CP Daily: Monday January 25, 2021

Published 01:56 on January 26, 2021  /  Last updated at 11:36 on May 21, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

*NEW* – VCM Report: Offset prices inch down after bullish start to 2021

Offset prices in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) receded last week despite a positive outlook going forward after new US President Joe Biden (D) issued several climate-related executive orders.

EMEA

EU foreign ministers tout carbon markets in new climate diplomacy push

EU foreign ministers on Monday adopted a new climate diplomacy agenda for the 27-nation bloc that acknowledged the role of national and international carbon markets.

EU Market: EUAs drop 3.2% on weaker gas, warnings of looming auctions

EUAs tumbled back towards €33 on Monday as gas prices again weakened and observers warned of pressure from the upcoming auction resumption.

EU gas-fired power resilient in COVID era as coal displaced by renewables -report

EU gas-fired power generation slipped 4% year-on-year in 2020 while coal power output fell 20% as renewables eclipsed ETS-covered fossil generation for the first time, a report showed on Monday.

ASIA PACIFIC

China takes step towards carbon futures exchange

China has approved the setting up of a futures exchange in Guangzhou, moving closer to a carbon futures market as provincial officials in Guangdong are keen for the bourse to establish itself as an emissions trading hub spanning Hong Kong and Macao.

AMERICAS

California fuel consumption declines amid soaring COVID-19 cases

California fuel consumption dropped in November as coronavirus cases surged over the month and led to more stringent statewide restrictions to slow the spread, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

INTERNATIONAL

Natural climate solutions can provide 7 bln tonnes of CO2 abatement by 2030 -report

Investing in conservation and land management programmes can sequester nearly one-third of the carbon necessary to keep temperatures in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target, with carbon markets seen as an important component in realising this goal, according to a report published Monday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Policy push – US President Joe Biden’s administration this week will release more policies it believes are needed to tackle climate change and is urging China to toughen one of its targets on GHG emissions, the White House’s national climate advisor Gina McCarthy said Saturday. While McCarthy did not say what policies would be released, a memo seen by Reuters on Thursday showed Biden will unveil a second round of executive orders as soon as Jan. 27 that include an omnibus order to combat climate change domestically and elevate the issue as a national security priority. After taking office Jan. 20, Biden quickly issued executive orders cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline that would import tar sands oil from Canada and rejoining the Paris Agreement. Separately, Biden announced Monday that he will start the process of phasing out the federal government’s use of gas-powered vehicles and replacing them with ones that run on electricity. Biden revealed the plan during a briefing Monday announcing his “Buy American” executive order. There were nearly 650,000 vehicles in the federal government’s fleet in 2019 that travelled 4.5 bln miles that year, according to the General Services Administration. (The Verge)

Making good – The US will “significantly increase” climate adaptation funding to developing nations, including through concessional finance, presidential climate envoy John Kerry told the first global summit on adaptation hosted by the Netherlands on Monday. He also promised the new administration would “make good on our climate finance pledge”. The US owes $2 bln to the Green Climate Fund after Donald Trump reneged on the previous administration’s pledge. Meanwhile, the summit launched the Adaptation Action Agenda to accelerate actions for climate resilience to 2030. (Climate Home)

Ominous down-under – Australia has quietly been appointing fossil fuel industry leaders to the body tasked with overseeing the quality and integrity of its carbon offset projects, The Guardian reports. Among recent additions are the new chair, David Byers – with a past at the Minerals Council of Australia, the nation’s strongest fossil fuel lobby group, as well as BHP Billiton and the petroleum industry association. Another new member is Brian Fisher – a former bureaucrat who has previously penned reports warning that efforts to cut GHG emissions are too expensive. Two other newcomers have backgrounds from the oil and cement industries. The Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC) is responsible for approving the methodologies that are eligible to earn carbon credits in Australia, similar to the CDM’s executive board.

Pledging green – The European Commission on Monday launched its Green Consumption Pledge initiative, inviting companies to accelerate their contribution to a green transition and build consumer trust in sustainable products. Colruyt Group, Decathlon, Lego Group, L’Oreal, and Renewd are the first companies participating in a pilot project. The companies are committing to five carbon pledges, including the calculation of their own CO2 footprints as well as that of their selected flagship products, and to increase the sale of sustainable products and services.

Exploring options – Oil major BP has cut its geologists, engineers, and scientists to less than 100 from a peak of more than 700 a few years ago, company sources told Reuters, part of a climate change-driven overhaul triggered last year by CEO Bernard Looney. Hundreds have left BP’s oil exploration team in recent months, either transferred to help develop new low-carbon activities or laid off, current and former employees said, though the company did not comment. The exodus is the starkest sign yet from inside the company of its rapid shift away from oil and gas, which will nevertheless be its main source of cash to finance a switch to renewables for at least the next decade.

And finally… Sunburned – Two Trump appointees are being investigated by the US Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General for posting debunked scientific reports on climate denial website in the final days of the administration. David Legates, who acted as the head of the US Global Change Research Program in the Trump administration, and Ryan Maue, a senior official at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, were removed from their positions this month after posting on a climate denialism website with the logo of the executive office of the president. The reports centred on widely debunked climate conspiracy theories, including one that claims the sun, and not man-made pollution, is responsible for recent global warming. (New York Times)

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