CP Daily: Wednesday September 22, 2021

Published 02:49 on September 23, 2021  /  Last updated at 02:49 on September 23, 2021  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

EU lawmakers plan crunch decisions on climate package for early next year

The EU’s legislative bodies are planning to make key decisions on the bloc’s Fit for 55 climate proposals early next year, while the bloc’s energy ministers on Tuesday discussed an idea to hold extra EUA auctions to help shield households from rising energy costs.

AMERICAS

US lawmaker sees need, pathway for CO2 pricing in budget reconciliation bill

Carbon pricing could help alleviate funding issues involved in US Democrats’ proposed $3.5-trillion budget reconciliation bill, while the mechanism could also ensure the US reaches the long-term climate goals laid out by the Biden administration, a panel heard Wednesday.

US carbon border adjustment bill could be non-WTO compliant -experts

A federal bill introducing a US carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) may not pass WTO muster in the absence of a nationwide CO2 price, experts said Wednesday.

California compliance offset issuances sink to a fresh three-month low

California offset issuances sunk to a three-month low as state regulator ARB distributed nearly 179,000 credits across 10 reporting periods, according to data published Wednesday.

RFS Market: RINs dive beneath $1 on reports of multi-year biofuel quota cuts

US biofuel credit (RIN) values declined to seven-month lows on Wednesday after news outlets reported President Joe Biden’s (D) administration is mulling multi-year cuts to Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel volumes.

Nova Scotia carbon allowance volume rises once again for November sale

The allowance volume on offer at Nova Scotia’s Nov. 23 cap-and-trade auction will increase for the third straight sale, according to a notice published by the province’s environment ministry on Wednesday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Up to a fifth of Australian carbon credits are ‘junk’, report claims

More than 22 million of Australian offsets issued so far have been generated using a “deeply flawed” method, calling into question the value of the government’s entire carbon credit programme, said a report released Wednesday, though industry representatives said the report had “critical errors”.

Companies announce China’s first “carbon neutral” crude oil deal

Three major Chinese companies on Wednesday announced they had used government-issued CCERs to offset a shipment of 30,000 tonnes of crude oil from extraction in Angola and every step of the way through the supply chain to consumption.

Hubei carbon market shrinks after power plant exit

China’s Hubei province has released the 2020 allocation for its pilot emissions trading scheme, with the number of allowances to be issued falling by almost 40% after regional coal-fired power plants exited the scheme to participate in the national market.

EMEA

Euro Markets: EUAs gain after option expiry while UKAs advance to new record

EUAs posted gains on Wednesday as activity picked up in the afternoon after the expiry of the September options contract. UK allowances continued to trade at a healthy premium to their EU counterparts, with the British market setting a new record after the latest fortnightly auction.

“Great buying opportunity” if EU carbon prices halve on gas retreat next year -analyst

EU carbon allowances could fall in value by as much as 50% from current levels by next summer should sky-high gas prices retrace, an analyst has predicted, but this would present a “great buying opportunity”.

INEOS to convert UK petrochemical complex to hydrogen

Industrial conglomerate INEOS will invest around $1.4 billion to convert the Grangemouth petrochemicals and refining complex in Scotland to hydrogen production and use with CCS, it announced on Wednesday.

UK doles out £300k in new EU ETS fines, £1 mln for HFC breaches

The UK has fined seven companies including oil major ExxonMobil a total of more than £300,000 for not complying with their obligations under the EU carbon market.

Directors dash from ICIS as analysis firm deals with mounting resignations

Two directors have resigned from ICIS, Carbon Pulse has learned, with the commodity market intelligence firm also losing at least two senior carbon analysts in recent months.

VOLUNTARY

Voluntary offset taskforce plans phased approach to standardised contracts

The private sector-led Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) aims to establish core carbon principles (CCPs) depending on project type throughout next year, a member of the initiative said Wednesday.

New venture close to submitting offset methodology framework for CCS modules

A new carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) group is in the final stages of drafting a carbon crediting framework for several types of reduction and removal technologies, a panel heard Wednesday.

