CP Daily: Monday July 18, 2022

Published 04:07 on July 19, 2022  /  Last updated at 04:07 on July 19, 2022  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Canada considers launching cap-and-trade system for oil and gas sector 

The Canadian federal government proposed to either introduce a carbon trading programme or modify its existing ‘backstop’ CO2 pricing system on Monday as it plans a declining emissions cap for the oil and gas sector.


POLL: Analysts raise EU carbon price forecasts despite more immediate rangebound outlook

Analysts have raised their EU carbon price forecasts across the board after the futures recovered from a Q1 plunge triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war, but a number of experts have warned that conflicting fundamental drivers could keep the market rangebound through the rest of this year.

Brussels considers temporary relaxation of environmental constraints in energy-saving effort –leaked draft

The European Commission is set to propose temporary exemptions to pollutant and CO2 emissions obligations for power plants and refiners under a far-reaching effort to spare gas ahead of winter, according to a leaked draft communication seen by Carbon Pulse on Monday.

Euro Markets: EUAs edge lower in thin trade as market focuses on resumption of Nord Stream gas supply

EUA prices clawed back most of their early losses to remain rangebound on Monday amid a generally quiet market, as traders speculated over the progress of ETS reform negotiations, while attention focused on the likelihood of Nord Stream 1 gas flows resuming after a maintenance outage, and concerns over a major German utility’s financial health.

UK outlines plan to reduce gas influence on electricity market

The UK government has outlined plans to reform the country’s power market for the first time in a decade to try and reduce the influence of surging gas prices by shifting the focus of a new system to clean energy sources, in a consultation launched Monday.


ANALYSIS: China ETS marks first anniversary shrouded in uncertainty

China has marked the first anniversary since the official launch of its long-awaited national emissions trading scheme, though while officials celebrate some significant achievements questions linger over the path forward for the market.

China launches evaluation standards for carbon credits

China has introduced a set of standards for companies to evaluate their carbon credits and solvency, marking the country’s latest step to encourage the development of green finance, the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange (SEEE) announced Saturday.

Australian carbon market review panel revealed as govt prepares to introduce climate bill  

The Australian government has unveiled the full make up of its panel reviewing the integrity of the domestic carbon market and its regulator, as it prepares to introduce its Climate Change Bill to parliament next week.


ANALYSIS: More than 100 mln sovereign forest credits set to reach VCM by autumn

Governments from tropical forest countries are poised to issue more than a hundred million sovereign carbon credits, which are slated to hit the voluntary carbon market (VCM) this autumn – adding significant weight to a forest credit inventory that historically derived from a scattering of smaller-scale projects.

VCM Report: Nearby core-carbon underpins floor in market as contango holds

The price of standardised spot carbon credits and those of near-dated vintages remained depressed in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) this week, but demand for later-dated nature vintages held up, reflecting resilience in the market’s contango that underpins a bullish outlook for offsets.

Crypto carbon venture to delay launch amid market turmoil -media

A well-funded US firm that tokenises nature-based credits has decided to postpone its product launch amid turmoil in the crypto markets and downturn in on-chair carbon credits prices, according to media reports.

DRC comes under pressure to drop oil exploration and drilling

The battle between oil and the environment has flared up in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),  with environmental lobbyists urging the president of the African country to cancel the selling off exploration rights in tropical forests.


Aviation net zero goal needs annual investment of $175 bln, role required for CDR -report

The global aviation sector would need to invest an annual average of around $175 billion between 2022 and 2050 to realise its net zero ambition by mid-century, according to analysis sponsored by a coalition of business stakeholders across the supply chain of several industries, including aviation, whose emissions are hard to abate.

Seven global airlines to explore DAC carbon credit purchases

Seven international airline groups on Monday announced letters of intent to explore buying carbon removal units from a US-based direct air capture (DAC) platform.


Washington state publishes draft Clean Fuels Program regulations

The Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY) on Monday released draft regulations to implement the Clean Fuels Program (WCFP) in 2023, with the initial compliance period extended to two years.


Australia and Pacific Island UN COP could be held as early as 2024

National leaders have welcomed Australia’s proposed bid to jointly host the UN’s annual climate conference in partnership with Pacific Island countries as early as 2024, propelling the proposal through to the next stage in the process.


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Mahmoud on tour – Mahmoud Mohieldin, Egypt’s high-level champion for climate change, visited Singapore over the weekend to meet a number of governmental and non-governmental officials regarding climate finance and cooperation on development of carbon markets, Daily News Egypt reports. In addition to meeting with two government ministers, Mohieldin also met with the CEO of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to discuss the role of finance in supporting climate mitigation and adaption, including topics such as carbon markets and possible cooperation with Singapore to develop carbon markets in Egypt and Africa. Earlier this month, Singapore signed an MoU with Morocco on closer cooperation to facilitate the transfer of carbon credits between the two countries under Article 6 guidelines.


