CP Daily: Tuesday May 4, 2021

Published 00:25 on May 5, 2021  /  Last updated at 00:34 on May 5, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

EU carbon prices hit €50 as record investor-led rally marches on

EU carbon prices rose on Tuesday to hit the highly-anticipated €50 mark, reaching this new all-time high amid an unceasing rally that has seen speculators and late compliance buying help push the market up by more than 50% so far in 2021.

AMERICAS

ANALYSIS: California issuing offset credits more quickly, as developers worry about upcoming compliance deadline

State regulator ARB is approving California Carbon Offsets (CCO) in a speedier fashion this year, data shows, though developers are pushing for even faster issuances before the cap-and-trade programme’s fall compliance deadline.

RFS Market: US biofuel credits rack up new record as EPA seeks to vacate last-minute waivers

US biofuel credit (RIN) values skulled to a fresh all-time high on Tuesday, as commodity prices continued to soar and the EPA sought to overturn several Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers given out in the final hours of former President Donald Trump’s tenure.

EMEA

Germany will propose new 2030 GHG target in light of EU climate goal, court ruling -minister

Germany’s federal government will propose a new 2030 emissions reduction target “as soon as possible”, its environment minister said on Tuesday, in light of a higher EU climate objective and following a landmark court ruling.

EU ETS non-compliance rises by a quarter in 2020 -data

Nearly 400 installations and airlines were listed as being in non-compliance under the EU ETS as of last week, according to data published by the European Commission on Tuesday, with the delinquency rate jumping nearly 25% from 2019 and at least 200 more operators shutting down since then.

ASIA PACIFIC

CN Markets: CCER volumes nearly double in April as net zero drives demand for China’s cheapest, oldest credits

The number of carbon offsets traded in China in April nearly doubled month-on-month as an increasing number of companies seek to achieve carbon neutrality, while pilot cap-and-trade schemes remained quiet with Chongqing and Guangdong the notable exceptions.

Australia Market Roundup: ACCU issuances balloon, as EnergyAustralia pledges to offset emissions from new plant

Newly minted carbon credits rose to over 660,000 in the Clean Energy Regulator’s latest batch, while offset demand is set to increase after EnergyAustralia on Tuesday promised to offset all emissions from a new gas-fired power plant.

INTERNATIONAL

New Paris climate pledges to help cut projected warming to 2.4C -scientists

The new climate pledges announced during April’s US-led climate summit are projected to put the world on track for global warming of 2.4C above pre-industrial levels, a report published Tuesday showed, reflecting a drop from 2.6C previously but still far off the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-2C goals.

IncubEx fundraise values environmental markets platform at $161 mln ahead of London IPO

Environmental markets platform IncubEx has raised $11.7 million in its latest fundraising round, valuing the company at $161 mln ahead of an expected IPO in London later this year.

VOLUNTARY

South Pole buys Belgian climate consultancy CO2logic

South Pole has bought Belgium-based climate consultancy CO2logic, its first acquisition since last month’s €20 million-plus fund investment put it on a major growth track.

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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

Forestry fight – The forest protection carbon offsetting market used by major airlines for claims of carbon-neutral flying faces a significant credibility problem, an investigation has found, with experts warning the system is not fit for purpose. The probe, carried out by the Guardian and Unearthed (Greenpeace’s investigatory arm) looked at 10 forest protection schemes that airlines were using before the pandemic, which had been accredited by Verra’s VCS. The investigation found projects’ emissions reductions predictions were often inconsistent with previous levels of deforestation in the area and that in some cases, the threat to the trees may have been overstated. The findings have been fiercely criticised by Verra, who maintain the methods they endorse have contributed to the fight against climate change and deforestation, and transformed local economies for the better. In a response to the Guardian/Unearthed article, Verra countered that “the article exhibits clear bias, is riddled with substantive errors that betray ignorance about how carbon crediting works, and fails to acknowledge the role of such projects in channelling finance to save the world’s rainforests.” For the report published Tuesday, Verra claims the Guardian came up with a “third line of attack” on forest offsets after its first two approaches didn’t pan out. “Specifically, the authors expressed upfront their predetermined conclusion and, over the course of eight months and three iterations, cherry-picked methods and facts in an attempt to support it,” Verra added.

