CP Daily: Tuesday March 29, 2022

Published 02:54 on March 30, 2022  /  Last updated at 02:54 on March 30, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

A daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world.

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TOP STORY

Canada leaves out oil and gas strategy from 2030 GHG reduction plan

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the nation’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) on Tuesday, temporarily omitting oil and gas from the sector-by-sector strategies that will allow the country to meet the low end of its international climate commitment.

VOLUNTARY

UN climate envoy Carney eyes government role in voluntary carbon markets

Governments should ultimately regulate the voluntary carbon market (VCM), UN climate and finance envoy Mark Carney said on Tuesday, while adding the private sector should still push on with standardising the market.

Abu Dhabi finance centre partners with Singapore outfit to set up first regulated carbon exchange

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) will establish a fully regulated carbon trading exchange and carbon clearing house, the world’s first, in a partnership with Singapore-based AirCarbon Exchange (ACX), the UAE-based international financial centre announced on Tuesday.

Chevron announces first offset project, launches voluntary tool

US oil major Chevron has picked a reforestation project in Louisiana as its first carbon credit project, the company said Tuesday while also launching a tool to help motorists offset their climate impact.

Offset ratings firm Sylvera expands carbon credit pricing offering

Carbon offset ratings provider Sylvera on Tuesday announced the introduction of a carbon credit pricing offering into its intelligence platform.

Investment bank hires ex-Mercuria trader as head of global carbon

A former VP for emissions with trading house Mercuria has moved on to become the head of global carbon at a large investment bank, Carbon Pulse has learned.

ASIA PACIFIC

Japan lines up multiple new potential partner nations for carbon offset scheme

Japan is in talks with several countries to join its Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), as the government seeks to scale up the generation of carbon credits.

Firms form venture to develop forward-based OTC services for China’s power, carbon markets

A group of energy, financial, and data firms actors have teamed up to develop data and analytics services for China’s OTC power and carbon markets to bring those markets beyond their current dependence on spot deals.

AMERICAS

NA Markets: CCAs vault to 2-month high as market fully recovers from recent plunge

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices climbed nearly another 5% on Tuesday as traders continued to point to numerous regulatory and market-led developments that pushed permits to their steepest levels since January.

Canada proposes delaying CFS carbon intensity reduction requirements

The Canadian environment ministry on Tuesday announced it may delay the start of compliance obligations under the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) by roughly half a year in order to provide more time for early credit creation.

INTERNATIONAL

Better net zero alignment is driving record ETS prices and revenues -study

Emissions trading systems (ETS) worldwide have begun to align their emissions ambitions with net zero targets, boosting allowance prices and more than doubling government revenue in 2021, a research report outlined on Tuesday.

Vitol’s global carbon sales jump by a third amid UK, voluntary scale-up

Commodity trading house Vitol reported a 34% year-on-year increase in its carbon sales for 2021, it said in a report published this week.\

EMEA

Euro Markets: EUAs make modest gains as energy gives up gains on ceasefire talks progress

EUAs made modest gains on Tuesday as the market once again traded in a narrow range, while energy prices fluctuated as the markets reflected forecasts for colder weather and increasing expectations of a ceasefire agreement in Ukraine.

ICYM

EU watchdog finds no “major deficiencies” in carbon market workings, but identifies possible improvements including position limits

The EU’s securities market regulator has found “no current major deficiencies” in the functioning of the bloc’s carbon market, it said in its final report on the matter published Monday, though it suggested several measures to improve the ETS including possible trading position limits.

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CONFERENCES

North American Carbon World (NACW) 2022 – Apr. 6-8 in Anaheim, California – presented by the Climate Action Reserve: Learn, collaborate, and network on carbon markets and climate policy at NACW, North America’s largest carbon event. NACW features comprehensive and up-to-date information, key thought leaders advancing innovative climate solutions, and the best networking opportunities with colleagues in the business, government, nonprofit, and academic sectors. NACW will dive into the status and future of North American carbon markets, climate policies, innovative solutions, natural climate solutions, net zero pledges and beyond, transportation and LCFS markets. www.nacwconference.com

City Week 2022: Resetting Priorities for a Better Future – Apr. 25-27 at London Guildhall: Now in its 12th year, City Week is the premier gathering of the international financial services community. Organised in partnership with the UK Government and leading City institutions, City Week brings together industry leaders and policy makers from around the globe to consider the future of global financial markets. Each day will address a specific theme, with Day 1 focussing on “Meeting the climate change challenge – the role of financial services in achieving net zero”. www.cityweekuk.com

