CP Daily: Thursday July 7, 2022

Published 01:36 on July 8, 2022  /  Last updated at 01:38 on July 8, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

INTERVIEW: World Bank to launch metadata project to clean up carbon market’s information problem

With information across global compliance and voluntary carbon markets fragmented and often confusing, the World Bank aims to cleanse the landscape by launching a free-to-access metadata layer that will link, aggregate, and harmonise underlying registry data to enable transparent accounting as per Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

AMERICAS

California signals higher LCFS targets, crop-based biofuel caps in future reform

California regulator ARB on Thursday presented illustrative scenarios for ratcheting up 2030 carbon intensity (CI) reduction targets of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), while asking for public input on phasing out credits for certain fuel pathways and limiting the amount of crop-based biofuels in the programme.

NA Markets: CCA prices slide during summer lull, RGAs inch back on delayed programme review

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices retraced this week but still held onto gains from the volatile end of the second quarter, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) was up slightly as Pennsylvania officially entered the bloc, barring a court decision.

WCI compliance account transfers hit six-year low in Q2

WCI emitters in the second quarter shifted the fewest number of allowances into compliance accounts since 2016, as the allowance glut of the linked cap-and-trade system ticked up to a new all-time high, according to programme data published Thursday.

Bahamas unveils legislation for regulation of carbon trading

The Bahamas’ Prime Minister Philip Davis on Wednesday unveiled legislation to introduce regulation for carbon trading on the archipelago, including large fines and jail terms for any wrongdoing.

VOLUNTARY

Verra proposes new label for ‘best-in-class’ nature removal offsets

Offset standard manager and developer Verra on Thursday proposed a new carbon credit label for nature-based removal units that would signify greater attention paid to accurate emissions baselines and preventing leakage.

US congressman asks Verra, ACR to restart tokenisation of offsets

A New York congressman on Wednesday penned an open letter to standard bodies Verra and American Carbon Registry (ACR), asking them to once again allow companies to tokenise retired carbon credits.

Green banking firm partners with startup investor on carbon credit projects in emerging markets

A fast-growing green fintech firm struck a multi-year partnership with a startup carbon project investor on Thursday, with the aim of developing large-scale, “high-quality” carbon credit projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

EMEA

EU lawmakers seek to raise SAF blending targets

The European Parliament on Thursday greenlighted plans to force airlines to blend at least 2% of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) as early as 2025 and raise longer-term ambition for a law aimed at tackling one of the core drivers of aviation pollution.

EU carbon floor price would bring stability, predictability needed for crucial cleantech investment, say think-tanks

European governments should implement a floor price in the EU ETS, a group of think-tanks has argued, as the market’s wild fluctuations make investing in innovative decarbonisation solutions difficult for heavy industry.

Euro Markets: EUAs pulled up by surge in energy prices as fossil-fired generation seen rising further

European carbon prices rose for a second day on Thursday as the market appeared to be consolidating in its medium term range, while energy prices continued to advance as European nations accelerated measures to ensure fossil-based energy supplies ahead of the coming winter season.

ASIA PACIFIC

Tianjin to introduce small-scale offset scheme

Tianjin is set to roll out a small-scale offset scheme targeting households and individuals, making the northern Chinese city the latest in a growing line of regions seeking to expand the scope of offset markets.

Insurer forms partnership with Australian First Nations-led carbon project developer

Australia’s largest general insurer has teamed up with a First Nations-led carbon project developer to support the creation of new carbon farming developments across the country.

INTERNATIONAL

Singapore, Morocco sign MoU for carbon market co-operation under Article 6 guidelines

Singapore and Morocco have signed an agreement to co-operate on projects that will facilitate the transfer of carbon credits between the two countries under Article 6 guidelines, they announced Thursday.

COMMENT

A fistful of offsets: How the (wild) west was won

Critics comparing the voluntary carbon market to the wild west are missing the point and risk undermining decades of progress on climate change, argues Renat Heuberger, CEO and co-founder of South Pole.

