CP Daily: Friday January 29, 2021

Published 03:08 on January 30, 2021  /  Last updated at 03:08 on January 30, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

RGGI Q4 emissions skew lower as 2021-25 bank adjustment estimate edges down

RGGI reported a year-on-year drop in emissions in Q4 due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while total 2020 output would set the upcoming five-year allowance bank adjustment slightly lower than the power sector scheme’s expectations, official data showed on Friday.

AMERICAS

California LCFS registers 115k surplus for Q3 2020 on RNG rush

Entities regulated by California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) recorded a credit surplus of 115,600 tonnes during the third quarter of 2020, with a surge in CO2-negative renewable natural gas (RNG) helping to counter analysts’ expectations of a draw on the bank.

California offset task force close to completing revised draft, sources say

A California compliance offset protocol committee will release a revised draft report for public comment as early as next week before finalising the document by March, regulatory sources confirmed to Carbon Pulse.

Financial entities build as emitters cut CCA positions ahead of Q1 auction

Speculators boosted their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) holdings as regulated parties once again trimmed their position this week, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.

US Carbon Pricing and LCFS Roundup for week ending Jan. 29, 2021

A summary of legislative and regulatory action on carbon pricing, clean fuel standards, and clean energy at the US subnational and federal level this week, including developments in Massachusetts, California, and Oregon.

US oil firm transacts first CO2-neutral product as it aims for net zero crude

A US-based company has delivered its first CO2-neutral oil, bundling the fuel shipment with carbon offsets and saying the milestone was its first step in achieving net-zero oil.

ASIA PACIFIC

South Korea to tighten ETS benchmarks in net zero race

South Korea plans to adjust the benchmark settings and CO2 allowance auctioning rate in its emissions trading scheme as part of efforts to drive technology innovation to help bring the nation’s carbon output down to net zero by 2050, the environment ministry said Friday.

China’s Shenyang to kick off emissions trading market in July

China’s northern city of Shenyang is expected to launch trading in its municipal carbon market this July, with the programme spanning around 500 companies initially, local media reported Friday.

Australia Market Roundup: ACCU issuance drops, while climate bill garners business support

Offset issuances in Australia fell back to a more pedestrian level this week after a busy period to end last year, while independent MP Zali Steggall’s climate bill is winning the backing of major business groups in an ongoing parliamentary hearing.

EMEA

EU lawmakers insist on negative emissions, CO2 budget in Climate Law text

European Parliament negotiators are not giving up on their demands to set a post-2050 negative emissions goal and to create an EU carbon budget as part of Climate Law talks set to resume next week.

EU carbon prices could triple on tighter supply, growing interest from industrials and investors -analyst

One of the EU carbon market’s most bullish analysts has reiterated his prediction that allowance prices will triple in the near term and could even soar into triple digits later this year.

EU Market: EUAs slip below €33 after first 2021 auction underwhelms

EUAs fell by a euro on Friday to notch a 3.8% weekly loss, as the energy complex continued to weigh and the first auction of the year cleared at a sizeable discount.

Switzerland sets dates for final auction of Phase 2 carbon allowances

Switzerland has set the dates for its final auction of Phase 2 (2013-20) carbon allowances.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Copping feels – The COP26 UN climate summit due in November in Glasgow could be postponed for the second time depending on the global levels of coronavirus, reports The Scotsman. Citing Scotland’s top public health official, it said the UK government has plans for everything from cancellation to holding a full COP26, with everything in between, including a negotiators-only event or a fully virtual event. The summit also risks getting drawn into a wider political battle, as the partly-devolved Scottish government is currently considering introducing tougher quarantine rules for international travellers than other parts of the UK, according to pro-independence leader Nicola Sturgeon, the BBC reported.

Grounded – According to data compiled by Europe’s air navigation agency Eurocontrol, the exceptional decline in 2020 air traffic due to the pandemic travel restrictions led to an overall fall in CO2 emissions from flights across Europe of 56.9% last year compared to 2019. Using the global standard of assigning CO2 emissions to the country of departure, the decline was a similar 54.5%. The data shows a considerable variation between countries in their CO2 reductions, which was driven by differences in the local fleet (lighter or heavier, younger or older aircraft), flight distances (short or long haul), mix of market segments (cargo, scheduled and business aviation) and by the extent of COVID restrictions on flights. For example, departing flights from Belgium were down by around half in 2020 but CO2 emissions were only reduced by 30%. In a new set of traffic scenarios for the period up to June 2021, Eurocontrol expects air traffic to be around 64% down in Jan. 2021 compared to Jan. 2019 and says the situation is quickly deteriorating as many countries across Europe are imposing stricter travel controls in response to the latest waves of COVID and risks associated with new variants. (GreenAir Online)

Forestry consultation – The European Commission has launched an online public consultation on the development of a new EU Forest Strategy. The strategy, which the Commission will adopt later this year, will build on the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, cover the whole forest cycle, and promote the many services that forests provide. It also looks into how to mobilise EU support instruments, forest monitoring, forest-based industries, and the bloc’s target of planting 3 bln trees by 2030. The consultation is open until Apr. 19.

Secret stall – A federal judge in Montana late Wednesday ruled against President Donald Trump (R) administration’s attempt to fast-track a controversial rule about how the US EPA considers scientific evidence, endangering its future under the Biden administration. The Trump EPA had characterised the so-called ‘secret science’ rule, which would restrict the use of studies that don’t make their underlying data publicly available, as procedural, allowing it to go into effect immediately. Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, disagreed, determining that the rule was substantive and ordering that it can’t go into effect until Feb. 5. Delaying the rule could jeopardise it, as the rule would now be subject to a new White House memo that freezes pending regulations for 60 days. (The Hill)

Mapping exercise – Democratic US Senators Ed Markey and Tammy Duckworth and Representative Cori Bush, flanked by leading environmental justice advocates, unveiled legislation on Thursday that would create an inter-agency task force to map environmental justice communities “based on cumulative impacts.” Such tools will be crucial for the Biden administration to deliver on its commitment that “40% of the overall benefits flow to disadvantaged communities.” (Politico)

And finally… Snack attack – Drinks firm PepsiCo has announced plans to work with alternative meat company Beyond Meat that will see the owner of Lays, Cheetos, and Doritos to invent new types of plant-based snacks that can meet growing consumer demand for sustainable alternatives to traditional food products. (BusinessGreen)

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