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Five global companies announced plans on Tuesday to spend $925 million on engineered carbon removals credits through 2030, aiming to help scale nascent technologies.
A Canadian carbon removal technology company has signed a multi-million dollar carbon credit purchase agreement with two investors for the permanent storage of CO2 through a process known as carbon mineralisation, which stores carbon in solid form in concrete, it announced on Tuesday.
A major engineering company and Japanese tech firm Fujitsu are partnering to develop a blockchain-based platform for the creation and distribution of carbon credit tokens on a global scale.
Offset developer and consultancy South Pole is seeking to leverage digital technologies to engage more corporates on climate action, the company said on Tuesday after adding another minority investor to its equity pool amid a rapid expansion.
EUAs advanced on Tuesday amid light trading volume, as energy markets also rose after Russian President Vladimir Putin said ceasefire talks with Ukraine had reached a “dead end” and that Russia would pursue its offensive.
The US EPA will issue an emergency waiver to lift a summertime ban on the highest ethanol-content blend of 15% for gasoline, the White House announced on Tuesday, the administration’s latest bid to save Americans money at the pump that raises questions about environmental and climate objectives.
Landholders who are stuck in long-term, inequitable contracts with Carbon Service Providers (CSPs) should be able to exit their contracts without penalty, according to a submission to Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator (CER).
Japanese energy firm Osaka Gas will partner with an Australian hydrogen and technology project developer to establish a 10 GW renewable hydrogen project in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT), it was announced on Tuesday.
A major environmental trading firm and sustainability services provider has set up shop in Singapore to expand its activities to the Asian markets.
A global governance framework is needed to build on the Global Methane Pledge outlined at the end of 2021, experts told a webinar on Tuesday, seeking to ensure that the targeted 30% cut in emissions from the gas by 2030 is achieved.
The ETS is still seen by many as the cornerstone of the EU’s decarbonisation effort, though its latest reform has so far been overshadowed by other elements of the Fit for 55 climate package. But negotiating the package in silos will not be helpful in reaching an optimal solution, argue Andrei Marcu and Juan Lopez of think-tank ERCST.
Analysts have nudged up their short- and medium-term EU carbon price forecasts despite the recent crash and ongoing geopolitical risk, while giving a bigger boost to their long-term outlook for EUAs due to more coal burn in Europe and increased policy certainty.
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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
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Spending surge – Clean energy spending earmarked by governments in response to the Covid-19 crisis has risen by 50% over the past five months and now stands at over $710 bln worldwide, though there are troubling imbalances between regions, according to the latest update of the IEA’s Sustainable Recovery Tracker. This unprecedented amount of enacted spending is more than 40% larger than the global green spending contained in the stimulus packages that governments enacted following the global financial crisis in 2008. Advanced economies account the bulk of this effort, with over $370 bln intended to be spent prior to the end of 2023, a level of short-term government spending that the IEA said would help keep the door open for the its global pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.
Looking elsewhere – Algeria will overtake Russia as Italy’s largest gas supplier thanks to a deal struck by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the North African country, Politico reports. Under the agreement between Algeria’s Sonatrach and Italy’s Eni, Algeria will send an additional 9 bln cubic meters of gas to Italy in 2023-24. Visits by Draghi to Mozambique, Angola, and the Congo in the next few weeks are under discussion, according to an official.
Electrifying Alcoa – Alcoa has received A$7.7 million ($5.7 mln) from Australian state and federal governments to fund trials on a carbon reduction technology known as electric calcination. The company told the Australian Securities Exchange that calcination is the final stage in the alumina refining process, which primarily uses natural gas to heat alumina hydrate crystals. The company said electric calcination, powered by renewable energy, could significantly reduce carbon emissions and would allow residual energy, lost via steam, to be captured and reused, saving water and negating the need for stacks to vent it. Alcoa plans to test the technology at its Western Australia refinery via a pilot project that is expected to begin in 2024. A$6.4 mln of the cash comes from the federal body the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and A$1.3 mln comes from the Western Australian state government’s Clean Energy Future Fund.
Gladstone hydrogen hub – Orica and H2U Group have agreed to partner on a six month master plan study to supply green ammonia to Orica’s Yarwun manufacturing plant from H2U’s proposed green ammonia facility in the industrial city of Gladstone, Queensland. The two companies will also explore the possibility of a green ammonia export terminal at the Port of Gladstone, using the existing Orica ammonia storage capacity. H2U is developing a 3-gigawatt green hydrogen and ammonia production facility which will produce up to 5000 tonnes of green ammonia per day – powered by 100% renewable energy from new-build solar and wind projects in the Queensland section of the National Electricity Market. The project aims to supply green ammonia to both domestic customers and for export once operations start in 2025.
