CP Daily: Monday August 9, 2021

Published 22:45 on August 9, 2021  /  Last updated at 22:45 on August 9, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Scientists sound climate alarm as warming impacts seen as inevitable

The world faces crossing Paris Agreement warming limits within 20 years even with drastic emissions cuts this decade, the UN-backed IPCC scientific panel said in a landmark report published on Monday.

EMEA

Czech utility EPH to shut down majority of coal assets by end decade

Privately-owned utility EPH will shut down all of its coal assets by 2030, with the exception of its plants located in Germany, the Czechia-based company announced on Monday.

Euro Markets: EUAs touch new 5-week high as energy erases early losses

EUAs posted a new five-week high on Monday, erasing early losses in line with a recovering energy complex as Russian state producer Gazprom slowly resumed flows from a gas facility damaged by a fire last week.

VOLUNTARY

VCM Report: VER values gap higher as futures volume explodes

Standardised voluntary emissions reduction (VER) prices surged to new records once again over the past week, as futures volumes spiked amid a reported groundswell in voluntary carbon market (VCM) activity from new financial players and fossil fuel companies.

AMERICAS

California traders report longer timelines for CITSS account approvals

California approvals of new Compliance Instrument Tracking Service System (CITSS) accounts are taking longer than usual as the state sees an influx of new applications, including from more complicated financial participants hoping to enter the WCI carbon market, traders told Carbon Pulse.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australia Market Roundup: ACCU price remains strong as ERF hits 70-mln milestone

The secondary market spot price for Australian carbon credits is holding at record levels above A$22 ($16.16) amid persistent, yet modest demand, while more than 70 million units have now been delivered to the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund.

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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

Can’t stop the COP – The UK’s Covid rules will be relaxed for thousands of delegates attending the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow in November, the organisers said in an update on their website. Up to 25,000 attending will not be required to be fully vaccinated, but jabs will be offered and strongly encouraged. Delegates from red list countries deemed most at risk will only have to quarantine in hotels for five days if they have been fully vaccinated, those who have not received their jabs will have to isolate for 10 days. There will be no requirement for COP26 attendees coming from amber or green list countries to isolate on arrival to the UK whether vaccinated or not. Delegates will also be subject to a strict testing regime and they will have to sign a charter agreeing to abide by the protocols.

AMERICAS

Resolution reductions – US Senate Democrats unveiled a $3.5 trillion budget resolution on Monday, setting the stage for unprecedented investments to tackle climate change and reduce GHG emissions. The resolution contains instructions for Senate and House committees to draw up policies in their jurisdiction, which will be cobbled together in the coming weeks into a filibuster-proof reconciliation bill. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led by Sen. Joe Manchin, would get a relatively large $198 bln chunk to take the lead on the bill’s big ticket climate programmes, including writing what Democrats are calling a “Clean Electricity Payment Program,” a clean electricity standard designed to fit the strict rules that govern reconciliation. A memorandum for Senate Democrats on the resolution distributed Monday also contained a methane polluter fee and carbon polluter import fee, which like the clean electricity standard were earmarked for the budget resolution last month. (E&E News)

Cap-and-trade coming – The Washington Department of Ecology (ECY) announced it is beginning rulemaking to adopt a new rule to implement a WCI-modelled cap-and-trade programme as outlined in this year’s Climate Commitment Act. The announcement notice, filed Aug. 4, will see ECY flesh out programme design details over the next half year before proposing a rule in spring 2022, with an aim of finalising the rule next autumn and launching the carbon market Jan. 1, 2023. ECY will begin holding stakeholder meetings on the programme this fall.

