CP Daily: Tuesday August 23, 2022

Published 23:21 on August 23, 2022  /  Last updated at 23:24 on August 23, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

South Korea lines up potential partners for Article 6.2 carbon trade

South Korea has begun negotiations with 17 countries over potential bilateral carbon trading deals under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, including major emitters such as Brazil, India, and Indonesia.

EMEA

Euro Markets: EUAs extend losses to €10 in two days as buyers retreat amid energy market weakness

EUAs extended their losses on Tuesday to 9.9% in two days as buyers retreated after Monday’s sharp drop from record highs, while energy markets were mixed as data suggested France’s economy shrank in August and Europe’s is heading into recession.

European Commission’s top climate official Petriccione dies

The Director-General of the European Commission’s climate directorate (DG CLIMA) has passed away at the age of 65, according to media reports.

AMERICAS

California lawmaker introduces bill to adopt governor’s higher 2030 climate target

A California state assemblymember amended legislation Tuesday to introduce Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) more ambitious 2030 GHG reduction target, with a vote potentially coming later this week.

ASIA PACIFIC

China expands domestic natural gas production, though demand remains slow -report

China is aiming to expand domestic production of natural gas this year despite expectations of slower demand growth, a report has found, further underpinning the government’s increased focus on fossil fuel-based energy security.

Carbon farming skill shortages must be addressed to scale Australian offset sector, industry groups say

A carbon industry group has urged the Australian Labor government to address skill shortages across the country’s carbon market supply chain, which they argue would cut emissions and create jobs in regional areas.

VOLUNTARY

Crypto company builds infrastructure to undercut OTC voluntary carbon market

A crypto startup has announced a series of blockchain partnerships in a bid to streamline processes and undercut the costs of the traditional over-the-counter broker in the voluntary carbon market (VCM).

Verra draws from Alberta, California government agencies for new hires

Offset standard developer and manager Verra on Tuesday welcomed two new senior staff from North American subnational government agencies, with both hires having significant experience with compliance-based carbon markets.

SHIPPING

Japan’s MOL gets approval to design large-scale LCO2 carrier to transport 1 MtCO2 a year

Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has acquired “in-principle approval” for the design of a large-scale liquefied CO2 (LCO2) carrier by the Tokyo-based classification group ClassNK, it announced on Tuesday.

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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

AMERICAS

Without question – In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority decided Congress had never given the EPA the explicit authority to transition the US off fossil fuels, and then invoked its new “major questions” doctrine to rule EPA lacked authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to reduce power plant emissions. It has that authority now. The Inflation Reduction Act – the New York Times reports, citing legal experts and Democrats who helped write the law – explicitly grants EPA the authority to regulate GHG pollution, as well as to encourage the transition to clean energy sources including wind and solar energy. Republicans, including Texas Republican Ted Cruz, agreed the language speaks directly to the Supreme Court’s decision. “The Democrats are trying to overturn the Supreme Court’s [ruling on] West Virginia v. EPA,” he told Fox News Business before the Senate vote earlier this month. (Climate Nexus)

Climate cut – A White House analysis first shared with Axios estimates US Democrats’ new climate law could cut $1.9 trillion through 2050 by reducing impacts from extreme weather events, sea level rise, and more. The new analysis, published online Tuesday by the White House Office of Management and Budget, builds on modelling work done by a Princeton University group, as well as that of Energy Innovation, a climate think-tank, and Rhodium Group, a consulting firm. Those models only projected the law’s effects out to 2030, so OMB determined the bill’s potential longer-term effects by using the social cost of carbon.

Disapproval danger – Environmental activists and advocates say that part of a proposed Pennsylvania constitutional amendment package from Republicans could roll back environmental protection regulations, pollution reduction efforts, and initiatives aimed at combating climate change in the state Language allowing lawmakers to disapprove regulations without the threat of a gubernatorial veto is part of a sprawling constitutional amendment package known as Senate Bill 106. The package cleared the Legislature on first consideration in July, as lawmakers debated and approved the 2022-23 state budget. Ezra Thrush, director of government affairs for PennFuture, an environmental advocacy organisation, said the bill, which needs to be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions before it reaches voters, targets the RGGI cap-and-trade system the state temporarily joined in July, amid an ongoing court battle. Republicans who control the General Assembly pushed back on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s efforts to join the carbon-limiting initiative throughout the regulatory process but ultimately fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override Wolf’s veto and block the agreement from moving forward. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

EMEA

Chill out – German companies use the vast majority of their entire water consumption for cooling, according to statistical office Destatis. Companies used a total of 15.3 billion cubic metres of fresh water in 2019. Of that amount, 84.7% – or or almost 13 billion cubic metres – were used solely for the cooling of production and power generation plants. Germany and much of Europe is currently suffering severe drought. Water used for production purposes accounted for 10.7% of the overall amount. The remaining share went to irrigation, especially in agriculture (2.5%) or was used in manufacturing (1.4%). Staff purposes, including sanitary facilities and canteens, accounted for a mere 0.6 percent. Companies sourced most of the water they used – 70.2% – directly from rivers, lakes or dams. Cooling water generally remains unpolluted and can therefore be returned untreated to nature, Destatis noted. Its use in the cooling process heats up the water, which can lead to thermal pollution of water bodies, the body said Germany has been working for several years on a national water strategy aimed at coping with recurring droughts and heatwaves associated with global warming. (Clean Energy Wire)

