CP Daily: Friday June 17, 2022

Published 23:43 on June 17, 2022  /  Last updated at 23:45 on June 17, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

WTO sets environmental precedent to raise hopes for climate fight

The World Trade Organization agreed on the first change to global trading rules for years on Friday, with an accord on fishing subsidies that gives a modest signal that nations can come together on global challenges even as climate issues drew scant focus.

EMEA

EU lawmakers should rethink ETS2 options to protect the poorest –study

EU legislators should consider alternative options to adequately ensure vulnerable citizens don’t end up worse off due to the proposed parallel ETS on heating and road transport, according to a report by Germany-funded researchers.

Euro Markets: EUAs dip another 1% as investors unload risk

EUAs tracked gas price movements for much of Friday and continued to ease following the previous session’s heavy losses, with traders eyeing further gas price volatility as the key market driver for the Dec-22 over the next week.

European coalition calls on EU to impose minimum sustainable shipping fuel quota

A coalition of energy providers, shipping companies, and NGOs has called on the EU to introduce a minimum quota of 6% sustainable and scalable hydrogen fuels by 2030.

AMERICAS

WCI auction volume dips again for Q3

California and Quebec will decrease the number of current vintage allowances offered in the jurisdictions’ August cap-and-trade sale for the second month in a row, according to a notice on Friday.

CCA and RGGI emitters continue adding net length, while speculators trim holdings significantly

Compliance entities raised their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) net length, while speculators significantly trimmed holdings amidst broader market macroeconomic weakness, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.

Tens of millions of California Carbon Offsets at elevated wildfire risk this summer

Over 20 million compliance offsets under California’s cap-and-trade programme are subject to increased fire risk over the next several months amid scorching heat and record drought in the American West, researchers said Thursday.

ASIA PACIFIC

ACCU watchers report growing liquidity as minister expects Safeguard Mechanism to “supercharge” market

Brokers and analysts are reporting growing liquidity in Australia’s carbon market, as Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen told a conference on Friday that the implementation of the Safeguard Mechanism will “supercharge” the market.

Western Australia amends laws to begin earning ACCUs

The Western Australian state government has amended legislation to allow its Forest Products Commission (FPC) to earn and trade Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) and other carbon assets, in a bid to ramp up the state’s carbon farming industry.

CN Markets: CEA volume drops to near zero as paralysis takes hold

The allowance price in China’s carbon market has remained unchanged for more than three weeks and volume this week dropped to near zero as lack of policy direction has left the market drifting.

Australia’s AGL gets Japanese, South Korean backing for green hydrogen study

Australia’s largest utility, AGL, will lead a consortium that includes key Japanese and South Korean companies to prepare a feasibility study to develop a green hydrogen hub at one of its sites, the company announced on Friday.

Mitsui eyes Thai gas field for CCS under carbon credit scheme

Japan’s Mitsui has secured government funding to explore the feasibility of launching a carbon capture and storage project at a gas field in the Gulf of Thailand that would earn carbon credits under the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM).

INTERNATIONAL

Experts outline policy proposals to speed up direct air capture investment

Multiple stakeholders across the science, investment, and policy sectors have this week outlined how governments should legislate to help scale direct air capture (DAC) technology as soon as possible and keep the world within a Paris-aligned warming target.

VOLUNTARY

EUAs to feature in new hybrid voluntary carbon contract

(Clarifies article published in Thursday’s newsletter that the EUAs traded as part of the GER are issued at the point of trade and not retired as previously suggested. Also includes update relating to Nodal futures and retirements)

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CONFERENCES

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

Argus Carbon Markets and Regulation Conference – June 30-July 1 in Lisbon, Portugal: The event will deliver critical updates on regulation, the future of the EU ETS, and key developments in the voluntary carbon markets space, amongst other topics that will be tailored for the European and global audience. Featuring panel discussions, fireside chats, presentations, and collaborative problem-solving sessions. Participates will gain knowledge and insight from expert opinions and take advantage of the opportunity to network and discuss with their industry peers in-person for the first time in two years. CP Daily subscribers can get a 15% discount by registering with the code CARBONPULSE15: https://bit.ly/3t4CmH6

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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

INTERNATIONAL

MEF missives – At the virtual Major Economies Forum, US President Joe Biden urged the nations to accelerate moves to cut methane emissions, adopt ambitious targets for zero-emission vehicles and work to clean up global shipping. Biden said the US would join with major gas producers and consumers to launch a “global methane energy pathway” that would provide fresh technical and financial resources to mitigate methane in the oil and gas sector. Washington planned to spend $21.5 bln on large-scale demonstration projects to cut emissions and would urge other countries to chip in to reach the total $90 bln in estimated investment needs. The US and Norway would also launch a green shipping challenge for November’s COP27 UN climate talks to encourage governments, ports, and cargo owners to come up with concrete steps towards full decarbonisation no later than 2050. Biden also set a goal of raising $100 mln in new funding for development of alternative fertilizers in time for COP27. (Reuters)