SHIPPING

Big maritime players call for decarbonised shipping by 2050

A coalition representing the maritime sector’s entire value chain has called on Wednesday for a target of net zero emissions from shipping by 2050 and for market-based measures within five years.

COMMENT

“Nothing surpasses the beauty and elegance of a bad idea”

It hasn’t taken long for governments to notice the EU ETS, spitting out revenue at the rate of half a billion euros a week, and get the idea that here is a mechanism ready-made to be exploited at a time of crisis. But a new Greek proposal marks a “forehead-smacking moment” that betrays a worrying lack of understanding about the market and how it works.

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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

AMERICAS

Byrd brained – The US Senate parliamentarian blocked an immigration proposal from Democrats’ reconciliation plans earlier this week, and Republicans are hoping to see the same fate for the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would pay utilities that boost renewable power and impose a fee on those that don’t. “We will pitch the parliamentarian very, very strongly to eliminate some of these things,” GOP Sen. John Cornyn told Bloomberg, referring to the rule colloquially known as the “Byrd bath.” Democrats specifically designed the CEPP to qualify as a budget item and be included in their reconciliation package, as opposed to regulatory mandates under a Clean Electricity Standard. (Politico)

Vault! Who goes there? – The American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic exchange for direct lending and borrowing for US banks and financial institutions, on Wednesday announced its commitment to be carbon neutral retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020. In a press release, AFX said it will calculate, then reduce or offset, all of its Scope 1-3 emissions through Climate Vault, a non-profit organisation that is purchasing allowances in regulated carbon markets, such as WCI or the RGGI emissions trading schemes. AFX added these activities will make AMERIBOR, an alternative to Libor, the world’s first carbon-neutral interest rate benchmark.

Lonestar ammonia – Mitsubishi Corporation has announced an agreement with the Texas-based independent energy company Denbury for CO2 transport and storage operations. The agreement is in line with Mitsubishi’s aim to commence production of fuel-use ammonia in the US Gulf of Mexico, the company stated. Mitsubishi aims to produce 1 Mt of fuel ammonia annually in the US Gulf of Mexico and export to the Japanese market towards the late 2020s. The estimated CO2 volume to be captured from Mitsubishi’s ammonia facility is a maximum of 1.8 Mt per year.

Loonies and Saskatoonies – The Saskatchewan government on Wednesday extended the deadline for 2019 compliance returns and fulfilment of compliance obligations under the province’s output-based pricing standards (OBPS) to Dec. 31, 2022, which was previously extended to Dec. 31, 2021 from Oct. 31, 2021. Additionally, the large emitter deadline for 2020 is also extended to Dec. 31, 2022, more than a year after the previous Oct. 31, 2021 deadline. For aggregate facilities with emissions of 10,000 tonnes of CO2e or greater, the deadlines for both 2019 and 2020 compliance are extended to Dec. 31, 2022 from Oct. 31, 2021.

EMEA

Green credit – Britain’s export credit agency UKEF said it aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its investments by 2050 and increase its support for green exports, following a commitment in April to end support for fossil fuel projects overseas. UKEF has a capacity of £50 bln to support exports through loans, insurance, and guarantees and provided £12.3 bln in support for UK companies over the last year. It said it planned to increase financial support for exports linked to renewable energy and activities focused on adapting to the impacts of climate change. (Reuters)

More Brit aid – The UK has opened the second phase of its Industrial Energy Transformation Fund over Sep. 27 – Dec. 6, putting up £220 mln of the £315 mln vehicle following an initial phase last year. Funding to winning bidders is to be delivered through 2025 to help ETS-covered heavy industries decarbonise via grants of up to £30 mln.

VOLUNTARY

Americans abroad – The American Carbon Registry (ACR) on Wednesday approved an offset protocol for GHG reductions and removals from improved forest management on Canadian forestlands. Similar to the methodology approved by ACR for non-federal US forestlands, the new protocol is applicable to all Canadian forestlands that are not subject to provincial or federal forest management regulations.

