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A Pennsylvania judge on Friday afternoon suspended the state from implementing its RGGI-linked cap-and-trade regulation just one week after the state entered the power sector carbon market, as Governor Tom Wolf’s (D) administration committed to appeal the ruling.
A European carbon price of around $300 per tonne in 2030 is required to remain on an ‘orderly’ pathway to a Paris Agreement-aligned warming target, according to modelling in the European Central Bank’s first climate stress test published Friday that said stringent policy measures were urgently required to avoid billions of financial losses across euro zone banks.
EU carbon the weakest H1 performer amid conflicting influences of reviving coal use and macro worries
EU ETS prices ended H1 2022 nearly 12% higher than where they ended 2021, as soaring energy costs have raised the spectre of carbon demand destruction despite a steady bullish drumbeat coming from the revival in coal-fired power generation as Europe accelerates its switch away from Russian fossil fuels.
EU industries have another thing to worry about when it comes to the EU’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), and have moved on from campaigning against the removal of free allowances, to opposing the policy’s scope expansion, because of its knock-on effect for government handouts.
EU carbon posted its first five-day loss in a month on Friday, albeit amid modest volume and wide bid-offer spreads, while energy commodities also snapped their recent run of strong bullish performances amid speculation that gas flows from Russia could soon increase.
A new blockchain-based carbon venture that raised some $2.4 million in crypto coins in a recent launch will initially offer trade in tokenised EUAs and other compliance carbon units while promising a 916,474% first-year return for those investing in its governance token.
The UK has dished out £54 million across multiple carbon removal projects as the country looks to scale the technology to meet its mid-century net-zero target, the government announced Friday.
Sustainable agriculture firm UPL on Friday announced the European leg of its plan to sequester 1 bln tonnes of CO2 through the generation of carbon offsets.
Countries including France made a tad more progress in June handing out this year’s free carbon permit allocations under the EU ETS, according to data from the European Commission.
This year’s COP UN climate talks host Egypt has unveiled an updated NDC, setting an emissions goal that would still see its GHG output rise by 2030, a move that still represents a scale-up on its initial target-free pledge.
Allowances in China’s carbon market edged up over the past week, although the lack of policy direction continues to dampen market participants’ enthusiasm.
Total holdings of NZUs in the national registry were up around 9% in the June quarter year-on-year as speculators continue to take up a growing space in a market whose historical permit surplus keeps growing, an update by New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority showed.
Some of Australia’s biggest carbon emitters surrendered a total of 1.1 million units and certificates in financial year 2020/21, according to a new report by the Clean Energy Regulator that for the first time tracks company progress towards voluntary commitments, though many heavy emitters have made minimal progress on meeting their goals.
Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province has significant forest carbon potential, with officials aiming to create a “gateway” for carbon offset buyers and for investors to channel finance towards forest carbon sequestration projects, a local voluntary carbon market working group forum was told on Thursday.
Speculators saw their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) rebound slightly this week as the third quarter began, while compliance entities’ position decreased for the first time in five weeks, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Bill me later – German households and industries should brace for an “enormous wave” of higher energy prices that will begin to hit bills next year, utility Uniper warned. Most customers lock in prices for a year and aren’t yet feeling the impact of surging wholesale costs, according to Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach. The gas giant on Friday sought a government bailout amid the energy crunch. German’s parliament passed legislation on Friday that puts in place a mechanism for companies to pass on the rising cost of purchasing gas to consumers even if they are already under contract. For now, the government says it has no plans to use the tool. (Bloomberg)
Net zero costings – Britain’s path toward zeroing out its greenhouse gas pollution may cost a third less than expected if natural gas prices remain elevated, according to the UK’s Office For Budget Responsibility, the UK’s fiscal watchdog. This reduction was not because getting to net-zero has become cheaper in absolute terms but because not getting to net-zero has become more expensive as a result of higher fossil fuel prices. (Bloomberg)
Airline disconnect – The world’s biggest airlines continue to lobby behind-the-scenes in Europe for policies that undermine global climate goals, despite their public support of net zero goals, according to a study from lobbying watchdog InfluenceMap. The research warns of a disconnect between the industry’s public support for a net zero emission future, and the engagement work of some firms, which the think tank claims often seeks to derail near-term decarbonisation policies. It noted that the aviation sector continues to lag behind other industries on corporate climate lobbying, with no airline or airline group assessed in the report achieving higher than a C+ grade on InfluenceMap’s A to F scale. (BusinessGreen)
Dutch roads – The Netherlands’ fuel suppliers met their 2021 obligation to replace 17.5% of supplied fossil fuels with renewables, according to the Dutch Emissions Authority (NEa) in a report showing that the sector was also on track towards meeting its 2030 target of 28%. Achieving the 2021 goal resulted in emissions reductions of 2.435 Mt of CO2 in the transport sector, the agency said.
Nature grants – The UK government has opened applications for its nature-based solutions for climate programme, which offers one-off grants to partnership-led pilot projects. Projects must achieve habitat creation and restoration at a landscape scale – an area of at least 500 hectares in size, the government said in a document released Friday. Successful applications will receive part of a £5 mln pot from public funding.