EMEA

Make it double An early draft of the EU’s upcoming renewable energy directive confirms the bloc’s objective of sourcing 38-40% of its energy from renewables by 2030 – roughly doubling the share of solar, wind, and other renewables in Europe’s energy mix by the end of the decade. The European Commission’s revised renewable energy directive will be presented on July 14 as part of a broader package of laws intended to meet the bloc’s updated climate goals for 2030. Not everyone is happy with the ideas contained in the proposal though, with industry groups saying that the proposal could have been more ambitious and needs to solve permitting procedures to allow for fast deployment of renewables. Green group WWF expressed doubts about the EU executive’s resolve to address sustainability issues related to biomass. (Euractiv)

Steel funding – The German government will spend an additional €5 bln on the restructuring of the country’s steel industry between 2022-24, federal economy minister Peter Altmaier announced during a meeting with steel industry representatives. The money will finance steel decarbonisation programmes, a hydrogen project, and a pilot project for carbon contracts for difference. “As the industrial sector with the largest share of GHG emissions, it has a special responsibility in climate protection,” Altmaier said. (Clean Energy Wire)

AMERICAS

N(ag)ging issues – Fourteen Canadian farm organisations have come together to speak in a common voice with the federal government on carbon pricing issues such as offsets, rebates, and exemptions. The Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA) has its roots in the campaign to convince the government to exempt grain dryers and barn heaters and coolers from the federal backstop CO2 levy, which compound the rising production costs facing farmers. On the offset front, the ACA also wants farmers who took measures before 2017 to reduce emissions and increase carbon retention in the soil to get credit for it as is being offered to those who acted since Jan. 1, 2017, per Ottawa’s federal offset programme draft regulations. Other priorities are getting the federal government’s proposed Enhanced Soil Organic Carbon Protocol to apply to no-till, intercropping, grazing, and winter cover cropping. (National Newswatch)

King Crimson – President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90,000 homes. The $550-mln Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 809 hectares of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior Department said in a statement. It is being developed by Canadian Solar unit Recurrent Energy and will deliver power to California utility Southern California Edison. (Reuters)

ASIA PACIFIC

Jobs boom – Economies in Southeast Asia can create millions of new jobs through 2030 if they invest more in green growth opportunities, according to the Asian Development Bank. ADB said in a report that countries in the region should pursue “green opportunities in agriculture, oceans, urban and transport systems, circular economy practices, and clean energy”, which the bank said has the potential to create 30 million jobs. (ABS-CBN)

VOLUNTARY

Carbon neutral cargo – LNG exporter Cheniere on Tuesday announced that it has supplied a carbon neutral cargo of the fuel to oil major Shell as part of the companies’ long-term sale and purchase agreement. In a statement, Cheniere and Shell said they worked together to offset the full lifecycle emissions associated with the LNG cargo by retiring nature-based offsets from Shell’s portfolio. The carbon neutral LNG cargo was supplied from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction facility and delivered to Europe in early April. Nearly 200,000 Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) from REDD projects in Indonesia and Peru were retired by Shell last month for a cargo shipment, according to Verra registry data.

AND FINALLY…

Not his Gian-forte – Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) on Monday blasted “woke” Washington state as he announced new laws to extend coal power. After signing legislation attempting to nullify portions of the private contract that has governed the Colstrip Power Plant for 40 years. the Republican governor described the new laws as retaliation against Washington clean energy laws that have imposed a ban on coal power by 2025. Four of Colstrip’s utility owners do business in Washington, where most of the coal-fired power plant’s energy is consumed. “Affordable power generated in Colstrip helped build Seattle’s big tech economy, but now woke, overzealous regulators in Washington state are punishing the people of Colstrip with their anti-coal agenda,” Gianforte said. However, it wasn’t regulators who imposed the 2025 coal power ban. The 2019 Washington legislature passed the Clean Energy Transformation Act – setting out a zero-carbon grid by 2045 – which was then signed into law by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee. The Montana bills passed out of the legislature with Republican backing and warnings by Democrats and the majority of the power plant’s owners that government meddling in private business contracts violates both the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution and the Montana Constitution, the latter stating that “no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed by the Legislature”. (Billings Gazette)

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