CP Daily: Monday February 22, 2021

Published 00:36 on February 23, 2021  /  Last updated at 00:38 on February 23, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

UK ETS free allowance handouts held up due to EU delays

The free allocation of the first carbon allowances under the UK’s new emissions trading scheme is being held up because the handouts depend on EU calculations, even though the systems are separate.

VOLUNTARY

VCM Report: Market participants eye voluntary demand for California offsets

Voluntary emissions reduction (VER) values remained firm this week on persistent demand, while traders and project developers assessed whether more California compliance offset projects may seek higher values in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) going forward.

Swiss initiative taps trading firms to steer growth in climate neutral commodities

A Swiss non-profit is developing a method for standardising climate neutral commodity transactions, attracting interest from major trading houses keen to align with the Paris Agreement.

ASIA PACIFIC

Japan’s Inpex to buy 5 million REDD credits from Indonesian project

Japanese oil and gas firm Inpex has agreed to buy 5 million carbon credits over a five-year period from the Rimba Raya REDD project in Indonesia, it said Monday.

Chevron, Pavilion strike deal on GHG-accounted LNG

Chevron will supply Singapore-based energy trader Pavilion with 500,000 tonnes of LNG annually from 2023, with each shipment accompanied by a statement on associated carbon emissions, in a bid to encourage voluntary offset trading.

AMERICAS

Pennsylvania will advance RGGI regulation despite commission’s call for delay

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will continue to advance its RGGI-modelled cap-and-trade regulation this year despite a state committee last week recommending that the agency delay the finalisation by one year.

California diesel consumption rises YoY in November as gasoline sales slump again

California diesel consumption eclipsed 2019 levels in November amid heavy port activity in the Golden State, while gasoline sales continued to languish during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to state data published Monday.

US EPA backs federal court decision curtailing biofuel waivers

The US EPA on Monday said it now supports a federal court ruling last year that reined in the agency’s granting of compliance waivers under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a reversal of its stance from the previous administration.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs make late run above €38 after earlier technical breach

EUAs lifted 1.5% on Monday as a late surge briefly pushed prices above €38, reversing earlier losses after a breach of technical support failed to trigger further falls.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTERNATIONAL

Nothing to do with it – The UN Security Council will hold a summit of world leaders Tuesday to debate climate change’s implications for world peace, an issue on which its 15 members have divergent opinions. British PM Boris Johnson, whose country now holds the UNSC rotating presidency, will address the forum, as will US climate czar John Kerry, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and the PMs of Ireland, Vietnam, Norway, and other countries. The meeting will serve as a test for US-China relations, one UN ambassador said on condition of anonymity, alluding to one of the few issues where the two big powers might agree. But this is not a given. Traditionally, the ambassador said, “you know that the Russians and the Chinese will immediately say [climate change has] ‘nothing to do’ with UNSC issues,” they said. Today, however, “the Chinese are more liable to be slightly open to that discussion,” which “leaves the Russians pretty much on their own.” (France 24/AFP)

AMERICAS

Rocky Mountain road – An ambitious proposal by environmental groups for a market-based cap-and-trade programme delivering faster cuts to Colorado GHG emissions was rejected Friday afternoon by the state Air Quality Control Commission, which called it intriguing but too complex and expensive to execute now. Commissioners voted 7 to 1 to reject a petition from the Environmental Defense Fund and allies to create rules for a cap-and-trade programme covering all CO2 emissions in the Rocky Mountain State, and hold public hearings by the end of this year. The commission is in the middle of a detailed two-year rulemaking process to require emissions cuts across multiple industries. Governor Jared Polis and the executive branch office that serves the commission, the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, had formally opposed the EDF petition. (Colorado Sun)

Robust report – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) released a 279-page report Friday outlining the state’s plan to reduce GHGs and achieve net zero emissions by 2045, though the publication came 14 months after the agency’s deadline. Over 100 programmes and strategies are mentioned in the report, some of which already exist and have been fully implemented, including the power sector RGGI carbon market. Although a 2016 law mandating the report called for a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030, MDE decided to pursue a more ambitious goal — a 50% reduction by 2030 — in response to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s recommendations in its annual report last November. (Maryland Matters)

Coal to clean – The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week issued a preliminary permit for a proposed 2.2GW pumped-storage hydropower project that would use the existing transmission infrastructure of the now-retired Navajo Generating Station coal plant. The proposed $3.6 bln project, called the Navajo Energy Storage Station, would draw on water from Lake Powell and deliver 10 hours of renewable energy daily to markets in California, Arizona and Nevada, according to project developer Daybreak Power. However, Daybreak did not think the project would actually come online until the 2029-30 timeframe. (Utility Dive)

Cooking the books – A new study found US cities may be under-reporting GHG emissions by 18.3% on average, creating questions about self-reported CO2 inventories. The study, which was published in the Nature Communications journal this month, found some US cities omit various fuels and source types, while calculating transportation emissions differently than their peers. Those differences led to vastly different emissions figures when compared to the Vulcan dataset, which reports CO2 emissions from factories, power plants, and transportation sources. The study found Torrance, California under-reported its emissions 120.6%, with smaller cities, such as Providence, Rhode Island, more than 60% off the mark.

EMEA

Energy poverty concerns – While Czech coal mining regions supply heat and electricity to the whole country, local people are often unable to afford heating their own homes, Euractiv Czechia reports. About 14% of households in the Ustecky region – one of Czechia’s three coal mining regions – face problems paying their heating bills, according to research by the Prague University of Economics and Businesses (VSE). “Energy poverty is caused mainly by ineffective buildings and appliances, low incomes of households, high costs of energy, and special needs of its consumers,” said Radek Tahal from VSE. Czechia is struggling to meet its EU reporting obligations on energy poverty, an issue common to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Greener League – Tottenham Hotspur FC came first in this year’s EPL Sustainability Table, published by the UN-backed Sport Positive Summit, which ranks the UK Premier League’s most environmentally committed football clubs. Meanwhile, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Manchester United, and Arsenal all tied for second place, followed by Manchester City. Clubs are awarded points depending on whether, for example, their activities are based on clean energy, sustainable transport, the reduction or elimination of single-use plastics, or environmentally friendly waste management. The clubs’ communication on these topics is also taken into account. (Euractiv)

AND FINALLY…

There’s no people like snowpeople – A group of snowpeople, or what organisers call an “endangered species”, was seen standing on the lawn of the Utah State Capitol on Sunday afternoon. The group consists of 600 snowmen with some very specific demands: they (okay, their builders) are trying to get the attention of Utah Senator Mitt Romney. In a press release sent to KSL Newsradio, the snowpeople’s handlers said they are demanding a price on carbon. They claim such a price is “the fastest and most effective way to curb climate change,” according to the press release. A similar gathering was seen nearly one week ago at the offices of New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

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