CP Daily: Monday August 8, 2022

Published 00:37 on August 9, 2022  /  Last updated at 07:35 on August 9, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

US Senate passes sweeping $430 bln climate bill  

The US Senate passed a $430 billion climate change, healthcare, and tax bill late on Sunday, paving the way for a major uptick in the nation’s climate action following a House vote expected this week.

EMEA

EU countries face tough trade-offs as they grapple with gas-curbing plans

EU countries are getting to grips with generating energy savings in time for winter while ensuring their industries and end-consumers aren’t hit too hard, after the Council rubberstamped gas-cutting plans last week.

Euro Markets: EUAs post small loss, price seen uncontested as holiday season hits peak

EUAs opened the week on a quiet note on Monday, with prices drifting slightly lower from Friday’s settlement as volume and price volatility fell near to year-to-date lows, while energy markets were mixed as traders braced for another week of high temperatures across the region.

ASIA PACIFIC

Crucial senators raise ACCU integrity concerns in climate bill negotiations

Two Australian senators could withhold their critical votes on the Labor government’s climate change bill until it addresses their concerns around several Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) methodologies.

Chinese firms seek CDM crediting for hydrogen infrastructure

A Chinese hydrogen company has teamed up with the country’s biggest state-owned wind power producer and main carbon exchange to register a new hydrogen baseline and monitoring carbon crediting methodology under the CDM.

Guangdong’s financial regulator backs carbon futures plans

The Guangdong provincial government has asked local departments to collaborate on the introduction of carbon futures, though timelines for a potential product launch remain unclear.

Commodity firm hires ex-Shell trader for APAC environmental markets desk

A global energy and commodity trading firm has recruited a carbon trader from Shell for its APAC environmental markets team.

VOLUNTARY

VCM Report: Standard offset prices pick up to close gap to bespoke market

The market turned a corner at the end of the week, with standard offsets prices jumping higher to close the gap on a bespoke market that has been more successful in resisting the bearish trend.

ICE to start VCM auctions with 500k reforestation credits

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is hosting auctions of voluntary carbon market (VCM) credits for the first time, starting with sales of half a million US reforestation offsets, it announced Monday.

Canadian offset investor strikes sale deal with oil major

A Canadian offset investment firm that prioritises community benefits has struck a deal to supply an oil major with carbon credits, with delivery expected to begin in late 2023, it announced on Monday.

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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

Can’t get away this time – Tensions are mounting ahead of this year’s COP27 UN climate summit as vulnerable countries ramp up demands for rich countries to pay compensation for losses inflicted on the world’s poorest people by climate change, Reuters reported. When diplomats from nearly 200 countries meet on Nov. 7 in Egypt’s beachside resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, negotiations will tackle how to achieve deeper emissions cuts and cope with existing climate impacts, including deadly heatwaves, wildfires, rising seas and drought. But another issue is likely to dominate the talks: “loss and damage,” or climate-related destruction to homes, infrastructure and livelihoods in the poorest countries that have contributed least to global warming.

EMEA

Nuclear danger – The head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom called on Monday for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be made a military-free zone, warning of the risk of a Chornobyl-style nuclear disaster after the site was hit by shelling, Reuters reported.  He called for a team of peacekeepers to be deployed at the site in comments on television after Ukraine and Russia accused each of shelling the nuclear power plant – Europe’s most prominent – which lies in Russian-controlled southern Ukraine. Earlier today, the same newswire reported that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the risk of nuclear confrontation had returned after decades, calling on nuclear states to commit to no first use of the weapons. Guterres spoke after attending the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan on Saturday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing. Guterres called for international inspectors to be given access to the Zaporizhzhia plant.

EU solidarity on trial –  Norway is gearing up to limit power exports, an early sign of the tests Europe’s cross-border solidarity will face this winter as the energy crunch deepens, Bloomberg reported. Refilling reservoirs will be prioritized over power production when levels fall below seasonal averages, Energy Minister Terje Aasland said Monday. The country is one of Europe’s top exporters of electricity, sending about a fifth of its output to its neighbours but low water levels in southern Norway mean the government says it needs to act now to prevent domestic shortages this winter.

Extreme heat is back – Another scorching heat wave is set to hit northwest and central Europe this week, putting further pressure on the continent’s strained power infrastructure, Bloomberg reported. Sizzling temperatures are expected to hit the UK, Germany and France — reaching almost 36C on Friday — according to Maxar Technologies LLC. The heat will boost demand for cooling, aggravating already dry conditions that hurt crops and force limits on water use.

