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**CP Daily will not be published between Dec. 24 and Jan. 3. Carbon Pulse will file stories and send out CP Alerts on merit during that period. Regular coverage will resume Jan. 4.**
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Natural gas, touted by some as a gateway fuel to decarbonisation, has increasingly come under fire in the EU for emissions associated with its full production cycle, where the bloc’s cap-and-trade system continues to send incomplete price signals and voluntary carbon markets grapple with the gap.
The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to channel some of the expected revenues from its planned carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) and extended ETS towards repaying debt raised to finance the bloc’s €800 billion post-pandemic recovery fund.
The Netherlands government has set operating limits on its remaining coal power plants for the next three years in a bid meet its emissions goals.
EU carbon prices continued to trade erratically on Wednesday as a lack of liquidity resulted in volatile price action, while energy prices maintained their surge amid falling temperatures and growing concerns over cash-flow challenges due to increasing margin requirements.
The Washington state legislature this week filed a bipartisan lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee’s (D) partial vetoes of a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) bill this spring which, if successful, may delay the implementation of the transportation sector programme.
California regulator ARB handed out its final batch of compliance offsets in 2021 this week, with the annual issuance total marking the lowest in seven years as the state’s cap-and-trade programme tightens its credit usage threshold, according to state data published Wednesday.
Bourse Nodal Exchange and environmental products development firm IncubEx on Wednesday announced they will debut two California Carbon Offset (CCO) futures contracts next month, as well as extend the vintages on over a dozen existing carbon allowance and renewable energy certificate (REC) contracts.
California gasoline usage declined in September though still narrowed towards pre-pandemic levels, while diesel consumption set a fresh decade high for the second time in four months, according to state data published Tuesday.
Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) allowance prices settled just underneath a record high at the first auction of the power sector cap-and-trade programme’s 2022 compliance year held last week, according to an auction report published Wednesday.
China is likely to tighten the ETS allocation benchmark for coal-fired power plants by 4-5% for 2021 emissions, pushing the world’s biggest carbon market towards a shortage of allowances, according to analysts.
Chinese carbon emitters must start to publicly disclose their emissions data, according to new regulations released by the environment ministry aiming to increase data transparency.
Australia’s Woodside has signed an agreement with four Singapore-based energy customers to study the feasibility of a liquid hydrogen (LH2) supply chain from Western Australia (WA) to the island-state, and potentially further to Japan, the oil and gas operator announced on Wednesday.
South Korean climate activists have launched the first ever legal claim in the country against an energy company, SK E&S, for greenwashing its gas operations, the environmental group Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) announced on Wednesday.
Singapore-based carbon platform Climate Impact X (CIX) expects to launch trade in standardised voluntary offset contracts in H1 2022, Platts reported on Wednesday citing CEO Mikkel Larsen, at least six months later than originally planned.
It’s been a year of tumbling records and high anxiety as EU carbon prices have explored uncharted territory while natural gas and electricity markets have also reached new peaks. Normally a doubling of prices would be considered unusual, abnormal even, but carbon has been cast firmly into the shade by the enormous increases in energy prices. It’s tempting to call events in the gas market a once-in-a-lifetime aberration but if markets teach one thing, it’s not to dismiss anything as being out of the ordinary.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Court count – The global surge in legal action on climate change has shown no signs of slowing this year, with more than 1,800 cases completed or in process, up from 1,500 last year, China Dialogue reports. While the vast majority of lawsuits are still from the US, they are increasingly being filed in other jurisdictions, from Guyana to South Africa. The focus is beginning to broaden from governments to include the private sector, and there were some notable successes this year. These could provide a powerful tool to force more ambitious climate action, although there is still a long way to go to hold states and companies accountable for their emissions.
Plan C then – UK climate campaigners Plan B have lost a High Court fight challenging the British government’s climate action, which they said was putting the safety of short-term corporate profit over the welfare of ordinary people. The group had argued that ministers had not taken practical and effective steps to reduce emissions, meaning climate change and human rights legislation under the Paris Agreement, the 2008 Climate Change Act and the 1998 Human Rights Act had been breached. The campaigners said they plan to appeal to the Court of Appeal and potentially the European Court of Human Rights. (The Independent)
Offshore cabling – Abu Dhabi’s state oil and gas company Adnoc announced a $3.6 bln project to reduce emissions from its offshore production facilities. Along with state energy firm Taqa and a consortium of foreign firms it will build a subsea cable to help power the operations with cleaner energy than the natural gas they currently run on, cutting the carbon footprint of Adnoc’s offshore operations by more than 30%. (Bloomberg)
Locked up – Police in the city of Lianyuan in China’s Hunan province has arrested eight people for carbon-related crypto fraud, according to the Laodi newspaper. Claiming to help China meet its targets to peak GHG emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060, the suspects – which have admitted to their fraud – lured people to buy USDT crypto coins, which they then used to invest in $TCH tokens. The $TCH tokens were said to be stakes in a carbon forestry project, but that turned out not to be existing. While posting steadily rising values of the tokens, investors found that when they tried to sell their holdings to secure their profits, they were unable to do, and their investments had disappeared. One victim quoted in the newspaper had lost a total 66,000 yuan ($10,360).
Storage for solar – A project billed as India’s first green hydrogen storage initiative will tap floating solar in a first step to plans for large-scale deployments across the nation, said power giant NTPC, Recharge reports. India’s biggest power group will build a microgrid linking output from a floating solar array to a 240kW electrolyser, with hydrogen produced stored in tanks and used in a fuel cell to generate power for one of NTPC’s own corporate guest houses at the site in Simhadri, Andhra Pradesh.
Final fuel – The Quebec government has released its final low-carbon intensity transportation fuel regulation, trade association Advanced Biofuels Canada said Wednesday. Quebec will require 10% low-carbon fuel content in gasoline in 2023 and increase this to 15% by 2030, while low-carbon fuel content in diesel will begin at 3% in 2023 and increase to 10% by 2030. In both fuel pools, the low-carbon content volume requirements will be adjusted by a carbon intensity factor. Volume bonuses will be awarded if the average carbon intensity of low-carbon fuels in the year is more than 45% below the gasoline carbon intensity, or 70% below the diesel carbon intensity; in 2028, the bonus will apply after 50% and 75%, respectively.
The call is coming from inside the house – The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) rallied in support of Congress’ climate-policy Build Back Better Act, calling on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who was named an honorary member of the union last year, to reassess his decision this weekend to block the legislation. “We urge Senator Manchin to revisit his opposition to this legislation and work with his colleagues to pass something that will help keep coal miners working, and have a meaningful impact on our members, their families, and their communities,” said Cecil Roberts, the president of the union. Roberts specifically lauded a few policies in the bill, including one that would help workers with black lung and another that creates incentives for companies to build manufacturing facilities at coalfields and employ coal miners who have lost their jobs. The UMWA’s call to Manchin to change his position comes from a group of special importance given his deep financial ties to mining and the fossil fuel industry. He has made millions from the coal company his family owns and has received more campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry this election cycle than any other senator. “We’re likely to lose coal jobs whether or not this bill passes,” UMWA’s chief lobbyist Phil Smith told the Washington Post. “If that’s the case, let’s figure out a way to provide as many jobs as possible for those who are going to lose.” (Climate Nexus)
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