CP Daily: Monday July 25, 2022

Published 02:02 on July 26, 2022  /  Last updated at 02:14 on July 26, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORIES

Pennsylvania courts reinstate RGGI-linkage injunction

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has ruled in favour of reinstating the preliminary injunction on the state’s RGGI programme linkage, according to court documents filed Monday.

Quality conundrum: How carbon credit ratings agencies reach for trust

The landscape of carbon credit rating agencies continues to build pace, with new services springing up to help buyers navigate the complex world of voluntary carbon credits, including by determining which projects offer climate-champion attributes versus those that add reputational risk to corporate claims.

AMERICAS

Governor Newsom requests aggressive action in California’s 2022 Scoping Plan

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) urged state regulator Air Resources Board (ARB) to incorporate new efforts in the 2022 Scoping Plan towards achieving the state’s 2030 emissions reduction targets and carbon neutrality by 2045, in a letter published late Friday.

EMEA

EU capitals likely to adopt goal for 15% cut in gas use, with ample opt-outs

EU member states are set to endorse bloc-wide gas demand-cutting plans on Tuesday, but fierce resistance from a majority suggests the final text may be riddled with exemptions and derogations.

Euro Markets: EUAs break downtrend after strong auction amid concern over Russian gas flows

EUAs ended a five-day losing streak on Monday after prices were boosted by a strong daily auction,  while energy markets surged higher amid growing concerns over gas supplies ahead of the winter after the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was reported to be running at just 20% of capacity.

RWE announces 14% boost in German lignite generation in H1 amid soaring gas prices

Germany-based utility RWE, historically EU’s top corporate emitter, reported an 14% rise in its EU ETS-covered lignite power output for H1, it said on Monday in preliminary generation results, production that more-than-outweighed a strong fall in its gas generation amid soaring prices.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australian govt was warned of negative impacts ERF rule change would have, FOI docs reveal

Independent advice received from the previous Australian government warned that rule changes to Carbon Abatement Contracts (CACs) could effectively kill off future investment in carbon farming projects and cause market confidence to crater, according to newly released documents.

Australian govt agency confirms end to support for CCS, soil carbon

The Australian government has released a new mandate for its peak renewable energy body to focus on electrification and energy efficiency technologies, scrapping the former government’s focus on soil carbon, blue hydrogen, and CCS.

Chinese industry association warns of tight power supply amid high coal prices

China is likely to experience tight power supply later this year as local coal companies have been squeezed by surging coal costs, according to the the China Electricity Council (CEC), urging the government to ease conditions for coal-fired power generators.

China extends practice of letting lawbreakers buy nature-based carbon credits

A Chinese fisherman caught using illegal fishing methods has been let off the hook after agreeing to buy 1,000 carbon credits from a fishery in Fujian province, extending the reach of this emerging practice, which so far has centred around forestry offsets.

Global asset manager to set up shop in Singapore for nature-based carbon business

A UK-headquartered global investment manager is establishing a Singapore-based subsidiary that plans to run a series of funds investing in nature-based carbon offset projects across Southeast Asia.

VOLUNTARY

VCM Report: Prices crash lower amid heightened fears of global recession

Prices for voluntary carbon market (VCM) offsets fell sharply in the second half of last week amid increasing fears of an economic downturn as inflation spiraled higher, Chinese and Indian growth forecasts were cut, and Europe faced the bleak prospect of gas rationing.

DNV forms partnership with energy firms, tech outfit, to utilise seaweed for carbon capture

DNV has joined forces with two energy companies and a Norwegian-based technology research firm to establish the world’s first pilot project to develop nature-based carbon capture involving seaweed cultivation, the classification society has announced.

Mangrove offsets to be sold in tokenized forward agreements to boost funding

A carbon marketplace and a crypto carbon initiative have teamed up in an effort to boost the sale of ‘forward’ offset credits for mangrove restoration projects.

