CP Daily: Monday October 26, 2020

Published 23:28 on October 26, 2020  /  Last updated at 23:28 on October 26, 2020  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Japan pledges net zero emissions by 2050

Japan will reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday, though a full suite of policies to meet the target has yet to be decided.

ASIA PACIFIC

Climate finance guidelines provide boost for financial traders in China ETS

Key ministries and financial regulators have circulated a set of opinions on climate finance regulations in China, boosting prospects for domestic and foreign investors to trade CO2 allowances and the development of carbon-related financial products.

NZ environment ministry likely to take interim role as ETS auction monitor

The Ministry for the Environment looks set to take up an interim role as auction monitor in New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, as the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the process of developing regulations for a permanent monitor, according to newly-released internal government documents.

EMEA

Brussels should not rush to design “tricky” carbon border measures -former EU trade boss

The EU must be fully transparent when designing a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) and join forces with other nations or it risks distancing itself from trade partners, a former EU trade commissioner said on Monday.

EU carbon prices to resist further falls this year as buyers wait in wings -analysts

EUAs are likely to resist bearish pressure from big auctions, COVID safeguards, and Brexit uncertainty for the rest of this year, according to analysts, who expect bargain-hunting buyers will step in to cover price dips.

EU Market: EUAs sink back below €24 as virus rates climb

EUA prices tumbled back below €24 on Monday, giving back all of Friday’s 5% surge on another weak auction and technical selling over wider market weakness due to rising coronavirus infection rates.

AMERICAS

Virginia will proceed with RGGI linkage as lawsuit churns in the courts

A lawsuit challenging Virginia’s cap-and-trade regulation is not expected to disrupt the state’s entrance into the Northeast US RGGI carbon market next year, according to regulatory and government sources.

BP to purchase voluntary carbon offsets from new Wisconsin forestry project

Oil major BP has agreed to buy carbon credits from a new forestry project in northern Wisconsin, adding to the company’s growing procurements of voluntary market offsets from US-based initiatives.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Forest finance – Corporate demand for carbon removals and offsetting will establish forests as a major new asset class that could generate $800 bln annually for investors by mid-century, according to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The forest finance market, historically small and managed by the public sector, is set to balloon into a market worth “well over” $1.2 trillion by 2050 as a growing number of corporates make investments to help them meet their net zero goals. Technological removals could generate a further $625 bln. (BusinessGreen)

Giving way – The European Commission “will not stand in the way” of countries that choose to build new nuclear power stations, said EU climate chief Frans Timmermans, although he warned about the life-cycle costs of the technology. The statement suggests the institution will not block state aid for new nuclear projects in Poland and Czechia, which have expressed interest in the technology as a way of meeting EU climate goals. Last week, Warsaw announced that it would seek the EU’s approval to build a nuclear power station based on US technology, saying it is “impossible these days to build a nuclear power plant without state support”. The country wants to build 6-9 GW of nuclear energy capacity as part of plans to phase out coal power. (Euractiv)

Same, but different – Thailand has become the latest nation to submit an updated NDC to the UNFCCC. Its target remains the same as the one pledged in Paris five years ago – a 20% reduction below a 555 MtCO2e BAU emissions in 2030, that could be increased to 25% with international support. The new plan includes updated information about its efforts, such as achieving a 14% reduction in emissions from energy and transport covered by its NAMAs. The NDC re-stated that Thailand “will continue to explore the potentials of bilateral, regional, and multilateral market-based cooperation, including in the context of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement”.

It’s a start – Yili, one of China’s biggest dairy producers, this weekend pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060, in line with President Xi Jinping’s announcement last month that China will aim for that ambition. According to local media, Yili said it will meet the target by reducing emissions from pastures, building green factories, and using environmentally friendly packaging. However, as agricultural emissions are hard to eliminate completely, some carbon credits are likely to be needed as well. Chinese companies have not been particularly interested in setting voluntary carbon targets before Xi’s announcement, though many observers hope the presidential announcement could kickstart a trend, and Yili’s pledge is perhaps a start.

Fixing a date – The COVID-19 pandemic has created all sorts of problems for China’s pilot carbon markets, delaying the 2019 compliance date for all of them. While some of the programmes have been able to complete their true-up deadlines by now, others are still preparing. The Guangdong provincial government on Monday announced emitters covered by its ETS will have to surrender allowances by Nov. 30, while those that need to use offsets to meet their goals will have to apply for eligibility by Nov. 25, the government notice said.

Back-to-back in BC – The left-wing NDP will form a historic majority government in British Columbia for the first time in more than 20 years, CBC projects, as voters opted to stay the course in a tumultuous year and send Leader John Horgan back to the legislature as the only consecutive two-term premier in his party’s history. Horgan and the party were projected to take 55 of BC’s 87 ridings as of Monday, compared to 29 for the Liberals and three for the Green Party. However, Horgan stopped short of a full victory speech to acknowledge the final count won’t be finished until more than 500,000 mail-in ballots are counted in November. The NDP platform pledged to legislate a 2050 net zero emissions target, though the previous NDP-Green coalition government already set a carbon abatement target of 80% below 2007 levels by 2050.

Canadian consolidation – Cenovus Energy on Sunday announced it has agreed to buy rival Husky Energy in an all-stock deal valued at C$3.8 bln ($2.9 bln) to create Canada’s third largest oil and gas producer, as a pandemic-driven collapse in demand forces the industry to consolidate. The deal makes Cenovus an integrated producer with refineries in Canada and the US, adding to their existing half-ownerships in two US facilities. Cenovus said the combined company will be able to produce 750,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and the transaction is expected to close in Q1 2021. (Reuters)

Soft on SAF – To help meet its 2030 carbon negative goal, Microsoft has announced a partnership with Alaska Airlines that will see the tech giant reduce the environmental impact of its business travel by procuring sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to cover its employees’ flights. Microsoft will buy credits for jet fuel made from waste oil by Dutch company SkyNRG, who will in turn supply the low-emissions fuel to Alaska Airlines. (BusinessGreen)

Tipping off of Boston – Senior UK civil servants involved in organising the Nov. 2021 COP26 Glasgow UN climate negotiations are concerned about a possible conflict of interest at its heart, Channel 4 News reports, citing anonymous officials. One of the world’s leading management consultancy firms, BCG (Boston Consulting Group), which regularly advises the fossil fuel industry, is being employed as a consultant by the government department planning the summit.

And finally… Tag it & bag it – Picture this: you’re in a department store, shopping for a new pair of jeans. You’ve found two pairs you like, from two different brands, and they are about the same price. But along with the price tag, a second label shows one pair generated 39 pounds of CO2e, while the other was responsible for just 29 pounds.  Which would you choose?  According to the developers of a new carbon footprint calculator, that’s the sort of decision consumers should be empowered to make for every purchase. The 2030 Calculator aims to give manufacturers a way to calculate, free of charge, a carbon footprint for every product they sell. “What we wanted to do is for people to be able to see on their receipt the carbon footprint level next to the item,” says Mathias Wikstrom, CEO of Swedish start-up Doconomy, which develops financial products focused on sustainability. “The challenge we came across was that not many firms had their products’ carbon emissions calculated, so we decided to build a calculator for them to be able to do that.” (Read more from Forbes)

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