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China on Friday said it would cancel or suspend a number of bilateral processes with the US in response to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week, including the two nations’ cooperation on climate change issues.
California’s 100-year forest offset reserve set aside for wildfires exhausted in less than a decade, research finds
Wildfires in the US have depleted at least 95% of California’s forest offset buffer pool in just one decade, a reserve mechanism used by the state’s forest carbon offsets programme, which is designed to protect against the risk of damage to forests from natural disasters for a period of 100 years, research has found.
US Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) is considered the final piece to the puzzle of passing a sweeping climate change, healthcare, and tax reform bill called the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and she’s signed on to vote in favour.
Financial participants increased their California Carbon Allowance (CCA) futures-only holdings but reduced their combined futures and options holdings in the latest reporting period, while compliance entities offloaded allowances, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data.
Faced with a plethora of negative catalysts, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit prices appeared to consolidate as they approached early June lows this week, while some buyers remain.
The Australian Labor Party government is all but certain to have its 43% emissions reduction cut by 2030 signed into law next month, now the work begins on one of its key policy measures to meet that target – the Safeguard Mechanism.
India carbon market likely to be rolled out in three phases leading to compulsory scheme, research note says
India’s carbon market framework is likely to be rolled out over three phases, with the government leveraging its experience with existing schemes to develop voluntary markets in the first two, ultimately progressing to a fully-fledged compulsory scheme in the third, according to a research note from an Indian securities firm.
China’s environment ministry has rejected complaints by one of the four verifiers that were named and shamed earlier this year for ETS data falsification, that the government had exaggerated its claims.
Chinese carbon allowance prices dropped over the past week with evaporated trading volumes amid lukewarm interest, while the offset market posted relatively abundant liquidity during the period.
Companies active in the energy, heavy industry, and aviation sectors tend to pay below-average for their carbon offsets, according to retirement data collated by a climate analytics firm, while car manufacturers and tech firms have historically purchased credits at a higher price than most others.
A US soil carbon startup is expanding to allow more farmers to earn payments for sequestering greenhouse gases.
The European Council agreed on Friday to officially adopt a regulation mandating a voluntary reduction of gas consumption by 15% by Mar. 2023, including the possibility to back a so-called ‘Union alert’ where the target would become mandatory.
EUAs capped a positive week with a further modest increase on Friday to record a 7.9% weekly gain, despite a weak German sale and thin liquidity, as the annual August auction supply cut continued to boost the market, with stable downward movements on gas and power markets also keeping some support for carbon.
Climate-conscious passengers may have to pay almost double for their trips to take advantage of Lufthansa Group’s new ‘green fare’ for carbon neutral flying.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Trash talk – Piles of garbage near South Asian megacities are contributing to some of the world’s strongest and most persistent methane emissions, highlighting a major challenge in the global climate fight. More clouds of the powerful greenhouse gas were spotted in India than any other country except for the US during the first half of this year, according to European Space Agency satellite observations analysed by Kayrros. Pakistan ranked fourth and Bangladesh sixth. The source of emissions in South Asia is different than in the US or Russia though, which are major fossil fuel producers. In those countries, the lion’s share of releases observed by satellite is linked to leaks from oil, gas and coal operations. Last year, more than half of all methane emissions measured globally from landfills by Canada-based monitoring company GHGSat were in Asia. India accounted for nearly a quarter of the total. And failing to curb releases from the waste sector, which is responsible for about 20% of all methane generated from human activity, could derail global climate goals, Bloomberg reports. Although authorities in many South Asian urban centres are pursuing solutions, satellites are starting to reveal the true scope of the problem for the first time. The Ghazipur dump on the outskirts of India’s capital, New Delhi, spewed roughly 2.17 metric tonnes of methane an hour on Mar. 22, the day a GHGSat satellite passed overhead. If that emissions rate was sustained over a year, the leak would have the same short-term climate impact as the annual emissions from 350,000 US cars.
Wish list – Egypt has made a large bid for investments in a list of African climate projects ready to be matched with international funding that will be showcased at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh. In an effort to push for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the COP27 host is seeking to turbocharge climate investments from the private sector into emerging markets and developing countries. Together with UN regional commissioners and the high-level climate champions Nigel Topping and Mahmoud Mohieldin, the presidency has organised five regional roundtables with financiers to match bankable carbon-cutting and adaptation projects with funders. This includes the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, a coalition of financial institutions committed to accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy. The first of these meetings took place at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this week. Among a pool of more than 140 projects being considered, an initial list of 19 African projects were showcased as “good examples” of projects that are ready to be implemented and scaled up and could receive funding. More projects are expected to make it on to the list in the coming months. Egypt is the host country of four projects costing an estimated $17.4 bln – about 40% of the combined cost of the projects on the list. With some funding already secured, it is pitching for $11.4 bln in new investments. (Climate Home)
Cash for sun – Nigeria has secured a $1.5 bln loan from the Export-Import Bank of the US for the development of solar power infrastructure in the country, ThisDay newspaper reported via Bloomberg. The 20-year facility will be at a concessional rate and the assets will be held by state-owned Niger Delta Power Holding Company, the Lagos-based newspaper said, citing Adam Cortese, chief executive officer of SUN Africa, a US-based renewable energy company. Cortese spoke at a media briefing after meeting with Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. Authorities in Africa’s largest economy plan to integrate solar into their energy mix as poor maintenance and insufficient investment in the transmission network have resulted in only about a third of the country’s installed capacity being dispatched by the grid daily – a fraction of what’s needed in a nation of more than 200 mln people.