Reuters Events: Global Energy Transition 2022 – June 14-15 in New York City: The conference unites CEOs and changemakers from the energy, industrial, and government ecosystems to shed light on the defining issue of our time, and help companies meet a uniquely difficult challenge. Over two days and five critical themes, we will define the future of energy, inspire a decade of action, and prepare the sector for challenges still to come, with diverse voices from around the world bringing passion and expertise to deliver a new path forward. Find out more by visiting the website today: https://bit.ly/35H7cgb

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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

Wasn’t the ‘rona – Germany’s overall energy consumption rose 3.1% in 2021, reaching 12,265 PJ, according to energy data service AGEB, still noticeably lower than before the coronavirus pandemic. A large part of this increase is attributable to the much colder weather outside of the summer. Adjusted for the weather effect, energy consumption would have only increased by 0.6% while GDP grew by 2.7% which would normally trigger greater energy use. High prices caused a noticeable reduction in consumption and slowed down the growth-related rise, according to the analysis. (Clean Energy Wire)

Cleared to clear – A state court in North Rhine-Westphalia has ruled in favour of German utility RWE in a land dispute linked to the expansion of its Garzweiler lignite opencast mine located in the western German hamlet of Lützerath, near the city of Mönchengladbach, Der Spiegel reports. The owner of the farmland, which borders the opencast mine, and two tenants had sought to stop RWE’s takeover of the property. The North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court (OVG) in Münster rejected the lawsuit and said RWE was now free to make preparations to clear the site of trees and buildings and excavate the land for lignite. The court thus upheld an earlier ruling by the Aachen Administrative Court. (Clean Energy Wire)

Bold new targets – The UK government is aiming to triple the number of solar panels, more than quadruple offshore wind power, and double onshore wind and nuclear energy by 2030, in a move that could lower bills for consumers and reduce the UK’s reliance on foreign energy suppliers such as Russia, the Financial Times reports. Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s business and energy minister, put forward the targets for inclusion in the upcoming British energy security white paper. The paper has faced delays while the cost of approving at least six nuclear power stations as part of an expansion of the UK’s renewable energy strategy has been debated at the Treasury. The targets include increasing solar power from its current capacity of 14 GW to 50 GW, offshore wind from 11 GW to 50 GW, onshore wind from 15 GW to 30 GW, and nuclear power from 7GW to 16 GW, the Financial Times reports.

UK in hot water – The EU has launched a case against the UK, claiming that new criteria introduced by the UK government over offshore wind subsidies breaches WTO rules, the Financial Times reports. According to the newspaper, the UK government has said it will rigorously contest the claim. The two sides have 60 days to reach an agreement at the WTO before Brussels could demand a panel of arbiters rule on the dispute, which could take at least a year.

ASIA PACIFIC

Done their bit Australia’s ruling Coalition government will slash spending on climate change by 35% over the next four years if it wins the upcoming election, Tuesday’s national budget showed. The diminishing sum is for spending across clean energy agencies expected to do the heavy lifting under the Coalition’s much-vaunted “technology, not taxes” approach to emissions reduction, the Guardian reports, speculating that the govt decision to let offset developers sell their carbon credits on the voluntary market instead of to the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) – hence saving the govt money – might have played a part in the decision. The cuts include funding to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the ERF, programmes to develop a “clean” hydrogen industry, and resilience programmes to protect the Great Barrier Reef, which is currently suffering through its fourth mass bleaching event in six years.

Hydrogen economy (I) – The New South Wales state government in Australia says it has attracted nearly 6 GW of green electrolyser proposals for its planned hydrogen hubs, Renew Economy reports. Treasurer and energy minister Matt Kean says the recent call for expressions of interest from hydrogen investors had generated more than A$4 bln in potential investment proposals. This amounted to 5.9 GW of electrolyser capacity, which was more than eight times the scale of the state government’s 700 MW target. “The market has spoken,” Kean said in a statement. “This is an overwhelming level of commercial interest and it shows our policies are sending the right signals to energy investors, making NSW the go to state for energy investment.”

Hydrogen economy (II) – Six renewable energy companies including Acme Group, Azure Power, and Fortum India have formed an independent advocacy group for green hydrogen, Economic Times reports. The Independent Green Hydrogen Association (IGHPA) aims to engage with the government and other stakeholders to achieve India’s objective of becoming a green hydrogen and ammonia producing country and an export hub. The other companies in the association are SunEdison Infrastructure (Refex Group), O2 Power, and Sprng Energy. IGHPA will provide technical, economic, and regulatory inputs for development of policy framework and its implementation.

Here comes the sun – Bill Gates-backed Heliogen has secured funding from top Australian oil and gas producer Woodside for a full scale trial of its concentrated-solar-power technology ahead of a planned push into Australia, Reuters reports. Aiming to invest $5 bln in new-energy products by 2030, Woodside has also agreed to buy a stake in Heliogen, the two companies said. Woodside will fund Heliogen’s first full-scale, 5 MW module at a site in the Mojave desert. The US government is contributing $39 mln to cover the undisclosed cost. “As soon as we finish this first demonstration in California, we want a blitz in Australia as fast as possible,” Heliogen founder and chief executive Bill Gross said.

