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Australia can become a carbon storage superpower, though realising that potential would require bilateral agreements on carbon credit and accounting arrangements with potential buyer countries such as Japan and South Korea, the head of the nation’s main petroleum industry lobby group said Tuesday.
North Carolina’s Air Quality Commission (AQC) on Tuesday sent on a RGGI rulemaking petition brought forth by environmental groups, with the proposal scheduled for discussion by a wider state agency next month.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices surged on the secondary market for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, with the benchmark contract edging close to the $22 level.
The auction clearing price in Massachusetts’ Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) cap-and-trade programme rebounded significantly at the June sale after hitting all-time lows earlier this year, though demand tapered off at the third quarterly auction, according to results released Tuesday.
RIN prices continued their recent plunge on Tuesday, having now lost a quarter of their value in three days as traders digested reports of possible Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance relief and more analysts predicted a downturn in biofuel credit values.
Norway’s state-owned Equinor signalled its intention to accelerate its transition to renewable energies and cut its carbon intensity, though the firm’s oil and gas output is still set to rise for several years.
Germany’s poll-leading conservatives to pledge earlier shift to free-floating carbon price under domestic ETS -reports
Germany’s ruling CDU/CSU union of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to promise an earlier shift in the country’s domestic ETS, moving to a system with a free-floating price from the current fixed carbon tax, local media reported Monday.
UK carbon prices hit a record low Tuesday while EUAs fell by more than a euro for a second day amid a sell-off in gas prices, with bulls in both markets growing cautious ahead of more supply injections.
A British campaigner is considering an appeal after losing a High Court case against the UK government’s decision to exclude waste incinerators from its carbon market, media reported on Tuesday.
The Jiangxi provincial government in China has released rules and regulations for a programme to create forest carbon credits for the voluntary market, specifying that international buyers are eligible to participate.
S&P Global Platts on Tuesday announced it has commenced assessments for two new categories of voluntary emissions reductions (VERs), building on the commodity price reporting agency’s existing carbon credit offering.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Climate allies – The 30-member NATO on Monday adopted its Climate Change and Security Action Plan in the first-ever summit where the military alliance is discussing environmental matters. The roadmap said NATO allies intend to contribute to climate change mitigation by developing a mapping and analytical methodology of GHGs from military activities and installations, which the allies said could “contribute to formulating voluntary goals to reduce emissions from the military”. NATO said it “will also study the feasibility of scaling up innovative low carbon technologies through its own procurement practices”. Moreover, the alliance said it intends to deliver its Climate Change and Security Progress Report at its 2022 summit in Spain.
CBAM chit-chat – The US and EU agreed on Tuesday to hold talks on the bloc’s planned carbon border tariff, possibly at the WTO, the EU’s chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said after meeting with President Joe Biden. “I explained the logic of our carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM),” von der Leyen told a news conference after the summit. Brussels and Washington have outlined plans for a transatlantic alliance to develop green technologies and said they will coordinate diplomatic efforts to convince other big emitters to cut CO2 faster. But the EU border levy could still cause friction. A draft of the proposal said the CBAM could apply to some US goods sold into the EU, including steel, aluminium, and fertilisers. (Reuters)
Fine & punishment – The Czech government has asked the EU’s top court to impose a fine of €5 mln per day on Poland for not halting as ordered mining operations of the Turow lignite mine located on the border between the two countries. The court ordered Poland to stop mine operations on May 21 as an intermediate measure before a full judgement on the case, brought forward by Prague saying that the mine pollutes its territory. The European Commission said earlier this month it would join the Czech side in the legal challenge. (Reuters)
Coming clean – Taking issue with efforts by the German government to tighten its climate targets, set to be voted on in parliament on June 24, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) is calling for a thorough examination of the effects the move will have on both individuals and on other areas of policy. The government decided to bring forward the national goal to reach climate neutrality to 2045 and to introduce more ambitious interim GHG reduction targets, setting new and annual targets for the period up to 2030 and beyond. The BDI describes the climate goals as “politically set” and notes that voters are not provided with information on what “this enormous transformation will cost.” (Clean Energy Wire)
Cable’s no fable – The world’s longest undersea electric cable is set to be switched on this week, as testing begins for the 720km €2 bln interconnector that will carry up to 1.4 GW of power between the UK and Norway ahead of formal operations in October. Interconnectors are a key part of the UK strategy for cutting emissions and boosting offshore wind because they allow the UK grid to share or import power depending on supply and demand. (FT)
Nearly there – Mitsubishi-owned Dutch power company Eneco has laid out plans to become nearly “carbon neutral” in 2035, replacing its three remaining gas-powered plants with solar or wind power and moving many customers from gas heating to geothermal networks. It intends to stop selling gas boilers by 2025, and cut its full-scope GHG output from 13.9 Mt annually at present to 0.9 Mt in 2035, which it would then seek to offset. (Reuters)
Suspension stop – The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana, who ordered that plans be resumed for lease sales that were delayed for the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. US District Judge Terry Doughty’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. Doughty’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction to those states said his order applies nationwide. The moratorium was imposed after Biden on Jan. 27 signed executive orders to fight climate change, with the suit filed in March. The states opposing the suspension said it was undertaken without the required comment periods and other bureaucratic steps. (AP)
Mega what? – California utilities are pushing back against new proposals from the state Public Utilities Commission that would have them procure hundreds of megawatts of fossil fuel resources as part of a larger 11.5 GW package aimed at bolstering the grid after the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant is retired. The agency is reviewing two proposed decisions, one of which includes 500 MW of natural gas resources and the other between 1,000 MW and 1,500 MW. Both, however, would only task the state’s investor-owned utilities – as opposed to all electricity providers, including community choice aggregators – with the responsibility of procuring it. (Utility Dive)
Green screen – Canada’s Green Party will hold a vote next month on whether to remove its leader Annamie Paul, who assumed the post eight months ago, Reuters reports. This comes after CBC reported on Tuesday that the Greens, who campaign on environmental issues, had begun the formal process to oust Paul, with the political party facing increasing internal dispute over its position on Israel.
Over a weighted barrel – Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) on published a ministerial order establishing a new high-performance benchmark under the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Regulation for oil sands upgrading, using complexity weighted barrels. This new benchmark is made available to regulated facilities for the 2020 compliance year and onwards.
In need of ships – NYK Line, a major Japanese shipping company, has put in an order of 12 LNG-fuelled ships, according to Nikkei, one of the biggest such orders to date. Japanese firms continue to be under pressure from investors to reduce their carbon footprint, and LNG vessels reduce GHG output by about a quarter compared to conventional vessels running on heavy oil.
Ralph reductions – Apparel and home textiles company Ralph Lauren on Tuesday announced it plans to reach net zero emissions by 2040 and will link environmental and social goals, focused on such issues as climate change, water waste, and workforce diversity, to its executive compensation starting in 2022. To meet the goal, the company will increase investments in nature-based carbon removals, which includes buying agriculture carbon credits, and Ralph Lauren also plans to use 100% renewable power in its stores, offices, and distribution centres by 2025. (Fortune)
Moses mock – German business lobby INSM has defended a controversial campaign in which it portrays Greens chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock dressed as a biblical Moses and proclamations including “why we don’t need a state religion” and “Green prohibitions don’t lead us to the promised land”. Baerbock has since faced repeated attacks online, but INSM, which has financial support from the metal and electrical industry, rejected accusations that it was stoking anti-Semitic conspiracy myths. (Reuters)
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