time* – Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan must soon decide whether to walk back his climate ambitions or risk angering one of the state’s most powerful men, writes Boiling Cold . The premier is for imposing offsetting requirements for natural resources projects, but as state elections near, a gas project where WA’s main media mogul Kerry Stokes has a significant ownership is coming up for approval. The state EPA was forced into a climate U-turn as late as last year, and this could cause McGowan more headache in the months ahead.
*And finally… The burning dead** – *‘Zombie fires’ are likely already burning across the Arctic, fuelled by record warm conditions in a disastrous feedback loop, scientists warn. The wildfires in arctic and sub-arctic regions – dubbed ‘zombies’ because they continue to smolder under winter snows and reignite once the snow melts – have been spotted in Alaska and scientists are becoming increasingly convinced they are likely burning across the Siberian Arctic as well. The Siberian Arctic has seen temperatures soar to as much as 46F (26 C) above normal throughout the month of May and the extremely warm temperatures accelerate snowmelt and the drying of vegetation and peat. The carbon-rich Arctic peatlands had served as something of a fire break, but with the Arctic warming at twice the pace of the rest of the planet, they have instead become an accelerant. (Climate Nexus)
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