UK carbon reporting startup raises £15 mln in seed finance

A British startup has raised £15 million in seed financing for its carbon accounting data engine, aiming to drive companies towards an abatement model from the current accounting and credits approach.

INTERNATIONAL

British chemicals maker, US-based carbon project developer team up to target industrials with carbon capture tech

A British specialty chemicals company has teamed up with a US-based offset project developer to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture solutions for heavy industry and to originate carbon credits in the process.

Senior analyst leaves CaliforniaCarbon.info to join aviation carbon trading startup

A senior analyst has left analysis firm CaliforniaCarbon.info to join a Canadian-headquartered startup focused on aviation’s participation in the voluntary and compliance carbon markets.

COMMENT

COMMENT: What will rising inflation do to the voluntary carbon market?

While higher inflation and slower economic growth may have short term temporary negative impacts on carbon credit prices, there are several structural reasons why we believe VCM credits are likely to remain resistant to long-term price declines and are in fact more likely to continue to rise in the medium to long-term, argue Respira’s CEO and co-founder Ana Haurie and advisor Joel Krueger.

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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

EMEA

Demand destruction – Expensive energy is forcing almost one sixth of German industrial companies to slow production, if not halt it altogether, reveals a survey by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). A quarter of the companies feeling compelled to cut production have already done so, while another quarter are in the process of doing so, according to the survey conducted on 3,500 firms. Some 32% of energy-intensive companies are considering or have begun reducing production, and some plan to discontinue certain production lines partially or in some cases fully. Almost two thirds of industrial companies see high electricity and gas prices as a threat to the competitiveness of Germany as a business location, DIHK said. (Clean Energy Wire)

Itemised billing – The German government will have to invest almost half a trillion euros to reach its 2045 climate neutral target, according to an analysis by consultancy Prognos for public development bank KfW. The largest public investment requirements are in the energy (€297 bln), transport (€137 bln), and building (€47 bln) sectors. “These amounts can be financed in the public budgets, but still represent a six-fold increase of current investment levels,” the researchers said, who called for a “stringent adjustment of responsibilities, financial flows and competences between the federal, state, and local levels” to tackle the necessary climate investment increase. (Clean Energy Wire)

ASIA PACIFIC

Double net zero – The number of ASX 200 companies that have made net zero commitments has doubled in the past year, but investors say firms are not disclosing enough detail about action to meet these targets, The Age reports. Companies also need to be more ambitious when setting science-based targets that align with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5C, or they will face reputational risk, according to an Australian Council of Superannuation Investors report. The report, which uses publicly available documents produced by ASX 200 companies, found that overall management and disclosure of climate-related risks had significantly improved in Australia, but the level of net-zero adoption still needed to increase significantly. About 70% of the ASX 200’s collective market capitalisation (A$1.59 trillion) is covered by net zero commitments, the report found, equating to 95 companies. This compares with 49 in 2020, and 14 in 2019.

Not easy going green – The Malaysian state of Sarawak’s plans to develop green hydrogen will take some doing, according to an opinion piece in The Edge. “There is no clear evidence that all these green hydrogen projects in Sarawak, which are driven by very different players from around the world, are being coordinated by a higher authority. If they proceed over the next few years, there will be trouble brewing as they suddenly realise that electricity does not grow on trees,” the article stated.

Ammonia startup – Inpex announced that it has invested in Tsubame BHB, a startup that develops new ammonia synthesis technology. This new ammonia synthesis technology is expected to reduce power consumption and improve safety by enabling ammonia synthesis at lower temperatures and lower pressures compared to conventional technologies, and contribute to decarbonisation through clean ammonia production. Inpex will assist Tsubame BHB in commercialising its small-scale, on-site ammonia production with a view to realise large-scale, low-cost operations in the future and provide a stable supply of clean energy.

