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Switzerland sealed its fifth and sixth bilateral crediting agreements on the sidelines of the Glasgow UN climate talks this month, touting the deals as a model of Paris Agreement-era emissions trade for countries as well as for companies in the voluntary carbon market.
EUAs reached their eighth record in nine days on Thursday as the market broke above €75.00 for the first time, amid continued speculative buying and options traders hedging open call positions.
EU carbon will enter “calmer waters” in 2022 as permits follow gas lower, analysts said, while also raising their EUA price forecasts.
China’s environment ministry on Thursday moved to ban provincial and municipal authorities from interfering the national offset market, after one city recently tried to restrict carbon credits sales from projects within its jurisdiction.
China saw a minor fall in CO2 emissions in Q3 due to lower cement demand and record high coal prices, according to an analysis published Thursday.
Spot allowances in New Zealand’s carbon market rose marginally in Thursday trade, but remain shackled in the same range they’ve been in for over two months as traders have been reluctant to make major moves ahead of the Dec. 1 auction.
Australian-headquartered investment bank Macquarie Group has hired a nature-based solutions expert to take up the role of vice president of global carbon at its Singapore office.
Climate progress under the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) faced another roadblock Thursday, as a handful of countries moved to block a resolution to reduce black carbon emissions in the Arctic – even though these were voluntary, non-binding measures.
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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
Germany to India – Germany has announced commitments worth €1.2 bln to India as part of its broader climate finance package. The announcement was made amid a visit to India of a delegation from the German development ministry. The countries intend to work with each other on initiatives such as clean technologies, renewable energy, and the coal phase out. “Very concretely, India has already identified 50 GW of coal plants for retirement by 2027,” said a statement issued by the German embassy. Germany announced in June that it will raise its federal budget contribution for international climate finance to €6 bln annually by 2025 from the current €4 bln. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at COP26 that India aims to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2070, but that financial support from developed nations would be needed. (The Indian Express)
Starting line-up – Germany’s Greens on Thursday nominated co-leader Annalena Baerbock to become foreign minister in the next government and confirmed they would propose Robert Habeck as vice-chancellor and economy minister with responsibility for climate policy via a new “super ministry”. The nominations, along with those for other cabinet posts, were made at the start of a consultation process with Greens members to ratify the coalition deal the party has agreed with the Social Democrats (SPD) and Free Democrats (FDP), Reuters reported. Under the coalition deal being party members shortly, SPD Leader Olaf Scholz is poised to be the country’s new chancellor while FDP Leader Christian Lindner is set to be finance minister. The Greens nominated Cem Ozdemir, a former party leader, as agriculture minister. The three coalition partners unveiled their vision on Wednesday of how to push through a green transition in Europe’s biggest economy, speed up digitalisation, and bring in some liberal social policies. The Greens also put forward senior party figures Anne Spiegel as family minister and Steffi Lemke as environment minister.
Tide turning – Britain will invest £20 mln a year in tidal power, carving out only a small proportion of the £285 mln-a-year contracts to be auctioned from Dec. 13 but throwing a lifeline to developers. Analysts expect this to kickstart the UK tidal stream sector, with the government estimating that wave and tidal power could eventually generate 20% of the country’s electricity. (FT)
Shamming Rhetoric – The Scottish Greens called out the British government’s rhetoric at COP26 as “a sham”, slamming statements by the UK’s chairman of the oil authority where he said that stopping production of oil and gas would make net zero “unachievable”. The UK regulator is currently considering approving a license for the controversial Cambo oil field off the coast of Scotland. The Scottish Greens’ energy spokesperson said the UK “must urgently recognise that what’s truly vital is securing humanity’s survival, not maximising the profits of the oil and gas industry”. The Greens entered into agreement with the ruling SNP party in partly-devolved Scotland this summer, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opposing the Cambo project. Oil-rich Scotland is reported to remain in “active discussions” to join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA), an grouping forged by Denmark and Costa Rica to set a phase-out date for fossil fuel production and put an end to new exploration. Scotland said in 2019 that support for exploration and production would be conditional on actions from the industry on the sustainable energy transition. (The National, Marks & Clerk)
Energia pulita – Italian utility Enel has brought forward its net zero emissions pledge by 10 years to 2040. It presented its 2022-2024 strategic plan, with an emphasis on boosting investments towards decarbonisation. The net zero goal will apply to both direct and indirect emissions from operations, and the company aims to generate and supply its customers with 100% renewable power, including onshore wind and solar. Enel management said it now projects total capacity from renewable energy and battery storage to rise to 154 GW in 2030, up from a previous target of 145 GW. The new 2030 target would mean that renewables and battery storage would represent 80% of its capacity by 2030, significantly more than today’s 58%. Enel confirmed that it will exit coal by 2027, and announced that it will exit all gas-powered generation by 2040. (Wind Power Monthly)
Carbon neutral refiner – Turkish refiner Tupras plans to invest $5 bln by 2035 and $10 bln in total by 2050 as part of steps to be taken in becoming a carbon-neutral company, the Turkish energy giant announced on Wednesday, Daily Sabah reports. Under the parent company Koc Holding’s “carbon transition program,” which outlines the company’s steps to combat the climate crisis and to become carbon neutral by 2050, Tupras announced its “Strategic Transition Plan” in an attempt to decrease its carbon footprint. Thanks to investments in new energy resources and energy efficiency projects, Tupras projects a 27% reduction in its emissions by 2030 and 35% by 2035 compared to 2017 levels, before becoming carbon neutral in 2050.
