CP Daily: Wednesday May 26, 2021

Published 23:03 on May 26, 2021  /  Last updated at 23:03 on May 26, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Shell must reduce emissions by 45% by 2030, Dutch court orders in landmark ruling

(Corrects an earlier version that said the ruling was limited only to Shell’s Dutch-based business)

A Dutch court on Wednesday ordered oil major Shell to cut its net carbon emissions by 45% compared to 2019 levels by 2030, in what observers are calling a landmark ruling for the global oil industry.

EMEA

Romania to exit coal in 2032, as other Eastern EU nations mull earlier phaseout

Romania will exit coal in 2032, according to leaked government documents, as higher carbon prices squeeze coal power profitability and prompt other countries in Central and Eastern Europe to consider earlier phaseouts.

Euro Markets: EUAs slip back from 1-week high as energy prices slip

EUAs rose to a one-week high near €55 on Wednesday but reversed course in sympathy with gas, before taking a post-settlement tumble to close well below €53, as trading data showed waning interest by investment funds.

VOLUNTARY

New UK-based joint venture targets nature-based carbon offsets

Commodity traders Hartree Partners and sustainability firm Systemiq on Wednesday launched a joint venture designed to help clients buy carbon credits from high-quality nature-based offset projects.

Climate tech company outlines largest US-based forestry project with high-profile buyers

A climate tech company announced the creation of the largest US-based forest carbon project by acreage on Wednesday, with large corporates and voluntary emissions reduction (VER) procurement firms among the first buyers.

CO2 removal technology in need of more early movers to scale units -panel

Emerging CO2 removal technologies, such as direct air capture, will require more early finance to bring down the costs of resulting carbon credits, though some potential buyers are not convinced they should immediately reallocate funds earmarked for in-house corporate reductions, a panel heard Wednesday.

AMERICAS

Suncor net zero strategy outlines new Alberta carbon offset generation

Canadian oil major Suncor on Wednesday released its plan to cut emissions over this decade en route to a 2050 net zero goal, with half of the CO2 abatement slated to involve new Alberta projects that will generate carbon offsets.

California offset issuances continue to slide as 378k new credits minted

California regulator ARB’s compliance offset issuance sunk to more than 378,000 new credits this week, continuing a trend of sluggish approvals by the state agency.

RFS Market: RIN prices rise on news of Delta Air Lines halting credit purchases

US biofuel credit (RIN) values bounced off a two-week low on Wednesday after a media outlet reported that a Delta Air Lines subsidiary has stopped purchases as it seeks federal relief from its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligations.

ASIA PACIFIC

Japan to fund South East Asian emissions cuts, help with ASEAN net zero plans -reports

Japan will invest around $10 billion in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in South East Asia and help governments in the region design decarbonisation strategies, media reported Wednesday, citing government officials.

ICYM

Russia preparing carbon trading measures to absolve it from “unfriendly” EU protectionism -official

Russia is rolling out new domestic voluntary carbon offset rules and is considering extending its embryonic emissions trading scheme nationally in order to have its climate efforts recognised internationally, a high-level official said Tuesday, which should thereby spare the country from “unfriendly” protectionist actions such as EU border measures.

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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.

AMERICAS

Changing times, part I – An activist investor won at least two seats on the board of Exxon Mobil, a historic defeat for the Texas-based oil giant that will likely force it to alter its fossil-fuel focused strategy and more directly confront growing shareholder concerns about climate change. Exxon said Wednesday a preliminary vote count showed shareholders backed two nominees of Engine No. 1, an upstart hedge fund owning a tiny fraction of the oil giant’s stock. The final vote wasn’t tallied as of early Wednesday afternoon, and the final composition of the board was unclear. The hedge fund called for Exxon to gradually diversify its investments to be ready for a world that will need fewer fossil fuels in coming decades. Exxon defended its strategy to expand drilling, saying demand for fuels and plastics will remain strong for years to come, and pointed to a new CCS business unit as evidence it is taking climate change seriously. (WSJ)