(Not) for your health – Cheniere Energy has asked President Joe Biden’s administration to exempt it from limits on emissions of cancer-causing pollutants, arguing they would force the top US exporter of liquefied natural gas to shut for an extended period and endanger the country’s efforts to ramp up supplies to Europe, according to documents reviewed by Reuters. The request imposes an uncomfortable dilemma on the Biden administration as it tries to balance efforts to slash pollution from the fossil fuel industry against promises to help European allies cut energy ties with Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. Denying Cheniere could shut off the bulk of America’s LNG exports for months or years, while granting its request would mean ongoing emissions of toxic pollutants into poor and minority neighbourhoods Biden has vowed to protect. Texas regulators have already given Cheniere’s massive LNG plant on the outskirts of the Gulf Coast city of Corpus Christi a pass for overshooting emissions limits on other pollutants, according to previous Reuters reporting. (Reuters)
Injection attention – Petrobras is studying new CCUS solutions, the Brazilian company’s carbon markets manager Izabel Ramos told the Forum Net Zero, held by Honeywell in Sao Paulo on Friday. Among the initiatives underway is a joint industry project (JIP) designed to map the main carbon emission sources in Brazil that could require CCUS. The project is being carried out with other members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a CEO-led consortium that aims to accelerate the industry’s response to climate change. The group accounts for about 30% of global oil and gas output. The country’s largest oil and gas producer, Petrobras currently reinjects 8.7Mt/y of CO2, accounting for approximately 20% of the world’s total reinjected CO2 volumes. (Bnamericas)
Pine purchase – Forestland operator Superior Pine Products Company has announced the acquisition of more than 23,000 ha of high-quality pine forestland in Arkansas and Louisiana. Superior Pine plans to continue practicing sustainable forest management on the lands and intends to tap into the region’s growing solid wood market. Additionally, Superior Pine envisions monetising the various natural capital values of these new assets, which could include the potential development of solar energy projects as well as the development and sale of forest-based carbon offsets. (Magnolia Reporter)
Crank that Sojitz boy – Japanese trading house Sojitz has provided 350,000 carbon credits to city gas company Keiyo Gas to make its product “carbon neutral,” continuing the trend in Japan where local energy retailers lean on offsets to claim carbon neutrality. No information was available on the type of offsets involved, though Sojitz said they had been “verified by a highly reputable international third-party verifier”.
Tiwi Twist – An elder from the Northern Territory’s Tiwi Islands, who is pursuing an Australian Federal Court challenge to the approval of Santos’ Barossa gas project, given by the offshore gas regulator, is seeking an injunction to stop work activities from commencing until his case is heard. The court action was launched last month, when Munupi Senior Lawman Dennis Tipakalippa argued in a case to the court that his community was never consulted about Santos’ drill plans – contrary to the company’s legal obligations. The Federal Court has listed the matter for trial to proceed from Aug. 2022-25, however Santos has refused to delay drilling activities until the court can fully consider the case, forcing the elder to seek an injunction, who is being represented by legal group Environmental Defenders Office. The EDO will argue that Santos should not commence drilling until the court has decided if the regulator properly issued Santo’s drilling approvals for the project.
Tree signals – Spanish telecom firm Telefonica joins the World Economic Forum’s 1t.org initiative, which intends to motivate companies to commit to investing in and restoring trees with the goal of conserving, restoring, and growing one trillion trees by 2030. Telefonica commits to 1t.org to grow and conserve forest ecosystems and enhance biodiversity with 1.5 mln trees by 2030, which means avoiding and absorbing 700,000 tonnes of CO2 in ten years with initiatives that will follow Verra’s CCB climate co-benefit standards. The firm said it is committed to supporting projects that generate more than 200,000 carbon credits through 2025, with projects particularly relevant in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, where Telefonica has operations. (Telecom.tv)
Member no more – Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping groups, has withdrawn its board member from industry organisation International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), partly over the trade association’s stance on climate change. “We review our membership status once a year to ensure that the trade associations in which we are members lobby in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement as well as other key issues,” Maersk said on its website. “Our choice to step down from the ICS Board should also be seen in this context,” it added, without specifying what it disagreed with in ICS’s stance. (Reuters)
SCIENCE & TECH
The DAO of Flexi – Cleantech software developer FlexiDAO has secured investment from a group of global tech firms, including Google and Microsoft, as it looks to launch a new software platform which aims to offer businesses worldwide access to 24/7 carbon-free electricity. FlexiDAO announced this week that it has raised $6.5 mln in an investment round led by SET Ventures with additional investment provided by existing investor EIT InnoEnergy. The company’s software aims to help companies and governments operate using carbon-free energy round the clock, by certifying and tracing their electricity and its true carbon content. The latest investment round is set to fund the cleantech firm’s plans to scale its carbon-tracking software platform worldwide. The software has been designed to help companies to reach their carbon-free and net-zero targets by allowing them to switch to certifiable 24/7 carbon-free energy providers by tracking the carbon emissions of the energy sources they use. As well as investing in the platform, Google and Microsoft are already using FlexiDAO’s services to help them reach their own targets of using 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030. (BusinessGreen)
Interested in CCUS? – The Government of Canada is seeking carbon capture R&D proposals as part of the Energy Innovation Program approved under the 2021 budget investment of C$319 mln over seven years into R&D to advance commercially viable carbon, capture, sequestration, and utilisation (CCUS) projects. For the first tranche of funding, the government is inviting projects focused on CO2 capture technologies to submit expressions of interest until Oct. 3, 2022, the press release said Thursday. Projects will be reviewed through the fall 2022/winter 2023, at which time successful applicants would be asked to submit full project proposals. The second and third tranches would be open to CO2 storage/sequestration projects (fall 2022), followed by CO2 utilisation projects (winter 2023).
Can’t beat the (plant-based) meat – Investments in plant-based alternatives to meat lead to far greater cuts in climate-heating emissions than other green investments, according to analysis by the consultancy BCG. The study said that for each dollar, investment in improving and scaling up the production of meat and dairy alternatives resulted in three times more GHG reductions compared with investment in green cement technology, seven times more than green buildings, and 11 times more than zero-emission cars. This high impact on emissions is because of the big difference between the GHGs emitted when producing conventional meat and dairy products, and when growing plants. (The Guardian)
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