CP Daily: Thursday September 24, 2020

Published 00:30 on September 25, 2020  /  Last updated at 00:40 on September 25, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

ANALYSIS: Xi’s climate plan could transform China’s carbon market, but only much later

President Xi Jinping’s 2060 carbon neutral target will likely bring about massive offset demand in China in the long run, but market participants and observers expect the nation’s fledgling emissions trading system to remain unaffected initially.

AMERICAS

California ETS requires re-examination after auction hiccups, legislator says

California should revisit its cap-and-trade programme in the wake of consecutive undersubscribed quarterly auctions and the need to increase climate ambition across the Golden State, a state legislator and board member of regulator ARB said Thursday.

NA Markets: WCI allowances creep to new COVID-era highs, RGGI prices stagnate

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices inched up on the secondary market for the second straight week, while RGGI allowances (RGA) stagnated despite an uptick in activity.

Oregon Clean Fuels Program registers 45k credit surplus in Q1

The Oregon Clean Fuels Program (OCFP) posted a 45,000-tonne credit surplus during the first quarter of the year even as the policy’s carbon intensity benchmarks tightened, according to state data published Wednesday.

EMEA

Morgan Stanley raises 2021-25 EUA price forecasts 55% on Brussels’ bolstered climate plans

Morgan Stanley this week raised its EU carbon price forecasts for the next five years by a massive 55% on average following the release of more ambitious climate plans by the European Commission.

EU Market: EUAs jump up after dipping below €26 in continued rocky trade

EUAs continued their volatile week on Thursday, bouncing back after a dive below €26 despite another dismal auction result and wider market weakness.

EU carbon capture prospects “improving” with higher climate goals, IEA says

Opportunities to invest in technology-based carbon removals in the EU have improved in recent years, opening new pathways for the bloc’s heavy industry, an IEA report released Thursday said.

Trading shop Freepoint parts ways with cross-commodity analyst

A senior cross-commodity analyst has left commodities trading firm Freepoint, Carbon Pulse has learned.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

True to type – Few countries are living up to their promises of a “green recovery” from the coronavirus crisis, with hundreds of billions likely to be spent on economic rescue packages that increase GHG emissions, research has found. The US is planning nearly $3 trillion in spending with few environmental safeguards attached and little money going to low-carbon efforts, while rolling back regulations that protect nature and the environment. Of the total US stimulus of about $2.98 trillion, only about $39 bln is going towards green projects, according to the analysis. (Guardian)

An agenda of change – Kenya’s candidate to become the next head of the WTO has pledged to integrate climate change issues into the organisation’s agenda if selected. Amina Mohamed, who is the East African nation’s sports minister, progressed to the second round of selection for the role, along with four other candidates. Mohamed, who was previously involved in the development of green financial instruments at UNEP, said if appointed she would task a WTO committee with drawing up trade rules for environmental goods and services like solar panels and wind turbines, and would look to replicate initiatives like the carbon tax in Europe. (Reuters)

Stop the spending – In an updated draft budget for the coming years, the German government is no longer allocating funds for buying emissions rights under the EU’s Effort Sharing Directive in case the country misses its climate target in sectors not covered by the EU ETS. The €100 mln foreseen in the current 2020 budget have not been spent, and funds that had been earmarked for 2021 and 2022 no longer appear in the updated plans for 2021-24. “If emission allowances have to be bought for the 2013-20 period, the 2022 budget would have to provide for this,” an environment ministry spokesperson told Clean Energy Wire. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, GHGs this year are expected to fall substantially, meaning Germany could reach or even surpass its 2020 targets, which include a 40% emissions reduction on 1990 levels. The ministry said that it has not purchased any rights for past years, and due to the uncertain effects of the pandemic, the government is currently not in negotiations with other countries holding surplus rights, known as AEAs. Such talks could be resumed once the first emissions estimates for 2020 are published in March next year. However, should emissions fall about 10% from 2019 to 2020 – something that “should not be ruled out” due to the pandemic – there would be no need to buy any rights for the period, said the ministry.

Metropolis money – A new multilateral finance fund has been launched with the aim of cutting carbon emissions and improving conditions in developing-world cities. Implemented by the World Bank and the EUs lending arm, the EIB, the City Climate Finance Gap Fund aims to unlock at least €4 bln for low-carbon and climate-resilient projects. Cities already account for 70% of global CO2 emissions, and 2.5 bln more people are expected to move to them by 2050, with Africa alone expected to see a 700% increase in urban land cover by 2030. (Reuters)

Carbon cultivation – The rearing of livestock for meat and dairy is producing total emissions greater than all of the cars and vans on the road in the EU, and the situation is getting worse, analysis by Greenpeace has found. GHG emissions from animal farming in the EU account for 17% of the bloc’s emissions, while cars and vans are responsible for 14.5%. Between 2007 and 2018, yearly emissions from animal farming rose by 6%, which was the equivalent of adding 8.4 mln cars to European roads. The figures showed that animals on European farms emit the equivalent of 502 MtCO2e per year. (Independent)

Smitten in the Mitten – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Wednesday unveiled two executive orders to establish a “Mi Healthy Climate Plan” that aims to develop new clean energy jobs and put the state on a path to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. One of the orders directs the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to develop the action plan for the state to achieve a 28% GHG reduction below 1990 levels by 2025 en route to net zero emissions. It also creates a Council on Climate Solutions to guide the implementation of the plan. (Politico)

Venture forth – Venture capital and corporate investment into climate tech grew at a faster rate than overall VC investment as a whole between 2013-19, to the tune of $60 bln of early-stage capital. New research by PwC found that although it’s still early days for climate tech in terms of the overall VC market (approximately 6% of total capital invested in 2019), VC investment into the space is growing quickly – it increased from $418 mln per annum in 2013 to $16.3 bln in 2019. According to the report, that is approximately three times the growth rate of VC investment into AI over the same period, and five times the average growth in VC. (TechCrunch)

Might as well go for a soda (ash CO2 cut) – Ciech aims to cut 30% of its CO2 emissions within five years, compared with 2019 levels, the Polish company said this week. Ciech is Europe’s second largest soda ash producer, with plants in Poland and Germany, and the manufacturing process is an energy-intensive activity. The company said rising EU carbon allowance prices remain the main challenge for soda ash manufacturers in Europe. Carbon pricing, combined with pressure for more capital expenditure aimed at reducing emissions, could contribute to upward pressure on soda ash prices on the European market in the autumn, it added. Ciech said that in the past year, its CO2 per tonne of soda ash produced at its Polish plants fell by around 2%. (ICIS)

Malfeasance in Malawi – The Malawi government has failed to channel carbon tax revenue amounting to 1 billion kwacha ($1.33 mln) towards environmental protection. In the last financial year, the government introduced carbon tax on vehicles as part of Malawi’s contribution to fighting climate change. While appearing before the Parliamentary Cluster on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peterson Ponderani, budget director in the Ministry of Finance, confirmed that the carbon tax revenue has not been utilised, and were instead deposited into the government main budgetary account. Welani Chilenga, chairperson of the Cluster, accused the Ministry of Finance of lying to the public about the purpose of carbon tax. (Yoneco FM)

And finally… Carbon pricing poet – An Indian businessman made a poetic case for taxing carbon and ending coal burning on Thursday at an online event as part of New York Climate Week. Nadir Godrej, managing director of Godrej Industries, which produces soap and vegetable oils, surprised viewers by answering questions about India’s growth path in verse. The engineer and poetry enthusiast rhymed his way through a detailed set of policies to drive emissions cuts and switch to clean energy. (Climate Home)

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