CP Daily: Monday May 3, 2021

Published 23:14 on May 3, 2021  /  Last updated at 23:14 on May 3, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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Brussels confirms delay of EU 2030 climate package release to July 14

The European Commission will present its 2030 climate policy package including the revision of the EU’s carbon market on July 14, confirming Carbon Pulse’s reporting that the legislation was poised to be delayed by a few weeks.


US EPA proposes trading system in HFC phase-down rule

The US EPA put forth a rulemaking on Monday to implement bipartisan climate legislation passed last year, with the draft regulation to reduce potent HFC gases through an allowance trading system for regulated entities.

Colombian carbon tax reform package halted amid protests

Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez asked Congress to withdraw a tax reform package on Sunday that included a revision to the country’s roughly $5/tonne CO2 levy after protests against other aspects of the proposal left several dead.

Massachusetts GWSA emissions surge as coronavirus restrictions eased

Massachusetts electricity generators regulated under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) cap-and-trade system saw emissions spike over the first quarter, with these facilities on track for an annual shortage in the in-state programme, recent data showed.

New York financial firm adds new US-based environmental trader

A Houston-based environmental trader has joined the New York-based financial firm Hartree Partners, Carbon Pulse has learned.


Soaring EU carbon price stifling low-carbon investment, creating “live and let die” business environment

“Huge financial resources” that Poland’s energy sector could be spending on the low-carbon transition are instead ending up “in the accounts of foreign hedge funds” that are driving EU carbon prices to record levels, warned the incoming head of one of the country’s utilities, while another expert said this is creating a “live and let die” situation for ETS participants.

Germany aims to launch carbon contract-for-difference support for industry this year

The German government said it could launch its scheme for carbon contracts for difference (CCfDs) this year to spur decarbonisation of its heavy industry, according to a document published by the federal Ministry of Environment (BMU).


VCM Report: VER prices slide further, while corresponding adjustment guidance exerts few impacts

Voluntary emissions reduction (VER) prices trended down this week outside of nature-based offerings, while participants reported few direct pricing or liquidity impacts from Verra’s recent guidance to not require corresponding adjustments for voluntary carbon market (VCM) transfers.


Santos, Eni eye offset generation from carbon capture in Timor-Leste

Australia’s Santos and Italy-headquartered Eni will investigate introducing CCS at a gas field in Timor-Leste that could store CO2 imported from Australia, generating carbon credits in the process, they announced Monday.


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The squeeze is on – Carbon-intensive businesses are expected to present increased credit risks for lenders, leading to a reduced availability and increased cost of capital for fossil fuel projects and activities in the coming years. That is the stark warning contained in a briefing paper from credit ratings giant Moody’s, which details how “the recent proliferation of net zero targets among governments and the financial sector — coupled with the increasing focus on disclosure around the risks of climate change” — is expected to lead to a credit squeeze for carbon-intensive industries. The paper stresses how net zero targets and strategies are starting to converge, with the US, EU, China, Japan, and others all signing up to long- and near-term targets that point to more stringent climate policies and a rapid uptick in the pace of decarbonisation over the coming decade. (GreenBiz/BusinessGreen)


Money at risk – Poland’s plan to extend the life of a coal mine in Turow until 2044 could mean the region will not get access to the EU’s €17.5 bln Just Transition Fund (JTF), the European Commission said on Monday. The aim of the JTF is to protect communities most affected as the EU overhauls its economy to become climate neutral by 2050. Poland, which employs more than half of Europe’s coal industry workforce, is in line for the biggest share of the fund. But a Commission spokesperson said that the decision to extend the life of the Turow coal mine “certainly puts at risk” the disbursement of the JTF in the region. (Reuters)


“He did what?” – When Yoshihide Suga pledged to slash Japan’s carbon emissions by 2030, the prime minister received a warm welcome from world leaders at Joe Biden’s climate summit. But his announcement sparked panic across Japan’s bureaucracy. Policymaking in Japan normally involves a slow and painful process of building consensus. This time, however, Suga imposed the target — a 46% reduction from 2013 levels by 2030 — with no consultation, little political debate, and no analysis to confirm it is possible. Officials are now rushing to turn the objective into concrete policy, with experts openly doubting its credibility and warning that the Japanese public has not been primed for the sacrifices it will require. Suga has made climate change and the promise of “green growth” a centrepiece of his government since he took office last September. In October, he pledged that Japan would achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. (FT)


Crazy ’88s – WCI jurisdictions California and Quebec released data on Monday that showed 11.4 mln offsets transacted over Q1 2021, with a majority of the credits coming from California-registered forestry projects. The weighted average price for credits was $13.88 over the quarter, or a 21-cent increase from the $13.67 average in Q4 2020. WCI offset market participants said demand has started to rise in recent weeks as participants begin to prepare for the upcoming Nov. 2021 full compliance deadline for the linked cap-and-trade programme.

Fallback foundation – Trump-era EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is joining the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow, the Washington Examiner reported Monday. Wheeler started his role on Monday and will advise think-tank about the economic and environmental effects of energy production, environmental regulations, and climate change. Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, joins a host of other Trump administration alumni at the Heritage Foundation. In February, it was announced that former Vice President Mike Pence was joining the group as a distinguished fellow, and others now working with the Heritage Foundation include former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, former acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, and former acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan.


Pachama paper – Pachama, a startup that combines satellite imagery and AI to verify forest carbon offsets, has raised $15 mln in Series A financing. Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures led the financing round announced Friday, with other backers of the San Francisco-based startup including Amazon and Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital, and former NBA star Manu Ginobili. Pachama has now raised $24 mln so far, and customers include Microsoft, Shopify and Softbank. Pachama said it would use the money to continue developing its platform that uses AI to analyse imagery to measure carbon sequestration, ” as well as its platform for verification and exchange of nature-based carbon credits.” (Axios)


Clean tech cash – Cleantech.org announced the opening of its GS Beyond Energy Innovation Challenge on Monday that aims to distribute $100,000 in cash awards to startups helping the global energy transition. The challenge will focus on innovation in the following categories: digitisation of energy, e-mobility in cities, and new fuels. The challenge will select five of the 21 semi-finalists to participate in the virtual pitch even held on July 21, with the top semi-finalist receiving special consideration for a pilot project with South Korea-based energy conglomerate GS Group.


Soil your undies for the planet – Hundreds of people – from farmers to schoolchildren – are burying their cotton underwear in their back gardens to dig up eight weeks later as part of a mass science project called the Soil Your Undies Challenge that began in the US before spreading overseas and is now gathering momentum in Australia. The effort is aimed at both testing and raising awareness about soil health. The soil microbiome can collapse in earth that has been exposed to droughts or floods, so as climate change drives more extreme weather events, our soil could be affected as well. Cotton is made of a sugar called cellulose, making it a tasty snack for microbes and the army of other tiny decomposers that live in the soil. The state of the garments when they are retrieved will indicate the health of the microbiome. If there is not much left of the cloth, then the soil is healthy and teeming with activity. If it is mostly intact, then work is necessary to improve the situation. (Al Jazeera)

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