CP Daily: Monday November 22, 2021

Published 00:04 on November 23, 2021  /  Last updated at 00:04 on November 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

FEATURE: Crypto has big plans for the carbon market

Carbon-backed crypto initiative Klima DAO has shaken the voluntary offset market since its launch a month ago, and it could be just the start as decentralised finance and blockchain ventures eye up project development and intergovernmental emissions trade.

SHIPPING

Several nations baulk at 2050 net zero shipping goal as IMO talks resume

Several countries attempted to block efforts to raise the shipping sector’s emissions target to a 2050 net zero goal on Monday, as week-long talks begin at the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Shipper Maersk launches green financing effort for carbon neutral vessels

Danish shipping giant Maersk has launched a green financing framework to kickstart its carbon neutrality by 2050 goal, the company announced.

EMEA

Euro Markets: EUAs rise to new high above €70 despite second day of gas declines

EUAs rose to a new record for an unprecedented sixth consecutive day on Monday, ignoring weaker gas and power markets that reacted to growing concern over rising Covid-19 infection numbers and growing social unrest over renewed public restrictions in a number of countries.

Brussels to force gas suppliers to disclose CO2 content in EU gas bills – leaked document

EU gas suppliers may soon have to disclose the share of renewable and low carbon gas they sell within each member state and in total, as well as the carbon footprint for gas sold over the previous year, according to a leaked draft circulated on Monday.

Portugal closes last coal power plant, becoming fourth coal-free EU nation

Portugal became the fourth EU nation to shut down its last remaining coal power plant over the weekend, with the Pego facility closing down on schedule amid record-high carbon prices.

VOLUNTARY

VCM Report: VERs ride COP26, crypto wave to new all-time highs

Voluntary emissions reduction (VER) values on the over-the-counter and exchange-traded markets extended their year-long bull run this week, with voluntary carbon market (VCM) participants citing optimistic outlooks following the COP26 UN climate summit and blockchain ventures in driving up prices.

Xpansiv taps second CME veteran for carbon market role

A senior employee at CME Group has taken on a carbon markets role at Xpansiv, marking the latest recent hire to depart the US-based exchange for the ESG commodities trading platform.

ASIA PACIFIC

Chinese city withdraws offset sale limits, but market on edge

Regulators in a city in central China on Monday withdrew announced restrictions to carbon project development and sales, but only after a major pushback from stakeholders fearing further disruption to the nation’s offset market.

Woodside seals merger with BHP petroleum unit, approves Scarborough & Pluto LNG train projects

Australian energy outfit Woodside completed its merger with mining giant BHP’s oil and gas portfolio on Monday, as it also announced a final investment decision on the $A16.5 bln ($12 bln) offshore gas Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 LNG projects in Western Australia.

AMERICAS

All Massachusetts GWSA emitters holding more allowances than CO2 obligations -report

The 23 generators regulated under Massachusetts’ Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) programme will have sufficient permits to cover their emissions this year, though prices in the power sector programme have trended up this year, according to a report published Friday.

WE’RE HIRING!

Environmental Markets Correspondent, Carbon Pulse – Remote (North America)

We are looking for an Environmental Markets Correspondent based in North America to help us bolster and expand our coverage. The role is full-time and based from home/remotely within the US or Canada.

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CONFERENCE

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

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

Account on it – The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) wrestled last week with the emerging question of how they can account for GHG emissions when reviewing new natural gas projects. Charged with approving major energy projects such as natural gas pipelines and export terminals, FERC historically has not considered proposed projects’ contributions to climate change, a position that has drawn criticism from environmental groups, legal experts, and Richard Glick, the commission’s Democratic chairman. Still, others say FERC’s authority is narrowly defined by Congress and doesn’t include mitigating GHGs. At the outset of a technical conference hosted by FERC on Friday, Glick emphasised the importance of the agency’s addressing climate change impacts, asserting that doing so creates “greater certainty” for industry. He noted that the discussion came on the heels of recent decisions from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that found FERC should do more to assess emissions impacts when determining the need for pipelines and other energy projects (E&E News)

Rhode closed – Rhode Island has confirmed the end of its participation in the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) after the governors of Connecticut and Massachusetts rejected their state’s participation in the programme last week, sighting the difficulty in implementing the fuel sector carbon market during the current climate of high gas prices. “The Transportation and Climate Initiative depends upon the involvement of at least three jurisdictions to go forward as a programme,” said Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management acting director Terrence Gray in a statement. “Recent events in Connecticut and Massachusetts, however, have made clear that at least for the time being, Rhode Island must explore other options in clean transportation.” The TCI collaborative originally included 12 US states plus Washington DC, but only Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and DC signed the memorandum of understanding in Dec. 2020 to move forward with the cap-and-trade system. (Green Reporter)

Long way to go – Ontario’s auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, released her office’s annual report on environmental audits Monday, including follow-up reports that tracked progress on implementing recommendations made in 2019 and 2020 to strengthen Ontario’s plan to reduce GHG emissions – after the provincial watchdog found that the plan was insufficient to meet climate targets. The audits found that only 27% of the 2019 recommendations have been fully implemented, with some progress on another 18%, and almost no progress made on 50% of the recommended actions. From last year’s audit of the climate plan, 36% of the recommendations have been fully implemented, 17% are in progress, and little to no progress has been made on 44%. The report noted that based on a C$50/tonne carbon price, Ontario’s Ministry for the Environment, Conservation, and Parks estimated its committed policies can reduce emissions in 2030 by 3.4 Mt, significantly less than the 17.6 Mt of total emissions reductions promised in the climate plan. The Ministry does not have an expected timeframe for presenting an updated climate change plan to Cabinet for approval, and has not appointed an external advisory panel to provide advice on how to strengthen the plan.

