CP Daily: Tuesday February 16, 2021

Published 22:10 on February 16, 2021  /  Last updated at 22:10 on February 16, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Finland mulling domestic carbon market to tackle transport emissions

Finland is setting up a working group to consider implementing a domestic carbon market to tackle transportation emissions, the government announced Tuesday, while an EU consumers’ group has warned against the idea of bringing the sector under a cap-and-trade programme over risks of harming the poorest citizens.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs slip below €39 after failing to set another record

EUAs slipped back below €39 on Tuesday after a failed bid to set another all-time high stirred doubts over whether carbon’s recent rally had ended.

AMERICAS

California will not front-run Scoping Plan update with cap-and-trade regulation changes, officials say

The California government will not make any alterations to the state’s WCI-linked carbon market before it completes the 2022 Scoping Plan revision setting out the state’s future climate strategy, officials from two agencies said Tuesday.

Heritage Group takes stake in US-based offset developer ClimeCo

Environmental and sustainability services company The Heritage Group (THG) has invested in North American carbon offset developer and trading firm ClimeCo, the entities announced Tuesday.

ASIA PACIFIC

NZX begins NZU auction registration process

Would-be participants in New Zealand’s first emissions unit auction next month can now begin the registration process, NZX said.

VOLUNTARY

Offset developer ecosecurities tilts to forestry as market shifts toward removals

Carbon offset project developer ecosecurities will focus on nature-based activities after years of pursuing varied approaches, and is considering teaming up with major producers to develop initiatives at scale.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTERNATIONAL

Crude awakening – India’s maiden purchase of carbon-neutral crude oil by Reliance Industries is a strong signal from the biggest private refiner of working toward its goal to become a net carbon zero company by 2035, a move that will also open up the doors for more such inflows, the head of India’s petroleum federation told S&P Global Platts in an interview. While India’s appetite for oil won’t be slowing anytime soon and peak demand is nowhere near, refiners will be accelerating efforts in coming years in finding ways to ensure they play their part in supporting New Delhi’s goal to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, he added.

EMEA

Treat day – Brussels has proposed reforms to the international Energy Charter Treaty, seeking to immediately end protections for new private sector investments in coal and oil. New gas power infrastructure would have protection through 2030 if it emits less than 380gCO2/kWh and can use low-carbon gases, or any investments up until 2040 if they have replaced coal, Reuters reported. Spain and France have suggested leaving the treaty if the pact cannot be altered, with EU nations expected to form a united stance ahead of resumed treaty negotiations next month. Read Carbon Pulse’s article on how utility RWE is pursuing a claim against the Netherlands.

Hy-homes, hy-homes – The UK government is providing funding for two demonstrator houses heated by hydrogen to be built in Northeast England by regional pipeline managers Northern Gas Networks and Cadent Gas. It expects such hydrogen homes to be the mainstream by mid-century as costs fall, with the fuel expected to be a critical part of an “imminent” strategy for decarbonising buildings and heat and advisors recommending a ban on gas boilers in new homes from 2033. (Bloomberg)

Geordie justice – The UK’s biggest emitters should be made to pay carbon taxes, with the funds raised going towards efforts to tackle the climate and nature crises. That was among the 32 recommendations of a 23-strong citizen panel from Durham and the Tees Valley in Northeast England, the first of four such juries to be held across Britain for think-tank IPPR’s environmental justice commission, a cross-party effort to come up with “fair and just policies” for reaching net zero emissions. (Independent)

First in line – Czechia is the first nation to launch calls for the country’s share of the EU’s Modernisation Fund, it said, with the aim to invest CZK 120-160 bln (€4.64-6.19 bln) in the energy transition. Czechia aims to finance nine programmes for different types of projects, including funding for heating plants (HEAT), renewables (RES+), and a programme to finance energy efficiency improvements and emissions reductions in industries covered by the EU ETS (ENERG ETS). Proposals for these three programmes have already been published on the State Environmental Fund’s website. The other six will draw smaller quantities from the Modernisation Fund.