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CONFERENCES

Asia Pacific LNG & Gas Summit – July 6-8, Singapore: The Premier Meeting Place for LNG Buyers & Sellers in Asia Pacific. As a Carbon Pulse our reader, you are invited to attend the Asia-Pacific Carbon Markets Session (July 8, 1530-1700 local time) at a special rate of USD 500. Participants will also receive access to the Award Evening (July 7, 1800-2000) and all networking sessions on July 8, as well as the Networking App. You are also welcome to a 15% discount for the entire three-day event. To register, contact Emmanuel Bossman at LNGAsia@dmgevents.com.

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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

You gotta fight for your rights Brazil’s Supreme Court has become the first in the world to recognise the Paris Agreement as a human rights treaty – a move with significant implications for national and international law, Climate Home reports. The declaration was made as part of the court’s first climate change ruling, which ordered the Brazilian government to fully reactivate its national climate fund. “Treaties on environmental law are a type of human rights treaty and, for that reason, enjoy supranational status. There is therefore no legally valid option to simply omit to combat climate change,” the ruling said. The judgment last week was the culmination of a lawsuit filed two years ago against the Brazilian federal government by four political parties: the Workers’ Party, Socialism and Liberty Party, Brazilian Socialist Party, and Sustainability Network. They pointed out that the climate fund (Fundo Clima) set up in 2009 as part of Brazil’s national climate policy plan was inoperative in 2019; annual plans had not been prepared and money had not been disbursed to support projects that mitigate climate change. The court held a public hearing in Sep. 2020, which included scientists, academics, and people representing civil society and Indigenous groups. In the judgment, endorsed by 10 out of 11 presiding justices, Justice Luis Roberto Barroso noted the huge increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in 2021 – a problem that has shown no sign of slowing down. Brazil is the world’s fifth largest carbon emitter and deforestation is its largest source of emissions.

EMEA

Next up? With British PM Boris Johnson having resigned Thursday, media outlets and polling sites have been quick to name the frontrunners that could become the new leader of the Conservative Party. Edie summarises the candidates’ green credentials and voting records. Most of the current and former ministers thought to be in contention have historically voted against climate-related legislation, including Ben Wallace, Nadhim Zahawi, Liz Truss, and Rishi Sunak. Separately, a government decision on whether to allow a new coal mine in Cumbria, northwest England, has been delayed amid the political turmoil.

No more nukes – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has ruled out an extension of the runtime of the country’s three remaining nuclear plants as a way to stabilise the energy system amid an unprecedented supply crisis, Clean Energy Wire reports. During question time in parliament, Scholz said his government had assessed the options for extending the runtime beyond the scheduled exit date at the end of 2022 without any ideology and come to the conclusion that a longer use of nuclear is not practicable from a technical perspective and would do little to bolster the country’s energy system. Scholz said his government had responded “comprehensively” to the supply crisis by ordering minimum filling levels for gas storages, reactivating coal plants currently in reserve, new LNG terminals, state support for energy suppliers, and other measures.

Coal workers, assemble! – Germany’s coal power station operators are struggling to implement the reactivation of mothballed plants, which the country’s parliament approved on Thursday in order to save natural gas in the face of a shortfall of Russian supplies. Eastern German lignite plant operator LEAG alone is looking to employ more than 200 specialists on short notice, ranging from machinists to miners and engineers, reports regional broadcaster rbb. Some employees who had previously lost their jobs due to the decommissioning of coal plants have already returned, while LEAG also hopes to re-employ early retirees. The country’s largest energy company RWE has also halted early retirements in reaction to the government’s decision to increase coal use while gas supplies are low. German economy minister Robert Habeck has called the decision to increase coal use “painful”, but argued it was necessary to save gas needed for heating. Despite the reactivation, the government wants to stick to its target to exit coal by 2030.

