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The EU’s securities market regulator ESMA has found no evidence of anti-competitive trading behaviour in the bloc’s carbon market, it said in a preliminary assessment published late Thursday at the request of member states.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices leapt once again to fresh all-time highs this week prior to the Q4 WCI auction, as RGGI Allowances (RGAs) set their own new top before melting towards the 2021 Cost Containment Reserve (CCR) trigger price.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) on Thursday said the state will not be participate n the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) after Connecticut rejected the programme, spelling a likely end to the proposed fuel sector cap-and-trade system.
The US EPA on Thursday proposed to once again push back multi-year compliance deadlines for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), with the agency also offering a different approach for setting true-up dates for the federal biofuels programme from 2022 onwards.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promoted Canada’s approach to carbon pricing including a potential carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) during his trip to Washington DC, ahead of the Three Amigos Summit with leaders from the US and Mexico.
Analysts have compiled and released for the first time a list of CO2 emissions from 100 listed Chinese companies, dominated by a group of power companies each releasing hundreds of millions of tonnes into the atmosphere every year.
China’s State Council has set up a 200-billion yuan ($31.4 bln) lending facility aimed at improving coal production and consumption efficiency.
French oil major TotalEnergies has committed to participating in developing a large-scale soil carbon project in Australia, and to apply Aboriginal fire management techniques to offset schemes in sub-Saharan Africa, it announced Thursday.
Carbon standard manager Verra is seeking greater clarity on where corresponding adjustments may be appropriate for the voluntary carbon market, it said in a note on Thursday in the wake of a UN decision that may see host nations require such measures.
Exchange operator ICE on Thursday announced it is planning to hold voluntary emissions reduction (VER) auctions for REDD+ project developer Permian Global.
European carbon prices set their fourth consecutive record on Thursday as sustained buying in the afternoon drove the market above €69 for the first time despite lacklustre energy markets.
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Prospero Events’ Carbon Trading and Markets 2021 virtual conference now takes place on Dec. 6-7. This virtual conference will gather C-level experts responsible for carbon & power trading, carbon markets & pricing, climate policy, ETS and market analysis from leading European energy companies as well as banks and other financial institutions. The conference will focus on discussing the ongoing challenges and trends in carbon markets and carbon trading insights. You can expect presentations and case studies from MOL Group, Enel, HeidelbergCement AG, Fortum, Berenberg, and more. Up to 90 minutes of Q&A and networking time.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Call me big Papua – Papua New Guinea sparked final day panic at COP26, as the rainforest nation was threatening to block a deal in Glasgow over the status of REDD+ forestry projects under the Paris Agreement’s market-based Article 6. At 900 GMT on Saturday morning, after a long night of negotiations, the UK hosts of COP26 had just published what they hoped would be final text of the Glasgow pact when an email came in to their chief negotiator Archie Young. “Archie,” it said: “This is the most unbalanced text imaginable – only the views of the rich and the powerful reflected currently… Hang in there, but it’s going to get bumpy!” The email came from Kevin Conrad, a New York lawyer representing Papua New Guinea, sparking panic and anger across the diplomatic world. The next few hours saw a frantic, widespread and high-level lobbying campaign to stop Conrad from blocking the text – something he denies he ever intended to do. As the founder of the NGO Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN), Conrad argued REDD+ projects should automatically be included under Article 6. However, that step was ultimately not taken in the final text. (Climate Home)
Shipping short – An average carbon price of $191/t would be needed to reduce shipping emissions fully by 2050, compared with $173/t in a scenario whereby a 50% emissions reduction is envisaged – the current IMO goal, Argus reported, quoting a report by consultancy UMAS for the cross-stakeholder Getting to Zero Coalition. In both cases, the model proposed starting at $11/t in 2025, increasing it to around $100/t early next decade. Read Carbon Pulse’s feature on the options under consideration at the IMO UN shipping agency next week.
Taxonomy pushback – A leaked European Commission proposal on Sustainable Finance Taxonomy is stirring controversies among industries in Finland and across the Nordics, Bloomberg reports. This is due to fears that the new classification system may rule out forestry among the list of sustainable investments. The new delegated act – that will also tackle the contentious issues of nuclear and gas power – is expected by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Austria’s climate minister Leonore Gewessler told EurActiv that her country was ready to go to court if the EU decides to include nuclear power into taxonomy. Austria is at the centre of a five-country alliance – with Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal – opposing the inclusion of atomic power. A group of twelve EU countries, led by France and Finland, want nuclear energy included, arguing it is a low-carbon energy source and that radioactive waste can be handled safely if appropriate measures are taken.
No business case for H heating – Heating home with hydrogen won’t be the way forward according to a report published by German think-tank Agora Energiewende, EurActiv reports. “The role of hydrogen for climate neutrality is crucial but secondary to direct electrification,” write the authors, who forecast that hydrogen will account for 16-25% of final energy demand in Europe by 2050,” the study said. The authors have insisted that, unlike industrial sectors like steelmaking or chemicals, where options to decarbonise are limited, hydrogen will face competition from cheaper technologies like heat pumps and district heating networks.
Baowu bond – World’s number one steelmaker China Baowu Steel Group has set up a Global Low-Carbon Metallurgical Innovation Alliance with 62 partners, it said on Thursday. Members come from 15 countries and include ArcelorMittal , BHP Group , Rio Tinto , Vale , Fortescue Metals Group , Tata Steel , Thyssenkrupp , Angang Group, HBIS Group and Shagang Group. Baowu also announced a fund to support basic research of low-carbon metallurgy, providing up to $5.5 mln a year. (Reuters)
South Australia hydrogen – Plans for another massive wind and solar development have been unveiled in South Australia, this time in the state’s north as developers race to map out possibilities for multi gigawatt scale projects that could deliver the electricity supplies needed for a green hydrogen industry, Renew Economy reports. Details were unveiled on Wednesday for the Moolawatana Renewable Hydrogen Project, around 570km north of Adelaide, with an emerging global export market for zero emissions hydrogen in mind. According to the project proponents, the hydrogen facility could ultimately be scaled up to 6,000 MW in capacity, supplied by a mix of wind and solar generation.