Coal academy – The European Commission on Monday launched the newly-created secretariat of the coal regions in transition initiative for the Western Balkans and Ukraine. The Brussels-based secretariat will deliver support to 17 coal regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine, and will build ties between EU coal regions and their counterparts. A further ambition is to establish a ‘coal academy’ in order to provide capacity building and to provide dedicated trainings. Read Carbon Pulse’s latest on coal phaseouts and carbon pricing in the Western Balkans.

Cheap thrills – Germany should massively expand renewable energy and rearrange the way it is financed to cut power prices for industry down to €20/MWh, the Hamburg branch of the conservative party CDU said on Tuesday. “Germany should become the world’s cheapest market for clean industrial electricity by 2030 to keep energy-intensive key industries in Germany and to attract new [ones],” said Hamburg CDU leader Christoph Ploss and former Sonnen executive Philipp Schroeder in a position paper. (Montel)

ASIA PACIFIC

A big deal – As much as 80% of Australia’s exports to its top 10 trade markets – worth around A$288 bln/year – is going to jurisdictions that have or are developing a price on carbon, the Carbon Market Institute said Wednesday. That puts a major share of the country’s economy at risk of potential sanctions from countries that – unlike Australia – have policies imposing CO2 limits on emitters, the lobby group said in a note to members.

But more coal though – Climate policy discussions in Australia are storming after Joe Biden won the US election and the EU decided to go ahead with its Carbon Border Adjustment Measures. Barnaby Joyce, former leader of the Coalition junior partner the National Party and Deputy PM, on Tuesday told parliament he will attempt to amend his own government’s draft legislation to make the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – a state vehicle meant to invest in renewable energy projects – to invest in new coal projects, the Guardian reports.

Going geothermal – New Zealand’s Contact Energy has said it will build a NZ$580 mln ($420 mln) geothermal plant near Taupo. It expects the plant, which will be finalised in mid-2023, to cut emissions some 450,000 tCO2e/year – or roughly half of Contact Energy’s own current emissions.

Bringing in coal – Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Genesis Energy said it will bring its third coal-fired 240MW Rankine unit at Huntly power station out if storage as back-up amid record dry conditions and shrinking hydro reservoir levels, reports the NZ Herald. Should Genesis have to fire up the unit that would bring additional NZU demand in a market where carbon allowances are already trading near all-time highs.

AMERICAS

Net zero announcement #1 – Multinational technology company IBM on Tuesday announced that it will cut its emissions 65% below 2010 levels by 2025 and will reach carbon neutrality by 2030. IBM will procure 75% of its power worldwide from renewables by 2025, reaching 90% in 2030, and will not rely on the purchase of unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs) to do so. The company acknowledged that “residual” emissions will remain after those steps to green their operations, so it will seek out technologies like CCS to remove GHGs either equalling or in excess of its output by 2030. (Axios)

Net zero announcement #2 – Consumer goods and healthcare conglomerate 3M on Tuesday also announced it plans to spend $1 bln to zero-out emissions in its own operations by 2050 and slash water use. CEO Mike Roman said 3M will fund both emissions and water-related projects, with costs split evenly between capital expenditures and operating expenses needed to yield actual reductions at its sites. However, none of the $1 bln in spending will go toward carbon offsets, he told Bloomberg.

AND FINALLY…

How would you like it printed? – Israeli firm Redefine Meat is targeting steak houses and other restaurants in the country, Europe, and Asia with its 3D-printed facsimiles of beef cuts, from fillet to rump and brisket. The startup has just raised $29 mln in funding to build a large-scale pilot factory and begin sales later this year. Its printers loaded with plant-based “ink” can print the meat numerous times and deliver a complex layering of muscle and fat to recreate the right texture. (Bloomberg)

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