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The European Parliament voted again on EU ETS reform on Wednesday, managing to agree at the second attempt two weeks after a divisive first vote that saw line-by-line amendments rejected.
Selected reactions to the European Parliament agreed positions for three closely-related proposals under the EU’s Fit for 55 climate policy package: the EU ETS review, the Social Climate Fund, and the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) proposal.
EUA prices slumped on Wednesday afternoon after the European Parliament approved amendments to the Fit for 55 ETS reform package at the second time of asking, including proposals to limit access to the physical market.
Modelled findings in a report published Wednesday have found that by scaling wind and solar power even faster, fossil fuel consumption could be reduced by a significant proportion by 2030 at no additional cost relative to stated policies as well as the EU’s proposed Fit for 55 climate package.
The Indonesian government and the World Bank are working on the details to secure carbon crediting eligibility for a large-scale mangrove conservation and restoration programme they say can generate some 30 million offsets over the next three decades.
A group of 73 institutional investors have outlined policy instruments it believes would incentivise a shift in demand away from high-emission production and consumption while delivering a just transition.
Clean energy investment splurge masks faster progress needed for net zero goals amid energy security woes, report warns
A record level of clean energy spending will drive global energy investment up by 8% in 2022, but despite this impressive headline figure global policymakers should not allow energy security fears stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to derail the prospect of longer-term progress on the energy transition, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned on Wednesday.
Indonesian government and business figures have outlined the environmental and decarbonisation agendas they are seeking to pursue when hosting the concurrent G20 and B20 talks later this year.
The UAE said on Wednesday it will host the 2023 UN climate talks at its state-of-the-art Expo City in Dubai – the second straight Middle East destination after this year’s Egypt conference – with the Gulf nation aiming to boost its climate credentials by showcasing its clean energy initiatives.
California issued a larger set of credits this week than for its previous two issuance rounds, according to government data published Wednesday, even as CCO prices dropped amid weak sentiment across financial markets.
Verra has declined to adopt tonne-year accounting for its Verified Carbon Standard following three months of public consultations, but says it will continue to hear opinions and could change its mind in the future.
A South Korean asset management company and a Seoul-based forest-focused intergovernmental organisation have announced plans to work together to identify and develop REDD+ projects across the IGO’s membership region.
A web3 company is launching an on-chain marketplace for buying voluntary carbon market offsets, it announced Wednesday.
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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
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
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Restore some more – The European Commission proposed on Wednesday legally binding nature targets. The proposal on would require EU countries to take steps to restore nature to at least 20% of EU land by 2030 and all degraded ecosystems by mid-century. It said the use of chemical pesticides should also be cut by 50% by the end of this decade. They will be banned altogether in sensitive places such as public parks and protected areas. Under the new regime, governments would have to submit regular reports on their progress towards the targets. The proposal comes as some EU nations have sought to delay or roll back sustainable farming measures, citing the Ukraine war’s impact on global food supply. (Reuters)
Greenwasher gulp – The EU Parliament and member states have reached a deal on corporate sustainability reporting requirements for large companies from 2024 in a bid to end greenwashing and lay the groundwork for sustainability reporting standards at the global level. Listed or unlisted companies with over 250 staff and turnover of €40 mln will have to disclose ESG risks and opportunities, and the impact of their activities on the environment and people. Some smaller listed companies will be subject to a lighter set of reporting standards, which they can opt out of until 2028. The rules are part of a package which includes a “taxonomy” of what constitutes a green investment.
Climate comes in from the cold – The new Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, will ask his most senior intelligence chief, Andrew Shearer, to personally lead a review of the security threats posed by the climate crisis, The Guardian reports. The move has been backed by a former Australian defence force chief, retired Admiral Chris Barrie, who warned the government to plan for climate risks including disruptions to trade, more severe drought, and increasing demands on emergency services and the military. In a document submitted to the UN outlining Australia’s new 2030 emissions target, the Albanese government confirmed it would order “an urgent climate risk assessment of the implications of climate change for national security, which will be an enduring feature of Australia’s climate action”. Separately, the Albanese government could sign up to Joe Biden’s push to limit global methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by the end of the decade, as part of efforts to signal Australia has turned a corner on climate ambition. According to The Guardian, Australia’s resources minister, Madeleine King, confirmed the new government was considering signing the global pledge, but stressed no final decision would be taken without careful consultation.
No greenwashing – Singapore’s central bank has set up its first use case for an artificial intelligence (AI) program to combat greenwashing: real estate, Finews reports. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it has set the first use case for NovA!, an AI utility for helping financial institutions assess how the city-state’s real estate sector is performing on sustainability. The program will focus on enhancing assessments of companies’ environmental impact and identifying potential environmental risks, the MAS said in a statement on its website. Real estate was chosen as a priority industry as it accounts for a significant amount of GHG emissions and it takes up a large share of economic activity in Southeast Asia, MAS said.
