CP Daily: Thursday August 11, 2022

Published 23:38 on August 11, 2022  /  Last updated at 23:38 on August 11, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

EU industry steps up switch to oil and coal, analysts warn this is not enough

As EU member states attempt to shift away from using gas to help reserves pile up ahead of winter, the bloc’s industry is increasingly tapping into dirty oil and coal to make up for the shortfall of the key fuel, hindering the bloc’s clean energy transition that leaders promise won’t be ultimately at stake.

EMEA

RWE to restart all three reserve lignite plants, expects scant earnings from them

Germany-based utility RWE is to restart all three of its reserve-held lignite-based power plants from October but does not expect to generate big earnings from them, the company’s executives said in half-year results on Thursday, while adding that power hedging had been much more “conservative” than normal.

Euro Markets: EUAs extend six-week high as rising temperatures drive energy prices to new records

EUAs raced to a six-week high on Thursday amid continuing strength in energy markets, where prices continued to set new records amid concerns over gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

AMERICAS

California cap-and-trade review bill proceeds to Assembly floor vote

A California legislative fiscal committee on Thursday advanced a bill to require regulator ARB to conduct a review of allowance oversupply and facility-specific emissions limits in the state’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme, with the full Assembly now set to vote on the measure.

NA Markets: CCA prices hit 2-mth high on ambitious Newsom climate proposal, RGGI drags

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices surged this week on a document outlining Governor Gavin Newsom’s plans to hike the state’s 2030 climate targets and ahead of next week’s Q3 WCI auction, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) were flat as uncertainty remained regarding Pennsylvania’s allowance volumes for the September auction.

California market participants support tightening LCFS stringency, caution on several ARB proposals

Credit and deficit generators in California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) programme, trade associations, and environmental consultants have urged state regulator ARB to increase LCFS stringency, but cautioned on several ARB proposals in feedback submitted in response to the agency’s July public workshop discussing potential changes to the programme.

ASIA PACIFIC

Japan widens scope for forestry projects in J-credit scheme

Japan has increased the scope of forestry activities eligible to earn J-credits as it continues to ramp up potential supply of carbon credits for the soon-to-be-launched GX League.

Project developer registers largest Australian native reforestation “aggregation” project

Australia’s largest carbon aggregation project involving native reforestation has been registered with the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) and will produce around 100,000 Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), a Melbourne-headquartered environmental non-profit organization announced on Wednesday.

HK firm teams up with Singapore transport authority to build regional carbon neutral business

A Hong Kong-listed investment company that has recently broken into the Southeast Asian market has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore’s public transport agency to carry out carbon neutral services in the ASEAN market.

INTERNATIONAL

Tiny Vanuatu aims to set example with enhanced Paris emissions pledge

The tiny Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu will on Friday submit a strengthened NDC to the UN, deepening emissions reductions targets but also outlining a broad set of ambitions on adaptation and loss and damage.

VOLUNTARY

VER marketplace launches forestry offset project in Canadian provinces

A nature-based climate tech marketplace focused on improved forest management and tonne-year accounting announced its first project outside the US on Thursday, choosing a pair of neighbouring Canadian provinces for the location.

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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

Congo care – The US and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have agreed to form a working group to protect the enormous Congo basin rainforest and peatlands, which are threatened by oil and gas exploration. The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, made the announcement in Kinshasa on while expressing his concern over the sale of dozens of oil and gas permits in the DRC. Blinken said Washington recognised the need for extra resources to protect the African country’s ecosystems, which he said were crucial for avoiding climate catastrophe and that the working group would focus on growing the DRC’s economy and financing to protect the rainforest and peatlands, adding that Kinshasa can help protect the Earth’s atmosphere by making sure that mining and fossil fuel extraction projects only take place after a rigorous environmental impact assessment. The results of last month’s auction are expected to be announced by the DRC in the next few weeks. (The Guardian)

IRA concern – The EU said on Thursday it was “deeply concerned” about proposed tax credits for purchases of electric vehicles in the US because they would be biased against foreign producers and may breach WTO global trade rules. Under a provision of the $430 bln IRA bill passed by the Senate on Sunday, US buyers of zero-emissions EVs would be eligible for tax credits worth several thousand dollars. However, domestic content conditions would apply to the tax breaks to push the EV industry away from reliance on China and spur local investment in battery minerals and manufacturing. (Reuters)

EMEA

BECCS on deck – The UK government has launched a consultation on how to support BECCS in the country and help meet its ambition to remove 5 mln tonnes of CO2e a year by 2030. Running until October, it will seek views on early proposals including the main design elements of the business model of offering developers a guaranteed price for the power produced and a price for each tonne of CO2 captured. The document said the government has made no final decisions on the integration of removals into the UK ETS which was already being considered in a separate consultation.