Vienna vehement – Austria confirmed its intention to sue the EU for including nuclear and gas as eligible to be labelled as green investments in its taxonomy regulation, following up on its reaction after the European Parliament failed to reject the regulation on Wednesday (Read Carbon Pulse’s reporting). Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler called the decision an act of “greenwashing” and stressed that it does not do justice to the ambitions of the Green Deal. Luxembourg already announced they would support the Austrian push, while Spain and Denmark announced ahead of the vote that they would also consider joining the lawsuit. Germany, however, who initially said that they would “examine” the option of a lawsuit, ultimately decided not to follow suit. (EurActiv)

Baltic boost – Estonian agritech startup eAgronom has signed a partnership agreement with DOJUS agro, Lithuania’s largest supplier of western agricultural machinery, to jointly develop a certified carbon farming programme in Lithuania, the companies said in an emailed statement. eAgronom provides farm management software and GHG tracking tools powered by AI and remote sensing to help farmers optmise the use of chemicals and fertilisers. The company is actively working on making the carbon farming programme accessible in further countries across Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa.

ASIA PACIFIC

Climate accounting – Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has ordered Treasury to restart its climate modelling work, according to the ABC. The head of Treasury admitted last year that it had not been asked for climate modelling since 2013. Last year’s modelling of the former Coalition government’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 was conduced by consulting firm McKinsey and had limited involvement from Treasury. Chalmers said a generation of economic opportunities had been “squandered” by the Coalition and that Treasury’s modelling would help the country chart a path that creates jobs and opportunities, taking advantage of economy-wide decarbonisation. The last major review of the impact on climate change on the economy, the Garnaut Review, was commissioned in 2007 by former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Oil increase – Indonesia NOC Pertamina has announced a 232% yoy increase in drilling activities for 2022, spurred on by high commodity prices, and energy security concerns. The company said it plans to drill 813 development wells, 29 exploration wells, and 26,400 workover and well services. The company is targeting a 17% production increase of 1 mln barrels of oil equivalent/day. Pertamina’s Nicke Widyawati said in a statement the company had to maintain upstream production to ensure Indonesia’s fuel security. It also plans to reactivate suspended wells, and launch fresh exploration campaigns. The announcement stands in stark contrast to the government’s emphasis on its ambitions to cut carbon emissions, ahead of the G20 summit in November.

AMERICAS

Manchin Thursdays – Democratic lawmakers are scrambling to reach an agreement to push their ambitious spending bill over the finish line before the August recess, after more than a year of trying to corral West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s crucial swing vote. But a deal would probably leave more energy and climate provisions behind. Chief among them is a generous tax credit for electric vehicles that Manchin opposes. While Senate negotiators are keeping quiet on what provisions could make the final cut, Sen. Tom Carper (D) recently told Politico/E&E News that some form of a methane fee is still in play. A number of renewable energy tax credits could also squeak by, but Manchin has said he opposes the “direct-pay” option that would allow developers to collect incentives upfront. The overall package of climate-focused and clean energy spending could hover around $300 bln, which pales in comparison to the $555 bln measure the House passed last year.

One hundred percent New England – A study from a regional gird operator for Northeastern US states found the area’s electrical capacity will increase by over 100% between now and 2042. The increase will come as a result of the electrification of heating and transportation, the study by ISO New England found. Most of the states within the grid are covered by the RGGI cap-and-trade program, while the region receives a significant amount of power from neighbouring Quebec, which is part of WCI.

