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The world’s biggest carbon standard plans a drastic shift in how land-based offset projects calculate emissions savings, a move expected to quickly boost supply but that is dividing experts over its complexity and ability to secure climate benefits long into the future.
Two carbon crediting programmes already approved for the CORSIA global aviation offset mechanism did not apply for eligibility after the scheme’s pilot phase concludes, according to data published by UN body ICAO’s Technical Advisory Body on Thursday.
Analysts are assessing how far EU ETS prices could fall should the bloc trigger a full EU embargo on Russian energy, with top German economists forecasting a Europe-wide recession and gas rationing by early next year in the event of a full cut off.
EUA prices rallied throughout Thursday, recovering almost all the week’s losses despite activity tailing off in the last session before the Easter break, while European energy markets dropped sharply late in the day after reports indicated Russia may continue accepting euro payments for its gas.
Canadian GHG output plunged in 2020 amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the shrinking amount of Alberta coal power helping drive abatement independent of the coronavirus outbreak, according to government data published Thursday.
RGGI Allowance (RGA) prices remained well supported this week as traders reported compliance demand entering the power sector cap-and-trade market, while California Carbon Allowance (CCA) values held firm on continued light activity.
California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit prices this week retraced near recent lows, as initial optimism state regulator ARB may tighten the programme’s carbon intensity (CI) reduction targets wore off.
Forest-rich Chinese province to reward counties that host carbon sink offset projects for all markets
A province in southwestern China has promised to reward local governments that host forest carbon projects that achieve registration under domestic or international offsetting programmes.
Australia Market Roundup: Wait-and-see approach ahead of May 21 election, as regulator releases auction details
AgriProve Solutions has once again registered the largest amount of new projects in the Australian regulator’s latest update, as the country’s offset market holds its breath for the results of the upcoming federal election, which potentially could lead to a fundamental demand shift for new projects.
European oil and gas major TotalEnergies and Japanese refiner Eneos have agreed to develop 2 GW of solar power capacity in Asia as well as assessing the feasibility of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) production in Japan, they announced Thursday.
Friday marks the due date for countries’ official tally of their 2020 GHG emissions, revealing which nations kept or broke their international climate promises, and pointing to potential trust implications for the UN’s Paris Agreement.
While it is essential for the world to protect forests that are not under immediate threat of deforestation, treating carbon credits from their conservation as fungible compliance instruments threatens to undermine carbon market integrity, argue several consultants critical of UN aviation body ICAO’s recent decision to accept ART TREES carbon credits from jurisdictions under its CORSIA offsetting programme.
Chinese province slams brakes on forestry offset projects for the international voluntary market with partial ban
A Chinese province earlier this year said it would not approve new forestry carbon projects for the international market this year. However, it has now clarified that this ban only relates to around 20 counties and forestry farms that have signed up to a provincial carbon sink pilot programme.
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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
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Taking inventory – The US EPA on Thursday released its 29th GHG Inventory, showing that net emissions were 5.22 bln tCO2e in 2020, a nearly 11% drop from 2019. While the agency said this was largely due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said the decline also reflects the combined impacts of population and energy market trends, technological changes like energy efficiency improvements, and the carbon intensity of energy fuel choices.