Royal reductions – Cruise operator Royal Caribbean Group on Wednesday announced the company had achieved its goal of reducing emissions 35% below 2005 levels after the pandemic year of 2020, and will aim to achieve another 25% reduction by 2025. The company’s wind farm project in Kansas, developed in partnership with Southern Power, also began operations and generated approximately 242,000 carbon credits, and it is expected to offset 12% of Royal Caribbean’s global emissions each year.

Duck around, find out – Privacy-focused search engine Duck Duck Go on Tuesday announced that it is now carbon negative for the years 2008-20, and is committed to offsetting its emissions in the coming years. The company is offsetting 125% of its upstream and downstream emissions using Gold Standard offsets, and is giving the same amount to the Stripe Climate Program that is helping to develop CO2 removal technology. (Neowin)

ICROA announcement – Business lobby IETA and its International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) on Wednesday announced the appointment of Andrea Abrahams as ICROA’s first managing director, and Lukasz Biernacki as its communications director. Abrahams is the former Director for Energy Transition at oil major BP and head of bp Target Neutral, where she led a carbon management programme developing carbon reduction and offsetting programmes for BP and its customers. Biernacki previously worked with international brands, multilateral organisations including the UN and EU, environmental NGOs, as well as climate-related entities such as ecosecurities, and the Institute for Climate Leadership.

ASIA PACIFIC

Cut the carbon – AGL, Australia’s heaviest emitter of GHGs, has been rocked by an unprecedented investor revolt over climate change as more than half of its shareholders backed demands for vastly stronger carbon-reduction goals, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. In the latest push in Australia for polluters to reform their businesses and act on global warming, 55% of AGL’s investors defied the board by supporting a motion for the energy giant to set “short-, medium- and long-term” decarbonisation targets in line with the Paris Agreement’s aspirations to keep global warming below 2C. The move will not compel the board to act because it depended on the passage of a separate motion to amend the company’s constitution, which did not receive the required support of 75% of shareholders. However, such a significant show of support, including by major investors and prominent proxy advisory group Institutional Shareholder Services, will be noted as a sharp rebuke of the board’s current approach to the climate crisis.

SCIENCE & TECH

Hydrogen breakthrough – New research at Curtin University in Australia has yielded results that could prove to be a gamechanger for clean hydrogen production, according to H2-view. Researchers have found that adding nickel and cobalt to cheaper, previously ineffective catalysts enhances their performance, which lowers the energy required to split the water and increases the yield of hydrogen. This could be a gamechanger for the industry, with scientists having previously used precious metal catalysts, such as platinum, to accelerate the reaction to break water into both hydrogen and oxygen. Reducing the cost of producing hydrogen also reduces its overall cost, meaning that it becomes much more accessible to the wider market.

AND FINALLY…

Tonight’s the night – Late night TV talk show hosts in the US are coming together tonight (Sep. 22) for a common cause: fighting climate change. Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, and Andy Cohen will all be participating in the first-ever Climate Night on Wednesday. The hosts will each discuss climate change on their respective shows in an effort to help audiences learn more about the issue and encourage them to get involved in the climate movement. “I don’t want to die,” Kimmel joked in a press release for the event. “In the interest of recycling, please use whatever Jimmy Kimmel said,” added Fallon. “I’m thrilled to participate in Climate Night,” said Bee. “But maybe we should move it up a few days? Just because, you know, it’s urgent?” However, Gizmodo panned the event. “The country’s Funniest People™ will deign to make jokes about the climate crisis for a full night of hilarity,” wrote staff writer Molly Taft. “Raising awareness, you see, is important, and this will definitely make up for them neglecting climate change for all the other nights of the year … Maybe they’ll be incredible! But the issue here is not how good or bad the laugh lines are. No, it’s the idea that devoting one night to covering climate makes up for the fact that these shows have largely ignored the biggest story on Earth for years.”

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