CP Daily: Thursday April 29, 2021

Published 01:02 on April 30, 2021  /  Last updated at 01:10 on April 30, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

New study identifies gaps, over-crediting in California’s forestry offset protocol

California’s compliance offset programme could have erroneously issued up to nearly 40 million credits to forestry projects, and developers utilised gaps in the state’s protocol to inflate emissions reductions attributed to those initiatives, according to a non-profit study released Thursday.

EMEA

Germany must tighten post-2030 climate measures, top court rules

Germany will need to set further post-2030 emissions reduction measures by the end of next year, the country’s top court ordered on Thursday in a ruling that found its national climate law ‘partly unconstitutional’.

EU Market: EUAs hold near €48 as investor interest rises, compliance season draws to a close

EU carbon was little changed on Thursday, hovering near €48 as the annual ETS compliance cycle neared its end while data showed increasing investor flows.

Facing regulatory pressure, airline Ryanair upstages rival IAG on sustainable fuels

The EU’s largest airline Ryanair plans to power an eighth of its flights with sustainable aviation fuel by 2030, it said on Thursday, aiming to fend off prospects to regulate more of its climate impact.

Utility Vattenfall reports 1.5% dip in EU ETS-covered output for Q1

Swedish utility Vattenfall’s EU ETS-covered power output dipped 1.5% year-on-year in Q1, outpacing a 0.6% drop in total generation, the company said in its quarterly results on Thursday.

AMERICAS

NA Markets: Bullish pressure pushes CCAs to 14-mth high, as RGGI prices rise amid Q1 emissions uptick

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices surged on the secondary market amid increased speculative demand over the week, while RGGI Allowance (RGA) values rose as entities looked to move positions further out on the curve.

California LCFS credit surplus to grow by 2% in Q4 -analysts

Fewer petroleum-based fuel sales due to COVID-19 restrictions and strong renewable diesel (RD) volumes will result in a modest California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit surplus in the fourth quarter of 2020, analysts said Thursday.

VOLUNTARY

C-Quest adds to African cookstove VER deals with BP agreement

US-based carbon offset developer C-Quest Capital announced the final leg of a programme to deploy clean cookstoves across Sub-Saharan Africa on Wednesday, signing a voluntary emissions reduction (VER) offtake deal with oil major BP.

Salesforce adds science-based climate goals to procurement contracts

US software company Salesforce on Thursday announced it will require all suppliers to set long-term net-zero objectives under the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), while offsetting all current emissions associated with the delivery of goods and services to the company.

CORRECTION – Companies should immediately plan for 2050 GHG removals to secure supply -panel

(Replaces DAC for several erroneous references to CCS)

Companies with net zero pledges set decades into the future should begin planning and implementing emissions removal strategies now, both to ensure long-term credit supplies for themselves and to generate demand signals for market benefit, a conference heard on Tuesday.

AVIATION/SHIPPING

Shipping ‘insets’ could curb GHGs within supply chain, says industry representative

The global maritime industry should look into emissions-cutting projects within the sector instead of relying on offsets, a representative from a Europe-based shipping company said Thursday, as the industry braces for EU mitigation measures.

INTERNATIONAL

UN launches AI-based platform for natural capital accounting

The UN and the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) have unveiled a new tool for quantifying and accounting for ecosystem values under a previously-launched framework and standard, a facility designed to complement current measurements of GDP.

ASIA PACIFIC

South Korea appoints three new ETS market makers

South Korea has appointed three additional market makers in a bid to boost liquidity in its emissions trading scheme, the government said on Thursday, bringing in the first private sector firms beyond those with compliance obligations.

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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

On the charge – Electric vehicles on the road could rise from 11 mln to 145 mln by 2030, according to an IEA outlook, which found that the 2030 total could rise to 230 mln if governments increase their ambition to align with global climate targets. This effect could wipe out 2-4 mln barrels of oil demand per day. EV sales were up 41% in 2020, despite a 16% drop in total car sales. (Guardian)

Shell shock, part 2 – US proxy advisory company Glass Lewis recommends Royal Dutch Shell’s shareholders vote in favour of the company’s energy transition plan at its May 18 annual general meeting, a document seen by Reuters showed. Glass Lewis also recommended voting against a shareholder resolution filed by activist group Follow This calling for the energy company to set stricter targets for cutting GHGs. Shell aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 by reducing oil output, boosting renewables and low-carbon fuels, and developing offsets from nature-based or carbon capture projects. Shell CFO Jessica Uhl said on Thursday that the company’s plan was one of the most ambitious for the oil and gas sector. But some investors believe the strategy does not go far enough. Britain’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) said on Wednesday that Shell’s strategy risks leaving many of its oil and gas reserves stranded, advising investors to vote against the non-biding resolution. Asset manager Sarasin & Partners said on Thursday that it would also vote against Shell’s plan.

