CP Daily: Thursday August 5, 2021

Published 23:17 on August 5, 2021  /  Last updated at 23:17 on August 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

Canada sheds more light on new CO2 pricing benchmark, begins CBAM consultation

The Canadian government on Thursday provided additional details on its post-2022 benchmark for the federal ‘backstop’ carbon pricing regime, including guidance on setting allowance budgets for cap-and-trade systems, as it also launched the first phase of its carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) consultation.

INTERNATIONAL

More countries plan to participate in carbon markets under revised Paris pledges

Over four-fifths of countries with revised Paris emissions pledges plan to participate in international carbon market mechanisms, according to think-tank WRI, comparing countries’ revised and original pledges while still finding a yawning gap to global warming goals.

Strong carbon pricing to drive clean hydrogen leadership -analysts

Canada, the EU, and the UK are strongly positioned to develop leading positions on clean hydrogen as they are the only places expected to have strong enough carbon pricing through 2030, analysts said in a report on Thursday.

AMERICAS

NA Markets: CCAs recover losses as financial firms return, RGGI rises to new all-time high

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices rebounded this week from recent lows on additional demand from financial firms, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) climbed to a new all-time high as year-to-date emissions crept up to the 50-million short ton level.

US targets 50% ZEV sales by 2030, borrows California-brokered clean car standards

US President Joe Biden (D) signed an executive order on Thursday that aims for half of all new vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2030, as two federal agencies proposed to partially overturn the Trump administration’s clean car rollbacks by adapting vehicle GHG standards negotiated by California and several automakers.

Large GWSA emitter pushes for cap-and-trade revisions, as others flag concerns about Massachusetts clean energy programmes

A large utility regulated under the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) carbon market has advocated for revisions to the programme’s auction limits and banking provisions, while the bulk of public commenters in a consultation process supported the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) proposal to maintain the in-state power sector scheme.

EMEA

Euro Markets: EUAs post strong gains amid sharp gas, energy increases

Carbon jumped to a new four-week high on Thursday afternoon as gas and other energy markets posted strong gains late in the day.

Lufthansa cries foul at EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package, sees competition distortion risks

The EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ climate legislative package risks distorting competition among airlines and putting the sector under additional financial pressure, German carrier Lufthansa said on Thursday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Japan ministry eyes voluntary offset scheme to drive emissions cuts

Japan’s powerful energy, trade, and industry ministry (METI) aims to launch a voluntary carbon offset market next year to drive emissions reductions across the economy, relying on companies to create demand through self-imposed net zero commitments.

South Korea struggling with domestic pathway to net zero, options show

South Korea on Thursday released three options for a 2050 net zero strategy, all relying heavily on cutting emissions from coal and LNG, but just one that would achieve net zero through domestic efforts.

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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

COP spreader – The public should be kept away from November’s COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow to prevent the event becoming a super-spreader event for COVID-19, former UK chief climate negotiator and scientific advisor David King has warned, adding he would support moves to restrict in-person access. Around 30,000 people are expected to attend, but only around 4,000 of those will be negotiators. Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has also called for a hybrid COP26 mixing virtual and in-person activity but activists fear their voices won’t be heard. A COP26 spokesperson reiterated that planners were working towards COP26 being held in person and were closely monitoring the COVID situation. (i news)

EMEA

Off track – Germany’s industry might miss its domestic sectoral emissions for 2021, according to Oeko-Institut researchers, extrapolating H1 energy consumption data showing a 7% reduction on pre-pandemic levels of H1 2019 and a 6.3% YoY rise in energy-related CO2 emissions. The energy sector does not have a 2021 target but is offline by 8 MtCO2 based on a linear projection from 2020 to a 2022 goal, Clean Energy Wire reports. German law states that if an annual sectoral target is missed, the gap will be spread evenly over the years to 2030.

Warming to capture – A majority of German business leaders support the use of blue hydrogen – combining fossil gas and CCS – for a limited period, according to a Civey Institute survey for regional industry association Metropole Ruhr, utility RWE, and steelmaker Thyssenkrupp. The move is at odds with the longstanding opposition to CCS in Germany. The government’s hydrogen strategy says that only renewables-derived green hydrogen is truly sustainable, but other forms like blue and nuclear-derived turquoise would play a role in Germany indirectly due to grid imports and, if available, will also be used on a transitional basis. (Clean Energy Wire)

ASIA PACIFIC

Not enough coal – China’s top economy planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, has extended the deadlines of 15 coal mines’ trial operations for another year, adding 43.5 Mt of output. The mines are located in five provinces, including Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, and Xinjiang. This is the latest government effort to bring down rising commodities prices, including coal. China has been facing electricity shortages since the start of summer season due to low production figures, reduced imports, and rising cooling needs. Research by the China Electricity Council said more than 70% of coal-fired power companies suffered losses in June.

Plenty of profits – China’s major coal companies reported a year-on-year surge of 113.8% in net profits in the first half of 2021, reaching 206.9 bln yuan in total, according to China National Coal Association. The profits stem from sharply rising coal prices, which have seen coal-fired power generators suffer as more than 70% of them have reported losses so far this year. (SXcoal)

AMERICAS

Mary windy – Offshore wind developer US Wind has submitted a bid for a new 1.2GW offshore wind farm, slated for construction adjacent to the company’s $77 mln MarWin project, which is already set for construction off the coast of Maryland. If the new project is approved, US Wind has proposed to build a new steel fabrication facility to supply both Maryland projects, according to a Tuesday announcement. US Wind has also entered an agreement with Tradepoint Atlantic to build a 36-ha offshore wind deployment port, which Jeff Grybowski, US Wind CEO, said will be built regardless of whether the second wind farm is approved. (Utility Dive)

AND FINALLY…

Look who decided to show up – Exxon Mobil is considering a pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal, in what would amount to a significant strategic shift by the oil company. In Mar. 2020, Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods described ambitious carbon reduction targets made by some European rivals as nothing more than a “beauty competition,” saying the pledges lacked tangible plans to achieve them. But Woods and others on Exxon’s board are now giving the same idea serious debate, the people said, and Woods is facing pressure from investors to demonstrate a bolder path to reducing emissions. Following a bruising proxy fight this year, an activist hedge fund elected three new members to the company’s board. The Texas-headquartered company hasn’t made a final decision on a net zero pledge, but it plans to unveil a series of strategic moves on environmental and other issues before the end of the year, the people said.

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