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Carbon removal project developers are striking deals to help channel their offset sales and build scale as demand rockets even with sky-high prices.
Putting a price on emissions from road transport and buildings at EU level will not weaken national policies to decarbonise these sectors, a senior European Commission official said on Wednesday, attempting to allay concerns that the move could replace domestic emissions targets.
European carbon prices rebounded back towards €40 on Wednesday amid a stronger auction result and a mixed energy picture, with data showing investor interest surging to fresh record levels.
A California Senate committee will hold a cap-and-trade oversight hearing next week to examine ways to improve the WCI-linked programme and its role in achieving the state’s long-term climate plan, a legislative source told Carbon Pulse.
California doled out more than 930,000 compliance offsets across nine projects over the past two weeks, with the majority of the new issuances going to projects that do not provide direct environmental benefits to the state (DEBs), according to data published by state regulator ARB on Wednesday.
The US should adopt a lower discount rate for its social cost of carbon (SCC) schedule and reincorporate global climate change damages into the calculation, experts said on Wednesday.
Australian exporters risk huge additional costs and shrinking markets as the country’s main trading partners bring climate policy into trade negotiations, but it would be relatively pain free for the government to steer clear of such sanctions, according to two reports out this week.
China’s National Energy Administration has proposed to increase the share of renewables in the nation’s power consumption to 40% by 2030 in a move designed to ensure the world’s biggest-emitting nation meets its Paris Agreement obligations.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
The COPtic Church – Egypt is interested in hosting the next round the COP27 climate summit scheduled for 2022, a country official told Climate Home. However, Egypt has not yet made a formal application to the UNFCCC, and other African countries could put themselves forward to host the talks, which are scheduled for the continent next year under the UN’s rotational system. The African Group of Negotiators is expected to hold consultations to determine which candidate the group should formally support, with Ghana having previously expressed interest.
Green tape – Money from the EU’s €672.5 bln COVID-19 economic recovery fund could end up being spent on certain fossil fuels despite rules to ensure they are not invested in climate-damaging activities, officials and sustainable finance experts say. The EU spending rules do not tie cash to specific green financing criteria, which are on hold after some member states objected to a draft version, and will instead by assessed by the European Commission on a “case by case” basis. (Reuters)
Wind of change – Orsted and Poland’s PGE on Wednesday signed an agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture for the development, construction, and operation of two offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea with a total potential capacity of up to 2.5 GW. The subscription price for the newly issued shares in the wind farms Baltica 2 and 3 will amount to a total of PLN 657 mln (€146 mln). The 1GW Baltica 3 is the most advanced of the two projects and could become operational in 2026.
Wind of change, part 2 – Europe invested €26.3 bln in new offshore wind farms in 2020, financing 7.1 GW of new capacity despite the COVID pandemic, according to industry association WindEurope. The farms will be built over the coming years, adding to the 2.9 GW of offshore wind capacity constructed in 2020. This follows the trend of 2019 when 10 new wind farms came online, adding 3.6 GW of capacity, but the industry still has a long way to go to meet the EU’s target of 60 GW of offshore capacity by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050. (Euractiv)
Picking up steam – Germany is set to to take the first step towards using carbon-free hydrogen fuel in the transport sector, with the approval of a bill phasing in the new energy source. The draft text shows initial focus will be on the switching of existing pipelines carrying hydrogen made from fossil fuels to carry ‘green’ hydrogen – from renewables – and the building of new green hydrogen pipelines. Some operators of Germany’s 550,000 km of gas transport grids have pushed for a quicker integration of systems, arguing this would ramp up the use of green hydrogen and help refinance investments via grid usage fees. (Reuters)
Green steel – Australia’s BHP and Japan’s JFE Steel have agreed to work together to study how to significantly reduce carbon emissions from steel production, the companies said Wednesday. Under an MoU, BHP has said it can put $15 mln over a five-year period into the process, as part of its $400 mln Climate Investment Programme.
Dakota delay – A US federal judge on Tuesday granted President Joe Biden (D) administration’s request to delay a hearing on the future of the Dakota Access Pipeline by two months. The Justice Department had asked the court Monday night to delay a hearing, previously scheduled for today, so it can fully brief the Biden administration on the long-standing legal case. The move could signal the Biden administration will seek a temporary shutdown of the pipeline, which carries crude oil from North Dakota to the Midwest. (Politico)
Weighty eighty – Nations’ emissions reduction pledges under the Paris Agreement will need to be 80% stronger than current plans in order to keep global temperatures 2C below pre-industrial levels, according to new analysis published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment. Researchers from the University of Washington found that countries’ current emissions trends portend only a 5% chance of staying below 2C. But even if countries meet their current medium-term pledges and continue with only the same rate of emissions cuts after 2030, the chances rise only to 26%. However, observers pointed out that the study does not take into account more recent climate targets and pledges some large countries have either adopted or already begun to implement. (Axios)
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