Gazerbaijan – The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen traveled to Baku on Monday to seek more natural gas from Azerbaijan, the EU’s executive said, as the EU seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian fuel. According to a draft document last week, the Commission has proposed to EU countries a deal with Azerbaijan to increase imports of natural gas and support the expansion of a pipeline to do this. Europe has received Azeri gas since December 2020 from the TAP pipeline (Trans-Adriatic pipeline) which is part of the Southern Gas Corridor, transporting natural gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz II offshore field in the Caspian Sea. Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP crosses Northern Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Italy. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that a halt of Russian gas supplies to the EU could potentially reduce its GDP by as much as 1.5% if the next winter is cold and the region fails to take preventive measures to save energy. The Commission is set to warn that, in the event of an average winter, a cut-off of gas shipments from Moscow would reduce the GDP by between 0.6% and 1%, says a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg. The EU’s executive arm is planning a set of recommendations to member states – including reductions to heating and cooling use and some market-based measures – to mitigate the impact of a possible full disruption by Russia, its biggest source of imports. (EurActiv)

Targets are not at stake – The European Commission’s climate chief Frans Timmermans reiterated Monday that EU climate targets are not at stake despite a setback due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “On behalf of the European Union, I can tell you that we are strongly committed in doing that, delivering on implementation and the pillars of our climate policy. That is why, our ministers have already agreed on our Fit for 55 programme – on a position on that programme,” Timmermans told the Petersberg Climate Dialogue held in Berlin. “The European Parliament has agreed on a position and we have already started the negotiations to hopefully conclude this legislative programme before COP27 so that we have something concrete to share for ourselves, something which will take us to reducing our emissions to at least 55% by 2030, regardless of the very, very negative effects that Putin’s war is causing in Europe.”

No credit in the bank – Gas giant Uniper said it has used up all the €2 bln credit line from German state-owned lender KfW Group, increasing the urgency for a government bailout, Bloomberg reports. Uniper is running out of options as it has started drawing gas out of storage to sell to customers to avoid buying more expensive fuel in the spot market. The utility has asked the government for a bailout, including an equity stake and additional debt funding through an increase in a state-backed credit facility. For now, the credit facility is utilised “in full,” the company said Monday in a statement. “This step has been taken in reaction to continuing supply disruptions of Russian gas and the associated developments on the energy markets and exchanges.” Germany is under pressure to hammer out a deal soon. The inventory drawdowns, which started last Monday, are sapping supplies that are supposed to be saved for winter. Uniper first disclosed bailout talks with the German government at the end of June. Since then, discussions on how to finance a €9-bln bailout have been tense.

Nuke extension – Germany is considering extending the life of the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants, the economy ministry said on Monday, as public support rises in the face of a possible cut-off of Russian gas. The units are scheduled to be shut down by the end of the year and accounted for 6% of Germany’s electricity production in Q1. A March government examination found that extending the plants’ lifetime was not recommended, citing legal, licensing and insurance challenges, the need for extensive and possibly costly safety checks, and a lack of fuel rods to keep the plants running. But falling Russian gas supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline have emboldened pro-nuclear voices in Germany and Europe ahead of a feared electricity crunch this winter. (Reuters)

Unintended consequences – Germany’s push for energy independence triggered by the Ukraine war could boost the country’s emission reduction efforts in the medium term, as well as economic growth and employment, says a report by Allianz Trade. “The race to energy sovereignty sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could push Germany’s green transition well past the finish line,” the credit insurer said. “Despite the increased use of coal for electricity generation in the short term, the EU ETS will limit additional emissions, and coal is still on track to be phased out by 2030. In the medium term, Germany’s ambitious new targets should push the renewable energy share of its electricity mix even beyond what would be needed to meet the Paris climate goals by 2035.” But the target of a fourfold increase in renewables capacity “requires a paradigm shift in core areas of the electricity system,” including a simplification, acceleration and closer coordination of planning and approval procedures for renewables, electricity and hydrogen networks, Allianz Trade argues. (Clean Energy Wire)

Wrong kind of record – Germany produced a record amount of electricity from solar on Sunday and is set to exceed that again on Tuesday as a heatwave grips Europe, according to Bloomberg. About 38,174 MW were generated from solar panels on Sunday and high levels are expected through Wednesday. A fresh record is possible on Tuesday, with a maximum 38,190 MW forecast. A brutal heatwave is moving into western Europe. Temperatures are set to peak on Tuesday and Wednesday in Germany as the heat begins to ease elsewhere, according to state forecaster DWD. The extreme temperatures are sparking wildfires in Spain, France, and Greece, while the UK also saw record temperatures on Monday.