Substantial submission – Dominion Energy is preparing to file its largest clean energy submission to date as part of Virginia’s triennial review process, totalling $1.5 bln in investment, CEO Robert Blue said on the utility’s second quarter earnings call Friday. The filing, due later this month, will include up to 1.1 GW of solar, either owned by the utility or through power purchase agreements, and 100 MW of battery storage, on top of the utility’s existing investments in offshore wind generation in the state, Blue said. Separately, Dominion recently filed the second phase of its grid transformation plans with Virginia regulators for the years 2022 and 2023, including $669 mln in capital investment to facilitate new distributed energy resources. The news comes shortly after the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Dominion’s request to recover nearly $168 mln in RGGI-related compliance costs, though the state agency will require future requests to include analysis to support the utility’s rationale for banked allowances and total compliance needs. (Utility Dive)

Agree to RNG – Advanced biofuels company Gevo on Monday announced that its renewable natural gas (RNG) company in northwest Iowa has signed agreements for the sale of the fuel to BP Canada Energy Marketing and BP Products North America. The NW Iowa RNG project is currently being constructed and is expected to commence production in early 2022. Upon project completion, NW Iowa RNG is estimated to produce approximately 355,000 MMBtu of RNG per year, with the RNG expected to be sold into the California market under dispensing agreements BP has in place with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. The announcement comes several days after gas utility NW Natural signed an agreement with environmental commodity firm Element Markets to purchase RNG for its Oregon customers. Under the agreement, NW Natural will purchase the environmental attributes, or Renewable Thermal Certificates (RTCs), generated by a new RNG facility at a wastewater treatment plant in New York City and a Wisconsin-based mixed waste anaerobic digester facility. NW Natural may begin acquiring RTCs under this agreement as early as September, the company added.

Fuel fraud – The US Department of Justice on Friday announced it sentenced a Michigan man to 30 months in prison for filing a false income tax return related to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Chandra Yarlagadda owned and operated Alpha Bioenergy LLC, formerly known as Naturol Bioenergy LLC, which purchased and sold biodiesel fuel. Under the Clean Air Act and related federal regulations, companies such as Alpha that exported biodiesel fuel were required to purchase and retire RFS biofuel credits (RINs) for any volume of renewable fuel they exported. Yarlagadda admitted as part of his plea that on his 2009-11 tax returns, he substantially overstated expenses associated with the purchase of RINs For these three years, Yarlagadda reported RIN expenses totalling more than $14.2 mln, when, in fact, he was only entitled to claim approximately $80,000 in RIN expenses for those years. Yarlagadda admitted that if he had not claimed these false deductions, he would have owed an addition $2.3 mln in federal income taxes. In addition to the term of imprisonment, US District Judge Gershwin Drain ordered Yarlagadda to serve one year of supervised release and pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $3,285,303.

FEED me – Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan on Monday announced a new call for expression of interest to support CCUS across the country. Funded under the Energy Innovation Program (EIP), the government said the call will support Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) studies that have the potential to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions.

EMEA

German invitation – Climate neutrality should be made the new engine of prosperity after next month’s national elections in Germany, according to the country’s Green party co-leader and chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock in a comment piece in the FT. She wants Germany to lead by example – and to extend an invitation to anyone who is willing to join the cause of a carbon-neutral world economy that strives towards global climate justice. She called for any closer EU-US international collaboration to “run in tandem with London” and suggested creating a US-European working group at ministerial level to agree upon ambitious common goals for the November COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow.

Subsidy sought – UK finance minister Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans for richer households to bear the brunt of funding Britain’s climate targets to protect low-income families, The Times reported, citing anonymous sources. Publication of a finance ministry review of the costs of meeting the UK’s net zero legal 2050 target has been repeatedly delayed amid concerns that they could fall most heavily on the poorest households, but ministry sources insisted that Sunak would not allow low-income families to be hardest hit. Among measures being considered are subsidies to help the poorest households convert to low-carbon heating and tax breaks on energy bills.

AND FINALLY…

A Coe blow – Rising summer temperatures worldwide could lead to a major rethink about when major sporting events are held, Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics said on Sunday after another brutal day for athletes in the men’s marathon on the closing day of the Tokyo Olympic Games. “I’m no climatologist but the reality is that wherever we go the new norm will be dealing with really harsh climatic conditions,” Coe said. Next year’s soccer World Cup in Qatar has been shifted from its normal summer slot and will be held in November/December to avoid the worst of the heat. (Reuters)

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