CP Daily: Friday February 19, 2021

Published 00:54 on February 20, 2021  /  Last updated at 01:02 on February 20, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

EU’s supply-managing MSR destabilising market, needs price-based redesign -researchers

The EU carbon market’s MSR urgently needs to be redesigned to use allowance prices rather than circulating volumes to manage supply, researchers argue, as the mechanism in its current form risks destabilising the ETS and undermines the bloc’s emissions reduction targets.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australia in transparency push to boost voluntary carbon market

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator is planning a new reporting system for voluntary climate action as part of efforts to drive further growth in the nation’s voluntary carbon market.

Woodside, RWE to consider carbon neutral LNG trade

Australia’s Woodside and Germany-headquartered RWE have agreed to explore potential trade in carbon neutral LNG as part of a 7-year gas supply contract that will commence in 2025.

AMERICAS

Washington lawmakers alter GHG baseline, remove fuel supplier phase-in for cap-and-trade proposal

Washington state lawmakers tweaked the emissions baseline, offset utilisation limits, and phase-in of fuel suppliers in an amended WCI-modelled cap-and-trade bill this week, while making additional changes to address environmental justice and equity concerns.

California power sector emissions fall in 2020, as fuel consumption dips in December

California electricity sector emissions declined in 2020 due to lower overall consumption amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while federal data showed significant gasoline consumption reductions across the state in December.

Financials add to CCA length before WCI auction as emitters hold steady

Speculators bolstered their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) holdings this week ahead of the first WCI auction of the year, as compliance entities kept their length mostly unchanged, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.

Capital Power opts for TIER fund payments over offsets at Alberta coal unit

Electricity generator Capital Power is choosing to pay the excess emissions charge under Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) for one of its coal-fired units rather than surrender carbon credits for its 2020 obligations, the company said Friday.

US Carbon Pricing and LCFS Roundup for week ending Feb. 19, 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 related to the national interim social cost of carbon (SCC), Connecticut, and Virginia.

EMEA

Ukraine’s Naftogaz sets carbon neutrality target, as Kyiv progresses on carbon market plans

Ukrainian state energy producer Naftogaz announced a 2040 carbon neutrality target on Friday, as the country advances mandatory emissions reporting as a “first step” towards a full-fledged ETS.

EU Market: EUAs fade to 6.5% weekly loss, as traders mixed on next move

EUAs dipped towards €37 on Friday, falling further from the all-time high levels earlier this week as observers were mixed as to where they thought carbon would go next.

COMMENT

We’re still in – let’s align the voluntary carbon market with Paris rather than play by our own rules

Corresponding adjustments will be needed in the future whenever a carbon credit is used to offset emissions, to help ensure the promise is kept that the atmosphere is no worse off, argues Hugh Salway of voluntary carbon market certifier Gold Standard.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

AMERICAS

Second and last chance – The US officially re-entered the Paris Agreement on Friday, fulfilling a President Biden’s “day one” pledge to re-join the 2015 climate pact after former President Trump’s departure from office. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry appeared Friday alongside Biden’s domestic climate czar Gina McCarthy and UN climate envoy Michael Bloomberg for the launch of the “America Is All In” coalition, made up of city, state, and business leaders who continued to take action on climate during the Trump years. The coalition is pushing for the US to submit an enhanced Paris GHG pledge of at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, up the 26-28% by 2025 target set under President Obama. McCarthy previously said the US will submit its new Paris NDC by the Apr. 22 Leaders’ Climate Summit. Additionally, in a conversation filmed with former Vice President Al Gore on the eve of the re-entry, Kerry said that this year’s COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow provide the “last, best hope” avoiding catastrophic global heating. (NBC, Guardian)

Renewable records – The American renewable energy sector shone brightly in 2020, blowing away previous records for new installed capacity, according to Bloomberg NEF and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, which released their Sustainable Energy in America Factbook on Thursday. US wind energy capacity increased last year by 17 GW, a whopping 85% more than was added in 2019, and solar energy capacity increased by more than 16 GW – also a record. All told, the combined new 33.6 GW of new renewable energy was more than 50% higher than the previous record set in 2016. (Climate Nexus)

EMEA

Green label – EU energy chief Kadri Simson has revealed details of upcoming fuel legislation, saying a certification scheme for renewable and low-carbon fuels and gases is on the horizon, as part of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) revision due in June. “It will come with an updated set of incentives to promote the use of these fuels in various sectors,” she said. Those criteria are expected to be based on full life cycle GHG emissions savings. (Euractiv)

Eni ambition – Italian oil group Eni has raised its climate ambition, vowing to become net carbon neutral by 2050 in an update to a drive announced last year. Eni said it would cut absolute emissions by 25% by 2030 from 2018 levels and by 65% by 2040. It said the 2050 decarbonisation goal would be reached by growing output from bio-refineries, raising renewable capacity, deforestation initiatives, CCS, and other green projects. (Reuters)

Zoom future – Following the pandemic, one third of business trips in Germany could be replaced by video conferences, a survey conducted by the Borderstep Institute on behalf of the Ecological Transport Club (VCD) has found. The institute, which surveyed 500 people who traveled for business reasons before the pandemic, argues that reducing business trips will significantly lower CO2 emissions. “Video conferencing instead of business travel has great potential for climate protection,” said the institute’s Jens Clausen. (Clean Energy Wire)

ASIA PACIFIC

Flight tax – New Zealand should introduce a carbon tax on all departing international flights, ranging from NZ$6-25 ($4.34-18.09) for passengers going to Australia or the Pacific region, to as much as NZ$155 for the longest trip, Simon Upton, the independent parliamentary commissioner for the environment, has proposed. In a new report he proposed that the revenue be ringfenced for cleaner planes and solar panels in the Pacific. (Stuff)

Manana, maybe – QBE, Australia’s largest insurer, has released new climate guidelines. It will continue to support oil and gas projects until 2030, but from that year it will assess whether a company that gets 60% or more of its revenue from fossil fuel extraction “is on a pathway consistent with achieving the Paris Agreement”. The threshold will be lowered to 30% by 2040. Critics called the plan “a complete abdication of responsibility”. (Sydney Morning Herald)

INTERNATIONAL

Natural effort – The world must transform its relationship with nature to tackle the combined issues of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, according to a UN Environment Programme report. The report said carbon emissions need to be taxed, and trillions of dollars of ‘perverse’ subsidies for fossil fuels and destructive farming must be diverted to green energy and food production. (Independent)

AND FINALLY…

Foot on the gas – Australia’s Woodside has decided to go ahead with a major natural gas development project in Myanmar despite the recent military coup, reports the ABC. But CEO Peter Coleman is catching flak from human rights organisations after saying it is not for the company to decide whether or not the military junta’s complaints about last year’s election were legitimate. The project off Myanmar’s south coast includes pipelines to Yangon and Thailand.

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