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The UK should not use foreign carbon credits to help meet its binding 2023-2027 emissions budget, but the country could consider purchases to help spur international action, the government’s climate advisory body said on Friday.
Stalled EU Climate Law negotiations risk delaying upcoming proposals to tighten the bloc’s climate policies, a senior Parliamentary negotiator said late Friday after the fifth round of talks.
A carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) can co-exist with free allocation for industry in the EU ETS, but only if implemented in the form of a “climate contribution” to complement the bloc’s carbon market, researchers argue.
EUAs climbed by more than 3% on Friday on firmer energy and speculative dip-buying to recover from the previous session’s drop to sub-€40 levels and finish the week more or less unchanged.
California transportation fuel demand crashed 16% in 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis curtailed vehicle miles travelled in the Golden State, likely leading to significantly lower emissions under the state’s WCI-linked carbon market, according to state data released Friday.
Financial entities increased their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) holdings this week as permit values trended down towards the WCI floor price, while regulated entities continued to cut positions, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) values will fall significantly from current levels in the next five years as electric vehicles’ share of the transportation fuel pool rises and renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable diesel production continues ramping up, according to a report published Thursday.
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 in New Mexico, Oregon, and New York.
Offsets, CCS, and hydrogen are all on the table as Origin Energy carves out a strategy for how to meet rising demand for carbon neutral LNG, particularly from Asian markets.
EU discussion over imposing a border carbon adjustment has mostly focused on the technical design and implementation challenges raised by this complex instrument. Even the most robust design will mean little, however, if the measure fails to secure buy-in from relevant stakeholders in Europe and abroad, write Andrei Marcu of think-tank ERCST and Michael Mehling of MIT.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Open invite – US President Joe Biden on Friday said that Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China are invited to the global leaders’ climate summit the administration is hosting in April. The president told reporters that he hasn’t directly invited Putin or Xi but said the leaders “know they’re invited” to the summit, an event the US is hosting to advance global efforts to reduce emissions. The White House later published a list of 40 world leaders invited to the summit, including Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who were snubbed from the UN’s December climate summit due to their countries’ perceived weak policies on lowering CO2 emissions and commitment to environmental protection. (CNBC)
Green relief – As the International Monetary Fund is poised to inject $650 bln into the global economy, indebted low and middle-income countries are exploring ways to leverage the relief into green investments. In recent months, the plea of vulnerable nations for financial support has risen to the top of the international agenda. Revenues from the commodity trade and tourism collapsed in 2020, leaving many nations struggling to meet their basic needs, let alone invest in sustainable development. Cash-strapped governments in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean do not have the luxury of borrowing cheaply to finance a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and more than half of developing countries are estimated to be in debt distress, with interest payments accounting for at least a quarter of governments’ tax revenues in 2020 and raising to 40% in some countries, according to Jubilee USA Network. (Climate Home)
Time’s up – China should rapidly shut down 18% of its coal-fired power to help meet its target of going carbon neutral by 2060, according to a study published in Nature Communications. The researchers found that as many as 186 of the country’s 1,037 coal plants are suitable for fast-track retirements, writes Carbon Brief.
Steel supports – World number one steelmaker ArcelorMittal is looking for partners and public funding to curb emissions from its German operations where alternative technology plans are far advanced. The company estimates it would cost between €1-1.5 bln to transform its EU ETS-covered Bremen and Eisenhuettenstadt to a process that runs first on gas and then on renewables-powered hydrogen for a saving of 5 MtCO2 a year. (Reuters)
Chemical ambition – Germany-based chemicals giant BASF has pledged to spend up to €4 bln to cut emissions by 25% under its 2018 levels of 21.9 bln tonnes of CO2e by 2030, compared to this year’s planned total spend of €3.6 bln The goal is an upgrade on a 2018 pledge to keep emissions flat. Up to €1 bln by 2025 and another €2-3 bln by 2030 will be spent replacing fossil fuel with renewable electricity even as expected power consumption rises 3-4 times. (Reuters)
Cash scramble – Some 70 of 311 applying projects have passed initial screening and are invited to submit full applications for the first call for large-scale projects under the EU ETS-funded Innovation Fund. The applications for up to €7 bln will be completed by June 23. The European Commission will host a webinar on Apr. 15 to discuss the process and is planning an Apr. 28 online event to discuss lessons learned from the screening. Two more funding calls will be launched before the end of 2021.
Spain cuts – Greenhouse gas emissions materially sank last year in Spain due to the reduction of activities during the pandemic, Reve reports. Confinement and the drop in transport and production caused GHGs to decrease by 17.9% compared to the previous year and to fall below 1990 levels – marking the steepest drop in Spain’s history. The announcement following similarly large falls in Germany and the UK. The EU is scheduled to publish preliminary ETS emissions data for 2020 on Apr. 1.
The cost of low cost – A new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation on aviation fuel burn and associated GHG emissions has found that overall fuel burn and, therefore, CO2 emissions from US airlines increased by 7% from 2005 to 2019. Further, the study found that low-cost carriers such as Spirit, Frontier, and Southwest have driven virtually all of this airline emissions growth since 2005. (Green Car Congress)
Coming to term – Houston-based NextDecade on Thursday said it signed a term sheet with Occidental Petroleum subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to develop a CCS project associated with its planned South Texas liquified natural gas terminal. NextDecade had previously said federal ’45Q’ CCS tax credits could allow for a breakeven CO2 sequestration cost of $13, with the project expected to capture 5 Mt of CO2 annually. NextDecade added the project could generate carbon credits to sell to third parties, or embed these reductions into LNG shipments. (NGI)
Not wavering about waivers – With a new administrator in place at the EPA, a group of 13 Republican senators are pushing for the agency to grant a number of general waiver requests to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) received under President Donald Trump’s administration. In their letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Thursday, the senators argued that surging RFS credit (RIN) prices and the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbating conditions for refiners, while adding that a general waiver would present “no risk of harm” to the biofuels industry. The agency asked for public comment beginning in January on a number of RFS-related proposals, including in response to requests last year for general waivers from a number of governors and refiners. (DTN/The Progressive Farmer)
My oh mycelium – There’s been buzz lately about mycelium, a material made from fungi that’s being used as a greener substitute for leather and plastic in products such as clothing and packaging. But more than a decade ago, designers were talking about mycelium’s potential for another use — as a building material. This could lead to the construction of healthier buildings made of components that are grown instead of manufactured and can be triggered to biodegrade at the end of their life, instead of piling up as demolition waste in landfills. Mycelium is the root network of fungi, which in nature help decompose materials like wood and leaves, recycling their nutrients and storing their carbon in the soil. But it can also be grown by humans from waste materials such as sawdust or agricultural residues such as plant stalks and husks, recycling them and generating a new material or product within weeks in a low-cost, low-energy process compared to traditional manufacturing. It can even be grown to a particular shape, similar to the way concrete is cast. (CBC)
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