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The UN’s International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) will in the coming days attempt to advance negotiations around an industry-led proposal for a small fuel levy to finance shipping R&D, with observers expecting this effort to eclipse discussions on global carbon pricing measures for the sector.
UK raises ETS cost containment trigger price for June, as summer supply intervention grows more likely
The UK government has published the latest trigger price for the Cost Containment Mechanism (CCM) in its new emissions trading system, with the market still on track to elicit supply-side intervention possibly as soon as August.
EUAs failed to hold their recent intraday highs near €54 for a second day on Thursday, as this week’s rally in European carbon risked petering out amid a less supportive energy complex and ahead of an upcoming supply influx.
The four Transportation and Climate Initiative Programme (TCI-P) jurisdictions released a final Model Rule on Thursday for implementing the proposed regional US fuel sector cap-and-trade programme, making several changes to the scheme but keeping the overall regulatory structure largely intact from a previous draft.
NA Market: CCAs extend spring bull run with more speculative buying, as RGGI prices gain after auction
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices continued their months-long bullish trend on the secondary market amid further financial inflows, as RGGI Allowance (RGA) values also rose throughout the week after the Q2 auction settled close to the $8.00 mark.
Surging US inflation has pushed California’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade floor price expectations further above $19, with the secondary market trading significantly above the estimated reserve level, according to federal data released Thursday.
Price reporting agency Argus Media announced Thursday it will hold its Biofuels and LCFS Markets Summit in California this autumn, marking the in-person environmental markets conference in the US since the COVID-19 crisis began last year.
Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) traded at A$19 ($14.69) in the spot market for the first time on Thursday as future compliance risk is supporting demand for the domestic units despite access to much cheaper international options.
The increasing commoditization of carbon markets makes us forget that behind these board room discussions, there is a real-world problem out there with the plight of real people at stake. While being an invention of the global north, carbon markets came with a great promise for us here in the South. The idea of backing voluntary claims with corresponding adjustments puts this promise at grave risk, writes Sandeep Roy Choudhury – Co-Founder of VNV Advisory Services, Co-Chair of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), and Director at the Carbon Initiative Forum.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
A globally accepted ESG standard will improve the quality and comparability of disclosure, making life easier for companies, investors, regulators and standard-setters. City & Financial Global’s ‘Standardisation of ESG Reporting’ Virtual Summit (Thursday, July 1st) will provide a timely forum for key stakeholders to discuss how to achieve standardisation in ESG reporting and overcome any issues limiting progress. Book today and mention code ‘ESGR20CP’ to receive a 20% discounted rate for Carbon Pulse readers.
Need a solution, have a solution – The world already has more than enough renewable energy potential to comfortably make the transition away from fossil fuels while also expanding energy access for all, finds new analysis by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney. The report – Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy – shows that even if no new fossil fuel projects were built from today onwards, carbon emissions from existing projects are still far too high to stay on course towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. Modelling demonstrates the world would produce significantly more fossil fuels than it can afford under a 1.5C climate goal by 2030, leading to 66% more emissions in 2030 than is compatible with the target. Therefore, the world needs to actively wind down existing coal mines and oil and gas wells while increasing renewable energy – a transition is not only required but already feasible in that all regions have enough renewable energy to provide energy access to all using existing technologies.
Come for the jab, stay for the conference – The UK is planning to provide Covid-19 vaccinations to delegates to the COP6 climate summit in Glasgow, which are being held in November, the government announced on Thursday. According to Climate Home, following months of speculation about how the conference could go ahead safely with thousands of participants from around the world and a coronavirus pandemic still raging, the hosts said they would make it a priority for vaccine aid. Climate diplomats and civil society have long warned that an inequitable global rollout of vaccinations was a threat to the prospects of an inclusive, in-person COP. A survey of COP26 national delegations by Politico found 42% had been jabbed, based on responses from 51 out of 197 parties to the talks. But while all richer countries expected their delegations to be fully vaccinated in public programmes by November, around a third of developing countries did not.