Carbon tax cash – New Brunswick on Monday announced more than C$34 mln has been allocated to dozens of climate-related projects and the provincial government intends to invest about $2 mln before the end of the fiscal year. The government had committed to direct $36 mln in carbon tax revenue for the 2021-22 fiscal year to the Climate Change Fund. The investment is in initiatives that will help reduce GHG emissions, increase resiliency to the impact of climate change, and foster educational opportunities.

Knocking at the (Ecua)dor – The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) last week announced the approval of the TREES Concept for Ecuador’s jurisdictional REDD+ programme. The REDD+ concept would cover 100% of Ecuador’s forest area, use a 2012-16 reference period, and credit emissions reductions over 2017-21. However, Ecuador said it will not transfer any emissions reduction abroad, and only use these mitigation outcomes towards its Paris Agreement NDC. The ART programme has now approved nine concepts for The REDD+ Environmental Excellency Standard (TREES).

EMEA

About Abuja – Nigeria has become the first major developing country to commit to set annual carbon budgets to plot its path to cutting emissions to net zero. After announcing a 2060 net zero target at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law a climate bill committing his government to produce a sweeping plan to reduce emissions, adapt to climate change and set annual and five-year carbon budgets. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the continent’s biggest oil producer. With nearly half of its citizens lacking electricity, Nigerian pundits have been divided between those calling for the country’s unused coal reserves to be tapped for power and those advocating for the fast roll out of renewable energy sources. (Climate Home)

Coal hotspot – India’s Jindal Steel & Power Limited will start building a coal mine in Botswana’s southeastern Mmamabula coalfields in 2022, aiming to supply the export market and a planned coal power plant, a company official said. The Indian industrial giant aims for the mine to produce 4.5 Mt of coal per year. The bidding for the 300MW power plant tender is down to three – Jindal, Minergy Ltd, and African Energy Resources Ltd.  (Reuters)

Coal wobbles  – Ukraine’s highly-praised 2035 coal phaseout date pledged upon joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) at COP26 in Glasgow was not backed by the country’s cabinet, according to green group EcoAction, citing a letter it received from the country’s energy ministry. The ministry said 2035 is an “optimistic scenario”, while its baseline scenario is 2040. A Carbon Pulse analysis had already reported on the doubts cast by the “largely unexpected pledge” even by some members of the Ukrainian delegation at the UN negotiations. “We were conscious that joining PPCA was not backed with plans nor government decisions. So that only confirmed to be true,” EcoAction’s Anna Ackermann said on Twitter.  Meanwhile, Kyiv might have other priorities, with NATO powers concerned about unusual Russian troop movements near the border, and Ukraine’s government fearing Russia might be preparing an attack.

Fallen Mo-stars – EurActiv/AFP profile coal miners in Bosnia, once hailed as local heroes who brought home steady incomes, who now fear theirs could be the last generation to earn a living from the coalfields as production and the workforce declines. The miners often struggle to move on and retire due to their employers’ years-long failure to contribute to their pensions. The unpaid contributions alone account for half of the industry’s €500 mln debt pile, leading to protests that have done little to improve the situation.

ASIA PACIFIC

Hydrogen law – Australia’s New South Wales parliament passed the Energy Legislation Amendment Bill on Friday, PV Magazine reports, unlocking up to A$3 bln ($2.2 bln) of incentives to commercialise hydrogen supply chains and A$70 mln in government investment for the development of two new hydrogen hubs in the Illawarra and Hunter regions in the state. The NSW government’s hydrogen strategy, which establishes goals to cut the cost of renewable hydrogen production by A$5.80 per kg over the next decade, will support industry development by waiving government charges on green hydrogen production, including providing a 90% exemption from network charges for producers who connect to parts of the network with spare capacity.

AND FINALLY…

Been ice knowing you – The melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet may have already passed a point of no return, a new study has found, and scientists say it could contribute to sea level rise over coming centuries and possibly millennia. The study, published last week in Nature Communications and co-authored by professors from UNSW Sydney, used geological data from Antarctica combined with computer models and statistical analyses to understand how recent changes compared to those from the past going back thousands of years. The researchers’ findings confirm computer modelling that had indicated that the diminishing ice sheet had passed a critical tipping point leading to irreversible loss of parts of the ice sheet below sea level.

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