Crown concern – New Zealand government agencies are concerned about the cost of carbon offsets they’ll have to purchase in 2025. Newsroom reports that under the Carbon Neutral Government Programme, launched in 2020 when the government declared a climate emergency, the public sector will have to reach net zero emissions by 2025. The government is working out details around a public sector-run offset market using Crown resources to offset any emissions it cannot abate through electrification, however no details have been finalised, according to the government. The scheme could involve agencies paying for trees to be planted on Crown land using the resulting carbon sequestration to offset their emissions. The government’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory, released today, saw gross emissions down by 3% from 2019-2020, mainly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Net zero questions – Taiwan’s National Development Commission Minister Kung Ming-hsin defended the government’s roadmap for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, although serious questions remain about Taiwan’s short-term goals and the plan’s dependence on technology, Taipei Times reports. Based on the roadmap’s targets, renewables would cover 60 to 70% of Taiwan’s electricity needs in 2050, with another 9-12% coming from hydrogen and 20-27% from fossil fuels with carbon capture, utilization and storage capabilities. There has been scepticism about Taiwan’s ability to meet the goals, but Kung said in an interview that the goals are similar to those of other countries, such as South Korea and Japan.
Alternative price tags – The US Labour Department released its newest figures for the consumer price index Tuesday, showing year-over-year inflation at 8.5% in March, up from 7.9% in February. The figure is the highest rate since Dec. 1981, and reflects the spike in fuel prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to address inflation ahead of the mid-term election, and continues to make visible announcements to reduce fuel price pressures such as releasing nearly 1 mln barrels of oil a day from the strategic petroleum reserve and allowing for an increased share of biofuel blend. Read Carbon Pulse’s analysis on how these moves highlight the political sensitivity in climate policy, and particularly carbon-price policy, that would impact consumer prices paid at the pump.
Sands sign-up – Canada’s major banks have more than doubled their financing of oil sand fossil production to $16.8 bln in 2021, the FT reports. The lenders, including Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, increased their financing to the top 30 tar sands producers and six tar sands pipeline companies by almost $9 bln in 2021, according to data from green campaign group the Rainforest Action Network. All five of Canada’s largest banks had signed up to the UN’s Net-Zero Banking Alliance ahead of the climate talks in Glasgow last November, an initiative led by Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada. The commitments was intended to see the banks reach zero GHGs by 2050 across their operations and lending portfolios.
DAC for good – Verdane, a European growth equity investor, has announced it will neutralise all its future residual emissions with permanent carbon removals, including using Climeworks’ direct air capture and storage credits, as well as those from two other carbon removal companies. Verdane said in a press release that it will start with an initial purchase covering its 2022 and 2023 Scope 1-3 forecast emissions. The removal will be spread over several years, covering several thousand tonnes of CO2. Verdane has set a target to achieve net zero Scope 1-2 emissions in 2022 and reduce Scope 3 emissions intensity by 65% in 2030 compared to 2021.
SBTi for banks – The Science Based Targets initiative corporate climate template body has published a draft version of guidance for how the financial sector should set their goals, paving the way for a full standard due in early 2023. The draft addresses establishing a standard definition for net zero, the use of offsets, and fossil fuel phase-out approaches.
Column inches – Drawing from a database of more than 1,300 editorials, a Carbon Brief analysis has examined how the language used to describe human-caused climate change, as well as renewables, fracking, and nuclear power, has shifted since 2011 in the UK. The analysis showed that the number of editorials calling for more action to tackle climate change has quadrupled in the space of three years, mirroring a wider increase in news coverage of the topic. Nowhere has this shift been more apparent than among the nation’s right-leaning newspapers. Between 2011-2016 editorial articles in publications such as the Sun, the Daily Telegraph, and the Daily Mail generally opposed action to tackle climate change, citing unreliable science and expensive environmental policies. But in recent years – a period that has seen the Conservative government commit to net zero emissions by 2050 and host the COP26 climate summit – right-leaning publications have more readily embraced some efforts to cut emissions. As a result, these newspapers are now far more likely to support climate action in their editorial pages than oppose it.
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