Urging leaders – A group of 79 company bosses and investors managing $41 trillion issued separate calls on for world leaders to accelerate climate action. The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders called for governments to develop a market-based carbon pricing mechanism and force all businesses to establish “credible” decarbonisation targets, plus disclose emissions across all parts of their business. A separate statement backed by 457 investors warned governments that those countries to take the lead would become “increasingly attractive” investment destinations, while laggards would find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. (Reuters)
Another lawsuit – Five individuals in Poland are taking the government to court over its alleged failure to protect them from the impact of climate change, the first such litigation in the coal-reliant country, legal charity ClientEarth said Thursday. “I can see climate change…There are three ponds on my farm – all three are practically dry already,” said Piotr Romanowski, a farmer from Poland’s northeast and one of the five litigants. The other litigants are an ecotourism business owner, parents from different families, and a young climate campaigner. The five will ask the regional courts to rule that Poland must commit to a 61% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, and climate neutrality by 2043. (Reuters)
And many more to come – German NGOs are gearing up for a full-scale legal attack on what they describe as climate offenders, in the wake of a court ruling in the Netherlands last month that ordered oil major Shell to make greater reductions in its CO2 emissions, Welt reports. Green Legal Impact has joined the ranks of established green groups with a more targeted approach to use the law as “a strategic instrument for environmental protection and broad access to justice” and planning “dozens” of coordinated lawsuits on an international, national and local level.” Among the group’s board members is Hamburg attorney Roda Verheyen, who won a historic victory for climate protection at Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court in April. (Clean Energy Wire)
Milkin’ it – Disparities between the EU and Western Balkan countries on energy are only getting bigger, with many of the Balkan nations still addicted to coal power that provides cheap electricity as well as revenues to governments and the local population due to a complex system of cross-subsidies. “They’re milking them until the bitter end,” said Janez Kopac, director of the Energy Community Secretariat, an international organisation. He noted that Western Balkan countries are not part of the EU ETS and will be hit by the bloc’s upcoming carbon border adjustment mechanism unless they win an exemption or adopt carbon pricing policies. The region’s 16 thermal power plants are outdated and produce more hazardous emissions than the 250 coal power plants on EU territory. Read Euractiv’s interview with Kopac.
Adaptation forward – EU environment ministers on Thursday endorsed the European Commission’s strategy on adaptation to climate change. The ministers supported the strategy’s focus on better gathering and sharing data on climate impacts and adaptation, including by enhancing the bloc’s Climate-ADAPT platform. Member states also supported the strategy’s efforts to integrate adaptation into macro-fiscal policies, and invited the Commission to look into how climate-related risks on public finances can be measured and managed, and to develop a framework that encourages the use of insurance against climate-related risks.
Adapting fashions – French fashion house Chanel is backing a new climate adaptation fund that aims to raise $100 mln by 2025 to invest in projects to promote sustainable agriculture, protect forests, and support small-scale farmers in developing countries. The Landscape Resilience Fund (LRF) was developed by green group WWF and Swiss-based developer South Pole and is starting with $25 mln from Chanel and $1.3 mln from the Global Environment Facility. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Summer school – House Republicans are preparing to announce a new climate caucus focused on educating its members, E&E News reports. The group will be open only to Republican lawmakers and will be used to share science and data about climate change, clean energy and jobs, according to three sources close to the effort. It’s being spearheaded by Rep. John Curtis and is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks, with membership numbering about two dozen lawmakers. The caucus is intended to show conservatives how climate change affects their districts and to introduce possible solutions focused around conservative values, such as free-market principles and job creation, the sources said. It is not meant to be a forum for pushing policy on lawmakers, some of whom may be uncomfortable with an issue that’s embraced by the left.
The Tys that bind – Tyson Foods set a goal on Wednesday to reach net zero emissions globally by 2050, after missing a deadline to improve US farming practices as part of an earlier effort to cut GHGs. The new target by the biggest US meatpacker by sales expands a previous goal of reducing emissions 30% by 2030, with Tyson now planning for its US operations to use 50% renewable energy by 2030 and extend a programme to verify sustainable production practices for cattle, among other steps. Three years ago, Tyson pledged to improve environmental practices on two mln acres (809,370 hectares) of US farmland by 2020. So far, though, it has enrolled just 408,000 acres, according to the company. (Reuters)
Air buds – Industrial gases leader Air Products, and its subsidiary Air Products Canada, in conjunction with the Canadian federal government and province of Alberta on Wednesday announced a multi-bln dollar plan to build a landmark new net zero blue hydrogen energy complex. The Edmonton-based project will begin with a transformative C$1.3 bln net zero hydrogen production and liquefaction facility expected onstream in 2024, and will capture more than 95% of CO2 produced by generating hydrogen from the feedstock natural gas and store it safely back underground. Hydrogen-fuelled electricity will offset the remaining five percent of emissions. Air Products’ hydrogen business in Alberta is envisioned to reach more than 1,500 tonnes of hydrogen production per day and achieve greater than 3 Mt per year of CO2 capture. (Green Gar Congress)
Going in big – In Australia, the Queensland state government will spend A$2 bln ($1.55 bln) on building out renewable energy and hydrogen capacity, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Thursday. That is four times as much as the state Labor government has previously said it would invest, and is targeting clean job growth. (Guardian)
SCIENCE & TECH
Long haul – Most airliners will rely on traditional jet engines until at least 2050, with the introduction of zero-emissions hydrogen limited to regional and short-range planes, planemaker Airbus told EU officials in a briefing despite planning its first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. Slides from the presentation to the office of European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans were released by watchdog InfluenceMap, which said it obtained them through a freedom of information request. (Reuters)
Planter recanter – Popular climate measures such as tree planting and switching to bioenergy can harm nature and undermine efforts to reduce warming, according to a report by 50 leading scientists. Some strategies damage wildlife and nature and must be assessed in a more holistic way, said researchers from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. “Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other,” the researchers said. The recent focus on planting trees is not a cure-all, the scientists warned. The right trees must be planted in the right places in order not to destroy local ecosystems, while increases in extreme events like fires, insects, and pathogens and drastically reduce mitigation potential. (FT)
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