Sharma drama – UK cabinet minister and COP26 president Alok Sharma has suggested he could resign if the incoming Conservative prime minister fails to commit to net zero. In an interview with the Observer, Sharma said a total commitment to net zero from the next PM would be essential to avoid “incredible damage” to the UK’s global reputation. “Anyone aspiring to lead our country needs to demonstrate that they take this issue incredibly seriously, that they’re willing to continue to lead and take up the mantle that Boris Johnson started off. I want to see candidates very proactively set out their support for our net-zero agenda for green growth.” Asked whether he would resign if candidates were weak on net zero, Sharma says: “Let’s see, shall we? I think we need to see where the candidates are. And we need to see who actually ends up in No 10.“ (Carbon Brief)

Flares over Baghdad – Iraq will stop flaring associated gas by 2025, the country’s deputy PM announced at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit. Speaking in Riyadh on Monday, Ali Allawi admitted his country’s previous climate policies had not always been up to scratch, but recommitted Iraq to working towards a greener future. He also stated that Iraq has a plan to produce 12 GW of power from solar sources over the next 10 years. Addressing delegates at the summit, including US Climate Change Envoy John Kerry, Allawi said the world has “no choice but to work together in order to focus on this challenge and work together to create nature based solutions.” (Arab News)


There ain’t no easy way out – US President Joe Biden pledged to take “strong executive action” to address the climate crisis on Friday after coal millionaire Sen. Joe Manchin joined the entire Republican party in opposing action on climate change by blocking efforts to pass a scaled-down reconciliation bill with clean energy tax credit components. “I will not back down,” Biden promised, speaking from Saudi Arabia. Biden did not yet declare a national climate emergency, reinstate a ban on crude oil exports, or ban new drilling on federal lands, but these are the sorts of executive actions climate advocates on and off the Hill are calling for now that negotiations have failed. (Climate Nexus)

Bury me at the rodeo – US oil company has applied for a California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Tier 2 fuel pathway for renewable diesel derived from distiller’s corn oil which is processed along with soybean oil and canola oil at its facility in Rodeo, California. The Rodeo facility produces renewable diesel as a primary product and renewable naphtha and renewable propane/light hydrocarbons (off gases) as co-products. The production process uses hydrogen for hydrotreating as well as electricity, natural gas, steam and off gases as process energy. The carbon intensity (CI) of the proposed pathway is 25.46 gCO2e/MJ. (Green Car Congress)


Hydrogen cash – India will need funding of $15 bln to set up 15 GW of green hydrogen capacity by 2030, Economic Times reports, according to government think-tank NITI Aayog’s V K Saraswat, who was speaking at the conference “India@2030: A roadmap for Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliance) in renewable energy,” where he stated that green hydrogen is the future.


Rising hemp-eratures –  Commodity market platform PanXchange on Monday announced a partnership with Midwest Hemp Council and Hemp Alliance of Tennessee to offer independent US farmers a path to carbon credit payments for climate-smart agricultural practices. The partnerships will allow farmers in the network to take advantage of PanXchange’s commodity trading knowledge and the potential impact of implementing climate-smart practices. Specifically, this relates to PanXchange’s and the National Industrial Hemp Council of America’s plan to develop CO2 sequestration activities in the US industrial hemp market, with some 12,500 ha already committed for the 2023 crop year.


Alder Bridge – Airplane manufacturer Boeing and technology development company Alder Fuels on Monday announced a new partnership to expand production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) around the world. Using Boeing airplanes, the companies will test and qualify Alder-derived SAF, advance policies to expedite the transition to renewable energy in aviation, and grow the amount of SAF for the global aerospace market. In a press release, Alder Fuels said its proprietary technology enables the efficient conversion of abundant, sustainable forest residues and regenerative biomass into a low-negative carbon “greencrude” for jet fuel conversion. The Alder product is suitable for conversion into drop-in SAF, meaning it can be produced by existing refineries with their current equipment and infrastructure. Alder expects completion of its first plant in 2024.


Eureka moment – Australian researchers have found a novel way to separate, store, and transport huge amounts of gas safely that could wind up being the missing piece of the puzzle for renewable hydrogen, Renew Economy reports. Renewable hydrogen figures enormously in the net zero emissions plans of Australia – particularly in the hard to decarbonise sectors of industry and heavy transport. But storing and transporting large quantities of gases for practical application remains a major challenge. A team from Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) in Melbourne says it has found a new mechanochemical way of separating and storing gases, which is safe, uses a tiny fraction of the energy compared to traditional methods, and creates zero waste.


Where the buffalo roam – Early on Monday morning, three gentle giants wandered out of a corral in the Kent countryside to become the first wild bison to roam in Britain for thousands of years. The aim is for the animals’ natural behaviour to transform a dense commercial pine forest into a vibrant natural woodland. Their taste for bark will kill some trees and their bulk will open up trails, letting light spill on to the forest floor, while their love of rolling around in dust baths will create more open ground. All this should allow new plants, insects, lizards, birds and bats to thrive. The Wilder Blean project, near Canterbury, is an experiment to see how well the bison can act as natural “ecosystem engineers” and restore wildlife. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. A more natural woodland should also absorb more carbon, helping to tackle the climate crisis. Global heating was evident as the bison were released, with England in the grip of a heatwave, and the early timing was to allow the bison to reach the shade of the woods before temperatures started to climb. (Guardian)

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