CP Daily: Monday August 10, 2020

Published 00:42 on August 11, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:42 on August 11, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Experts see potential for belated start to RGGI ETS review

The next programme review for the Northeast US RGGI carbon market may not begin this year as the 10 member states deal with other priorities, while ETS officials said no public decisions have been made about the timeline.

AMERICAS

Top California LCFS credit holder slashes position over past six months, data shows

The largest holder of California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits drastically cut back on its position as of Q1, outpacing the reduction in the transportation sector programme’s surplus bank, according to state data.

British Columbia GHG output climbs 4% in 2018 

British Columbia’s net emissions rose by 4% in 2018, with nearly all covered economic sectors seeing year-on-year upticks, government figures published last week showed.

EMEA

EU’s CO2 border measures “not a cash cow, possibly loss-making” -German bank economists

EU plans for a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) will likely make little profit for the bloc while the administrative burden for importers may be significant, according to chief economists advising Germany’s largest public bank.

EU puts €13.8 mln into new ArcelorMittal steel carbon capture effort

The EU has awarded €13.8 million to a project aimed at deploying two advanced carbon capture technologies at steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s Belgium facilities and burying emissions in the North Sea.

EU Market: EUAs fail to hold early break above €27

EUA prices jumped more than 3% to top €27 on Monday, but slipped back after the day’s auction despite a firm clearance and positive macroeconomic signals.

German development agency awards €213k in UN offset purchase contracts

A German development agency has awarded four contracts worth a total €213,000 to buy “high quality” UN carbon credits to offset its emissions from 2017-18.

ASIA PACIFIC

China’s Shenyang to launch municipal emissions trading market

The northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang will launch its own emissions trading system with an ambition to become a regional carbon trading hub for facilities not covered in the national market, the municipal government has announced.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Forest free-for-all –  Forests have been razed at an alarming rate across Asia, Africa, and Latin America during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to new research, as environmental law enforcement has been sidelined and villagers have turned to logging for income in parts of the tropical world. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, forest loss alerts have increased by 77% compared to the average from 2017-19, according to data from Global Land Analysis and Discovery — a worldwide warning system for the depletion of tree cover. (FT)

Humber hub – Plans to establish the Humber as a green industrial hub took a step forward Monday with the formal submission to the UK government of a joint proposal to enable a Humber Cluster Plan that would deliver net zero emissions across the region by 2040. A coalition of businesses submitted the joint proposal to Innovate UK as part of the government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund scheme, which forms part of the £350 mln ‘green recovery’ package announced last month by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The initial bid is for £1.7 mln from government to support a £2.6 mln project that would see a comprehensive plan developed to deliver on the net zero goal. The bid is backed by British Steel, Centrica, Drax, Equinor, National Grid Ventures, Phillips 66, SSE Thermal, and VPI Immingham. A wider group of businesses will also be involved in developing the plan, with all energy-intensive industries in the Humber invited to take part, the LEP said. (BusinessGreen)

Aviation alchemy – UK tech firm Reaction Engines has begun work on a system to turn existing commercial aircraft “emission-free” by allowing them to run on ammonia rather than kerosene. Ammonia would be safer than traditional kerosene because it is harder to burn and so less of a fire hazard, the researchers said. When it does burn, it does so without CO2 emissions, though – as with the hydrogen from which it is derived – emissions can be incurred further up the production chain if not produced using renewables-powered electrolysis. Benefits in using ammonia over pure hydrogen are that it can be stored in a plane’s wings, as kerosene currently is, and the chemical is less expensive. This would allow commercial airlines to only have to adapt their existing fleet of planes rather than redesign the models, and would also not result in higher air fares. (Telegraph)

Wild dreams – Ireland’s plan to achieve a 7% GHG emission reduction every year up to 2030 is “wildly unlikely”, Irish economist Colm McCarthy said in a report commissioned by the Irish Car Carbon Reduction Alliance. According to the economist, the EU ETS and its free allocation for energy-intensive industries was “a disaster, especially for Ireland” as industry and energy lobby groups gained permits which allow emissions without penalty. He said Europe should have gone the carbon tax route instead “and increased it every year for the next 50 years”. McCarthy added that the country’s emissions are mainly from non-ETS covered sectors, such as agriculture, and argued that the Irish government relies almost entirely on national measures to reduce them. (Irish Times)

Pakistan power plan – Pakistan this week set in motion a plan to boost the share of its electric power that comes from renewables to 30% by 2030, up from about 4% today. The increase will include mainly wind and solar power, but also geothermal, tidal, wave, and biomass energy, a government official said. With boosts in hydropower capacity expected as well, the shift could bring the share of clean energy in Pakistan’s electricity mix to 65% by 2030. However, the legislation leaves in place plans to build seven more coal-fired power plants as part of the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. (Reuters)

Mellowing on methane – The US EPA is preparing to adopt new rules that would rescind regulations for methane emissions, including ending requirements that oil-and-gas producers have systems and procedures to detect methane leaks in their systems. The rule changes will apply to wells drilled since 2016 and going forward, and remove the largest pipelines, storage sites, and other parts of the transmission system from EPA oversight of smog and GHG emissions. The changes also ease reporting requirements for the industry and, for some facilities, how often a plant must check for leaks of other pollutants. (Wall Street Journal) 

High on high voltage – A US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) document sent to Congress last week found that high voltage transmission lines could help states reach their renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goals and reduce carbon emissions from the power sector. The study, which was originally published in June, found the new transmission lines could provide the US with grid stability and relieve congestion that could result from switching from dispatchable generation to wind and solar sources, and also help individual states reach their GHG goals. “New high voltage transmission lines can increase the availability of carbon-free energy and facilitate the replacement of energy generated by fossil fuels,” FERC found.

And finally… Milne melt – The last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has collapsed, losing more than 40% of its area in just two days at the end of July, researchers said last week. The Milne Ice Shelf is at the fringe of Ellesmere Island, and the shelf’s area shrank by about 80 sq. km. By comparison, the island of Manhattan in New York covers roughly 60 sq. km. (Reuters)

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