Revisiting is pretty, revisiting is good – In a victory for US President Joe Biden, a federal appeals court Thursday refused to revisit its March decision reviving administration plans to account for potential damage from GHG emissions when creating rules for pollution-generating industries. A Louisiana-based federal judge had blocked the so-called social cost of carbon policy earlier this year, saying it would bring costly regulatory burdens and drive up energy prices. But a panel of three 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals judges in New Orleans unanimously stayed the lower court last month. On Thursday, the appeals court issued a brief order saying none of the court’s 17 full-time judges sought a rehearing, which had been requested by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry on behalf of nine other states. (AP)
Transmission time – New York state regulators on Thursday approved two massive transmission projects to carry clean electricity into New York City, boosting hopes that the nation’s largest city could start to meaningfully wean off fossil fuels this decade. At a hearing in Albany, five out of the state Public Service Commission’s seven members voted in favour of a proposal to construct power lines from hydroelectric dams in Québec and upstate New York solar and wind farms. Once completed, the two projects combined are expected to reduce New York City’s demand for fossil fuels by 51%. Clean Path New York, a 282-km line from a substation in New York’s Delaware County into the borough of Queens, generated little controversy, but carried greater risks, as the project has yet to receive permits and won’t come online until 2027 at the earliest. By contrast, the Champlain Hudson Power Express, a 546-km conduit from hydro dams in Canada to the Queens neighbourhood of Astoria, stoked heated challenges from a ragtag alliance of environmentalists, gas-fired generators, and Indigenous groups. (HuffPost)
Recession fear – Germany would face a sharp recession if gas supplies from Russia are suddenly cut off, the country’s leading economic institutes said, while the government also stated the war in Ukraine poses substantial risks for Europe’s largest economy. A sudden stop in Russian energy supplies – an adverse scenario and not the institutes’ baseline expectation – would slow economic growth to 1.9% this year and result in a contraction of 2.2% in 2023, they said. The chairmen of three German parliamentarian committees called earlier this week for the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil as soon as possible, but a survey published this week showed most Germans are not keen on that idea. (Euractiv)
H colour coordination – The EU should review its planned industry emissions directive and better distinguish between different forms of hydrogen production to facilitate the expansion of electrolyser technology as a prerequisite for a successful energy transition, according to German climate policy research institute IKEM. The researchers say conditions outlined in the EU’s Industry Emissions Directive unnecessarily hamper the roll-out of electrolyser capacity and argue that regulation should also make a better distinction between large- and small-scale producers, as initiatives by companies to produce hydrogen for own and local use could be discouraged. (Clean Energy Wire)
Quitting Queensland – Rio Tinto, one of the largest Australian mining companies, has cut ties with the state of Queensland’s key resources lobby group after expressing concerns about its advocacy for policies surrounding the future of coal, The Age reports. The mining giant’s decision to quit the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), chaired by a former federal Liberal government minister, follows moves by BHP and utility Origin Energy to suspend their memberships because of the group’s controversial advertising campaign urging Queenslanders to “vote Greens last” at a 2020 state election. Rio Tinto, whose Queensland operations include bauxite – the raw material processed into alumina – and the Gladstone alumina refinery, said it would not renew its QRC membership when it expired on June 30. “After careful consideration, Rio Tinto will not renew its membership with the Queensland Resources Council for the 2022-2023 financial year,” Kellie Parker, Rio Tinto’s Australia chief executive, said in a statement.
Electrolyser deal – Indian renewable energy developer Greenko Group has partnered with Belgium’s alkaline electrolyser specialist John Cockerill to manufacture green hydrogen electrolysers in India, PV Magazine reports. The partnership agreement, signed between Greenko’s arm Greenko ZeroC and John Cockerill, will see the two companies build 2 GW of hydrogen electrolyser production capacity.
Blue boost – US-based software company Salesforce has launched a global collaborative effort aimed at driving consistent standards around high-quality blue carbon projects and credits. The initiative will be co-led by Salesforce and environmental organisations, including Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy. A draft set of principles and definitions will be circulated for public comment in June 2022 at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon. Salesforce has a goal to buy 1 mln blue carbon credits over the next four years.
Old chip off the block – Technology firm Intel has committed to net zero GHGs in its global operations by 2040, the company announced. Intel wishes to increase the energy efficiency and lower the carbon footprint of its products and platforms with specific goals, as well as invest in solutions that lower the GHG footprint of the entire technology ecosystem, it said. The net zero target will cover its Scope 1 and 2 emissions with targets of 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and a $300 mln pledge for energy conservation as part of the strategy. Intel said it will use credible carbon offsets to achieve its goal only if other options are exhausted. (ZDNet)
Tears for fears – NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus – who was arrested in the US after blocking the entrance to a JP Morgan-Chase building – “[broke] down in tears” imploring people to listen to the dire warnings of climate change experts, the Independent reports from video footage. Kalmus was participating in a protest organised by Scientist Rebellion as part of a global day of action by scientists around the world. The protest targeted the Chase building in Los Angeles in light of the bank’s fossil fuel financing and involved scientists chaining themselves to the doors of the building. “I’m here because scientists are not being listened to. I’m willing to take a risk for this gorgeous planet,” he said.
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