Green Guyana – Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Wednesday announced that the government has signed a letter of intent with non-profit intermediary Emergent to market Guyana’s forestry carbon credits to be sold to private companies around the world. In a press release, Ali said Guyana would earn at least $10/credit, minus the expense incurred to place the credits on the open market. The country previously expressed its interest in generating jurisdictional-scale deforestation reduction credits under the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) programme, and the country last week backed the launch of the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) coalition utilising ART. (Stabroek News)

EMEA

Historic deal – Poland’s government and unions signed an agreement with the coal mining industry on Wednesday to phase out coal production by 2049. Industry representatives agreed to shut all coal mines by the target date, with severance payments for workers in the Silesia coal basin. The agreement marks the first time that the powerful coal mining sector has agreed to reduce its presence. Yet the subsidies set aside for coal miners would represent a large burden on the state budget, and could possibly be in violation of European Commission regulations for subsidies to dying industries. (DW)

Survey says – Public opinion in the EU strongly supports more ambitious national climate targets rather than abandoning them, according to a YouGov poll conducted in 12 European countries, with some 68% of respondents wanting their country’s climate targets to be increased. The poll for non-governmental organisation Transport & Environment (T&E) was conducted in the context of the EU reviewing its Effort-Sharing climate targets in the coming weeks – how much each country and industry will chip in to meet the EU’s overall 55% emissions reduction target by 2030. The poll indicates 84% support for increased climate efforts in the transport and buildings sectors to be delivered through new standards and regulations. The findings also indicate significant public scepticism about carbon pricing. On a proposed new pricing system that would make transport fuels and heating fuels more expensive, 59% oppose such a move. The poll was conducted among more than 1,300 people. (Irish Times)

AMERICAS

Climate jobs Joe – President Joe Biden touted his administration’s efforts to grow the American economy and create jobs by addressing the climate crisis in his first address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night. “For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis,” Biden said. “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.” Biden touted opportunities for engineers and construction workers to increase home and building efficiency, for union electricians to install EV charging stations, and for farmers to pull carbon from the atmosphere. Biden also emphasised opportunities for the manufacturing sector. “There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing,” he said. “No reason. None.” Additionally, Biden touted his convening of the Leaders Summit on Climate last week to spur global efforts to fight climate change. (Climate Nexus)

Do me a Solidia – US-based low-carbon cement and concrete company Solidia Technologies on Thursday announced a $78-mln fundraise and named concrete industry leader Bryan Kalbfleisch as CEO. In a press release, Solidia said the funding round attracted a range of leading investors committed to advancing low-carbon solutions for industry. Imperative Ventures and Zero Carbon Partners led the round and were joined by new investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, and PIVA Capital.

AVIATION

CORSIA changes – UN body ICAO this month received four material updates to previously approved emissions unit programmes under the global aviation offset scheme CORSIA, according to newly posted documents on the organisation’s website. The ART programme and Verra’s VCS both submitted updates related to the prevention of emissions reductions from being double counted, as well as CORSIA labelling guidance. Additionally, the CDM noted it has made changes to the programme regarding project site visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

VOLUNTARY

Onfleet of foot – Last mile delivery management software Onfleet announced a new programme on Thursday to purchase voluntary emissions reductions (VERs) resulting from deliveries powered by its platform. Dubbed Onfleet Offset, the programme will calculate the CO2 impact of its customers’ delivery operations and share in the cost of offsetting emissions by investing in Gold Standard, VCS, Climate Action Reserve, and American Carbon Registry verified nature conservancy projects such as reforestation and old forest protections. Onfleet’s partner, Pachama, will verify and monitor the impact of these projects using computer vision and machine learning technologies. Onfleet hopes to offset 5,000 CO2 per month by the end of this year and expects to have offset a total of more than 100,000 tons of CO2 by the end of 2022, and will pay $8/tonne for the credits. (RIS News)

The Merck store calledShipping giant Merck on Wednesday announced goals to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations (Scope 1-2) by 2025 through ongoing innovation to increase efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, applying sustainable building standards, and continuing to transition away from fossil fuel use. Remaining Scope 1 emissions will be offset each year with a portfolio of high-quality carbon credits, including carbon removals. Merck has also set a goal of achieving a 30% reduction in its value chain emissions (Scope 3) by 2030.

AND FINALLY…

Not a glacial pace – Glacier melt across the world has accelerated over the past two decades, a new study found, with the resulting meltwater accounting for 21% of global sea level rise over the same period. The paper, published in Nature, is the first to analyse the rate of melting from almost every glacier on the planet – around 200,000 in total, excluding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets – to show how they have lost mass and thickness between 2000 and 2019. Glaciers are currently losing more mass than either the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets, the study finds, and annual rates of glacier thinning “nearly doubled” 69 cm in 2019 from 36 cm in 2000. (Carbon Brief)

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