EMEA

We need more room – Industrial and commercial zones in urban areas should serve as wind turbine locations in order to achieve the target of two percent land area for renewable power technology, German wind power industry group BWE has said. The lobby group called for changes to building and land use laws that facilitate construction of the turbines in so-called special use areas that could greatly contribute to reaching the expansion targets, especially in the three city states of Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen. Moreover, there should be no height restrictions for turbines as this would reduce the potential for energy production at these locations. (Clean Energy Wire)

ASIA PACIFIC

Fossil funding – Members of the A$68 bln industry superfund Hesta are convincing others to leave the fund over its continued investment in fossil fuels, The Guardian reports. The Australian arm of Amnesty International said it is considering ditching the fund as its default option for its 75 employees, unless the fund divests from fossil fuel investment, as 130 members took out a full page newspaper ad in the Australian Financial Review urging others to leave. The campaign against the 930,000 member fund is being spearheaded by Market Forces, an activist investor group affiliated with environmental organisation Friends of the Earth. Hesta has defended its approach, saying engaging with companies changed their behaviour and if it dumped its shares there would be no guarantee the next owner would care about global warming.

Going green – Malaysia’s national oil company, Petronas, has established Gentari, its green energy business, to accelerate the company’s adoption and commercialisation of clean energy, The Star reports. The new entity aims to deliver a suite of renewable energy, hydrogen, and green mobility solutions. By 2030 Gentari will attain between 30-40 GW of renewables capacity, mainly solar but also wind with storage, produce 1.2 mln tonnes per year of low carbon hydrogen, and deploy 25,000 EV charging points across the Asia-Pacific region.

AMERICAS

We’re off TSCA the Wizard Yesterday, the US EPA received a petition arguing the agency should use the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to phase out GHG emissions, various media outlets report. “TSCA is like the ruby slippers [in The Wizard of Oz] – it can do just about anything. It can allow you to put a levy on carbon and can deal with the legacy of carbon emissions. It has nearly international reach, as the US is the biggest market in the world and could apply these measures to imports too,” said petitioner and former EPA leader Donn Viviani. Under the TSCA, amended by a bipartisan vote in 2016, the EPA now has 90 days to determine if GHGs present “an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment,” and if so, it would have considerable leeway to regulate. As longtime NASA climate scientist James Hansen told the Guardian, “Using the TSCA would be one small step for [US president] Joe Biden, but potentially a giant leap for humankind – as a first step towards making the polluters pay.” (Climate Nexus)

Mex methane – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that state oil company Pemex would spend some $2 bln to lower its methane emissions by up to 98%. AMLO said the investment would apply to the company’s exploration and production unit and would come from Pemex’s own funds as well as international credit lines. He gave no timeline for the investments and did not specify whether they were additional funds or part of what had been announced in the past to tackle high – and rising – emissions. Researchers believe the country’s methane leak rate from oil and gas operations is twice as high as that of the US. (Reuters)

Partners in flares – Ecuador’s state-owned oil company Petroecuador says it is working to shut down gas flares in the Amazon to comply with a court-imposed March 2023 deadline. The firm is hoping to find a private partner to invest in technology needed to capture the flared gas and said 15 companies have expressed interest, including Promigas and Gran Tierra Energy. Dozens of countries and oil producers have pledged to stop routine flaring by 2030. (Reuters)

AND FINALLY…

Space balls A team of researchers at MIT believe that the world can mitigate the worst of climate change with… space bubbles. They’ve outlined a strategy in which a huge raft of bubbles, carefully positioned between Earth and the sun, would deflect sunlight (and thus heat) to stop further global warming. “Geoengineering might be our final and only option. Yet, most geoengineering proposals are earth-bound, which poses tremendous risks to our living ecosystem,” a web page dedicated to the solution reads. “If we deflect 1.8% of incident solar radiation before it hits our planet, we could fully reverse today’s global warming.” The bubble array would be made of inflatable shields of thin silicon or another suitable material, according to the team. The bubble cluster would be placed in outer space at a Lagrange Point, where the sun’s and Earth’s gravitational pulls create a stable orbit. The researchers also said that if the plan becomes a reality in the future, the completed array would be roughly the size of Brazil. They admitted that one of the main concerns with their proposal would be the logistics of fabricating a large film, transporting it into space, and then unfolding it to form the bubble raft. They suggested fabricating the spheres in outer space to minimise shipping costs. (Gizmodo)

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