CP Daily: Tuesday April 20, 2021

Published 02:36 on April 21, 2021  /  Last updated at 02:36 on April 21, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORIES

EU carbon market for vehicles, buildings would be “adjacent system, maybe with linkages” to existing ETS -official

If the EU’s carbon market is to be expanded to road transport and buildings, it would take the shape of an “adjacent system, maybe with linkages” to the existing ETS that would be increased over time, a senior European Commission official said Tuesday.

ANALYSIS: Peruvian dispute over REDD reference levels presages global offset supply uncertainty

Three indigenous organisations and nine REDD offset project developers have challenged Peru’s new forest emissions reference level (FREL), which they say reflects the preferences of donor nations and not realities on the ground in low-deforestation countries.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs set new record above €45 following strong auction

EUAs extended their all-time high on Tuesday, breaking above €45 for the first time ever as strong auction demand spurred bullish confidence despite warnings of a technical correction.

EU’s MSR intake rate might need raising to reach 2030 climate target -report

The EU carbon market’s supply-adjusting Market Stability Reserve (MSR) intake rate would need to at least be maintained at its current 24% or even increased if the 27-nation bloc is to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target, an NGO-commissioned report released Tuesday found.

Russian lawmakers give initial nod to nation’s first climate law

Russian lawmakers gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to the country’s first climate law, which aims to enable emissions trade and require large polluters to report their GHG output.

Analysts at Refinitiv raise EU carbon price forecasts as bullish factors build

Analysts at Refinitiv have upped their forecast for EUA prices this year as greater climate ambition at EU level, rising investor interest in the ETS, and other factors combine to translate into more demand for allowances.

AMERICAS

US bolstering climate resiliency as Biden administration eyes ambitious NDC

President Joe Biden’s administration intends to advance climate resiliency strategies across the federal government as the US is set to lay out a more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement this week, panelists said Tuesday.

California gasoline consumption hits 3-mth high as demand remains below 2020 levels

California gasoline consumption rose in February over the prior month as Governor Gavin Newsom eased COVID-19 restrictions, but demand continues to remain below pre-pandemic levels, according to federal data released Tuesday.

LCFS Market: California prices recede as near-term demand wanes

California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit prices fell back towards a year-low this week on thin demand, while more US fuel providers announced plans to build a renewable diesel (RD) plant that could supply the transportation sector programme.

ASIA PACIFIC

New Zealand consults on major changes to ETS price control levels

New Zealand’s environment ministry on Tuesday launched its annual consultation on settings in its emissions trading scheme, and included proposals from the independent Climate Change Commission (CCC) that would see major increases in the price floor and ceiling at NZU auctions.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

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INTERNATIONAL

Bouncing back – Global CO2 emissions from energy are seen rising nearly 5% this year, suggesting the economic rebound from COVID-19 could be “anything but sustainable” for the climate, the IEA said in its annual Global Energy Review. The agency predicted CO2 emissions would rise to 33 bln tonnes, the largest single increase in more than a decade following a 5.8% drop to 31.5 bln in 2020 after peaking in 2019 at 33.4 bln. The increase is to be driven by an Asian-focused resurgence in coal use in the power sector. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

Green New Reintroduction – US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) on Tuesday reintroduced a resolution in support of a Green New Deal.  The resolution, which would be an expression of congressional sentiment rather than a law, says that it’s the government’s duty to create a Green New Deal that can be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilisation. It calls for meeting the country’s power demand through zero-emission energy sources and “overhauling” transportation to remove pollution through investing in zero-emission vehicles, public transit, and high-speed rail. (The Hill)

Grow on, part I – A landmark bill aimed at smoothing the development of US agriculture carbon offset markets has been thoroughly rewritten to protect farmers and to give them more say over the certification of credit verifiers and technical advisors. The Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday will consider the new version of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which has an equal number of Democrats and Republicans among its 34 sponsors. The new 34-page bill, like the original 20-page version introduced last spring with four Senate co-sponsors, would put the Department of Agriculture in charge of creating a programme to certify credit verification services and technical assistance providers. The latest version, however, reflects extensive negotiations between the bill’s original sponsors Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D) and Indiana GOP Sen. Mike Braun with the committee’s ranking Republican, John Boozman (R). Boozman has expressed concern that carbon markets would unfairly benefit credit traders rather than farmers. (Agri-Pulse)

This floats our boat – The US will join an effort by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in the global shipping industry, US climate envoy John Kerry announced on Tuesday ahead of a climate leaders summit that President Biden will host this week. “I want to announce that in support of the global effort to keep us in reach of 1.5 degrees Celsius and in support of global efforts to achieve net zero by no later than 2050, the United States is committing to work with countries in the IMO to adopt the goal of achieving net zero emissions from international shipping by no later than 2050,” he told a conference hosted by the Ocean Conservancy. (Reuters)

United we stand – The United Mine Workers of America, the country’s largest coal miners’ union, will support a “true energy transition” away from coal and fossil fuels that includes jobs for “anybody that loses their job because of a transition in this country,” Cecil Roberts, the UMWA president, said Monday. The union’s support, though qualified, could be a major boost for President Biden’s efforts to fight climate change, in large part because of the power held by West Virginia senator Joe Manchin. Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, joined Roberts for the announcement. The UMWA announcement also included a plan outlining its calls for numerous provisions to give preference to dislocated miners in renewable energy hiring, full funding for programmes plugging and cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells and coal mines, and investment in CCS technology. Manchin also announced his support for the union-backed PRO Act and called for directing clean energy tax credits to states where fossil fuels jobs have been lost. (Climate Nexus)

