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Analysts have significantly raised their forecasts for EU carbon allowances, with several now predicting prices will average around €100 for an entire year later this decade, as EUAs set all-time highs ahead of the release of major proposals to tighten the ETS and as new investors continue to pile into the market.
The US Treasury Department published President Joe Biden’s tax plan on Wednesday that would eliminate fossil fuel subsidies in favour of provisions for clean energy and sustainable aviation fuels.
Quebec is aiming to finalise its draft forestry protocol for private lands this spring, after the coronavirus pandemic and other priorities delayed the process for much of 2020, a government spokesperson told Carbon Pulse.
WCI regulated entities are more quickly putting allowances and offsets into compliance accounts for past cap-and-trade obligations for the joint programme’s upcoming full true-up deadline, according to data released this week.
A US federal judge sentenced on Tuesday two Georgia men that orchestrated a WCI-linked carbon credit scandal, defrauding individuals from more than $1 million in the process.
Australia Market Roundup: Savanna burning project dominates latest ACCU issuance, as voluntary cancellations continue to increase
A savanna burning project in Western Australia earned more than 50,000 carbon credits in the Clean Energy Regulator’s latest issuance round, while voluntary cancellations continue to post strong year-on-year gains but with a strong focus on international units.
Australian carbon credit prices could double by 2030 if the government decides to set a net zero emissions target, though increasing expectations on companies to cut their own GHG output rather than relying on offsets could dent demand, analysts said Wednesday.
EUAs matched but could not surpass the prior session’s all-time high on Wednesday, easing back on signs of profit-taking, a weaker auction, and softer energy prices, while trading data showed a significant drop in total futures holdings and participant numbers last week.
The EU’s emissions trading registry and transaction log will be temporarily suspended on May 3 for technical maintenance and a software upgrade, the European Commission announced Wednesday.
Oil major Shell invested around $90 million in nature-based carbon mitigation activities over 2020, ramping up financing to help meet a pre-pandemic pledge to allocate $300 mln over three years.
Renewable energy-sourced green hydrogen will cost less than CCS-powered blue hydrogen by 2030, while also becoming competitive with natural gas by the same year, analysts said Wednesday.
(Updated – Now with more numbers!) – Utilities and airlines accounted for more than 80% of the record drop in verified EU ETS emissions in 2020, according to near complete data published by the European Commission on Tuesday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Coal offsetting – A record-equalling 37.8 GW of coal plants closed in 2020, mainly in the US and EU, according to NGO Global Energy Monitor’s annual report. China continued to expand its coal capacity, commissioning 38.4 GW and resulting in the first increase in global coal power capacity development for five years. (BusinessGreen)
Halve faith – The White House is considering a Paris Agreement pledge to cut US GHG emissions by 50% or more below 2005 levels by the end of the decade, people familiar with the deliberations told Bloomberg. The target, which is still being developed and subject to change, includes a reported range of 48% to 50%, while another person said the administration, at the urging of environmentalists, is considering an even steeper 53% reduction. The enhanced Paris target, to be unveiled by President Joe Biden before or during the US-hosted Leaders’ Climate Summit on Apr. 22, would be roughly double previous GHG goal of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030 laid out by President Barack Obama.
Tech trend setters – US tech companies are setting the most ambitious net zero goals, with Wall Street giants and Big Pharma trailing and Big Oil way behind, according to a new research tool from BloombergNEF. Of the 10 largest US companies by market value, only four have announced plans to reduce their emissions to net zero by 2050, though these are all tech companies in Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook. The other five companies in the Big 10, JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, Mastercard, and Bank of America, all pledge to fully offset their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, but not their Scope 3 output. (Bloomberg)
PG&E problems – The Sonoma County district attorney filed 33 criminal charges, including five felonies, against California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) over its role in sparking the Oct. 2019 Kincade Fire. PG&E accepted its transmission line started the fire, but denied criminal recklessness. The fire burned about 78,000 acres (31,600 hectares), destroyed 174 homes, and forced nearly 100,000 people to evacuate their homes. PG&E is already one of the most criminally convicted businesses in US history, including felony convictions following the deadly 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion and the 2018 Camp Fire, though no executives were charged in either case. (Climate Nexus)
Green day – Great Britain’s electricity system was the greenest it has ever been on Easter Monday as low demand driven by the public holiday, together with sunny and blustery conditions, helped renewable power sources dominate the energy mix. Wind turbines and solar farms generated 60% of all electricity around lunchtime while nuclear power provided 16% of the electricity mix, meaning almost 80% of the grid was powered from low carbon sources. (Independent)
Peak and drop – The China Non-ferrous Metals Industry Association has put a voluntary action plan out for consultation with its members, suggesting the industry aims to peak its carbon emissions by 2025 and then reduce them by 40% from that level by 2040, the Economic Observer reports. The industry is on the list of sectors the government plans to bring into the national ETS over the next five years. It emitted some 660 MtCO2e in 2020, with electrolytic aluminium production taking up nearly 7% of China’s total electricity consumption. Story in Chinese here.
Fossil fault lines – Occidental Petroleum has split from some of its larger rivals by rejecting a potential US carbon tax, saying that it prefers the existing system of tax credits designed to encourage oil companies to store CO2 and reduce emissions. The position appears to stand in contrast with that of supermajors like ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute industry group, which voted last month to endorse putting a tax or other price on CO2 emissions to replace other GHG regulations. However, independent producers and refiners have long been opposed to such a levy. “A carbon tax would be bad for a lot of the industry, a carbon tax would be bad for the consumers and especially for those consumers who are more disadvantaged from an economic standpoint,” Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub said at a conference hosted by Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association Tuesday. “A carbon tax is not what we’re pushing at all.” Instead, Hollub preferred the ‘45Q’ US federal tax credit for CCS, and she also praised California for its low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), saying it functioned better than Europe’s policy of limiting emissions and trading allowances under the bloc’s ETS. (Bloomberg)
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