Cowtown cash – Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport will get $35 mln from the federal government to cover some of the costs of a new zero-carbon power plant, part of an effort to cut the airport’s GHGs and hit ambitious environmental goals. The $35 mln grant from the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration is part of the latest round of money coming to airports from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passed in the fall. DFW Airport leaders have targeted a new utility plant as a key to plans to reach the goal of having net zero carbon emissions by 2030, meaning the airport will have a neutral carbon footprint within the decade, without buying carbon offsets. As part of those plans, the airport hopes to move away from natural gas power toward wind power created in other parts of the state. (The Dallas Morning News/TNS)

VOLUNTARY

Do it for the monkeys – Researchers from Oregon State College contend that efforts to preserve the carbon saved in tropical forests could be enhanced by linking the work to the charismatic, threatened primates that dwell there. “While conserving irrecoverable carbon is certainly a worthwhile goal, associated policies might be most appealing if they can be framed in the context of co-benefits,” they wrote in a paper published by PNAS. “In particular, we argue that linking irrecoverable carbon in the tropics with threatened primate species could be a helpful framework for four reasons. First, as our closest relatives, non-human primates, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, are often considered well-loved and charismatic. Second, 67% of forest primate species are threatened with extinction, with tropical deforestation being one of the main contributing factors. Third, some primates can benefit forest regeneration through the ecological mechanism of seed dispersal. Finally, due to their habitat requirements, many primate species’ geographic ranges overlap with significant amounts of irrecoverable carbon in the tropics. In particular, there are 635,000 square km of land with the highest levels of irrecoverable carbon and threatened forest primate species richness. This area contains a total of about 15.5 Gt CO2-eq in irrecoverable carbon – an amount equivalent to roughly 43% of the world’s current annual fossil fuel emissions.” And rather than consider primates as a monolithic group, the authors believe that focusing on individual flagship species could be an effective framing. Thus, efforts are needed to identify primate communities within the world’s significant irrecoverable carbon and primate species richness ‘hotspots’ in 26 countries on three continents, and to educate the public and policymakers about their ecological effects and conservation status, thereby shifting attention from single species to entire communities.

We appreciate your feedback – In Cambodia, a central Cardamom REDD+ project working group has installed 10 complaint drop-boxes at key locations in Koh Kong province’s Thma Bang district to resolve disputes over activities related to the implementation of REDD+. The installation of the boxes came after Conservation International (CI) determined that all of its projects must comply with its safety protection systems. This means they will improve conservation outcomes for humans and nature, as well as identify risks or reduce their impact. Chhoeng Soviriya, a CI official in charge of coordinating community involvement and security of the Central Cardamom REDD+ project, told The Phnom Penh Post more about the drop-boxes. “Currently, we have installed 10 in Pralay, Chumnap and Thma Donpov communes of Thmar Bang district. We have also explained the function of the boxes to our stakeholders,” he said. Soviriya added that more boxes would be installed across Koh Kong and in other provinces in the future.

SCIENCE & TECH

Mines not fine – Greenhouse gas emissions from global mining and resource extraction result in up to $3 trillion in damages worldwide every year, according to a new study. Extractive industries provide the world with fossil fuels, metal ores and mineral resources, but the new research, published in the Journal for Cleaner Production, finds that their total environmental costs amount to as much as $5 trillion every year. Most are attributed to greenhouse gases, particulate matter and acidification – particularly from the coal and steel sectors. (Carbon Brief)

AND FINALLY…

Kirked to the curb Stuart Kirk, the global head of responsible investing at HSBC Asset Management, has resigned from his role, according to a post attributed to him on LinkedIn. Kirk was suspended by HSBC in May after he said central bank policymakers and other global authorities had exaggerated the financial risks of climate change at an industry conference. The bank, which has committed to playing a major role in leading the global economy in the transition to net zero, declined to comment on Kirk’s post on Thursday. It was unclear whether an internal investigation launched by the bank into Kirk’s comments was completed prior to his LinkedIn post. “Ironically given my job title, I have concluded that the bank’s behaviour towards me since my speech at a Financial Times conference in May has made my position, well, unsustainable,” Kirk wrote. His comments and suspension sparked fierce debate around the value of investment based on ESG principles. His remarks led one large institutional investor to reconsider whether to employ HSBC for a sustainability role and prompted Britain’s pensions regulator to remind pensions schemes of the investment risks from climate change. (Reuters)

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