South Korea hydrogen – South Korea announced it will develop hydrogen and ammonia as feedstock for thermal power generation in order to gradually phase out the use of fossil fuels, The Korea Herald reports. According to the trade ministry, the government has launched a public-private council to lead the research, with an aim of introducing hydrogen and ammonia in the fuel mix as early as 2030. The ministry’s plan envisions more than half of South Korea’s coal-fired thermal power plants, or at least 24, using a fuel mix consisting of 20% ammonia as early as 2030. By 2035, local gas-fired thermal power plants will use a mix of liquefied natural gas and 30% hydrogen. In the following years, the government will increase the hydrogen proportion beyond 30 percent, it said.
It’s electrifying – Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has been granted planning approval to construct one the world’s largest hydrogen equipment manufacturing facilities in Gladstone, Australia, Mining Weekly reports. The state of Queensland’s deputy premier and minister for state development, Steven Miles, said the approval would allow FFI to progress plans for constructing the facility in the Gladstone area. The electrolyser facility will be the first in Australia able to make the multi-gigawatt-scale electrolysers used worldwide in hydrogen production. With initial capacity to manufacture up to 2 GW of electrolysers annually, it will be the largest electrolyser factory in the world when it comes online in 2023.
Moly-coddle – Global efforts to mitigate climate change will put metals like copper at the centre of a sustained period of “extraordinary” demand growth that miners will struggle to meet, according to China Molybdenum Co. Despite short-term volatility due to potential interest rate hikes and the tapering of quantitative easing measures, copper will enter a decade-long bull market, Vice Chairman and CIO Chaochun Li said in an interview with Bloomberg. The metal, as well as cobalt, is likely to see substantial consumption growth over the next 5-10 years as more countries lay out plans to become carbon neutral, he added. The sector is already booming: copper surged to a record in May, cobalt is climbing, and lithium prices are at the highest ever. Miners haven’t been able to keep up with demand and supply for key commodities is likely to be constrained by years of underinvestment, depletion of easy-to-extract reserves, and concerns that range from environmental impacts to geopolitical tensions.
Capture cash – Up to C$131 mln from Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund is being funnelled into the province’s Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage programme, Premier Jason Kenney announced Thursday. Seven projects have been selected to receive a total C$100 mln in programme funding, Kenney told a news conference. Another C$31 mln will go to other CCUS projects by the end of this year. (CBC)
Gulf of MexiCO2 – ExxonMobil on Wednesday offered to lease roughly 200,000 hectares off the Texas coast, securing space for what could become a massive project to capture and store CO2. Under pressure by investors to address climate change, Exxon in April floated an up to $100 bln industry hub to collect CO2 emissions from Gulf Coast petrochemical plants and bury them under the Gulf of Mexico. Wednesday’s nearly $15 mln in bids at the US government sale are “potentially the first time federal Gulf of Mexico acreage has been leased for purposes other than the extraction” of oil and gas, said Rystad Energy oil analyst Colin White. An Exxon spokesperson declined to comment on the acreage’s carbon capture potential. (Reuters)
XPlattsiv – Commodity price reporting agency S&P Global Platts and ESG data firm Xpansiv on Thursday announced an agreement to collaborate on the development and distribution of assessed daily closing prices for voluntary carbon market instruments. Under the agreement, Xpansiv spot market CBL will expand the data it makes available to Platts for the development and management of daily market price assessments. In addition, Platts and Xpansiv will collaborate with market participants to develop new types of price assessments and spot contracts to respond to rapidly evolving demand.
MarVivo la vida – Toronto-based investment vehicle Carbon Streaming Corporation (CSC) on Thursday confirmed it has closed the previously announced blue carbon credit streaming agreement with MarVivo Corporation for the MarVivo Blue Carbon Conservation Project in Mexico. Upon payment of a $6 mln upfront deposit, Carbon Streaming will have the right to purchase the greater of 200,000 credits or 20% of the annual offsets from the MarVivo Project each year. In addition to the deposit, the CSC will make ongoing payments to MarVivo Corporation for each carbon credit sold under the carbon stream. The first delivery of carbon credits is expected to occur in the first half of 2023.
SCIENCE & TECH
Fake news – Facebook advertisers promoted false and misleading claims about climate change on the platform in recent weeks, just as the COP26 conference was getting under way. Days after Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, touted the company’s efforts to combat climate misinformation in a blog as the Glasgow summit began, conservative media network Newsmax ran an ad on Facebook that called man-made global warming a “hoax” – garnering more than 200,000 views. UK-based think-tank InfluenceMap, which identified misleading Facebook ads run from several media outlets and think-tanks around COP26, also found fossil fuel companies and lobbying groups spent $574,000 on political and social issue Facebook ads during the summit. Facebook, which recently changed its name to Meta, does not have a specific policy on climate misinformation in ads or unpaid posts. (Reuters)
Andean meltdown – A company developing power plants that use Andean snowmelt to produce electricity in Chile has filed for bankruptcy as declining power prices and increasingly scarce snow have made the project unsustainable. AES Corp. subsidiary Alto Maipo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US. “Unfortunately, in recent years, climate change has had a devastating impact on precipitation in the Andes Mountains, with the result that the rivers that will supply the project have experienced a steep decline in overall water flow,” the court papers said. (Bloomberg)
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