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A number of CDM developers are planning a rush of CER issuances to benefit from slightly higher prices and to get them off their books before potential UN decisions leave the units worthless.
Oil-rich Gulf state Kuwait has pledged to cut its emissions 7.4% under BAU levels by 2035 in its revised NDC submitted on Tuesday, far off the 45% global GHG cut thought needed to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C warming goal.
Costa Rica will work with Gold Standard on principles for corresponding adjustments (CAs) under the Paris Agreement, as the offset project certifier gears up for what it dubs ‘Article-6 authorised units’ for global carbon trade.
The global CCS pipeline has expanded rapidly in 2021, adding dozens of new projects since the end of last year, according to the Global CCS Institute in its 2021 status report released on Tuesday.
EU lawmakers on Tuesday urged the EU to form an “international climate club” with other big emitting nations that would be shielded from the effects of the bloc’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM).
Bulgaria will target a coal phaseout by 2038 or 2040, caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev told business this week.
EUAs weakened on Tuesday as participants eyed the steadily increasing pace of issuance of free allowances for 2021, while energy markets all fluctuated within a comparatively narrow range.
North American environmental firm Bluesource has partnered with investment firm Oak Hill Advisers to form a $500 million joint venture and develop forestry-based carbon credits for both the compliance and voluntary markets, the companies announced Tuesday.
Two investment management firms from the US and Australia opened RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (COATS) accounts in recent days, while a Pennsylvania-based facility also registered a general account ahead of the state’s possible entrance to the scheme next year.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit values reached a one-month high on Tuesday, as market participants reported importers were on the bid and helping drive prices up.
China on Tuesday announced several key reforms to its coal-fired electricity market, which analysts say could allow generators to pass on the cost of carbon.
The New Zealand ETS needs to be encouraged to make gross carbon reductions, potentially relying less on forestry offsets in the future, the government said Wednesday as it launched a public consultation process for its first long-term emissions reduction plan.
South Korea plans to do its purchasing of international credits under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, according to government documents, potentially ruling out the option of incentivising private sector players to buy some of the volume under mechanisms such as the CDM.
Two US firms on Tuesday announced a new voluntary emissions reduction (VER) platform to allow organisations to browse through available offset projects and make commission-free purchases, cutting out brokers and large corporates.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Fairing is caring – Ministers and government representatives gathered at the Latin American and Caribbean Climate Summit in Colombia last week issued a Declaration for Carbon Markets Fairness, aimed at protecting environmental integrity and climate ambition through the scaling and development of high-quality carbon market opportunities in developing countries. An unspecified number of countries have reportedly signed the declaration, which sets out to promote fair carbon pricing schemes and promote international transactions to help reduce climate mitigation and adaptation costs, all while not being detrimental to the host country’s domestic climate ambition. Additionally, the declaration encourages the benefits of carbon markets to be shared equitably between emissions reduction agents, communities, developers, and owners of emission reduction projects in developing countries.
Concrete planning – The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) – representing some 80% of concrete made outside of China, and some companies within China – has laid out steps to cut CO2 emissions 25% by 2030 and to reach zero net emissions by mid-century, relying on more carbon-free energy, new chemistry and manufacturing technology, and CCS. Its plan to meet the previously announced 2050 goal did not lay out costs or break down how much each step would cut in emissions, but GCCA boss Thomas Guillot said 10 industrial-scale CCS plants pledged in its roadmap by 2030 would be built and paid for by members. (Reuters)
Who’s to blame – Listed companies account for 40% of climate-warming emissions, according to research released Monday from Generation Investment Management, co-founded by former US Vice President Al Gore and Goldman Sachs’ Asset Management head David Blood. The estimate focuses on scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, including those coming from a listed company’s value chains, making it much higher than previous estimates. The figure doubles a previous estimate by CDP that covered scope 1 emissions only. “Our analysis suggests that the collective importance of over 10,000 listed companies globally has been underplayed. While investor action on climate change is rightly targeted on the highest emitting and systemically important companies, the rest of the publicly traded universe also has an important role to play,” said Felix Preston, director of sustainability insights for the project.
High flyers – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and other industry groups on Tuesday committed to net zero emissions by 2050, as the sector’s flagship private jet show kicked off in Las Vegas. Business aviation has joined airlines and airports in strengthening its plans to tackle climate change. Earlier, the industry had pledged to halve emissions from 2005 levels by 2050. Aviation accounts for roughly 3% of global CO2 emissions, and a surge in private travel is putting the business aviation industry under greater pressure to cut emissions. Aviation brokers and other industry executives at the show told Reuters that buyers are looking for more efficient models and asking about offsetting, but none are putting off purchases of corporate aircraft or private travel due to the environment.
All by myself – UN Climate Change will cover the extra accommodation costs of developing country delegates who test positive for COVID-19 during the COP26 climate talks and need to self-isolate. COP26 president designate Alok Sharma announced the latest solidarity measures in a speech in Paris on Tuesday, setting out his priorities and expectations for the summit. The fund, he said, will be available to accredited party delegates, civil society observers, and journalists from developing countries. Participants who contract COVID will be required to isolate for 10 full days in their accommodation, which could extend their stay in Glasgow. The isolation rules have been laid out in a COVID-19 code of conduct, which all participants are requested to sign and agree to respect in order to attend the summit. A COP26 spokesperson told Climate Home the code of conduct will apply to all participants, including ministers, who are exempt from quarantine requirements when entering the UK.
Removals run – The European Commission will in 2022 propose legislation including tighter air pollution limits and a system of carbon removal certificates, according to a draft policy plan seen by Reuters. Such a system of removals would mean farmers and landowners who store CO2 in their soils and forests, or businesses using technology to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, could earn an EU-recognised credit. The policy plan draft confirms Commission intentions from earlier this year – read Carbon Pulse’s analysis on the EU’s upcoming policies for carbon removals.
