CP Daily: Tuesday December 21, 2021

Published 02:29 on December 22, 2021  /  Last updated at 02:29 on December 22, 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 sets out rules to enable more state aid for green sectors, limit fossil fuel support

The European Commission unveiled new state aid rules on Tuesday that allow member states more flexibility on directing their funds towards low carbon industries while limiting fossil fuel support, in an effort to spur the green transition while protecting fair competition in the bloc’s single market.

ASIA PACIFIC

Indian developer’s Shell deal paves way for big roll-out of nature-based offset projects in South Asia

A major India-headquartered carbon offset developer has struck a deal with oil major Shell to develop nature-based carbon credit initiatives across South Asia, though that’s just part of its strategy to drive a shift from the renewables-dominated project landscape in the region.

VOLUNTARY

Spot exchange CBL to launch second VER contract next month as part of taskforce-aligned offering

ESG commodities marketplace Xpansiv’s CBL platform will debut a second standardised voluntary emissions reduction (VER) contract in January that aligns with initial principles recommended by the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM), the company said this week.

Perspectives, South Pole plan second venture for new carbon credit blueprints

Consultancy Perspectives and integrated carbon services firm South Pole plan to develop methodologies to enable green hydrogen projects to generate carbon credits, their second collaboration aimed at using international carbon markets to help scale large-scale clean energy technologies worldwide.

Rosneft sets net zero by 2050 target for Scope 1, 2 emissions

Russian oil titan Rosneft has approved a range of new 2030 climate targets to put it on a pathway to net zero operational emissions by 2050, the company’s board said on Tuesday, though its expansion plans mean the firm’s overall carbon footprint is still likely to increase this decade.

AMERICAS

Canada says on track for methane reduction goal, but more work necessary

Canada is projected to hit its 2025 methane reduction goal from the oil and gas sector, but is looking into various strategies of deepening this abatement in pursuit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s enhanced 2030 abatement goal, the federal government announced Tuesday.

RFS Market: D3 RINs eye $4 mark as biofuel quotas point to higher demand

D3 RIN prices have continuously increased over the past two weeks as traders said the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blending quotas proposed this month would be bullish for the biofuel credit category primarily filled by renewable natural gas (RNG).

EMEA

Euro Markets: Carbon edges higher amid volatile trading as energy prices rocket on supply worries

The Dec-22 EUA futures contract kicked off its shift as the benchmark carbon contract with volatile swings in thin trading on Tuesday, while electricity and gas prices hit fresh records as concerns mounted over supply during the peak winter period.

Russia seeks recognition for its carbon pricing plans -media

Russia wants to make sure that the carbon pricing system it’s developing is recognized by the EU and other major trading partners, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Sazanov.

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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

EMEA

Active persuasion – Norway’s $1.4 trillion wealth fund, the world’s largest, will not divest from companies that are major GHG emitters to meet plans to make its investment portfolio carbon neutral by 2050. It will however be an “active shareholder” in such companies by pushing them to make the transition to net zero emissions, and divest from them if it believes their business models are not sustainable, the deputy head of the central bank in charge of the fund has said. (Reuters)

Plantation nation – UK body the Forestry Commission has given the go-ahead to the creation of four tree plantations by firm Carbon Plantations, which intends to focus on planting the fast-growing Paulownia tree, which is estimated to store up to 10 times more CO2 than mixed woodland. The company, which recently secured funding from fixed income debt manager Aether Energy, estimated the projects would be capable of capturing more than 60 tonnes of CO2 per hectare annually over an average 80-year lifecycle, and would therefore help support the UK’s net zero emissions efforts. (BusinessGreen)

Saving grace – In 2020, primary energy consumption in the EU dropped sharply to 1,236 Mtoe, which is 5.8% better than the efficiency target for 2020, thus clearly outperforming it, the EU’s statistics body Eurostat said on Tuesday. Yet, this is still 9.6% away from the 2030 target, implying that efforts to improve efficiency need to be maintained in the years to come. Final energy consumption reached 907 Mtoe: 5.4% better than the efficiency target for 2020 and 7.2% away from the 2030 target.

AMERICAS

Safe to say – The US Department of Transportation (DOT) on Tuesday finalised a rule to withdraw its portions of the “SAFE I” rule, which sought to pre-empt states, including California, from issuing their own GHG emissions standards and zero-emissions vehicle mandates. After reviewing the public comments submitted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Apr. 2021 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, NHTSA concluded that SAFE I overstepped the agency’s legal authority and established overly broad prohibitions that did not account for a variety of important state and local interests.

