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The global voluntary carbon market should be standardised to allow credits to list on exchanges via a “core” contract to help massively scale up and meet Paris Agreement climate goals, according to a draft consultation launched Tuesday by a private-sector taskforce steered by UN climate finance envoy Mark Carney.
EU negotiators agreed on Tuesday a deal for the bloc’s €1.074 trillion seven-year budget and a €750 billion coronavirus recovery fund, with tighter scrutiny for climate spending part of the final package.
European carbon prices receded on Tuesday, pulling back slightly after Monday’s huge COVID vaccine-fuelled rise amid supply pressures and fundamental weakness from milder weather.
Ukraine will launch a system for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of emissions in 2021, the country’s environment minister announced on Tuesday, marking a milestone on the path to designing a national carbon market.
German utility Uniper reported an 11% year-on-year drop in EU-based CO2 output for the first nine months of 2020, though the opening of the Datteln coal plant slowed its decarbonisation efforts, according to quarterly results published on Tuesday.
Czech utility CEZ continued to be less heavily hedged than in recent years over Q3, while its relatively resilient coal generation is set to tumble next year following a deal to sell its biggest facility.
Alberta carbon offset values surged by 20% in recent days after the provincial government confirmed that the excess emissions charge under its Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) programme will rise by C$10 next year, matching the increase in Ottawa’s CO2 pricing mandate.
Utility Dominion Energy plans to build a RGGI allowance bank and cover roughly a fourth of its annual obligations via quarterly cap-and-trade auctions, with the Virginia-based company aiming to recoup these costs on electricity bills, according to newly published documents.
California electricity sector CO2 output rose year-on-year for the second consecutive month as a September heatwave broke weather records across the Golden State, California Independent System Operator (CAISO) data showed.
A trio of California-based dairy digesters are seeking biogas-to-electricity pathways under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), continuing the year-long trend of projects shifting over from the California Carbon Offset (CCO) market.
The projected presidential victory of Democratic nominee Joe Biden this weekend opens the door for the US government to take swift action on domestic and global climate policy during the first days of his administration, although a potentially divided Congress could stifle some of the progress necessary to achieve rapid and deep decarbonisation.
INTERVIEW: Carney-led voluntary CO2 market taskforce “barking up the wrong tree”, says South Pole boss
On the eve of the release of an expert report that could help revolutionise the “murky” global voluntary carbon market, the head of South Pole – one of the world’s biggest offset developers – says the authoring taskforce led by former Bank of England head Mark Carney is “barking up the wrong tree” and should be focused more on how to significantly raise prices than on creating benchmarks or improving transparency.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
*Carbon Pulse is organising and moderating a series of side events at the IETA-ICAP Carbon Markets Virtual Pavilion on Nov. 11-12, including sessions on the EU ETS, China, Canada, RGGI, and carbon as an investible asset class. The full event programme also offers high-level discussions and interactive sessions, along with an informal carbon markets networking area for people to connect and stay in touch. Registration is free and open to the public, but spaces are limited for the Carbon Pulse side events so sign up now!*
Double duty – Global wind and solar capacity will double over the next five years and exceed that of both gas and coal, according to a new IEA report. The Paris-based agency anticipates a 1,123 GW increase in wind and solar that would mean these power sources overtake gas capacity in 2023 and coal in 2024. The continued growth of wind and solar means renewables, including hydro and bioenergy, would displace coal as the largest source of the world’s power generation by 2025. (Carbon Brief)
Help me, help you – The US Federal Reserve in a report on Monday said it would be helpful for financial firms to provide more information about how their investments could be affected by frequent and severe weather and could improve the pricing of climate risks, “thereby reducing the probability of sudden changes in asset prices”. However, the central bank stopped short of outright calling on banks to do so, adding that it will look at these issues through the lens of financial stability. (Politico)
The next step – South Korea stole the headlines last month when President Moon Jae-in announced his country would hit net zero emissions by 2050. On Tuesday, Democratic Party MP Lee So-young introduced a bill in parliament that would enshrine the target in law. It would also require the government to develop policies and strategies for meeting the target, and establish several new bodies, including a National Climate Crisis Committee and a Climate Crisis Response Fund. (Poli News, in Korean).
Taking his ball and going home, for now – A split has opened up within Australia’s opposition Labor party over the past few months over climate change. Joel Fitzgibbon, a senior member of the party and part of Labor’s shadow cabinet, has repeatedly attacked the party leadership over climate policy, saying it would continue to lose elections if it supports action on climate change ahead of coal jobs. Following a late-night internal brawl over the issue, Fitzgibbon resigned from the shadow cabinet on Tuesday morning, the Guardian reports. While that gives him less influence in the party in the short term, he told reporters that he supports the current leadership but does not rule out challenging party leader Anthony Albanese if he was “drafted” by colleagues.
Interlinked – The first-ever direct electricity interconnector between Germany and Belgium has begun operation, transmission system operators from the two countries announced on Monday. The 90-km underground cable known as ALEGrO connects substations in western Germany’s Rhineland region and Wallonia in southern Belgium, transmitting 1 GW of power. The interconnector will be linked with the EU electricity market as of Nov. 18, with intraday capacities to begin trading on Dec. 8. German TSO Amprion said that the new link “facilitates the integration of renewable energy into the power system, opens up cheap electricity sources for consumers, [and] strengthens the security of supply in both countries”. (Clean Energy Wire)
Hydrogen buddies – BP and Orsted on Tuesday signed a letter of intent to develop a project for industrial-scale production of green hydrogen. In their proposed Lingen Green Hydrogen project, the two firms intend to build an initial 50MW electrolyser and associated infrastructure at BP’s Lingen refinery in northwest Germany. The electrolyser will be powered by an Orsted offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The two companies plan to make an FID in early 2022, with views to have the project operational as of 2024. The Lingen project will also seek to obtain funds from the EU’s €10 bln Innovation Fund, financed through the auctioning of 450 mln EUAs and unused funds from its predecessor NER300 programme. BP and Orsted applied to the Innovation Fund’s first call, which closed at the end of October.
North American adjustment – New Canadian Green Party Leader Annamie Paul on Monday said that Canada should immediately begin bilateral negotiations with US President-elect Joe Biden on the creation of a North American Carbon Border Adjustment (CBA). Paul said a CBA would enhance the competitiveness of North American firms that are more energy efficient than their global competitors, prevent carbon leakage of industries to countries with less stringent regulations, and incentivise other countries to put a price on CO2 emissions.
It’s no Occident – US-based Occidental Petroleum on Tuesday laid out a target to reduce GHG emissions at its operations to net zero by 2040, becoming the latest oil and gas company to set long-term climate goal. The oil company will provide detail on its net-zero target by the end of November when it releases its sustainability report, while Chief Executive Vicki Hollub on Tuesday touted an August announcement that a unit of Occidental would finance development of the world’s largest ever direct air capture facility. (Reuters)
It’s all net zero now – Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry – better known internationally as Foxconn – has become the latest major company to pledge a net zero emissions target by 2050. The company manufactures a number of high-profile electronic products, such as the iPhone and iPad, BlackBerry, and Kindle, as well as several models for PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox. In a statement, the company promised to take action towards the group’s GHG emissions across the value chain, though it did not announce any specific actions.
And finally… Broken record – Tropical Storm Theta became the 29th storm of the exceptionally active and record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season Monday night. No year on record has ever seen so many named storms, and officials are tracking two systems that could become named storms in the coming days. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Eta, which already caused widespread devastation across Central America, dumped more than 33 cm of rain across South Florida and inundated coastlines with storm surge, leaving thousands without electricity. (Climate Nexus)
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