Forget the rules – The French nuclear regulator granted a temporary waiver for five nuclear plants to discharge hot water into rivers that may breach environmental standards as the nation struggles with an energy crisis, Bloomberg reported. ASN approved a request to keep the five plants in operation, even if the water they emit may exceed the authorised limit, according to a filing on grid operator RTE’s website. The exception brings some relief to the strained European power market, where prices are near record levels as extended heat waves have caused disruption to rivers and waterways used to carry fuel and cool power plants.

ASIA PACIFIC

Discount loans — The Australian government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has teamed up with big four bank ANZ to commit A$200 mln ($138 mln) to go toward discounted clean energy finance to ANZ customers. The CEFC said in a statement The discounted finance is designed to encourage SME businesses to invest in a broad range of activities to cut their emissions – from renewable energy to energy efficient and precision agricultural equipment, recycling technologies and electric vehicles. The two entities will each contribute 0.25% toward a 0.5% discount on loans of up to A$5 mln.

Green targets – The government of China’s Jilin province, where a major state-owned forestry group is based, is looking to work on a few nature-based projects to peak its emissions by 2030, according to official documents. The local authority plans to increase its forest coverage to 46% by 2030, with the growing stock reaching 1.14 billion cubic metres. It also plans to improve its capability of restoring grasslands, wetlands, and black soil to meet the emission target, the filing showed.

Insufficient – Chinese state-owned enterprises are facing setbacks when drafting their emissions peaking plans, according to opinions released by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). Some companies lack sufficient data to properly calculate exact emissions, while others fail to propose a feasible target supported by science, SASAC said. All state-owned Chinese companies are encouraged to publish by the end of this year their action plans to achieve a peak in carbon emissions, SASAC said.

Too cheap  Asian carbon prices are well below levels estimated to have a meaningful impact on polluter behaviour, Bloomberg reports, citing a report by BloombergNEF. Chinese carbon prices peaked at around $9/tonne early this year, much lower than the $80-plus/tonne level in Europe, while taxes in Japan and Singapore have been set at very low levels. The lack of tough regulations remains a problem for Asian markets, as free credits and low levies are unable to give the right signals that lead to emission reductions, the report found. 

AMERICAS

Transition leader – Colombia’s recently elected president Gustavo Petro appointed Irene Velez as his Minister of Mines and Energy and Alfonso Prada as Interior Minister a day before assuming power, Reuters reported. The country’s first left wing leader opposes fracking and said Velez will oversee Colombia’s transition to a renewables-based economy, away from oil extraction. Read Carbon Pulse’s reporting on how Petro’s victory points to a potential fossil fuel policy shift.

VOLUNTARY

More than a stopgap – Carbonstop, a carbon emissions management software and consulting solutions provider, has completed a round B of financing worth 100 mln yuan ($14.82 mln), led by Sequoia China and followed by its original shareholders GL Ventures and Matrix Partners. This funding will be used for the research and development of carbon management software products and the expansion of consulting, marketing, and business teams. Read Carbon Pulse’s analysis on how carbon accounting is coming of age as the net tightens over corporates.

Exchange purchase – AirCarbon Exchange (ACX) has offset all its emissions through to the end of 2023 by retiring an undisclosed amount of VCS-issued credits from Permian Global’s Katingan peatland project (VCS ID 1477) in Indonesia. The offsets are used to cover ACX’s emissions from 2021-23. This follows ACX’s previous offset purchase of offsets from C-Quest Capital Onil Stoves Uspantan cookstoves project (VCS ID 1721) in Guatemala and underscores ACX’s commitment to remain carbon negative, the exchange said.

AND FINALLY…

Look no further than…garbage – Italy’s Maire Tecnimont SpA says it’s working on a unique solution to help reduce dependency on Russian natural gas: garbage recycling. The technology and engineering conglomerate is working on what it calls the Green Circular District, a way to recover the carbon and hydrogen in landfill waste and use it to produce eco-friendly chemicals and fuels, Bloomberg reported. Some 16 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste are disposed of in the country’s landfills each year, according to CEO Alessandro Bernini. “We could convert it into syngas in order to reduce foreign energy dependency,” he said in an interview. “With 10 plants capable of treating 600,000 tonnes year each, in a five year period those plants could be able to produce domestically 10% of the gas required for the heating and electrical Italian grid as a whole,” he added.

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