CP Daily: Thursday April 15, 2021

Published 23:48 on April 15, 2021  /  Last updated at 00:23 on April 16, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Shipping likely to be shielded from other EU carbon market sectors, say analysts

The EU is likely to only partially link shipping to other carbon market sectors when it includes maritime in its cap-and-trade system, analysts said in a report released Thursday, adding that any move to include shipping would be unlikely before 2023.

AMERICAS

Enhanced US Paris target of 50% emissions cut feasible but ambitious -researchers

A near doubling in the US’s Paris Agreement emissions reduction target is within reach, but still requires contributions from all economic sectors, researchers said Thursday.

US FERC finalises electricity sector carbon pricing statement

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalised a carbon pricing policy statement on Thursday to inform future market rules for regional grid operators, with the agency concluding that incorporating a CO2 price on wholesale power markets was within its purview.

NA Markets: CCAs rise on bullish 2022 floor price outlook, as RGGI stalls on low compliance demand

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices climbed on the secondary market this week due to rising 2022 floor expectations and an uptick of spread trading, while RGGI Allowance (RGA) values stagnated despite participants’ growing beliefs of unmet demand from emitters.

Canadian main opposition party puts forth altered CO2 levy, OBPS structure in new climate plan

The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) revealed its new climate change strategy on Thursday, with Leader Erin O’Toole proposing to redesign and lower the Liberal government’s carbon charge on fossil fuels while conditioning future price increases under the federal ‘backstop’ output-based pricing system (OBPS) on carbon rates in the US and EU.

ASIA PACIFIC

South Korea posts 6% drop in carbon market emissions in 2020

Participants in South Korea’s emissions trading scheme emitted 6% less CO2 in 2020 than in the previous year, according to the environment ministry, which said it likely would take further measures to address weak demand and plummeting KAU prices.

EMEA

Business groups urge UK, EU to link their carbon markets

Over 40 UK and EU industry bodies are urging their respective governments to link the new British carbon market to its EU counterpart, seeking more efficient emissions cuts and lower carbon leakage risks in post-Brexit Europe.

EU Market: EUAs lift to within reach of record amid buoyant markets

EUAs climbed back above €44 on Thursday, coming close to re-testing this week’s record level as wider markets lifted on optimism about the pace of economic recovery.

EU carbon market volume soars, though auction support waning -report

EU ETS trading volume rose by more than a fifth in 2020 even as interest in auctions dwindled somewhat, according to a report published on Thursday.

VOLUNTARY

Singapore imports first carbon neutral LNG cargo

Singapore-based trader Pavilion Energy has imported its first cargo of carbon offset-backed LNG, which will be sold on to its downstream customers in the country, the company announced Thursday.

Apple creates $200-mln forestry fund with eye toward decarbonisation goal

Apple announced a fund on Thursday to invest in profitable forestry projects that remove carbon, with the tech giant aiming to use the GHG reductions to reach its 2030 CO2 neutrality goal.

INTERNATIONAL

Financial regulators, carbon pricing key to achieving net zero emissions -panel

US financial regulators universally agree on the need for carbon pricing and a clear mandate to address climate change as a systemic financial risk, though data availability remains a challenge, participants said at a virtual panel on Thursday.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Carbon Pulse has teamed up with CME Group to provide its clients with regular updates on the global carbon markets. Check out these briefs for the latest insights on pressing trends and events impacting markets, published every other week. Registration required.

INTERNATIONAL

It’s on – The UN’s COP Bureau has agreed to hold a virtual meeting from May 31 to June 17, replacing what is normally the mid-year intersessional round of talks that take place over a fortnight at the body’s headquarters in Bonn. “The three-week meeting, that follows the principle of maximising progress and minimising delay as previously endorsed by the Bureau, will allow to advance the extensive work that needs to be addressed in preparation for the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland at the end of the year,” the UNFCCC said in an emailed statement. The UK government reportedly remains on the fence about whether to go ahead with the already-once-postponed summit due to the pandemic. Discussions during the June session will be informal, while any decisions will only be adopted at the next formal meeting in person, as the current and incoming COP presidents seek to ensure the meeting is “inclusive and transparent”. “Special attention will be paid to scheduling the meetings to accommodate different time zones across the globe, and facilitate coordination meetings by negotiating groups.” The UNFCCC Executive Secretary will also ask that all governments, through their negotiators, support the work of the sessions to achieve as much progress as possible ahead of COP. “Additionally, to enhance openness, transparency and inclusiveness, effective participation and engagement of observers will be enabled in the same manner as during in-person meetings.”

ASIA PACIFIC

Philippines position – The Philippines on Wednesday submitted its updated Paris Agreement NDC to the UNFCCC, setting out a slight increase in ambition from its original target. The South East Asian country seeks to reduce GHGs 75% below projected levels by 2030 – up from 70% previously – though nearly all of this new target is conditional on international support. The country also said it will continue to explore the use of market- and non-market-based mechanisms under the climate pact’s yet-to-be-agreed Article 6.

