CP Daily: Monday August 23, 2021

Published 02:34 on August 24, 2021  /  Last updated at 12:49 on August 24, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Australia eyes 2022 start for industrial carbon crediting scheme

Australia wants to kick off next year with a scheme that will award carbon units to industrial facilities under the Safeguard Mechanism that reduce their emissions intensity.

ASIA PACIFIC

New Zealand to raise ETS price ceiling

New Zealand will increase the cost containment reserve trigger level at NZU auctions from next year, while the emissions cap in the ETS will be lowered compared to previous plans from 2025, the government announced Monday.

Taiwan EPA hopes carbon tax can fend off CBAM backlash

Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) will include a carbon tax proposal in the ongoing revision of its greenhouse gas legislation, in the hope this will save Taiwanese exporters from impacts from the EU’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM).

Australia must overhaul Safeguard Mechanism to cut industrial emissions -report

Australia needs to start implementing policies that will reduce emissions to put itself on a path to net zero by 2050, and an overhaul of the Safeguard Mechanism would be instrumental in cutting carbon from the industrial sectors, according to a report due to be published on Monday.

Australia Market Roundup: Issued ACCUs top 99 mln as ASX200 net zero targets balloon

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has handed out more than 150,000 new carbon credits, taking the nation’s total issuance above 99 million, while a study released Monday found the number of ASX200 companies that have set net zero targets almost tripled over the past year.

EMEA

Euro Markets: EUAs climb above €55 as Nord Stream worries trigger buying

Carbon prices rallied strongly on Monday amid firmer natural gas, as speculative buyers accumulated positions ahead of a key court decision on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

VOLUNTARY

VCM Report: VER bull run peters out as participants question rapid rise

Standardised voluntary emissions reduction (VER) values retraced from record highs on the spot and futures markets last week, as traders and project developers thought the swift rise in voluntary carbon market (VCM) prices over the late summer months was due for a step back.

AMERICAS

California gasoline consumption ticks up, but flattens to 2019 levels

California gasoline usage rose slightly in June as pandemic restrictions were removed, but the Golden State’s fuel demand stagnated against historic levels despite the month-on-month gains, according to federal data.

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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

EMEA

Russian risk – Igor Sechin, chief of Russia’s oil giant Rosneft, has told the Kremlin that carbon border taxes like the EU’s CBAM could inflict far greater damage to Russia’s economy than sanctions, according to the Kommersant newspaper cited by Reuters. Sechin proposed that President Vladimir Putin should seek to have Russia put on a list of countries that are exempt from the carbon tax because of the GHG absorbing capacity of their ecosystems, and suggested developing a system to have Russian-calculated carbon units recognised abroad. Read Carbon Pulse’s report on how Russia is rolling out new domestic voluntary carbon offset rules and is considering extending its embryonic ETS nationally in order to have its climate efforts recognised internationally to thereby spare it from the impact of carbon border measures.

True blue – The UK using blue hydrogen exclusively to replace fossil gas would result in between 6-8 mln tonnes of CO2 emissions every year from the late 2020s. That’s according to analysis by green group FoE Scotland, based on government data set out last week in the UK’s ‘twin track’ hydrogen strategy setting out funding a balance of blue and green hydrogen. The extra emissions are due to CCS losing 5-15% of captured CO2 in its process and emissions released from extracting the gas initially. The UK’s official climate advisors at the Committee on Climate Change said the strategy was “less helpful than it otherwise could have been” because it had failed to set out a balance between the two methods. (Guardian)

Clubbing together – The German government is pushing for the establishment of an international climate club, developed by finance minister and current SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz. The alliance would commit to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target and strive for climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. In addition, member states would set common rules for calculating CO2 emissions and create uniform standards for CO2 pricing. (RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland, Clean Energy Wire)

African injection – South Africa has started geological mapping at the country’s first CCS site, where it plans to start injecting CO2 underground from 2023, a senior Council for Geoscience official said. The project will be based around the town of Leandra, Mpumalanga province, home to several coal-fired power stations as well as Sasol’s Secunda coal-to-liquids fuel plant, the world’s largest. (Reuters)

ASIA PACIFIC

High achievers – India is set to ‘overachieve’ on its NDC, but any further commitment will depend on climate finance from rich countries, according to Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, the most senior civil servant at India’s environment ministry. India pledged to reduce its carbon intensity by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030 and that it also aims to produce 40% of its installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. “Our position is tied with something concrete – something very concrete – on climate finance,” he told Reuters.

High on hydro – China’s state-owned Three Gorges Corp. has issued a 3-bln yuan ($463-mln) carbon neutral bond in the interbank debt market through a bond connect programme that allows overseas investors to buy bonds issued on the Chinese mainland. The bond will be used to rid Three Gorges of debt for two hydropower plants under construction, which the company says will generate 10 TWh of electricity annually, cutting emissions by 50 MtCO2/year.

High on hydrogen – Japan oil major Eneos and Australia’s Origin Energy have become the latest entities from the two nations to team up on potential hydrogen business. On Monday they announced they will explore the possibility of producing hydrogen in Australia using renewable energy, which would then be shipped to Japan by sea by Eneos to fuel thermal power stations, steel factories, and other industries.

AMERICAS

Import isolation – US President Joe Biden is withholding support for a Democratic proposal to impose a CO2 polluter tax on imports casting doubt on whether Democrats will be able to deploy what environmentalists consider one of the greatest weapons to tackle global climate change in a massive spending bill this year, Reuters reports. The White House is concerned the Democrats’ proposal will raise prices on a host of consumer goods, from cars to appliances, and conflict with Biden’s pledge not to tax any American earning less than $400,000 per year, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The Biden administration is also worried any tax that raises prices could fuel Republican attacks that his policies are driving up inflation, they say. The White House plans to withhold support as the US Treasury and other administration officials try to coordinate tax policy with trading allies like the EU.

Survey says – Programme administrator RGGI Inc. is asking stakeholders to fill out a survey by Aug. 30 to help the 11-state power sector carbon market identify the best days, times, and methods for its 2021-22 programme review. The Northeast US cap-and-trade programme said it hopes to use the information to develop a schedule for future events, with the first virtual meeting slated for this fall. Officials had previously said they planned to outline a tentative schedule in late summer, but they have not done so. In Monday’s survey, RGGI also asked stakeholders to identify the most interesting topics, and they listed the regional CO2 cap, environmental justice, auction mechanisms, the compliance process, and offset projects as potential options. Regulatory experts have said they do not anticipate any significant work to be done on the programme review until next year.

Sask and ye shall receive – The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment on Monday developed and revised several documents associated with the province’s output-based pricing system (OBPS). This includes the publication of a new standard under the OBPS regulations that identifies how performance credits are determined, outlines the manner in which performance credits may be used, and states the rules regarding the sale of performance credits. The ministry also noted Ottawa’s recent update to its ‘backstop’ carbon pricing benchmark after 2022 has caused uncertainty regarding long-term implications for provincial systems, and that it will update Saskatchewan OBPS companies on the potential effects after the federal government releases new benchmark guidance.

AND FINALLY…

Table-top action – A giant pink table kitted out with a stereo and sleeping quarters has been erected by Extinction Rebellion climate protesters in London at the start of two weeks of planned actions. The group said the four-metre structure will remain “for the long haul” and represents how everyone deserves a seat at the table to have a say in how to tackle the greatest crisis of our times. (Independent)

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