Budget boost – The New South Wales government has committed A$206 millon over 10 years to its Sustainable Farming Programme, in its latest budget. The program is designed to reward farmers who opt into an accreditation programme to improve carbon and biodiversity outcomes. The government notes there is a keen interest from business, NGOs and the financial sector to fund natural capital projects, and claims the programme could unlock up to A$10 bln in ESG funding for NSW farmers. Earlier this month teclo Telstra agreed to invest with the NSW Biodiversity Carbon Trust, as part of the government’s broader plan to boost private sector involvement in conservation projects that can be eligible to earn carbon credits.
Lula leaps – Brazil’s former president and front-runner in October elections, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, would seek “net zero deforestation” in the country if elected, according to a political document outlining his plans for office. “Our commitment is to the relentless fight against illegal deforestation and the promotion of net zero deforestation,” it said, noting “net zero” deforestation plans would include restoration of degraded areas. Whether Brazil could reach “net zero” deforestation within a Lula four-year presidential term depends on what the candidate means by the phrase, analysts said, with current president Jair Bolsonaro promising Brazil would reach zero illegal deforestation by 2028, despite soaring deforestation rates during his term in office. Read Carbon Pulse’s latest on climate policy under Brazil’s election period. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Inflation vacation – U.S. President Joe Biden is planning on proposing a gas tax holiday to Congress as high prices at the pump hurt Democratic chances ahead of the November midterm elections according to a source who spoke with Bloomberg. It’s still unclear how long of a pause Biden would ask Congress to put on the 18.4 cents per gallon (4.55 litre) tax. Democratic Congressional representatives have been critical of a gas tax holiday, arguing it would drain the Highway Trust Fund. (Bloomberg)
First deal – Tanker and marine fuels firm, UAE-based Oilmar, announced its first foray into carbon offsetting, Ship and Bunker reports. The company’s marine fuels division bought offsets to cover the emissions from a voyage of the FMT Bergama from Huelva to Naples, the report said. In a posting on its Linkedin page, Oilmar’s first carbon offsetting transaction acts as an entry point for the company into carbon markets, which offers owners, operators, and charterers to offset their emissions and comply with ESG requirements. Singapore-based Climate Impact X was involved in the deal, according to the posting, in which 670 carbon credits were retired.
SCIENCE & TECH
Hurtwave – The death toll across India and Bangladesh from the current heatwave has risen to 116. Some 4 mln people – including 1.6 mln children – have been cut off by flood waters in north-eastern Bangladesh. Meanwhile, 33 of the 35 districts in India’s north-eastern Assam state are affected by the “severe floods”. Experts say the rain has been double the usual amount, and is an example of the sort of extreme weather event made more likely by the climate crisis. The Washington Post reports that India and Bangladesh have both pressed their militaries into action for rescue and relief work and set up shelters for the displaced. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that some low-lying parts of Bangladesh are experiencing the worst floods in more than a century. (Carbon Brief)
Can-do Carney – Brookfield Asset Management raised $15 bln for a fund dedicated to investing in the global transition away from fossil fuels, creating what it calls the largest private vehicle of its kind. The Brookfield Global Transition Fund is headed by Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada, and Connor Teskey, the chief executive officer of Brookfield Renewable. It will invest in solar power and other technologies that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. (Bloomberg)
Will they/won’t they? – Germany’s finance minister has said the country will not back EU plans that amount to a ban on the sale of new combustion engine cars from 2035, arguing such a move would shut the door for “technology openness” and effectively eradicate synthetic fuels as an alternative. “Synthetic fuels are a climate-neutral option for combustion engine cars, which globally will continue to be used for a long time to come,” Christian Lindner from the Free Democrats (FDP) said on Twitter. Lindner said he would therefore not agree to the plans in the government cabinet, which could mean that Germany is not going to agree to the proposed EU vehicle fleet emissions limits. The government coalition of the FDP, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party had said in its coalition treaty that it would endorse the EU’s overall “Fit for 55” climate action plan, of which vehicle emissions are a part, but remained vague on the future use of synthetic fuels. While combustion engine technology should be phased out “step by step,” CO2-neutral cars “outside of the fleet emissions limit scheme” could be powered by e-fuels, for example ambulances or site vehicles, according to the treaty. Greenpeace said the finance minister’s decision was based on “ideology” and risks a severe dispute in the government coalition. The pro-business FDP could not save the combustion engine this way, as many producers already had begun to plan without the technology well before 2035, he argued. (Clean Energy Wire)
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