Climate 411

California climate program remains solid as transportation emissions fall

Bixby Bridge, California. Photo by Dave Lastovskiy on Unsplash

Today’s solid results from the latest Western Climate Initiative cap-and-trade auction demonstrate once again the resilience of the market. Yet this is not the only interesting news out of the California market this quarter as the state released the preliminary 2018 emissions inventory, which showed that transportation emissions fell for the first time since 2012.

First up, auction results:

  • All 67,435,661 current allowances sold, clearing at $17.00, $1.38 above the floor price of $15.62. This is $.16 lower than the August 2019 clearing price of $17.16.
  • All of the 9,038,000 future vintage allowances offered also sold at $16.80, $1.18 above the $15.62 floor price. These allowances are not available for use until 2022.
  • The auction raised approximately $739 million for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which California uses for activities that further decrease greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality, and support the state’s most vulnerable communities.
  • Quebec raised over approximately $245 million CAD (approximately $185 million USD) to fund their own climate priorities.

These results are generally consistent with the past several auctions, but there are a couple of points worth noting:

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Posted in California, Carbon Markets / Comments are closed

California releases updated Tropical Forest Standard: Here are the highlights and why CARB should endorse it

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) this week released an updated version of the proposed Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) for consideration at its September 19 Board meeting. CARB made some important changes to the TFS in response to feedback from members of the California Assembly, indigenous leaders, environmental groups, environmental justice advocates, and subject-matter experts.

Endorsement of the TFS would value tropical forests for the extensive climate benefits they provide. It would also be a major step forward for tropical forests and the communities who live in and defend them. And these proposed changes would make the TFS even stronger in the fight against tropical deforestation.

In general, the changes CARB has made – responding to public and policymaker feedback – add detail and clarity that strengthen the accountability built into the TFS. The more specificity, the easier it is to ensure the standard is upheld and ultimately helps deliver the emission reductions from stopping tropical deforestation that the climate so desperately needs.

Here are the key changes to the proposal. (A Tropical Forest Standard refresher may be helpful before diving in.)

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Posted in California, Carbon Markets, Forest protection, Indigenous People / Read 1 Response

In strong WCI auction, prices clear significantly above floor. Here’s why.

shutterstock_574821853 full size

The California coast. Shutterstock.

The strong results of today’s California-Quebec cap-and-trade auction once again illustrate the stability of the market as all current and future allowances sold. At the same time, we are seeing some interesting market trends.

May auction at-a-glance

  • All 66,321,122 current allowances sold, clearing at $17.45, $1.83 above the floor price of $15.62. This is the highest price and highest premium on the floor price seen in a linked Western Climate Initiative (WCI) auction, and $1.72 higher than the February 2019 clearing price.
  • More than 14.5 million fewer allowances were offered for sale than at the February auction because there were no previously unsold allowances from California. This is the first time an offering has not included previously unsold California allowances since August 2017.
  • All of the 9,038,000 future vintage allowances offered also sold at $17.40, $1.78 above the $15.62 floor price. These allowances are not available for use until 2022.
  • The auction raised over approximately $740 million for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which California uses to support climate investments in agriculture, transportation electrification, and improving local air quality.
  • Quebec raised over approximately $250 million CAD (approximately $190 million USD) to fund climate investments in the province, adding to the $3 billion CAD in revenue already generated.

So why is the price significantly above the floor price? A couple of different factors could be contributing to the clearing price in May’s auction:  Read More »

Posted in California, Carbon Markets / Read 1 Response

California-Quebec market continues to thrive

California cap and trade, renewable energy

Alta Wind Energy Center, California, Photo source: Steve Boland/flickr

February’s joint California-Quebec cap-and-trade auction demonstrated again that the market is strong. Despite uncertainty over PG&E’s position in the aftermath of its bankruptcy filing last month, all current and two-thirds of future allowances sold.

February’s auction by the numbers:

  • All 80,847,404 current allowances sold, including previously unsold allowances and consigned allowances from utilities like PG&E. This sale cleared at $15.73, 11 cents above the floor price of $15.62.
  • 5,983,000 of the 9,038,000 future vintage allowances offered also sold at the floor price. These allowances are not available for use until 2022. This is the first auction since the floor price increased to $15.62, so businesses have three more auctions at this price floor to purchase allowances that cannot be used for three more years.
  • Approximately $853,508,096 was raised for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund which the state uses to support climate investments in frontline communities, improvements in local air quality, and other projects to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Full compliance, declining emissions, robust auction: It’s November in California’s cap-and-trade program

This post was co-authored by Maureen Lackner

Golden Gate Bridge Shutterstock

Golden Gate Bridge. © CAN BALCIOGLU / Shutterstock Images.

Today’s strong California-Quebec November 2018 carbon market auction results are the continuation of a month of good news about California’s landmark climate program. Cap-and-trade compliance is at 100% and emissions are falling, demonstrating that addressing climate change is an integral part of doing business in the Golden State.

November’s auction by the numbers

  • All 78,825,717 current allowances sold, clearing at $15.31, 78 cents above the $14.53 price floor and 26 cents above the August auction. This is the final auction before the floor price has its annual increase.
  • All of the 9,401,500 future vintage allowances offered sold at $15.33, 43 cents higher than in August. The current floor price of $14.53 will also increase for future allowances in the next auction.
  • An estimated $813,013,694 was raised for California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which will go to support climate investments across the state and further reduce greenhouse gas and local air pollution.

California’s market is strong & confidence is high

One critical data point showing the strength of this market is that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported 100% compliance from all entities covered by cap and trade for the three-year compliance period from 2015 to 2017. California businesses understand the program and know how to make it part of their business plan.

At the same time, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are falling, which is the key metric of program success. Read More »

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Western Climate Initiative: Stability reigns after Ontario exit as all current and future allowances sell

Golden Gate Bridge Shutterstock

Golden Gate Bridge. © CAN BALCIOGLU / Shutterstock Images.

“Stability” is the word of the day for California and Quebec’s joint August auction. All current and future allowances sold, indicating that despite last month’s abrupt de-linking with Ontario, the market can weather political turbulence and remain strong.

Auction quick takes

  • All 79,421,265 current allowances sold, clearing at USD $15.05, 52 cents above the $14.53 price floor and 40 cents higher than the May auction. The offered allowances include some that were previously unsold, but do not include any allowances from Ontario.
  • All of the 9,401,500 future vintage allowances offered sold at $14.90, 37 cents above the floor price. This is significantly higher than the volume sold at the May auction, due to a number of potential variables including the de-linking with Ontario. It also signals that there is high confidence in the California-Quebec auction past 2020 as these allowances aren’t available for use until 2021.
  • An estimated $798 million was raised for California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which will go to help improve habitat, clean up local air, and invest in frontline communities.
  • Quebec raised approximately $166 million USD to fund provincial climate investments.

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Posted in California, Carbon Markets / Comments are closed