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Presenting CP Daily, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter. It’s a daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here
Switzerland’s bilateral emissions trading deals under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6 can provide a lower-risk framework for the voluntary market to develop carbon-cutting projects, the Swiss government said on Thursday.
Sweden is inviting carbon-cutting projects in Ghana to bid to deliver Paris Agreement-era carbon credits to the Nordic nation, the country’s second such call.
The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) programme finalised the new version of its deforestation reduction standard on Thursday, setting out new methods for recognising and crediting high-forest, low-deforestation (HFLD) jurisdictions, Indigenous territories, and emissions removals.
EUA prices staged one of their largest one-day declines in absolute terms, wiping out all the gains made in August as natural gas prices crashed and other energy and macro markets also fell.
Australian carbon credits hit another record high secondary market spot price in Thursday trade as the mix of persistent demand and limited available supply continues to fuel the bull run that’s lasted since the beginning of the year.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices retraced slightly as speculators and compliance entities shifted their attention to the August WCI auction, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) dropped over the week after rising to new all-time highs.
A senior staffer at green group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has been named to the California Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee (IEMAC), Carbon Pulse has learned.
US biofuel credit (RIN) values fell towards a four-week low on Thursday afternoon, with traders citing a decline in agriculture commodity prices and sinking gasoline demand as possible factors in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) market sell-off.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
The meth behind the Maersk – The world’s largest shipping firm Maersk said it had signed a contract with Denmark’s REintegrate securing green methanol, gearing up to operate its first carbon-neutral ship in 2023. The deal is for roughly 10,000 tonnes of carbon neutral e-methanol – costing more than twice as much as conventional bunker fuel and meaning vessels would be 10-15% more expensive to run in initial years. Maersk said it would carry the costlier vessels on its balance sheets, the additional fuel cost would be shared with its customers. (Reuters)
Tell us everything – The Swiss government on Wednesday joined France and a small number of other rich countries that have set a timeline for major companies to disclose the risks they face from climate change. In June, G7 countries endorsed mandatory disclosures under recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Some policymakers want a deal to establish global reporting requirements in time for November’s UN climate change conference in Glasgow. Under the TCFD’s recommendations, companies are urged to disclose the actual and potential impacts of climate change on their business, as well as explain how they identify and manage such risks and opportunities. (Reuters)
38 special – A California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge this week issued a ruling recommending that the state adopt a preferred electricity resource portfolio that would limit the sector’s annual GHG emissions to 38 Mt by the end of the decade. The ruling is the result of the commission’s analysis of the integrated resource plans filed by state power providers last year. While the analysis found that the plans themselves could collectively fall short of state emissions and reliability targets, it noted that a combination of other factors – including a recent 11.5 GW procurement decision – should “largely” achieve those goals for 2030. Last March, the CPUC voted to approve a 46 Mt GHG emissions target for the electric sector for 2030. But regulators also asked power providers to look into reducing emissions further to 38 Mt, after multiple stakeholders – including utility Southern California Edison – questioned whether the target went far enough. (Utility Dive)
Weeping Willow – A federal judge threw out oil drilling permits in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska on Wednesday. The permits for ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project on Alaska’s North Slope were approved by President Donald Trump’s administration in the runup to the 2020 election, and President Joe Biden’s administration had defended their legality (which, the New York Times reports, may have been part of an effort to build favour with Alaskan Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski). However, BLM and the Fish and Wildlife Service improperly approved the project, Judge Sharon Gleason wrote, because they failed to adequately provide for polar bear protections and assess its impact on climate change. (Climate Nexus)
Methane madness – An overwhelming majority of oil wells in West Texas emitting methane are doing so without permits, according to a new study by the environmental group Earthworks. It conducted the study by flying helicopters with methane-detecting sensors over parts of the Permian Basin in 2020, finding that of the 227 flare stakes detected, 84% of them didn’t have the required permits with the Texas Railroad Commission, As Politico reports, this comes even as the commission has drastically ramped up the number of permits it approves, from a little over 100 in 2008 to nearly 7,000 in 2019.
Woodland raising – The Gresham House Forest Growth & Sustainability Fund saw £127 mln in subscriptions during its first fundraise, including commitments from two major institutional investors, exceeding the initial target of £100 mln. The UK’s largest commercial forestry manager said it expects to conduct a second fundraising later this year. The fund aims to generate returns by selling UK timber and through the capital growth of land and trees, while also producing carbon credits from the creation of new woodland that allow investors to ‘inset’ their emissions or to provide income. (Investment Week)
SCIENCE & TECH
Ozone aid – The recovery of the ozone layer is helping the planet avoid 2.5C of additional warming by the end of the century, according to research published in the journal Nature. The global ban on CFCs under the 1987 UN Montreal Protocol has allowed the ozone layer in the stratosphere to recover and prevented extensive damage to vegetation due to ultraviolet radiation that would have diminished the world’s carbon sink by enough to cause 0.8C of warming. A further 1.7C of warming has been prevented as CFCs are also powerful GHGs. (Belfast Telegraph/PA)
Hydrogen hoo-ha – The chairman of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association resigned this week so he can speak out against widespread efforts to promote blue hydrogen rather than risk “betraying future generations by remaining silent”, the Daily Telegraph reports. Christopher Jackson said in a LinkedIn post that “it remains my deep personal conviction that one of those wrong answers is blue hydrogen”. Jackson quit just before the UK announced a hydrogen strategy that aims to give blue hydrogen, which is created from fossil fuel energy with stored or reused GHGs, equal funding status to green hydrogen, which is created using renewables. Read Carbon Pulse’s report on the UK plan.
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