CP Daily: Friday August 13, 2021

Published 22:13 on August 13, 2021  /  Last updated at 22:13 on August 13, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

China tames rapid emissions growth, but mixed signals for ETS sectors -analyst

China’s CO2 emissions grew 1% year-on-year in Q2, a sharp downturn from the explosive 15% YoY growth in Q1, according to analysis released Friday, but question marks linger for the sectors destined to be brought into the national emissions trading scheme.

ASIA PACIFIC

CN Markets: CEAs stable, but activity in China’s ETS grinds to a halt as registry issue lingers

Chinese Carbon Emissions Allowances (CEAs) inched up this week, but trading volume fell to near zero as the vast majority of market participants still have no access to their accounts.

Australian developer sees five ERF projects revoked by regulator

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has revoked five Queensland-based carbon offset projects operated by one of the biggest contractors with the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

AMERICAS

TC Energy, Irving Oil to consider emissions reduction projects in Atlantic Canada

Canadian fossil fuel companies TC Energy and Irving Oil announced a partnership on Thursday to explore the joint development of proposed energy projects in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada that could have the effect of lowering the companies’ GHG exposure under several CO2 pricing regimes.

WCI speculators add, regulated entities cut length ahead of Q3 auction

WCI financial firms increased their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) cumulative position this week ahead of next week’s auction, while emitters cut their position on futures contracts further out on the curve, according to federal data released Friday.

US Carbon Pricing and LCFS Roundup for week ending August 13, 2021

A summary of legislative and regulatory action on carbon pricing, clean fuel standards, and clean energy at the US subnational and federal level this week, including developments in New York and California.

US environmental trader to lead carbon team at investment fund

An experienced US-based environmental trader is to join an energy trading and investment fund to focus on carbon markets, Carbon Pulse has learned.

EMEA

Euro Markets: Carbon wipes out week’s gains as natural gas slides

EUA prices slid for a second straight day on Friday amid broad-based selling in energy markets ahead of the weekend, with natural gas leading the way lower.

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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

Peaking interest – Global GHG emissions must peak in the next four years, coal and gas-fired power plants must close in the next decade, and lifestyle and behavioural changes will be needed to stop climate change, according to the draft of a further report from the IPCC UN-backed scientific panel due next March. The draft was initially leaked to a Spanish offshoot of campaigners Extinction Rebellion by a small group of scientists who expressed concerns that the document could be watered down before publication. The report is to complete the sixth assessment report (AR6), part of which this week stressed the need to halve emissions in the next decade to stay within 1.5C of warming and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Read Carbon Pulse’s article on this week’s IPPC report. (Guardian)

Lawsuits likely – The findings of this week’s IPCC report will strengthen the case of plaintiffs seeking to force governments and companies to take greater climate action, legal experts told Climate Home. While past versions have been extensively used in climate lawsuits and relied on by judges to establish a link between anthropogenic emissions and climate impacts, the latest report is expected to strengthen the evidence and the claims made by plaintiffs as it recognises the progress of attribution science.

Scale story – Large, jurisdictional-scale tropical forest credit programmes have effectively addressed challenges of additionality, leakage, and permanence, and provide a model for other sectors, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters. The article, written by researchers at Environmental Defense Fund and Princeton University, showed that achieving emissions reductions over large geographic areas and/or over longer time periods is more important than whether emissions reductions are from fossil fuels or land-based carbon, such as tropical forests. The authors also found rules and procedures for certifying small-scale emissions reductions projects may not make up for lack of scale, and that large national or subnational programmes to protect tropical forests provide a model for market-based climate policies more broadly.