Neutral rating – Media investment arm GroupM has unveiled a plan to decarbonise digital media in an effort to help reduce the environmental impact of their clients’ advertising spend, the Australian Financial Review reports. The group’s initiative is looking to decarbonise what is known as the programmatic media supply chain, decarbonising the automated process to buy ads in online videos or on websites. GroupM is responsible for about 30% of advertising spend in the local market and globally – has partnered with B-Corp certified advertising platform Good-Loop to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon emissions of clients’ digital advertising. The initiative is a staged programme – clients that decide to take up GroupM on the initiative can initially have their advertising measured and offset using carbon credits. The agency then offers clients the ability to take up what is called “climate positive action”, such as reforestation, habitat protection, and coral reef restoration.

AMERICAS

A lot of SAF – Colorado-based biofuels producer Gevo announced a new fuel sales agreement with American Airlines for the sale of 100 mln gallons (455 mln litres) per year of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for five years, for a total of 500 mln gallons, from Gevo’s future commercial operations, Green Car Congress reports. Gevo’s delivery of SAF under this agreement is expected to begin in 2026. Gevo estimates that the agreement should generate approximately $2.75 bln of revenue over the five-year term, inclusive of the value of environmental benefits. The agreement with American Airlines is the single, largest fuel sales agreement ever entered into by the sustainable fuels producer with a customer.

Web3 glee – Registry ACR is looking for WEB3 companies to participate in their Digital Assets Consultation to foster the tokenisation of credits on the blockchain, in an emailed callout sent Monday. Creating a transparent system and preventing double counting are among the issues ACR wants to address in its consultation. On July 20, Verra announced it would hold its own public consultation on third-party crypto instruments in early August.

Nevada blues – Environmental groups and Indigenous tribes are opposing two lithium mines and a geothermal plant in Nevada, crucial to US President Joe Biden’s clean energy goals. The Great Basin Resource Watch argues the mines will create hazardous waste, while the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and the Burns Paiute Tribe say one of the mines is being built where their ancestors are buried, after being killed by the US Cavalry in 1865. The Geothermal plant is facing objections from the US Fish and Wildlife service, because of its potential threat to a rare toad. (AP)

Biodiesel deadlines – Biofuel trade association Growth Energy has reached an agreement with the US EPA on deadlines to propose renewable fuel volume requirements after the group threatened to sue the federal agency. Next year’s suggested volume requirements will be published Nov. 16 and finalised June 14, 2023.

SCIENCE & TECH

Beyond the pale – Greenland’s ice sheet saw a sharp spike in the rate and extent of melting last week, with 18 billion tonnes of water running into the North Atlantic in just three days, Axios writes. Greenland’s melting ice is the top annual contributor to global sea level rise. The rate and extent of ice loss there in the next few decades and beyond will determine the fate of coastal cities from Hong Kong to Miami. An uptick in ice loss that occurred during the July 15-17 period sent enough water careening off the ice sheet to fill 2.4 mln Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to Ted Scambos, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While this sounds extreme, it doesn’t rank as the biggest melt surge that scientists have witnessed in recent years. Periods of exceptionally mild weather have become relatively common since about 201o. Other researchers told Axios that the extent of the recent melting has been particularly noteworthy.

AND FINALLY…

Get out of the kitchen – Trade unions have called for the European Commission to impose maximum temperature limits for outdoor workers after three people died while on a shift in Madrid during last week’s withering heatwave. While a handful of member states have legislation limiting working hours in excessive heat, the thresholds vary, and many nations have no nationwide heat limits. According to research by the polling agency Eurofound, 23% of all EU workers were exposed to high temperatures a quarter of the time. That figure rises to 36% in agriculture and industry and 38% for construction workers. Previous research has linked high temperatures to several chronic conditions and an elevated risk of workplace injury. The European Trade Union Confederation said that most EU nations have no maximum temperature legislation for workplaces, although Belgium, Hungary and Latvia all have some curbs on activity. In France, where there are currently no working temperature limits, the union said 12 workers died due to heat exposure in 2020 alone. (Euractiv)

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