Nuclear renaissance – Six months before Emmanuel Macron faces a tough election for a second five-year term as president, the French leader unveiled a €30 bln “France 2030” investment plan to ramp up tech innovation and heavy industry in an attempt to win over his conservative sceptics and to position France as a major player in the global economy. Calling it a “battle for independence and the best quality of life,” he said billions would go to creating Europe’s first low-carbon airplane, opening green hydrogen factories, and producing French-built semiconductors and millions of electric vehicles – all by 2030. He also announced that France would invest €1 bln in nuclear power by the end of this decade as Europe’s energy crisis spurs renewed interest in the contentious source of power. “The number one objective is to have innovative small-scale nuclear reactors in France by 2030 along with better waste management,” he said. The country is a bastion of nuclear power in Europe, with more than 70% of its electricity derived it. After Fukushima and early in his presidency, Macron announced the intention to shut 14 reactors and cut nuclear’s contribution to France’s energy mix to 50% by 2035. But that mood appears to have changed. Macron said on Tuesday he would begin investing in new nuclear projects “very quickly”. France also wants nuclear energy to be labelled as “green” in the evolving EU green finance taxonomy that determines which economic activities can benefit from a “sustainable finance” label. (Fortune, FT)
Distribution channels – The German carbon pricing system for heating and transport needs to be supplemented with a redistribution mechanism to ensure that low-income households are not disproportionately burdened with climate action costs, researchers at the Potsdam Institute and RWI Essen said in a joint analysis. They contend that once CO2 prices become significantly higher than the current €25 per tonne, the mechanism should include a direct redistribution component that transfers money back to individuals or risk social unrest. (Clean Energy Wire)
British will – The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying, and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, according to an analysis of 22,000 policy preferences through 2030 carried out by green group WWF and think-tank Demos. A speed limit of 60mph on motorways and a campaign to reduce meat eating by 10% were also among the most popular measures, all of which had between 77% and 94% public support. The public went further than the government, choosing to surpass the current carbon target by 3%. Age, location, and political leaning made little difference to the policy choices. (Guardian)
Turn the gas off – German energy firm E.ON has temporarily suspended new natural gas supply contracts for residential customers, the company said on Tuesday, as suppliers across Europe struggle with a steep post-lockdown rise in demand. “We have been reviewing new customer contracts for a few days, as we must take the sharp rise in procurement costs into account in our pricing,” a company spokesperson said, without specifying how long the suspension would last. Supply to customers with existing contracts would continue as normal, the spokesperson said. E.ON is the first major German energy supplier to make such a move though other smaller providers have already done so, with two abruptly ending the electricity contracts of several hundred customers last week. Gas prices in Germany have surged in recent months in line with the rest of Europe, but the country has not yet seen energy providers collapse as has happened in Britain. (Reuters)
Power play – International natural resources project developer Oracle Power has signed a non-exclusive co-operation agreement with PowerChina International Group with the objective of jointly developing a green hydrogen production facility in Pakistan, Renewable Energy Magazine reports. PowerChina, one of the largest Chinese state-owned-enterprises, has partnered with Oracle, with the intention to set up a hydrogen facility in Pakistan to produce hydrogen with electrolysers powered by photovoltaics. The partners are targeting a 400MW capacity hydrogen plant, with planned hydrogen production of approximately 150,000 kg per day.
Climate pressure – President Joe Biden’s administration has encouraged Australia and other allies to commit to stronger action on the climate crisis to ratchet up pressure on China to do its part, according to Arthur Sinodinos, Australia’s ambassador to the US, The Guardian reports. As Australia’s PM Scott Morrison continues efforts to land a new climate policy ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Sinodinos said Australia had the potential to be “an alternative energy superpower” and that investors were looking for certainty. With the COP only weeks away, Morrison met on Monday with coalition partners and key ministers to set out policy options the government is considering.
Coal exit – Coal is leaving Australia’s national energy market much faster than initially thought and is expected to be offline by the mid-2030s, according to a report from The Northern Daily Leader. This is the assessment of outgoing chair of Australia’s Energy Security Board, Kerry Schott. “Coal is inextricably leaving the system and will leave faster than initially thought,” she told a climate and energy summit on Monday. “It really is struggling to make money.”
Fracking fight – The Western States Petroleum Association sued California on Friday, saying the state government is overreaching its authority and imposing a de facto ban on fracking after rejecting several recent fracking applications. The powerful group represents fossil fuel interests in the state, which has been making moves to wean off its dependence on oil and gas to the group’s vocal protests. (Politico)
Climate commitment – Rig giant Transocean has become the latest oil and gas industry player to set a target to reduce its emissions by the end of the decade, Upstream reports. Transocean has set a target to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity by 40% from 2019 levels by 2030. According to Transocean chief executive Jeremy Thigpen, nearly all of the energy used to power the company’s rigs comes from diesel fuel. In order to reach its emissions reduction targets, Thigpen said Transocean would look to reduce fuel use while also targeting “other initiatives” that can be achieved by developing and implementing new processes and technologies that would enable the company to optimise its power management capabilities.
Water world – Cumulative CO2 emissions have already committed the world to about 1.9 metres of sea level rise over the next few centuries, even if emissions suddenly ceased today, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters on Monday. Globally, the study indicates that if the world warms by about 3C, as it is currently on course to do, sea levels would eventually imperil about 15% of the current global population, or about 1 bln people. If, on the other hand, the world were to meet the temperature targets in the Paris Agreement, that number could be cut in half, the study found. China, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia are all among the top five countries most vulnerable to sea level rise during the next two centuries to millennia. (Axios)
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