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Imposing a border carbon adjustment (BCA) on EU imports cannot be combined with continued free ETS allowance allocations for affected sectors, the bloc’s top trade official Sabine Weyand said on Wednesday.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has adjusted down the number of carbon credits it expects to be delivered under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) this year by 5%, according to a quarterly market report released on Wednesday.
A ruling by the Western Australia state government might force Chevron to buy as many as 10-12 million carbon credits to make up for excess CO2 emissions due to delays in the carbon capture and storage operations at its Gorgon oil and gas project on Barrow Island.
NZUs rose 7.7% in Wednesday trade as some market participants continued to react to this week’s government announcement on market reform, though volumes were tiny amid little available supply.
California legislators included a cap-and-trade rulemaking requirement in a final version of the state’s budget on Wednesday after the Senate and Assembly reached an agreement on the proposal.
Mounting opposition could sink a California budget proposal to require a cap-and-trade rulemaking by next year, while more moderate legislators could also soften the provision to limit its long-term impact, a source told Carbon Pulse.
A combination of compliance waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and significant fuel demand destruction from the coronavirus pandemic this year could sink US biofuel credit prices by swelling the surplus bank, a consultancy said Wednesday.
EUAs held above €22 after hitting a seven-week high on Wednesday, consolidating the previous session’s strong gains even as the energy complex failed to support the move.
Czechia has published legislation governing the compensation of indirect carbon costs for its energy intensive industries, bringing the total number of EU countries with such scheme in place to 14.
In the latest edition of our Carbon Pulse Conversations podcast, we chat with Cristian Mosella, co-founder and executive director of Chilean consultancy EnergyLab, about the South American country’s recent COP25 presidency, its updated Paris Agreement NDC, and developments regarding a potential emissions trading programme and the current carbon tax.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Cost crash – The cost for utility-scale solar PV power has declined 82% since 2010 and the costs for onshore and offshore wind have declined 39% and 29%, respectively, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Consistent with that trend, solar and wind are now less expensive than up to 1,200 GW of the world’s coal plants, and replacing 500 GW of the least competitive coal plants with solar and wind would save up to $23 bln annually and reduce global emissions by 5% of last year’s total, the report found. Separately, the coronavirus crisis does not appear to have slowed the rollout of solar energy in Germany, according to pv magazine. In April, 380 MW of solar capacity went online – the largest addition so far this year. The new capacity takes total additions to 1,480 MW for the year, according to figures from the country’s grid agency. Rooftop installations, which are not part of Germany’s renewable tender system, remained particularly stable. (Utility Dive, Climate Nexus, Clean Energy Wire)
Subsidy slide – Government fuel and electricity subsidies are projected to drop sharply this year due to declines in prices and energy consumption from the COVID-19 pandemic, the IEA said in new analysis. The IEA noted that periods of low prices are typically a good time to implement reforms to cut wasteful and expensive subsidies, especially in countries reliant on energy revenue that are now under financial strain. However, the agency added that there are few signs so far that low prices are prompting an accelerated phaseout of subsidies, through pre-existing reform efforts have continued. (Axios)
Green force – UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is planning a “green industrial revolution” to create jobs for people who have been made redundant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Times reports. An economic stimulus package to be announced next month will include government investment in clean energy. There could also be a fund to re-skill workers so they can get green jobs in areas such as insulation upgrades, offshore wind, and carbon capture. The ideas being proposed reportedly go significantly beyond the Conservative government’s manifesto commitment to create 2 million jobs in clean energy. (Carbon Brief)
Driving higher – The average CO2 emissions of new light-duty vehicles registered in the EU and Iceland in 2018 stayed well below the applicable targets, according to final data published by the European Environment Agency. However, average CO2 emissions of both new passenger cars and new vans increased compared to 2017. The final data shows that the average CO2 of new passenger cars were 120.8 grams of CO2/km, which was up by over 2g YoY and below the target of 130g that applied until 2019. The average CO2 emissions of new vans sold in 2018 was 157.9g per km, which was also up by nearly 2g YoY and below the target of 175g that applied until 2019. The European Commission said the upticks were due to two trends: the shift away from diesel towards petrol, and the increase in demand for larger sport utility vehicles. With the stricter EU fleet-wide targets of 95 g CO2/km for cars and 147 g CO2/km for vans entering into effect from this year, manufacturers will have to improve the fuel efficiency of their fleet and accelerate the deployment of zero- and low-emission vehicles.
Driving forward – The US House Transportation Committee’s five-year surface transportation bill — expected to be unveiled later this week — will include a hefty focus on climate mitigation, as House leadership had previously promised, Politico reports. The major themes of the $494 bln bill are state of good repair, safety and climate mitigation and resiliency. The Transportation Department would be directed to establish a new performance measure on GHG emissions that states will need to report. The highest-achieving states would be given added flexibility for how they’ll use funds from a new $8.4 bln carbon reduction apportionment programme, while low-performing states would be required to shift additional money into the programme. An apportionment programme for resiliency would be funded at $6.3 bln. The bill also includes a $1.8 bln investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It will be formally introduced Thursday during a pro forma session.
Lanza extravaganza – Chicago area-based biotech company LanzaTech on Tuesday launched its LanzaJet spinout alongside several corporate partners to bring sustainable aviation fuel to the commercial market. Japanese trading and investment company Mitsui and Canadian oil and gas producer Suncor Energy will invest $85 mln to back the first development-scale facilities that LanzaJet will be constructing, including $25 mln to build a demonstration plant that will produce 10 mln gal (38 mln L) per year of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel. Once LanzaJet identifies its feedstock supplier, the company expects to begin working on building the demonstration facility, which should be completed by 2022. (Tech Crunch)
And finally… You love to tea it – Yorkshire Tea has announced that all of its products are now 100% carbon neutral, “from field to shelf”. Working with Natural Capital Partners, the UK-headquartered beverage brand said it spent five years working on projects directly within its supply chain to benefit communities and help balance and reduce its carbon footprint. Yorkshire Tea worked with TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Programme) to encourage smallholder tea farmers to plant fruit and nut trees around tea gardens, as the trees help by soaking up carbon and providing valuable secondary incomes, along with shade and food. So far, the project has helped to plant over 1.5 million trees around the Mount Kenya region with over 4,000 tea farmers taking part. “We could easily have bought carbon credits from existing programmes, but we decided to create new projects that would provide long term benefits to tea producers,” said Simon Hotchkin, head of sustainable development at parent company Taylors of Harrogate. (Hotelowner.co.uk)
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