Changing times, part II – Meanwhile, Chevron investors voted in favor of a proposal on Wednesday asking the oil major to cut its customer emissions, joining shareholders around the globe in raising pressure on energy companies to reduce their carbon footprint. Shareholders voted 61% in favor of a proposal to cut Scope 3 emissions, generated by the use of its products, according to a preliminary count announced by Chevron at its annual general meeting. While the Scope 3 proposal does not require Chevron to set a target of how much it needs to cut emissions or by when, the overwhelming support for it shows growing investor frustration with companies, which they believe are not doing enough to tackle climate change. Chevron has pledged to limit the pace of growth of its carbon emissions, but has not set long-term targets to achieve net zero as many European oil companies have done. (Reuters)

Capture the imagination US Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation Wednesday that would help businesses finance CCS technology at power plants and other industrial facilities, and seek to give a boost to direct air capture. The bill, dubbed the Carbon Capture Improvement Act, would also open up tax-exempt state and local government private activity bonds to pay for carbon capture projects. If more than 65% of CO2 emissions are captured by a given project, then all of the eligible equipment could be financed with the bonds under the new bill. This bond funding can also be done on a prorated basis for facilities that fall under that 65% threshold. (Politico)

Blender boost – Legislation introduced in the both the US House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday aims to extend the current blenders credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel for three years, through the end of 2025. The $1 per gallon blenders tax credit is currently set to expire at the end of 2022. (Biomass Magazine)

ASIA PACIFIC

CCS crew – State-owned Korea National Oil Corp. on Wednesday announced it has signed a contract with several private-sector firms to help develop CCS capacity at the Donghae gas field, which will end regular operations next year. The company aims to store 400,000 tonnes of CO2 there annually over 30 years from 2025, as part of the government’s plan to store or use over 10 Mt annually from 2030. SK Innovation, Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral resources are among the entities that will participate, along with Norway’s Equinor.

No choice – Kazakhstan has yet to announce a net zero commitment, but the country has no option but to decarbonise and is working on a 2050 strategy, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told the High-Level Global Roundtable of Extractive Industries this week, reports the Kaz-Inform news agency. Gas, water, and renewable energy development are among the government’s priorities to reduce its energy intensity levels, and Kazakhstan also plans to plant some 2 bln trees over the next three to five years, the president said.

INTERNATIONAL

Blend trend – The aviation sector requires a very high fleet-wide blending rate for sustainable fuels in order to reverse the trend of rising CO2 emissions as the sector continues to grow, says the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). A DLR report examined the expected emissions developments in two scenarios, looking at aircraft technology, air traffic management, and sustainable fuels. Only in the case of accelerated development of alternative fuels concepts and blending rates of sustainable fuels of 15% by 2030 and as much as 80% by 2050 can the sector reverse the current trend of rising emissions by 2035, the authors write. (Clean Energy Wire)

EMEA

Be faster – Green steel company Hybrit, a joint project of Sweden’s SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall, has urged the country’s government to foster swifter authorisation for new projects and help ensure sufficient green electricity to fuel Sweden’s climate ambitions, Argus reports. Hybrit is currently building a pilot hydrogen storage facility in Lulea for completion in H1 2022, and intends to complete a pilot hydrogen and direct reduced iron plant by 2026. “Our greatest challenge is not to have the ability to develop and build the plant, but to get all the necessary permits in order to actually build it,” said Jan Mostrom, CEO of mining group LKAB. Hybrit also emphasised the importance of the state’s role in fostering a “level playing field” by applying pressure to other countries within and outside of the EU, and stressed the need for carbon pricing to support green hydrogen and clean steel. LKAB earlier this month sued the European Commission over its new free allocation benchmarks for steelmaking processes, as first reported by Carbon Pulse.

AND FINALLY…

Blimp boost – UK firm Hybrid Air Vehicles has developed a new environmentally friendly airship and named a string of short-haul routes it hopes to serve from 2025. The routes for the 100-passenger Airlander 10 airship include Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca in 4.5 hours with around a tenth of the carbon footprint of a regular flight. HAV said it was in discussions with a number of airlines to operate the routes, having already tied with luxury Swedish travel firm OceanSky Cruises to use the craft to offer “experiential travel” over the North Pole. (Guardian)

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