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Lawmakers from the EU’s major political groups have proposed amendments to limit investor access to the bloc’s carbon market and to implement stricter price control measures ahead of a major European Parliament vote on the ETS reforms next week.
The European Parliament is set to vote on several key climate policy bills next Wednesday, against the backdrop of a heavily-altered geopolitical landscape that is upping political pressure to ensure energy supplies.
RGGI auctions continued their run of record settlement prices during the June sale, though fell short of releasing more carbon permits by just one cent, according to results published Friday.
Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives have won a second majority government in Ontario, in an expected result to Thursday’s election that comes after weeks of polls indicating the incumbent premier would stay on.
The US EPA on Friday finalised long-delayed biofuel quotas for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that were largely similar to preliminary volumes this winter, while the agency also rejected dozens of outstanding programme waivers filed by small refiners.
Compliance entities reduced their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) net length after last week’s record Q2 WCI auction settlement and as the May contract expired, while speculators added to their holdings by the largest level since this winter, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
ANALYSIS: Indonesia’s pilot ETS, carbon tax launch pushed to next month, lays the groundwork for greater ambition
Indonesia is set to launch its pilot cap-trade and carbon tax system for coal-fired power stations next month, but the government has yet to reveal many of the finer details of how it will work.
Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator and its largest soil carbon developer have rejected the findings of a research study questioning the viability of soil carbon practices, describing the science behind the methodology as cutting edge and world leading.
Switzerland has agreed a bilateral agreement with Thailand that will allow it to import international carbon units from the Southeast Asian nation under the Paris Agreement, while Sweden said it had made similar outline deals with two countries.
US-based offset developer C-Quest Capital (CQC) has reached an agreement with BP whereby the oil major will make a sizable investment in CQC’s operations in India, it has been announced.
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Climeworks’ DAC Summit – June 30 in Zurich/online: Carbon removal and Direct Air Capture technologies have been experiencing a watershed moment in recent months. Scientists have deemed them indispensable in the latest IPCC report, governments have stepped up their funding and policy efforts, and investors have committed large amounts to scale up. Where does the industry stand today, and what are its recent most promising developments? What are the requirements and immediate next steps for scaling up at the required speed? And when the industry works together, what could the future look like? The Summit provides a unique opportunity to get answers to these questions from DAC insiders and experts. Register here
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Carbon bank – Australia’s new Labor government should play a role in establishing a “regional carbon bank” to accelerate the energy transition in Southeast Asia, a commentary from the Sydney-based Lowy Institute has argued. The scale of finance required to support a project of this kind is much greater than would be likely to be available from an expanded Australian aid program, according to the institute. Recently, a major Asian Development Bank study estimated that almost US$1 billion per annum would be required across the next 15 year period to meet climate-adjusted needs in the power sector alone in Asia. The need for finance on this scale points towards reliance on mobilising funds from international capital markets, not from traditional aid programs.
Climate commission – Malaysia needs to establish an independent commission on climate change to monitor and report on annual carbon dioxide emission reduction milestones, either to the public or parliament so as to keep track of the nation’s progress in becoming carbon neutral by 2050, the New Straits Times reports. Past president of the Federation of Private Medical Associations, Dr Milton Lum said 2050 is a long way ahead but the question is what are the milestones that the country wants to achieve on the way there and who reports the milestones and to whom. “There are talks about climate change but nobody seems to be quite bothered about it because it is not something that is immediate or threatening … Everyone has to recognise that there is a problem and this means that governmental authorities have to educate the population that there is such a (climate change) problem,” he said.
Green deal – Three South Korean companies have signed an agreement to build a $1 billion green hydrogen and ammonia production plant in the United Arab Emirates, Channel News Asia reports. Korea Electric Power Corporation, Samsung C&T Corporation, and Korea Western Power, alongside the UAE’s Petrolyn Chemie, will build a plant that can produce up to 200,000 tonnes of green ammonia a year, Petrolyn said.
Half-hearted – China’s biggest oil and gas producer wants to shift half of its output to hydrogen, geothermal energy, and clean power by 2050 amid the country’s move toward net zero emissions, Bloomberg reports. China National Petroleum Corp. referenced the target in its environmental protection report, which it published on its website, saying oil and gas would still make up the other half of its output by then. The company is the parent of PetroChina, which said in its annual report in March it aims for new energy to make up half its output by 2050.