Tariff trouble – Amid an unprecedented rise in natural gas prices in Germany, the government has agreed on an additional levy on natural gas to help avoid importers going bankrupt over the coming winter. The goal is to avoid insolvencies and cuts in gas supply throughout the energy crisis caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine, the economy and climate ministry (BMWK) said. Importers of gas had to face rapidly rising prices since the war started, a situation particularly difficult for providers with many long-term customers that are legally entitled to receiving gas at fixed rates. Due to the levy, the price per kWh of gas for final customers will increase between 1.5 and 5 cents once the levy is passed on by providers. The levy will remain in place “for a limited period of time” and will be supplemented by relief measures for businesses and households sliding into financial difficulties due to the energy crisis, the ministry added. Currently, it is scheduled to apply between Oct. 2023 and Apr. 2024. (Clean Energy Wire)
Winds of change – The Australian government has begun the process to declare Gippsland in Victoria, as Australia’s first zone for offshore wind development, with another five regions across the country also being announced. Reneweconomy reports that public consultation on the Gippsland offshore wind zone, will begin immediately to work with communities, environmental groups, industry and the maritime sector on establishing the potentially massive new industry. The step follows the long-awaited legislation being passed by the former government last year, setting up the legal framework for offshore electricity infrastructure. The Bass Strait region has been signalled out for priority development, and has so far attracted more than 6 GW of potential projects to the development pipeline. The other five regions designated by the government include the Pacific Ocean regions off the Hunter and Illawarra in New South Wales, the Southern Ocean region off Portland in Victoria, the Bass Strait region off northern Tasmania, and the Indian Ocean region off Perth/Bunbury in Western Australia.
Green corridor – A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) could see the ‘world’s longest’ green and digital corridor established to enable low and zero carbon shipping, with hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels likely to be trialled, H2View reports. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Port of Rotterdam revealed the agreement, which anticipates establishing a vital Asian-European shipping lane, promoting the use of clean marine fuel alternatives including hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and biofuels. If established, the corridor would come as a steppingstone towards meeting the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) goal of slashing carbon dioxide emissions in the industry by 50% by 2050.
A taxing problem – Canada’s federal environment minister Steven Guilbeault expressed disappointment on Friday over Nova Scotia’s July 5 written request from provincial environment minister Tim Halman that outlined concerns over implementing increases to the carbon price at a time of high inflation. The policy would add 14.4 cents/litre to the cost of gasoline, starting Apr. 1, 2023. The province’s PC government is debating several options in pricing pollution – complying with the federal government’s carbon tax of $65/tonne in 2023, continuing with its cap-and-trade system in place since 2019 that targets large industrial emitters, or creating a hybrid of the two programmes. Guilbeault added that the province could design a pricing system that will directly return carbon tax revenues to the public – citing the federal system where eight out of 10 families get more back than they pay in carbon taxes – rather than stall on pricing pollution. (The Globe and Mail)
Haiti halt – A $39 mln USAID-funded five-year reforestation programme in Haiti, run by international development firm Chemonics, ends this month and is not expected to continue when the funding runs out, according to a report by consultants Social Impact. The analysis found that “most resilience activities are not likely to be sustainable, given the short project timeline, lack of resources among farmers, and many project delays”. USAID officials admitted that several challenges, including Covid-19, currency fluctuations, insecurity, fuel shortages, and the assassination of the president, had all affected project implementation. The lack of early inclusion of local government, NGOs, and the private sector in the programme’s design was another stumbling block identified in the report. But the programme has achieved a number of successes including the planting of 4.5 mln trees, 500,000 above target. In the last 20 years, Haiti has lost 9% of its tree cover. (Climate Home)
Up in the air – American Airlines is investing in the hydrogen-electric aviation company ZeroAvia and has a nonbinding agreement to buy up to 100 of their engines for regional aircraft, Axios reports. The airline revealed its part of ZeroAvia’s now-closed Series B round at an undisclosed amount. The startup has previously announced $68 mln in Series B finance. Other investors in ZeroAvia include United Airlines, Shell, Amazon, and the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Emitters gonna emit – Taylor Swift has topped a list of celebrities whose private jets have produced the highest amount of carbon dioxide so far this year, according to a new study. UK-based sustainability marketing firm Yard published a report last week revealing that the pop superstar’s jet flew 170 times between Jan. 1 and July 19, totalling almost 16 days in the air and nearly 8,300 tonnes of CO2, which is 1,185 times the average person’s total annual emissions. A spokesperson for Swift said the analysis was “blatantly incorrect” because the pop star regularly loans out her plane to others. Yard’s list also features boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, hip hop artist Jay-Z, baseball star A-Rod, country music singer Blake Shelton, director Steven Spielberg, vapid and annoying socialite Kim Kardashian, actor Mark Wahlberg, and TV mogul Oprah Winfrey. The list followed criticism for fellow “Kardashian” Kylie Jenner taking short flights around metropolitan Los Angeles in her private jet.
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