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A second consecutive WCI current vintage auction has failed to sell out, while future vintage allowances at last week’s Q3 sale cleared at a 5-cent premium to the joint programme’s floor price, according to results released Tuesday afternoon.
EU carbon prices jumped for a second straight day, adding nearly 5% at one point on Tuesday as buyers capitalised on broader market optimism and attempted to squeeze some eleventh-hour EUA gains out of a supply-starved August and ahead of a steep rise in auction volumes.
Offset credits from an emissions reduction project at a Middle East oil production facility have been valued near $400/tonne, the first awards in an under-the-radar EU market where strict limits have resulted in some of the world’s highest carbon prices.
Eight West African countries took part last week in the first of a series of consultations to establish a subregional carbon pricing instrument, the coordinator of the West African Alliance said Tuesday.
The Canadian government on Tuesday recognised Alberta and British Columbia’s offset programmes to source carbon credits under the federal ‘backstop’ output-based pricing system (OPBS), though not all protocols from the provincial systems were immediately approved.
California’s legislature may opt not to disburse hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon auction revenue this year due to doubts over upcoming WCI-linked sales, regulatory sources told Carbon Pulse.
Offset project developer Finite Carbon will this year launch the first online platform for small forest owners to access carbon markets, adding to a growing trend of nature-based undertakings.
South Korea can begin earning Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from GHG cuts from residential buildings after the UN approved its new standardised baseline system for measuring emissions, the government said Tuesday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Crisis companion – US Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis on Tuesday released its 263-page report for reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The document echoes the House’s own climate policy document released in June that advocated for some form of carbon pricing, a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), and rejoining the Paris Agreement with an enhanced GHG reduction target if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump in the November election. Unlike their control of the lower chamber, Democrats are currently the minority party in the Senate and must flip several seats this autumn to attain a simple majority. On a related note, top Democrats say they might end the Senate’s longstanding requirement to achieve 60-vote supermajority support to move legislation in order to enact bold climate change policies if they retake the Senate and the White House following the Nov. 3 elections, InsideEPA reports ($).
Southern strategy – Competitive electricity pricing across the Southeast US would save customers $17.4 bln a year and lead to the retirement of most coal plants and gas peakers in the region by 2040, according to new modelling from Vibrant Clean Energy on behalf of think-tank Energy Innovation. The analysis published Tuesday forecasts the impacts of a seven-state wholesale electricity market being set up in 2025, spanning Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The analysis shows that if a regional transmission organisation keeps existing uneconomic nuclear plants online, regional emissions would drop 41% below 2018 levels by 2040, compared to a 37% drop in emissions in the main RTO scenario. (Utility Dive)
Uncovered waste – An environmental campaigner is mounting a legal challenge to the UK government’s decision to exclude waste incinerators from its post-Brexit ETS. Georgia Elliott-Smith is seeking a judicial review of the omission of what legal papers say are “staggering” levels of CO2 emissions from waste incinerators. Lawyers acting for Elliott-Smith claim in a letter to the government that the failure to include millions of tonnes of emissions from waste incinerators is unlawful. They argue that in drawing up its new carbon trading scheme, ministers have not considered the Paris Agreement requirement to reduce emissions as soon as possible. (Guardian)
Chain proofing – Larger UK businesses will have to show that their products and supply lines for commodities, such as cocoa, soy, rubber, and palm oil, are free from illegal deforestation or face fines under government proposals outlined in a six-week consultation. The plans were given a cautious welcome by some environmental campaigners, but others argued the proposal was flawed and did nothing to tackle demand. (BBC)
Peak plateau – World oil demand has grown at a record pace – by 13 mln barrels per day in the last four months – since the bottom of the COVID-induced collapse in April. But that pace of growth is expected to taper off with global crude demand plateauing just below pre-pandemic levels, according to a new analysis by IHS Markit. Global crude demand surged from May to July with the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions and now rests at 89% of prior year levels, compared to 78% in April. IHS Markit expects demand growth to wane and plateau at 92-95 mbd (or roughly 92-95% of prior year levels) through Q1 2021. The main cause for the pause is expected to be travel – especially air travel and commuting to work – remaining subdued until COVID-19 is contained and are vaccines widely available. The number of air flights globally is about 30% below February levels (compared to 78% below in April). But actual jet fuel consumption is still 50% off prior year levels since long-distance flights have not recovered to the extent of shorter ones.
Price push – Technologies that can remove CO2 from the air could push food crop prices up more than fivefold in some parts of the world, according to new research. The study, published in the journal Nature, looked at the large-scale deployment of a range of negative emissions technologies including direct air capture, finding that the energy and water resources needed to drive these machines will be on a very large scale. The tremendous amounts of heat to make the process work would require energy equal to 115% of current global natural gas consumption, the paper found. (BBC)
Playing ball – The American Conservation Coalition Campus (ACC Campus), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Players for the Planet, Robert Clemente Jr., and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brent Suter on Thursday announced Sidelining Carbon, a new initiative focused on reducing the climate impact of professional sports team travel. The initiative will provide a landing page through offset platform Cool Effect, allowing teams and individuals to calculate their carbon footprint and purchase the equivalent amount of credits from The Nature Conservancy’s forest projects. Sidelining Carbon’s goal is to offset at least 50% of the carbon footprint associated with sports team travel by 2025.
And finally… Zeppelin revival – After 80 years out of favour, faster and hopefully much safer airships are providing a promising form of ultra-low carbon air transport for the net-zero age, with the UK and France racing to lead the way. The airships cruise at 130 km/h using the vectored thrust of helicopter technology, use 10 times less fuel than planes, and even with diesel can cut emissions by 75%. The gains increase to 90% as electric engines are added, and 100% once hydrogen fuel cells come of age. (Telegraph)
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