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California Carbon Offsets (CCO) are remaining near historic high discounts despite an influx of financial interest in recent weeks that has prompted California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) to diverge from the floor price.
EUAs paused its week-long record-breaking rally on Thursday, dropping as much as €2 at one point as global markets slid on worries about rising inflation.
RGGI Allowance (RGA) prices rose on thin demand on the secondary market to hit a new two-month high, while California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) declined week-on-week despite a continued influx of speculative demand.
Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (Japex) on Thursday pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050, relying primarily on CCS/CCUS to get there, but the company is also considering carbon offset options.
Startup firm Sylvera has raised $7.8 million to expand its voluntary carbon offset ratings business, with early assessments judging that many nature-based projects fall short of their promised emissions cuts.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Meet you there – The UK looks set to push for world leaders and diplomats to meet face-to-face in Glasgow at COP26 later this year, according to reports, despite on-going safety concerns arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. COP26 President Alok Sharma is expected to deliver a speech in Glasgow Friday morning, during which he is likely to confirm a decision has been taken to hold the event in-person, rather than undertaking the crucial talks virtually. According to BusinessGreen, if confirmed the decision is likely to be welcomed by climate campaigners and diplomats keen to secure an ambitious outcome on a raft of outstanding issues underpinning the Paris Agreement, climate finance for vulnerable nations, and rules governing carbon credits. There has been a broad consensus among those nations pushing for an ambitious agreement, business groups, and environmental campaigners that a virtual summit would increase the likelihood of any eventual agreement being watered down, with observers fearing that online talks would disadvantage developing nations and lock out the civil society groups that traditionally attend the two-week event.
Brutal burn – The head of Fiat-Chrysler-Peugeot mashup carmaker Stellantis has “warned ‘brutal’ environmental policies in the EU risk pricing the middle classes out of car ownership“. Carlos Tavares said, “how do we protect freedom of mobility to the middle classes that may not be able to afford to buy €35,000 BEVs [battery electric vehicles] where today for the same conventional product they pay half for it?”. While electric car prices are falling, they are not expected to become cheaper than petrol rivals until the second half of the decade. (FT)
Taking back control – Calon Energy directors have retained control of two 850MW combined cycle gas turbine plants in the UK placed into administration last year, with new funding deemed sufficient to keep them in a dormant state until market conditions improve, administrator Interpath Advisory confirmed to S&P Global Platts. In August last year, Severn Power and Sutton Bridge were taken out of the generation market while administrators sought to recover costs for creditors. Calon’s primary secured creditor, Beal Bank USA, has provided £4.9 mln to meet operating costs and expenses of the preservation process for an initial period, and the directors have appointed NAES Power Solutions Limited to operate and maintain the power stations. The two plants were listed as being in non-compliance under the EU ETS in 2020.
US findings – The US EPA has issued a climate report that had been delayed by the Trump White House in 2017. It says the impacts of warming are being felt by Americans with increasing regularity and means the government has said for the first time that climate change is being driven at least in part by humans. It describes how wildfires are bigger and start earlier in the year, while heatwaves are more frequent, seas are warmer, and flooding is more common. (BBC)
Recalculation – US EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Thursday that the environmental agency had rescinded a Trump-era cost benefit analysis for Clean Air Act rulemakings. Under the rule finalised last year, the Trump administration changed how the EPA calculated the economic costs and benefits of clear air and climate change rules, with the agency presenting direct and co-benefits separately. Regan said the rule imposed procedural restrictions that would have limited the EPA’s ability to use the best available science to develop regulations, and the rule was inconsistent with economic best practices.
Picking the path – The US can cut an estimated 180 million tons of CO2 from the transportation sector by 2031 with no net increase in total costs to end users, according to research released Thursday. The Rhodium Group analysis found those reductions could occur if the US lifted the $7,500 consumer tax credit for buying electric vehicles, distributed grants for public charging installations and school districts to acquire electric buses, and enacted strong CO2 emissions standards for new vehicles. The analysis comes as the Biden administration is working to pass an infrastructure package that includes measures to reduce emissions.
Teaming up –Oil major BP and cement manufacturer CEMEX announced Thursday that they would work together to reach CEMX’s 2050 global goal of net zero concrete. The companies said they signed a memorandum of understanding to decarbonise cement production process and transportation, with solutions involving low-carbon power, low-carbon transportation, natural carbon offsets, and carbon capture and storage. In the release, BP said the partnership would be a step towards the company’s own net zero goal and help the world decarbonise.
Climate crypto-crash – Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, plunged as much as 17% after Elon Musk tweeted that his EV-maker Tesla had stopped accepting it to purchase its vehicles due to concerns “about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel”. Experts say the energy used to mine Bitcoin this year is equivalent to the annual demand in Egypt. Musk said Tesla would resume as soon as mining transitioned to more sustainable energy. The announcement has left many puzzled, especially since it was only two months ago that Musk told the world that drivers could pay for their Teslas with Bitcoin. Analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities noted: “the nature of Bitcoin mining has not changed in the last three months, which speaks to why backtracking on the crypto transaction three months later is a very surprising and confusing move to both Tesla and crypto investors.” (Reuters, Axios)
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