AGL green push – Former chief of Australia’s government backed green bank, The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, is spearheading a new investor pressure group to align Australia’s biggest polluter, AGL Energy, to align its emissions targets with the Paris Agreement. RenewEconomy reports that Oliver Yates has formed the Sentient Impact Group, which leads a group of impact investors with some A$50 mln ($36 mln) in AGL shares, and is calling on the company to develop a strategy to decarbonise in line with keeping global temperatures at 1.5C. The new push comes just days after AGL abandoned its demerge plan which would have spun off its coal fired power plants into different companies, after weeks of pressure from tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, who raided the company to become its largest shareholder with an 11.3% stake. Yates said they are not working with Cannon-Brookes, but see the same opportunities if AGL can wind down its coal fired power plants in the next 10-15 years.
Not now, Karl – The Austrian government is again considering whether to postpone the start date for implementing its €30/tonne carbon tax until October, due to high energy prices and growing criticism. “The chancellor has the responsibility to ensure that in the midst of this serious crisis – as in Germany – the Austrian population is relieved from the burden. But, unfortunately, the opposite is the case,” Hans Peter Doskozil, governor of Burgenland from the Social Democrats, told the daily Heute on Wednesday (1 June). According to Doskzil, the carbon tax, which was supposed to be launched on July 1, would come “at the wrong time”. Business and industry have been campaigning for months for a delay, and Upper Austria’s conservative governor Thomas Stelzer also supported these calls, given the rise in energy prices. The right-wing Freedom Party also pleaded on Thursday to stop the introduction, saying the tax would only exacerbate rising inflation. With the tax, Austria is taking its cue from Germany, where a price on CO2 emissions was introduced at the start of 2021 to ensure the fines are collected from the use of climate-damaging fossil fuels. (Euractiv)
Hurry up, Liz – New French PM Elisabeth Borne is preparing an “emergency law” to tackle global warming and reduce France’s Russian fossil fuel dependence, she announced Thursday. A “radical transformation of our production methods” is needed to achieve the goal of a “carbon-neutral France in 2050,” Borne told French newspaper Le Point in an interview, adding that the proposed law would help develop renewable energies and energy-efficient housing. Reducing the country’s dependence on Russian energy is a matter of French “sovereignty”, Borne also said. Her announcement echoes the European Commission’s energy independence plan, REPowerEU, which places the fight against climate change at the centre of its priorities, notably “through energy savings, diversification of energy supplies, and accelerated roll-out of renewable energy.” But “increasing green taxation” remains out of the question as it would amount to opposing “the environment against the economy,” said Borne. (Euractiv)
EITE on the prize – The Washington Department of Ecology (ECY) on Thursday announced it has adopted a rulemaking that establishes criteria to identify emissions-intensive, trade-exposed (EITE) industries that will be eligible for no-cost allowances under the state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade programme. The rulemaking, which takes effect July 1, comes as the US state prepares to implement its economy-wide carbon market in 2023.
Bloom n’ Mac – French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Special Climate Envoy Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced creation of a new committee as part of efforts to enhance transparency to monitor business climate actions through an open data platform. “This lack of standardized, accessible data is limiting the power of markets and the public to fight climate change,” the French presidency said in a statement. “Private sector leaders have made bold commitments to tackle climate change, but often find their hands tied by a lack of accurate data,” added Bloomberg, a billionaire entrepreneur and former mayor of New York. The proposed new committee will bring together international organisations, regulators, policy makers and data service providers charged with designing an open-data public platform that will collect and standardise net zero transition data in the private sector. (Reuters)
Go Aberdeen! – Oil workers in Aberdeen have every reason to loathe green groups. Instead, on the precipice of the end of oil, they are building a tentative alliance, reports Politico from the port city in northeast Scotland. The alliance benefits both groups. With green voices in their corner, unions that saw their members trapped between a deregulated new industry and an old, declining one are becoming a part of the conversation. For green groups, workers are now meaningful new allies for an eventual end to fossil fuels.
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