EMEA

Scottish oil – The leader of Scotland’s partly devolved administration, Nicola Sturgeon, has asked the UK government to reassess North Sea oil and gas fields that have been licensed, but not yet developed. This includes the Cambo development owned by Siccar Point Energy and Shell that has a final investment decision due this year. Sturgeon is attempting to burnish her climate credentials ahead of Glasgow hosting November’s COP26 UN climate talks and as her pro-independence SNP party negotiates a cooperation deal in the Scottish parliament with the Scottish Greens. (Bloomberg)

Dicen que no – The European Commission has rejected a Spanish request to change the rules that underpin member states’ electricity markets as power prices in the country hit record highs, Spain’s Environment Minister Teresa Ribera said on Thursday. Ribera said she told the European energy commissioner in July that EU rules meant cheap renewable energy was being sold for the same price as costlier fossil fuel-based power, forcing prices up further, and should be reviewed. The Commission said it had responded to a letter from Spain and was monitoring the situation. “An integrated European energy market is the most cost-effective way to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies to European citizens,” a Commission spokeswoman said. (Reuters)

AMERICAS

Farm freeze – US legislation that aims to boost climate-friendly farming practices through voluntary carbon markets is getting bogged down amid opposition in the House and questions over how the Agriculture Department would carry out its mandates, Bloomberg Law reports. While the Growing Climate Solutions Act (S-1251) sailed through the Senate in June, House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott isn’t cosponsoring the chamber’s related version, and there’s no definite timeline for when his panel will take up the bill, a House committee spokesperson said. Some environmental groups are concerned that the USDA, which would oversee the carbon credit effort, lacks the expertise of the EPA and other federal agencies in verifying practices that cut emissions. The bill is also struggling to get attention in the House, which has to sort out two massive infrastructure measures and faces a time crunch on big must-pass items including raising the debt ceiling and passing fiscal 2022 spending bills.

Investment assessment – New York state’s pension fund, the third-largest US public pension fund, on Thursday said it is launching reviews over climate concerns on $640 mln invested in 42 shale oil and gas firms, including ConocoPhillips, Hess, and Pioneer Natural Resources. The $268 bln New York fund already sold some coal assets, and on Thursday disclosed it would restrict investment in others, including stakes in New Hope Corp. and Whitehaven Coal. The systematic review of energy investments aims to reach net zero emissions for its investment portfolio by 2040. (Reuters)

ASIA PACIFIC

Headwind – Australian investment in new large-scale solar and wind farms and the number of construction jobs in renewable energy fell dramatically in the first half of 2021, the Guardian reports. A report by the Clean Energy Council says only three major projects reached financial sign-off in the second quarter of the year. The average quarterly investment in new renewable energy capacity this year is 29% lower than 2020 and 70% below 2018 levels.

VOLUNTARY

Clover over – US gas and electric utility Southern Company on Thursday announced its technology incubator has closed a deal to spinout Cloverly, an Application Programming Interface (API) for carbon offsetting. Cloverly announced the closing of the successful $2.1 mln seed round in June and Southern Company retains a minority ownership stake in the company. Cloverly calculates and offsets emissions from e-commerce, financial transactions, commercial air travel, and more, and has offset 55 Mt since launching on Earth Day 2019.

Before the greenflood – Researchers at University College Dublin have developed GreenWatch, a tool using artificial intelligence to parse media statements, websites, and other corporate communications for sustainability claims by global companies against a 7% year-on-year requirement to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Early findings show more than 80% of statements from industrial sectors have a high likelihood of greenwashing while less than half of energy companies did. (Bloomberg)

AND FINALLY…

The least surprising thing – July was the hottest month ever recorded, according to data released Friday by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The combined land- and ocean-surface temperature around the world was 0.93C above the 20th century average of 15.8C, according to NOAA – making July the hottest month since record-keeping started 142 years ago. The combined temperature last month was 0.01C higher than the previous record logged in July 2016, which was then tied in 2019 and 2020. In the Northern Hemisphere, the land-surface temperature was the highest ever recorded for July – 1.54C above average, blasting past the previous record set in 2012. Asia saw its hottest July on record and Europe recorded its second hottest. (NBC News)

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