CP Daily: Thursday September 16, 2021

Published 02:02 on September 17, 2021  /  Last updated at 02:07 on September 17, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

FEATURE: With Merkel’s departure, German election to usher in new era of climate policies

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is preparing to step aside following the country’s Sep. 26 election, making room for a new era of climate policies, with the Green party platform the most detailed on meeting newly-raised domestic emissions targets and engaging at EU level.

EMEA

Euro Markets: Weaker carbon lags wider sell-off across energy complex

EUAs endured another volatile session on Wednesday as prices swung more than €1 in each direction, while participants speculated over whether more industrial plants will suspend operations due to gas prices nearing record highs, cutting potential demand for carbon.

Finland’s government to ease path for voluntary offsetting, ETS plans on hold

Finland’s government on Thursday moved to exempt voluntary offset trade from a law that restricted the practice to charities, a move expected to boost corporate buying and potentially spurring further requirements for corresponding adjustments for domestic carbon-cutting projects.

AMERICAS

NA Markets: CCAs set fresh all-time high, as RGGI allowances notch own record following Q3 auction

California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) set a new record high this week as aggressive buying following the California recall election caused prices to surge, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) found further support to hit their own all-time high after the Q3 auction result aligned to expectations.

RFS Market: RIN prices dive on reports of biofuel quota leak

US biofuel credit (RIN) values dropped on Thursday as traders said some Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) participants may have obtained the preliminary 2021-22 biofuel quotas.

Following recent trend, new speculative firm opens RGGI account

A new speculative trading firm opened a RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (COATS) account on Thursday, with the new registration aligning with the recent trend of financial firms entering the Northeast carbon market.

ASIA PACIFIC

China flags tougher control of big-emitting projects

China will tighten control over major energy-consuming projects, wrestling some of the authority back from provincial governments, the country’s top economic planning agency said Thursday.

China’s Chongqing launches carbon offset scheme

Southwest China’s Chongqing revealed the first batch of offset methodologies, and the credits can be used in the local compliance carbon market, as well as to claim carbon neutral for business operations and big events.

Greenpeace sounds greenwash alarm over Australian net zero claims

Two-thirds of big-emitting Australian companies with net zero or carbon neutral targets have failed to outline plans for phasing out coal use, relying instead on “dubious carbon offsets”, a Greenpeace report released Thursday found.

VOLUNTARY

Taiwan’s CPC signs carbon neutral gas supply deal with industrial giant

Taiwan’s state-owned oil and gas company CPC Corporation has signed an agreement with a semiconductor company TSMC for the supply of “carbon neutral” natural gas, the company announced on Thursday.

Scope change, shift to wider baselines required for credibility of voluntary carbon market -think-tank

Moves to scale up the global voluntary carbon market (VCM) would benefit from a shift away from small initiatives and project-level crediting towards corporate-wide abatement efforts and sector- or industry-wide baselines.

Cargill unveils initiative to pay US farmers for carbon sequestration

Commodities trading firm Cargill is launching a programme that will pay American farmers to engage in practices that cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil health.

INTERNATIONAL

Al Gore-backed data project finds oil and gas emissions may be double estimates

A new emissions data project has found that emissions from oil and gas production may be twice as high as previously thought, as new technology builds a more accurate picture of global GHG output.

ICYM

CORRELATIONS: EU carbon link to gas breaks down as winter coal burn locked in

(Updates from Wednesday, with charts)

European carbon’s correlation to gas prices is dissipating as EUAs have retreated in recent days despite the fuel continuing to rally to new-all-time highs, analysis by Carbon Pulse shows.

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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

Met threat – The coronavirus-related economic downturn caused only a temporary downturn in CO2 emissions last year and it was not enough to reverse the rising levels of GHGs in the atmosphere, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in its United in Science 2021 Report. It found the average global temperature for the past five years was among the highest on record, estimated at 1.06C to 1.26C above pre-industrial levels, and there is now a 40% chance that average global temperature in one of the next five years will be at least 1.5C warmer than pre-industrial levels. (Reuters)

Need plenty from the G20 – New research by World Resources Institute and Climate Analytics shows the pivotal role that G20 countries must play to keep the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C within reach. The report – Closing the gap: The impact of G20 climate commitments on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C – finds that if G20 countries, accounting for 75% of global GHG emissions, fully enact additional targets that have been announced but not yet adopted, temperature rise could be limited to 2.1C. If they set ambitious, 1.5C-aligned reduction targets for 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050, global temperature rise at the end of the century could be limited to 1.7C. Drawing on data and analysis from Climate Action Tracker and National Pathways Explorer, this report shows that current Paris NDCs and legally binding net zero targets put the world on a trajectory to 2.4C of warming by the end of the century.