Under pressure – Several Indian publications report the comments of Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, speaking at an event in New Delhi, where according to the Hindustan Times he said his country “will walk the talk” and raise its climate ambition, but not at the behest of otehr countries. The paper adds that an environment ministry spokesperson “later issued a clarification” saying that India would “over achieve” its existing Paris climate pledge but that Javadekar had not promised to make a new, more ambitious commitment. The Times of India reported that Javadekar asked rich nations “to first follow the ambition which they had promised … and to provide finance and extend technological support to developing countries”. (Climate Brief)

Harder, better, faster, stronger – Australia needs to bring its carbon emissions to net zero if it wants to avoid being economically isolated by major trading partners and at greater risk from climate disasters, according to a new report by the Climate Council. With a number of other countries, including the US, about to bump up their climate ambitions, Australia risks being left behind and become a target for measures such as the EU’s CBAM, the council said. (ABC)

Another exchange – The Inner Mongolia Property Exchange has listed carbon credits for the first time, according to local newspaper Linhai Daily. Last week, 260,000 VCS units developed by the Inner Mongolia Forest Industry Group were made available on the platform. Future offerings are likely to be limited to offsets generated within the Chinese province.

EMEA

Wait for it – The EU is poised to delay a decision on what it means to be ‘green’ in certain sectors in an effort to diffuse tensions over the roles of natural gas and nuclear in the clean energy transition. Next week, the bloc will set out draft plans to highlight criteria for a number of sustainable investments. However, investors won’t have a clear view on how to treat gas and nuclear until the end of the year. The EU is now planning to establish “specific screening criteria” for fossil fuels and perhaps nuclear in a separate proposal, according to a document seen by Bloomberg and due to be published on Apr. 21.

LNG gone – Fortum unit Uniper plans to turn the North Sea port town of Wilhelmshaven into a national hub for climate-friendly hydrogen, including an import terminal for green ammonia and a 410MW electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen. The utility originally had explored the idea of constructing a floating import terminal for LNG at the site, but a late 2020 market test to show binding interest proved that there is currently not enough interest in the LNG sector in terms of booking large, long-term capacities for regasification in Germany. The terminal is planned to be equipped with an ‘ammonia cracker’ for producing green hydrogen (by splitting off nitrogen), and it will also be connected to a planned hydrogen network. (Recharge)

AMERICAS

Bungle in the jungle – The US and Brazil are at an impasse on a deal to stop destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which has surged under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. While Brazil wants to receive at last $1 bln upfront to pay for the protection of the world’s largest rainforest, the US is insistent on seeing results first before it opens the purse strings, the sources said. The US government is struggling to fulfil an election promise to protect the Amazon rainforest without giving money and a political win to Jair Bolsonaro, Climate Home reports. Bolsonaro is expected to attend the high-profile US Earth Day summit that starts Apr. 22. Talks between the two sides began in February with a call between US Climate Envoy John Kerry and Brazil’s environment and foreign ministers. While former President Donald Trump, a Bolsonaro ally, did not criticise Brazil over its handling of the Amazon, the Biden government has placed the issue at the centre of its relations with South America’s largest country. On the campaign trail, Biden promised to mobilise $20 bln in private and public money to stop “tearing down” the Amazon, warning of “significant economic consequences” otherwise – comments slammed by Bolsonaro as “disastrous and unnecessary”.

Nothing but Net – Startup Net Power intends to build two natural gas-fired power plants in the US that will see all of their emissions stored through CCS technology. The company licensed its technology to developer 8 Rivers Capital, which will work with agriculture giant Archer-Daniels-Midland to replace some emissions from a coal power plant in Illinois. Additionally, 8 Rivers and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund (SUGF) have joined together to develop the Coyote Clean Power Project in Colorado, which would also produce 280 MW of power and store the CO2 underground. Final investment decisions on both projects are expected in 2022, with construction potentially beginning in 2025.

VOLUNTARY

Face front – Facebook said it has achieved net zero operational emissions for 2020 after switching all its data centres and buildings to run on renewable power. The social media giant is the third largest corporate buyer of clean energy in the world, with its clean power use spurring a 94% emissions cut on 2017 levels last year, exceeding its target of a 75% reduction. The company said it bought 37,700 tonnes-worth of carbon removal offsets to cover residual emissions and would aim to deliver a separate 2030 goal of achieving net zero emissions including its supply chain. (BusinessGreen)

AND FINALLY…

Geese Nye together – Outerwear brand Canada Goose on Thursday launched its 2020 sustainability report, detailing its progress in reaching net zero by 2025 for its Scope 1-2 emissions. The company said it purchased VERs for 200% of these emissions – which totalled roughly 4,000 tCO2e in 2019 – and is working with third-party firm Carbonzero to develop a “strategic, long-term offset project” in Canada’s North. Additionally, the Toronto-based company partnered with American science communicator and television presenter Bill Nye as an advisor in launching the report.

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