Hydrogen MoU – Omani state-owned oil and gas company OQ has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Gas Technology Corp, Renewables Now reports, to study opportunities for green hydrogen cooperation in Oman as part of the sultanate’s efforts to develop a green hydrogen economy and harness renewable energy.
Renovation push – The draft EU energy performance of buildings directive (EPBD) requires that all new structures erected as of 2030 to be zero-emission, Euractiv reported, adding that EU countries will have to ensure minimum energy performance standards are applied when structures undergo major renovations. The text makes clear that “each Member State shall establish a building renovation action plan to promote the renovation of the national stock of residential and non-residential buildings, both public and private,” with these plans expected to be submitted to the Commission by Jan 1, 2025. The leak is part of a renewed push to achieve a zero-emission building stock by 2050.
Carbon neutral methane – Petronas, Sumitomo, and Tokyo Gas agreed to conduct a feasibility study to establish a supply chain of carbon neutral methane to Japan, according to a press release from Sumitomo. The carbon neutral methane will be produced in Malaysia by methanation, using green hydrogen from renewable energy and carbon dioxide. “Methanation” is a technology to chemically react hydrogen with carbon dioxide to produce methane.
Hydrogen funding – The Western Australian (WA) government on Thursday announced that it will invest up to A$117.5 mln ($84.5 mln) to attract federal funding for renewable hydrogen hubs in the Pilbara and Mid-West regions of the state, Mining Weekly reports. The WA state government this week lodged the applications for the two regions through the Australian federal government’s clean hydrogen industrial hubs programme, where applicants seek matching funding from the Commonwealth to develop hydrogen hubs. In other hydrogen news in Australia, solar and battery storage developer Edify Energy has advanced its green hydrogen plans in the Queensland state’s north after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Townsville to facilitate exports, Renew Economy reports.
Philippines green spend – In line with the Philippine government’s decarbonisation commitment at COP26, the department of energy has projected more than 4.87 trillion pesos ($96 bln) worth of “green investments” that could be rolled out in the country, the Manila Bulletin reports. According to energy undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella, who was the department’s representative at COP26 in Glasgow, green investments would be spread across renewable energy installations, biofuel facilities, and deployment of energy efficiency technologies.
Failure to failure – Despite three decades of effort, Canada’s carbon emissions have risen 20% since 1990, the country remains unprepared for climate disasters, and subsidies for the oil and gas sector have not delivered promised emission reductions, say new reports from the federal government’s chief environmental watchdog. That damning verdict applies not only to past Liberal and Conservative governments but to the current government led by PM Justin Trudeau. “Canada was once a leader in the fight against climate change. However, after a series of missed opportunities, it has become the worst performer of all G7 nations since the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted in 2015,” said Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner Jerry V. DeMarco in a media statement. “We can’t continue to go from failure to failure; we need action and results, not just more targets and plans.” He also ranked Canada as the “worst performer” in the G7. DeMarco’s five reports look at various federal efforts on the environment and conclude that, despite failures in a number of policy areas, Canada still has time to turn its record around. “With strong, concerted action from parliamentarians and Canadians, Canada can move past its poor track record on climate change and meet its international climate obligations,” one of the reports said. The report looking at Canada’s record on reducing GHGs is not an audit, DeMarco’s office said, but rather an examination of progress meant to help governments improve outcomes going forward. The commissioner identifies eight lessons that could get Canada back on track with its target of cutting emissions 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030. (CBC)
…To more failure – Ontario’s government is nowhere near on track to achieving its targets for cutting GHGs, according to new internal forecasts that have never before been made public. Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives promised Ontario would match the national climate change targets for 2030 agreed to in the Paris Accord. That would require the province to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 17.6 Mt. The Ministry of the Environment’s internal estimates, made in October, forecast that “committed policies” by the government will bring Ontario just 3.4 Mt of reductions by 2030, achieving less than 20% of the planned cuts. The numbers appear in one of seven environmental reports released Monday by Ontario’s auditor general, but have been largely overlooked. (CBC)
Senate emergency – Independent Senator Rosa Galvez introduced a motion in the Canadian Senate this week to declare a national climate emergency. The motion in the upper chamber follows a similar House of Commons motion that passed with a vote of 186 to 63 in June 2019. It comes after Tuesday’s Throne Speech in which the government identified climate change as a key priority for the 44th Parliament, and reiterated promises to cap oil and gas sector emissions. The province of British Columbia is currently experiencing severe flooding, where the agriculture sector has been particularly hard hit, with residents now preparing for more expected rainfall. Several provincial, territorial, and municipal governments across the country have voted to declare a climate emergency, the most recent being the city of Calgary in the conservative leaning province of Alberta, on Nov. 15. (iPolitics)
Desert-washing – The Moroccan government has been accused of using the renewable energy and low emissions of the disputed region of Western Sahara to “greenwash” its climate statistics. Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco after the Spanish colonisers left in 1975. The Polisario Front, which claims to represent the “colonised” people of Western Sahara, has worked with international experts to develop an unofficial national climate plan. As well as outlining the impacts of climate change and what they would do about it if they had the money and power, it criticises Morocco’s use of the area’s resources. (Climate Home)
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