Demonstration debut – The US Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday launched a new office aimed at helping to commercialise advanced emissions-cutting technologies. The Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is part of the recently signed bipartisan infrastructure law and was in the department’s budget request even earlier. It’s designed to help promising tech navigate the casualty-strewn path from lab success to commercial-scale validation and market penetration. The law provides over $21 bln for multi-year demonstration projects in areas like advanced nuclear, long-duration storage, CO2 capture and removal, hydrogen, and industrial decarbonisation. The new office is aimed at boosting DOE’s ability to design and manage large-scale demonstration projects. (Axios)

Flare for the dramatic – Methane emissions from vented and flared gas at upstream oil facilities in Saskatchewan have been reduced by almost 50% over a five-year period, the provincial government revealed in a report on Monday. The Oil and Gas Emissions Management Regulations (OGEMR) Annual Emissions Report found that methane emissions totalled 5.2 MtCO2e in 2020, down from 10.9 Mt in 2015. The government said its initial goal under its 2019 methane action plan was to reduce methane emissions by 40-45% from 2015 levels by 2025, but now the province says the latest data indicates the target may be met before then. (Global News)

Lust for lifecycle – The Canadian environment ministry on Tuesday pre-published its Fuel Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) Model, which will allow users to calculate the life cycle carbon intensity of specific fuels and energy sources. The proposed Clean Fuel Regulations will use the Fuel LCA Model to determine the carbon intensity of fuels and energy sources for credit creation under the federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS). The ministry will host an information session on the Fuel LCA Model in January, and will officially release the model alongside the final Clean Fuel Regulations.

ASIA PACIFIC

Sustainable flight – National carrier Malaysia Airlines has completed its first flight using sustainable aviation fuel and plans to make SAF a greater part of its fuel choice for regular flights by 2025, according to SAF supplier Neste, which collaborated with Petronas Dagangan Berhad and the airline on the flight, S&P Global reports. Malaysia Airlines flight MH7979, utilising an Airbus 330-200 aircraft, departed Amsterdam Airport Schiphol using a blend of about 38% SAF and conventional jet fuel and arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Carbon neutral gas – Toho Gas will supply carbon-neutral city gas to 10 companies, contributing to a CO2 reduction of approximately 80,000 tons, the company stated in a press release.

VOLUNTARY

The Hong and short of it – China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) has bought a first shipment of carbon neutral LNG to be delivered to Hong Kong, according to Xinhua. The 65,000 tonnes of LNG were supplied by Oman LNG, offset with carbon credits from a forest sink project in China’s Jiangxi province, though CNOOC did not go into detail around the number of units or which parts of the gas’ lifecycle emissions were included. The shipment arrived in Guangdong on Sunday and will be sent to Hong Kong via pipelines to be consumed there. CNOOC has previously purchased two CN LNG loads, both for mainland China.

Seven signs – A group of UK researchers have identified seven attributes of net zero, which are important to make it a successful framework for climate action, they said in a paper published in Nature Climate Change. The seven attributes highlight the urgency of emissions reductions, which need to be front-loaded, and coverage of all emission sources, including currently difficult ones. It added that the attributes emphasise the need for social and environmental integrity, meaning that CO2 removals should be used cautiously and the use of carbon offsets should be regulated effectively.

ESG for LNG – Qatari shipping company Nakilat, which operates the world’s largest LNG carrier fleet, has issued its inaugural ESG report, which includes information on gas emissions during the company’s fleet operations, fuel consumption, and energy efficiency design index (EEDI) rating, Bunkerspot reports.

SCIENCE & TECH

A balmy ’22 – The world will probably have one of the warmest years on record in 2022, underscoring concerns about the need to tackle climate change. The average global temperature is anticipated to be about 1.09 C (1.96 F) above pre-industrial levels, the UK’s Met Office said Tuesday. While temperatures are expected to be slightly lower than in some years since 2015, it’ll mark the eighth consecutive year where they exceed 1 degree above the pre-industrial period. (Bloomberg)

AND FINALLY…

Ruthless robots – Bloomberg profiles London-based Acadian Asset Management, which uses AI to track down corporate greenwashing and says it can make money trading on it. It uses sophisticated tools as natural language processing and machine learning for signs of evasiveness, vagueness, or a refusal to answer questions to figure out what companies are really up to. Meandering responses are flagged by Acadian’s algorithm as a “non-answer” such as that given by Albert Chao of Westlake Chemical Corp. earlier this year, or “vagueness” such as that given by Alexander Frolov of Russian miner Evraz. Written reports are also flagged: Polish coal-fired electricity company Ze Pak claimed in a recent presentation that by 2029 it would achieve “climate neutrality” — without providing any clues as to how it planned to do so.

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