CP Daily: Wednesday February 24, 2021

Published 00:58 on February 25, 2021  /  Last updated at 00:58 on February 25, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

WCI current vintage auction sells out for second consecutive quarter

The Q1 California-Quebec current vintage auction cleared to enable unsold carbon permits to return next quarter, while the advance auction went fully subscribed for the first time since the WCI programme expanded to include the transportation fuel sector, according to results released Wednesday.

AMERICAS

California hands out 2.2 mln offsets as forestry projects take lion’s share

California issued more than 2.2 million compliance offsets this week, with forestry projects located outside the Golden State bringing home the vast majority, according to data published by state regulator ARB on Wednesday.

LCFS Market: California prices inch up into PG&E auction

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit values ticked up this week as Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) held a credit solicitation, with market participants saying the movement bucked the usual price trend going into the utility’s auctions.

Nova Scotia targets 80% renewable energy by 2030

Nova Scotia is aiming to double its renewable energy target by the end of the decade, new Premier Iain Rankin announced Wednesday, in a move that could factor into the future trajectory of the Canadian province’s annual carbon market caps.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs make another late gain to climb above €39

EUAs made an afternoon recovery for the third straight day on Wednesday as observers eyed a potential return to record levels above €40, while data showed speculative funds cut their long positions last week.

Spanish utilities report drastic drops in thermal output, Polish firm writes down coal assets

Iberdrola and Endesa saw drastic drops in output from EU carbon market-covered facilities last year, the two companies said in annual earnings released Wednesday, while Poland’s Tauron announced plans to write down coal assets.

VOLUNTARY

S&P Global Platts, Viridios team up on AI-driven carbon offset pricing

S&P Global Platts and Australia-headquartered Viridios Capital have signed an MoU to develop indices for voluntary carbon credits driven by artificial intelligence software.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTERNATIONAL

Whistle blown – One of the instigators of the NGO-steered Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) corporate climate goal-setting template has gone public with criticism of its process, saying it does not measure up to its ambition of aligning targets with the 1.5C Paris Agreement global warming limit and lacks transparency. SBTI’s steering committee insisted a “rigorous, science-based approach” is upheld. (Climate Home)

AMERICAS

Plane plans – The chief executives of major US airlines are set to meet virtually with two key White House advisers Friday about efforts to decarbonise air travel, people briefed on the matter told Reuters. The CEOs of American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines are among those who have been invited to meet with National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and economic adviser Brian Deese to discuss environmental issues related to air travel, including using biofuels.

Pledge pairs, part I – President Joe Biden and PM Justin Trudeau released their Roadmap for a Renewed US-Canada Partnership on Tuesday, aiming to harmonise the two country’s timelines for submitting their updated Paris Agreement NDCs. With the US set to host a Leaders’ Climate Summit on Apr. 22, Trudeau said he would submit Canada’s enhanced GHG reduction pledge by this date. The Canadian government previously said it would submit its revised NDC by the UN COP26 summit in Glasgow this November. Meanwhile, Biden reiterated US government officials’ aim to announce the country’s new Paris pledge by the spring summit as well.

Pledge pairs, part II – Online marketplace Etsy on Wednesday vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2030, building on its 2019 commitment to offset all CO2 emissions from shipping. The company said its plan seeks 50% direct emissions cuts from its Scope 1-2 emissions, and a 13.5% cut in Scope 3 emissions below an unspecified base year. Additionally, salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Wednesday said it plans to be carbon neutral by 2027 through climate-friendly sourcing and working with suppliers, more plant-based options, low-CO2 buildings and materials, and more. Sweetgreen said in the announcement that after cutting emissions as much as possible, they’ll use “meaningful offsets” to help achieve the CO2-neutral goal. (Axios)

EMEA

In favour – Two-thirds of UK people said a carbon tax was a fair way to raise money, and that the proceeds should be spent to benefit the country, according to a poll of 2,000 people carried out by Opinium for the Zero Carbon Campaign, which is trying to persuade the government to put a broader price on carbon ahead of COP26. The campaigners suggested a levy could be put on energy suppliers, transport including flying, food, imports, and other high-carbon goods and services. (Guardian)

Adaptation adopted – The European Commission adopted on Wednesday a new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, to prepare the 27-nation bloc for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. In the EU, economic losses from extreme climate events average over €12 bln per year, while the deadliest natural disaster of 2019 worldwide was the European heatwave with 2,500 deaths, the Commission said. Brussels said it will also work with international partners to close the gap in international climate finance.

Clustered – Gas companies in Europe and America are looking at using the existing gas network to serve industrial ‘clusters’ of hydrogen users in sectors like chemicals, cement, and steelmaking, adopting a “phased approach” endorsed by the European Commission in its Hydrogen Strategy. In the first phase, from 2020 to 2024, the Commission intends to install at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers to decarbonise existing hydrogen use and make room for biomethane in the meantime, ramping electrolyser capacity up to 40 GW by 2030. This two-step approach to gas decarbonisation – biomethane first, then hydrogen – was also adopted across the Atlantic by SoCalGas, the southern California gas company. (Euractiv)

Damage done – German forests have been damaged heavily by droughts, bark beetle infestations, storms, and forest fires in recent years, said the Forest Condition Report 2020 by the German federal agriculture ministry. In 2020, more surveyed trees died than in any year before, the report added. The German government has set up a €1.5 bln support programme to help forest owners with reforestation, coping with damage, and adjusting the forest to the changing climate. Since forests act as natural carbon sinks, they can play an important role in reducing emissions to reach climate targets. (Clean Energy Wire)

ASIA PACIFIC

Dumping it – The Bangladesh government has made an in-principle decision to scrap plans to build nine new coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 7.46 GW, according to the Daily Sun. The decision, which came after massive pressure from environmentalists, included a number of state-funded projects, one plant co-sponsored by Japan’s Mitsui, and four planned projects owned by the Orion Group, which have failed to make significant progress seven years after construction started. The decision will bring the number of new coal projects in the Bangladesh’ pipeline down to two, with officials saying they now want to invest in clean energy and LNG instead.

Not viable – An analysis of Australia’s energy market by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found a number of the nation’s coal-fired power stations could be financially unviable by 2025 and at least one may be forced to close early. (ABC)

AND FINALLY…

Pasty power – UK bakery chain Greggs, which won plaudits for its vegan sausage rolls – has set dual goals to become a carbon neutral by 2040 and an unspecified timeline for zero waste. By 2025, Greggs said it would be 100% renewable powered and cut food waste and packaging by 25% under 2018 levels. (BusinessGreen)

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