Coal wait – A much-anticipated decision on whether the UK’s first new deep coalmine in more than 30 years should go ahead has been delayed again. The government has written to green group Friends of the Earth to inform the organisation that the new secretary of state, Greg Clark, has set a new deadline of Nov. 8 to rule on whether the coking coal mine should be granted planning permission. An earlier July deadline was postponed until Aug. 17 after Conservative MPs ousted prime minister Boris Johnson. The decision is one of a number of major calls that are being delayed at present across a range of government departments, leading to opposition criticisms of a “zombie government” at No 10 while the Conservatives undergo a leadership contest. (The Guardian)

ASIA PACIFIC

More deep oil  – Chinese oil giant Sinopec has discovered an oil field in Xinjiang’s Tarim Basin with an average burial depth of more than 7,300 meters, making it one of the world’s deepest commercial oil and gas fields, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. As part of its broader plan to explore deep oil and gas, Sinopec is also running a project in southwest China’s Sichuan Basin, according to the statement. China’s oil and gas reserves in the deep and ultra-deep layers are equivalent to 67.1 billion tonnes of oil, taking up 34% of the country’s total oil and gas reserves, according to Sinopec’s estimate.

Work together – A total of 23 administrative divisions across 19 Chinese provinces have been selected as the pilot sites to facilitate the development of climate investment and financing, according to an announcement circulated Wednesday. The decision was jointly announced by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), and seven other government bodies. The pilot projects will focus on the development of green finance, emission data monitoring tools, as well as carbon accounting and assurance. 

Tell me how much – China’s Fujian province has announced a set of measuring methods designed for forestry offsets, as part of the local authority’s effort to introduce a loss compensation scheme in forestry-related criminal cases, the provincial government said on Tuesday. The methods will be used to decide on the amount of forestry-based carbon credits wrongdoers have to purchase in compensation for their criminal behaviour, such as illegal logging. The newly announced standards should provide a scientific basis for the practice, the government said.

Rice waste for fuel – India opened its first factory to produce ethanol from rice straw or stubble on Wednesday as part of measures to reduce its reliance on oil imports and meet its net zero carbon goal, Reuters reports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the project will help cut pollution in India’s capital, New Delhi, which has been blanketed by smog from stubble burning in recent winters, as well as in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab. Modi said India, the world’s third biggest oil importer, could not remain insulated from disruption in global markets, adding that the Panipat project would boost farmers’ incomes.

AMERICAS

Upping the updrafts – The California Energy Commission on Wednesday voted to adopt offshore wind energy preliminary planning goals ranging from 2,000 MW to 5,000 MW by 2030, and 25,000 MW by 2045 – up from an initial proposed goal of 10,000 MW to 15,000 MW goal by 2045 – as part of the state’s broader push to decarbonise its electric grid. Agency staff proposed the goals in response to AB-525, legislation passed last year that directed the commission to establish planning goals for offshore wind and a strategic plan to develop the resource in federal waters off the California coastline. (Utility Dive)

365 E15 – Nebraska-based fuel retailer Bosselman Enterprises’ CEO, Randy Gard, suggested on Thursday that the federal government should make E15 a national standard and that the ethanol industry had the capacity to deliver it. Gard’s comments were made at the sidelines of the 2022 American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Annual Conference in Omaha. In Gard’s view, it would require a legislative law to give EPA guidance to sell E15 year-round, adding that the industry had sufficient infrastructure to expand E15 fuel sales. (Brownfield Ag News)

VOLUNTARY

Hasta la SD VISta – Offset standard developer and manager Verra on Wednesday announced it is establishing a Nature Framework Advisory Group within its Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) Programme and invited stakeholders to apply. To halt and reverse nature loss, governments, civil society organisations, and the private sector globally are committing to investing in nature-positive solutions that reverse biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems and species. To close the existing financing gap for these approaches, several leading conservation NGOs, standards setters, and consultancies have embarked on developing a conceptual framework and a methodology under Verra’s SD VISta programme that will enable the quantification of nature and biodiversity benefits, thereby contributing to nature-positive solutions. Applications are due by Sep. 10.

SCIENCE & TECH

A novel idea – BHP has partnered with Pan Pacific Copper – a member of JX Nippon Mining & Metals group, and Norsepower – the leading global provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime transportation between BHP’s mines in Chile and PPC’s smelters in Japan, according to a BHP press release. The parties are conducting a technical assessment and plan a retrofit installation of wind-assisted propulsion system onboard the M/V Koryu, a combination carrier operated by Nippon Marine – a member of SENKO group. Norsepower’s Rotor Sails installation – a “push-button wind propulsion” system and estimated to be around ten times more efficient than a conventional sail that requires no reefing or crew attention when in operation – is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2023, which is expected to make M/V Koryu the cleanest vessel in its category when measured for GHG emissions intensity.

AND FINALLY…

Heirs apparent – They’ve taken hammers to gas pumps and glued themselves to museum masterpieces and busy roadways. They’ve chained themselves to banks, rushed onto a Grand Prix racetrack and tethered themselves to goal posts as tens of thousands of British soccer fans jeered. The New York Times profiles two relatively new nonprofit organisations backing these protest groups – Climate Emergency Fund and Equation Campaign – that receive funding from heirs to two American families that became fabulously rich from oil the Gettys and the Rockefellers.

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