Danish disappointment – Denmark’s capital city will not be able to reach its climate goal of carbon neutrality by 2025 after its iconic incinerator failed to meet CO2 capture requirements for state funding. Municipal leaders said that the goal for Copenhagen is no longer realistic after the Amager Resource Centre (ARC) incinerator abandoned a bid for state aid to build a plant to capture the CO2 it emits. To become 100% carbon-neutral, the city said it would need the ARC incinerator to access part of the government’s €1.07 bln CCS fund. However, the company does not satisfy certain equity capital requirements to be eligible for funding, according to energiwatch.dk. (EurActiv)

Building a plan – The UK’s first certification scheme for buildings and organisations looking to reach net zero emissions has been launched by Natural Carbon Solutions (NCS). The two new protocols provide guidance on carbon footprinting and offsetting practices that adhere to existing international standards including the PAS), SBTi, and Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The company said the new protocols had been created to help buildings, organisations, events or products to secure certification based on meeting various milestones on the path to reaching net zero emissions. (BusinessGreen)

ASIA PACIFIC

Coal closure – Coal producer South32 has abandoned a controversial plan to expand a giant coal mine in Australia’s Illawarra region important to local steelmaking, saying the A$700 million capital cost don’t add up, RenewEconomy reports. The decision by Australia’s fifth-largest mining company to shelve an extension to its Dendrobium mine 75 kms south of Sydney was hailed by environmentalists as major victory. It could see the mine shuttered before the end of the decade – although South32 says it is confident it can squeeze more coal out of the existing mine and the nearby Appin colliery for years to come. “With this decision, we will now focus on continuing to optimise Dendrobium and the broader Illawarra Metallurgical Coal complex to extend the mine life within approved domains,” South32 said. Still, while no formal closure date has been announced, the decision to scratch the extension limits the mine’s potential lifespan to well under its original timeframe.

Green incentives – Thailand’s central bank said it plans to issue guidelines for banks to take account of environmental factors in the financial products and services they offer, CNA reports. The guidelines, set to be released in the third quarter, will help the financial sector, businesses and the public sector transition to a green economy, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) said in a statement. At the beginning, there may not be rules on how banks will have to lend, but rather incentives for them, Assistant Governor Roong Mallikamas told a media briefing. A system that defines and classifies economic activities based on their environmental impact will be completed by January, 2023, the BoT said.

Say no to gasoline – China’s Hainan, an island province dependent on tourism, will entirely ban sales of fossil fuel vehicles by 2030, as part of the provincial’s government’s plan to address climate change, according to a filing released on Monday. By 2030, the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption is expected to reach around 54% in the region, the local authority said. The move is in line with the central government’s goal of peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

VOLUNTARY

Ratings hosting Carbon credit pricing and analytics firm Viridios has signed a partnership agreement with ratings agency BeZero Carbon to provide its VAI platform customers with access to BeZero Carbon’s headline ratings, which currently number more than 250, the two firms said in a statement. The partnership will see the BeZero Carbon Rating integrated on VAI’s carbon pricing and valuation platform via API. Viridios is the latest firm to host the ratings, with BeZero also recently partnering with carbon marketplace Emsurge having made similar deals with several other platforms and information providers, including Xpansiv CBL, AirCarbon Exchange, Cloverly, Patch and AlliedOffsets.

Oliver oil, part two – Offset standard American Carbon Registry (ACR) on Monday responded to comedian John Oliver’s segment on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, where he aired a segment critical of carbon markets and carbon offsets, including specific ACR-registered forestry projects. “While few in the space would disagree that carbon credits are not an alternative for internal corporate emission reductions, the Last Week Tonight Show with John Oliver missed the opportunity to use its platform to explore the legitimate and critical role high-quality credits can and must play to accelerate the transition to a global net-zero economy by mid-century,” ACR said in a statement. “Specifically, the producers inquired about three projects – which together represent less than .01% of registered US forest carbon projects and less than .25% of total volume of issued US forest carbon credits – that were the subject of prior, deeply-flawed reporting. Unfortunately, the rules underpinning quality in the carbon market are nuanced and have not been well conveyed by the media to date,” ACR added.

AND FINALLY…

System failure – Most Americans blame corporations and the government for climate change, while fewer than half said individuals were behind the warming atmosphere, found a joint poll from the Associated Press and the University of Chicago’s public affairs organisation NORC. The survey found 60% of Americans said governments and companies shouldered the blame for Earth’s deteriorating state. As many as 50% placed the blame on personal responsibility in the same study’s poll in 2019.

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