Carbon neutral tech – Honeywell has signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysian NOC Petronas for strategic sustainability, digitalisation, and carbon-neutral energy initiatives, New Straits Times reports. Petronas will collaborate with Honeywell for solutions within four specific areas, namely digital transformation, sustainability and emissions management, cybersecurity, and leadership and capability management. These solutions will support Petronas’ growth strategy and low carbon agenda by employing Honeywell technologies for productivity, carbon capture and utilisation, energy storage, and digital twins.

AMERICAS

Testy about transparency – Three major Canadian banks and a powerful lobby group representing some 60 domestic and foreign banks have asked Canadian regulators to delay potential reforms that would require corporations to be more transparent about how the climate crisis may disrupt their operations and finances. The banks’ stance on climate transparency rules are among 130 submissions from a variety of industry and civil society stakeholders sent to regulators between Oct. 2021 and Feb. 2022.  Companies and organisations sent submissions in response to a proposal from securities regulators to require publicly-listed companies on the stock market to publish information on how their management is assessing climate-related risks, as well as the metrics and targets they use when gauging the impact of climate change on their business plans. In the absence of this information, regulators of Canada’s capital markets warn that the country’s economy will continue ballooning into a “climate bubble” that may suddenly explode in a disorderly manner. Despite these warnings, an investigation by The Narwhal found two-thirds of companies and organizations that wrote to regulators in recent months were opposed to key climate financial transparency measures. The opposition includes a prominent Bay Street lobby group, the Canadian Bankers Association, that represents the “big five” Canadian banks –  TD Bank Group, Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC, and BMO Financial Group.

AVIATION

TREE(S) tops – The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) Program on Tuesday announced UN body ICAO has expanded eligibility of credits from its jurisdiction-scale TREES standard under the pilot phase of the global aviation offset scheme CORSIA. In a press release, the programme said the decision further broadens ART’s ICAO eligibility to include TREES credits issued for the enhancement of carbon removals through reforestation and forest restoration, as well as TREES Credits issued for the ongoing protection of forests in jurisdictions with High Forest cover and Low rates of Deforestation, known by the acronym HFLD. ART TREES credits from deforestation reduction projects were already approved for CORSIA in 2020, and last year ICAO extended the eligible TREES credit vintage range to 2016-2023 from 2016-20.

SCIENCE & TECH

Putting waste to good use – In a world faced with dual concerns about climate change and growing energy needs, developing renewable replacements for fossil fuels has been a long-sought dream. While considerable progress has been made in converting various biomaterials into usable energy in recent years, refining them in an environmentally sustainable way has remained a challenge. Now, a team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has developed an innovative flow cell reactor capable of refining waste carbon into valuable chemicals, while simultaneously generating hydrogen that could be used to power vehicles or generate heat, Geekwire reports. This refinement process is potentially carbon neutral and eventually may even be carbon negative. The PNNL team’s autocatalytic oxidation fuel recovery system begins with biocrude that can be created from crops, algae, even sewage. This biocrude is created through a process called hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), which admittedly is energy intensive in that it uses high temperatures and pressures to render raw organic material into biocrude oil. Mimicking the natural processes that created the world’s fossil fuels, HTL can “achieve in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years.” But as with the traditional refining of petroleum, the process of refining biocrude has also been energy intensive. This is where PNNL’s patent pending process comes in. The study found that electrocatalytic processes can offer a more sustainable means of refinement compared to thermo-catalytic processes like HTL that use hydrogen under high temperature and pressure.

AND FINALLY…

Fakebook strikes again – Misinformation about renewable energy projects is a major barrier to the expansion of renewable energy, NPR reports. Often catalysed by fossil-fuel backed groups like the Texas Public Policy Foundation, among others, false and misleading information about renewable energy and climate science denial is widely disseminated across social media and YouTube. Facebook is the largest driver of renewable energy misinformation, said Josh Fergen, a researcher at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The misinformation, and Facebook’s refusal to take meaningful action to prevent false information proliferating on its platform, comes as the destructive impacts of climate change become worse and more frequent, including in the rural communities where many large scale solar and wind projects are concentrated. “I just find it upsetting,” Dan Reuman, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas, told NPR in describing the role of misinformation in the opposition to a proposed utility-scale solar project. “I hope that the government doesn’t make a compromise between a scientifically based position and a misinformation-based position. Because if you’re compromising with misinformation, then there’s sort of no limit to that, right?” (Climate Nexus)

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