EMEA

They like to remove it remove it – The European Commission will publish a policy paper by the end of the year on “the sustainable management of the carbon cycle” – the first step towards an EU-wide certification scheme for negative emissions coming from agriculture, forestry and other sources, that will be tabled in 2022. With the adoption of its landmark Climate Law earlier this year, the EU has decided to aggressively cut GHGs, aiming for a 55% reduction below 1990 by the end of this decade before eventually reaching net zero by 2050. But the EU executive is now preparing a second leg to the bloc’s climate policy, with plans to also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The proposal will be tabled next year, the Commission confirmed on Wednesday in a letter of intent outlining the EU executive’s legislative plans for 2022. Although world leaders won’t openly admit to it, the need to remove carbon from the atmosphere is already clear, scientists say. Even if nations succeed at cutting CO2 in accordance with the Paris Agreement, there would still be ‘residual emissions’ coming from sectors like agriculture and industry, according to the IPCC. The debate on carbon removals is controversial, however. Environmental groups have criticised carbon offsetting schemes like tree-planting as a potential greenwashing tool allowing fossil fuel companies to continue polluting just because their emissions would be compensated by withdrawals elsewhere. (Euractiv)

Here comes the sun – Romania’s energy ministry has submitted the first applications for financing from the EU ETS-funded Modernisation Fund, seeking cash for eight solar power units intended to replace coal-fired thermal power plants run by state-owned CE Oltenia. Total capital expenditure is estimated at €671 mln, of which Romania intends to cover €470 mln million from the Modernisation Fund as part of the country’s plans to phase out coal by 2032. (Balkan Green Energy News)

Shell shuffle – Oil major Shell announced a final investment decision to build an 820,000 t/year biofuels facility in the Netherlands, the company announced. The facility will be among the biggest in Europe to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel made from waste. Shell also hopes the new facility will help it meet its own net zero 2050 target. SAF could make up more than half of the 820,000-tonnes-a-year capacity at the site.

Sleeper cell – A group of German Green Party politicians has presented proposals for an expansion of night train services in Europe, to cut the number of EU ETS-covered short-haul flights. The new night train network would connect major European cities and holiday regions that currently are popular destinations for inner-European flights. A ban of cheap short-distance flights and other ways to curb emissions from the transport sector are one of the hotly debated topics of the campaign before the election on Sep. 26. (Clean Energy Wire)

AMERICAS

House, meet Senate – US House Democrats have been busy in committee the past few weeks going over and advancing some of their biggest climate priorities – from a measure to fund a Civilian Climate Corps out of House Natural Resources to a Clean Electricity Performance Program and methane fees in Energy and Commerce. And on Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee pushed through a number of tax credits to spur renewable energy, estimated to cost $235 bln over 10 years, going through on a near party-line vote. The tax proposal includes extending both production and investment tax credits, and offers a direct-pay option of several tax breaks. But what happens in the Senate is still unknown, with Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema maintaining their disdain for a $3.5 trillion reconciliation price tag, and what could get cut on the chopping block remains anyone’s guess. (Politico)

Billion-tonne deal – The $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill working its way through the US Congress could cut GHG emissions by nearly a gigatonne by 2030, according to analysis released Wednesday by the Rhodium Group, an independent research firm. It examined six policies currently considered in the draft bill: greater clean energy and electric vehicle tax credits ($7,500/vehicle), a methane fee on oil and gas, funding for rural electric cooperatives, agriculture and forestry carbon removal programmes, and the proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), with the latter resulting in the bulk of the estimated emissions reductions. These provisions would cut GHGs by 830-936 Mt compared to current policy the modelling found. But the package still faces an uphill battle. While the CEPP passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday, its fate in the senate is less clear.

Fine on the Vine – Vineyard Wind announced Wednesday it achieved financial close on the nation’s first commercial-scale wind farm, raising $2.3 billion in senior debt to start construction of the project off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The company, which is a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, said in a release offshore work is expected to commence in 2022 and the facility is expected to begin delivering power to the grid in 2023. The $2.3 bln of senior debt includes investments from Bank of America, JP Morgan, BBVA, NatWest, Santander, Credit Agricole, Natixis, BNP Paribas, and MUFG Bank. (Politico)

LA lately – Los Angeles County supervisors on Wednesday voted to ban drilling in unincorporated areas and to phase out oil and gas drilling. There are currently 1,046 active wells, 637 idle wells, and 2,731 abandoned wells in unincorporated areas of the nation’s most populous county. according to a memo to the board dated June 3, 2021. County Supervisor Janice Hahn praised the plan as “a framework for how we transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy and make sure we bring our labour partners with us.” The Board also voted to create a programme to ensure that wells are properly closed and cleaned up, and to expand the county’s task force focused on a just transition for fossil fuel workers and communities. (Climate Nexus)

VOLUNTARY

What are the ODS – The American Carbon Registry (ACR) on Thursday announced the approval of a new carbon offset methodology for the destruction of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) from international sources. In a note on Thursday, ACR said the methodology builds on ACR’s existing ODS destruction methodology, which is applicable only for US domestically sourced and destroyed ODS.

AND FINALLY…

What Aukus augurs – The timing of the Aukus security partnership between the US, UK and Australia has dismayed climate experts, who fear it could have a negative effect on hopes of a deal with top emitter China on GHG output ahead of November’s COP26 UN climate summit. The pact, which will enable Australia to have nuclear-powered submarines for the first time, has been likened to a new cold war by China. (The Guardian)

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