Salty about Morton – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen named John Morton to be the department’s inaugural climate czar. Morton previously worked in the Obama White House as senior director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council. But climate activists weren’t totally sold on the appointment, as many had been pushing for Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Treasury deputy secretary and Fed governor. Jason Opena Disterhoft, climate and energy senior campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, said by instead “choosing someone with no regulatory track record, the Biden administration looks to have stumbled at the first hurdle.” (Politico)

EMEA

Let’s hear it for Laschet – Germany’s conservatives have chosen Armin Laschet as their leading candidate for the national election in September, signalling continuity with the era of Chancellor Angela Merkel and ending a days-long power struggle with top rival Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder. Laschet, who governs Germany’s most populous state, the traditional industry and coal mining heartland of North Rhine-Westphalia, is seen as a centrist likely to follow the moderate course of current chancellor Merkel. In the race against his main contender – newly-chosen Green Party candidate Annalena Baerbock – Laschet can point to his government experience. However, he is likely to face criticism for his somewhat ambiguous energy and climate policy record. (Clean Energy Wire)

Bosnia bump – Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday submitted its updated Paris Agreement NDC to the UN climate agency, setting out more ambitious targets than its original plan. Bosnia plans to unconditionally reduce GHG emissions 12.8% below 2014 levels by 2030 and 50% by 2050, while upping those targets to 17.5% by 2030 and 55% by 2050 if it receives international support. The Balkan nation previously charted an unconditional 2% reduction below business-as-usual emissions by 2030 and conditional 23%.

The ECT strikes again – Uniper has confirmed its intention to sue the Dutch government over the country’s planned coal phaseout, in what will be the second legal challenge filed against the Netherlands this year under the controversial Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), Euractiv reports. The move follows a similar claim filed by RWE in February. Both lawsuits mean Dutch taxpayers may end up having to foot the bill for the companies’ stranded coal assets. NGOs believe that the Finnish government should step in, as the majority owner of Uniper’s parent company Fortum. Meanwhile, the ECT is facing mounting criticism from NGOs for discouraging governments to take bold action to phase out coal, and even France and Spain are calling on the EU to leave the treaty.

Lawsuits galore – Separately, a group of unnamed municipal utilities and energy companies have launched a complaint with the European Commission over the €2.6 bln that RWE received as compensation in the coal exit, reports Handelsblatt. The Commission has already entered into an in-depth state aid investigation of the agreement between the German government and lignite coal mining and coal power companies – a deal that saw the companies receive compensation amounting to €4.35 bln in return for shutting down operations by 2038. If the Commission approves the contract between RWE and the government, the companies stand ready to take legal action by suing for annulment of the contract. This could not only hurt RWE but also eastern German lignite company LEAG, which receives €1.75 bln according to the contract, which was finalised in Feb. 2020. (Clean Energy Wire)

VOLUNTARY

Grow on, part II – Multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer on Monday announced enhancements to its Bayer Carbon Program, providing new opportunities for US growers to participate for the 2021-22 programme season. In a press release, Bayer said it nearly doubled the number of states where growers are eligible to participate. Additionally, the company has for the first time expanded eligibility for growers who have adopted strip- or no-till or cover crops on fields on or after Jan. 1, 2012.

Get Smart(press) – Online printer Smartpress.com on Tuesday announced it offset 100% of its emissions through a purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) and carbon offsets from voluntary emissions reduction (VER) retailer 3Degrees. Smartpress purchased Green-e Certified US Wind and Solar RECs to match 100% of the electricity used in their offices and facilities, reducing their electricity-based footprint by 3,500 tCO2e. Additionally, it purchased 788 tonnes of VERs from US landfill gas capture projects to offset its direct emissions.

Offsizzle with Klarnizzle – Swedish payments firm Klarna has added a carbon footprint tracker to its shopping app, offering each of its 90 million users the option of monitoring the environmental impact of their consumption. From production to delivery at a shopper’s front door, the feature will display an estimated carbon emission for each purchase and allow users to track their cumulative carbon footprint over months. The firm, which counts retail giants H&M, ASOS and Nike among its 250k clients, said users will currently only see the emissions after a purchase, but that it hopes to update the app so it is shown in advance. This could result in shoppers comparing the carbon emissions of rival products before selecting which item to buy. Shoppers will not be charged money to use the app’s CO2 tracker, Klarna said. The firm, which is backed by rapper Snoop Dogg, said emissions will be shown in kilograms of CO2, but will also be compared to energy burning activities such as a car journey of a certain distance, so the cost can be better understood. (Reuters)

SCIENCE & TECH

SABA Dabba Doo – Non-profit organisation RMI and green group EDF on Tuesday launched the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) supported by founding companies Boeing, BCG, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Netflix, and Salesforce. In a press release, the organisations said SABA’s mission is to accelerate the path to net zero aviation by driving investment in high quality sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), catalysing new SAF production and technological innovation, and supporting member engagement in policy-making.

AND FINALLY…

Here comes HAPSIE – Delivering daily original stories to amuse, amaze, and educate all readers, a new print & digital comic book has launched called HAPSIE, “promising to entertain eco-warriors from the ages of 7 and up with enjoyable, silly yet educational comic strips”. Launching in time for Earth Day 2021, HAPSIE also includes daily videos of nature filmed by the HAPSIE team and presented by two of the main characters, Naeco & Ria – who represent the Ocean & Air. HAPSIE is the creation of renewable energy company Clean Planet Energy whose mission is to clean the world of plastic waste and help reduce carbon emissions.

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