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California regulator ARB on Thursday finalised its plans to require all new light-duty autos sold in the state be zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) by 2035, in a move expected to curtail emissions under the state’s WCI-linked carbon market.
A California Senate committee on Thursday sent on a bill to deepen the state’s 2030 GHG reduction target, as both support and opposition to the legislation grew ahead of next week’s end of session deadline.
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices tumbled this week after an unexpectedly low WCI Q3 auction settlement, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) inched higher after traders gained some clarity from legal developments in Pennsylvania’s court battles concerning its potential programme membership.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Wednesday pinpointed an October deadline for the state Supreme Court to temporarily lift an injunction of the state’s RGGI-linked cap-and-trade rulemaking, otherwise the state will miss the December auction.
European carbon traded sideways for a second day on Thursday as traders waited for more fundamental signals as the annual reduction in auction supply neared its end and energy prices rose further, eroding carbon’s ability to influence the power merit order.
Germany’s current proposals to cut transport emissions to meet national climate targets lacking sufficient ambition, an expert group of government advisors said in a report published Thursday.
Italy will have to pay as much as €190 million plus interest to a British oil company for obstructing an offshore project back in 2015, a behind-closed-door trial based on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) ruled on Wednesday.
A UK-based fertiliser producer plans to temporarily halt ammonia output and import due to market conditions, the latest in a string of industrial shutdowns owing to sky-high energy prices.
A climate research and advocacy group announced on Thursday it had expanded its legal case against Australian oil and gas operator Santos for allegedly greenwashing its net zero plans, in a move that reflects growing scrutiny of energy company climate targets as well as the debate over gas’ role as a viable energy transition fuel.
Wildlife Works is eyeing a six-fold increase in carbon credit issuances amid a string of new projects, CEO Mike Korchinsky told Carbon Pulse, revealing the firm has already locked in enough forward sales to cover more than three years of its current output to eclipse an issuance cull at its flagship scheme.
Co-benefits are slated to play a critical role in voluntary carbon markets, but only if they can evolve, writes David Chen, program development manager at ClimeCo.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Mateusz mission – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will propose freezing the price of the EU ETS allowances during his visit to France next week. “The war in Ukraine is destabilizing Europe, I want to propose to President Macron to bring the price of carbon emissions to €25-30 per tonne, an acceptable level,” Morawiecki told public television late on Thursday, Reuters reported. Morawiecki first mentioned his aim to freeze CO2 prices for 1-2 years in a July 4 op-ed for the FT. He wrote that EU leaders should promptly reduce the price of CO2 allowances to strategically enable industries to spend their cash to support renewable expansion while slowing galloping inflation.
Price caps – EU countries should agree on a cap on the price of gas imported from Russia to help ease the burden of rising prices on businesses and households, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Wednesday. Draghi accused Russia of using gas supplies as a weapon against Ukraine and its European allies after its invasion six months ago, a charge Moscow denies, as EurActiv reports. Draghi said the issue would be discussed at the next meeting of EU leaders and he also called for steps to be taken to decouple the gas price from the price charged for electricity. The European Commission said this month it was urgently assessing the different possibilities to introduce price caps for gas, without elaborating on what form that could take. The next summit of EU leaders is scheduled for October. Yet, EU energy ministers may hold an emergency meeting in September, with Czechia, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, having started holding informal consultations with its counterparts. However, no decision was taken so far, an EU diplomat told Carbon Pulse, stressing that “there is absolutely no indication of the timeframe at the moment”.
Follow the net zero road – A net zero emissions Australia by 2050 will require a roughly 40-fold renewable expansion of the current generation capacity of the national grid, including the installation of almost 2 TW of solar PV, a new report has found, Renew Economy reports. The Net Zero Australia project, a research partnership between the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland, Princeton University and Nous Group, explores the opportunities and challenges for Australia in transitioning to net zero emissions. NZA’s Interim Results report, published on Thursday, outlines the scale of the challenge for Australia as it seeks to meet its climate and renewable energy targets, but also the significant nation-building opportunity that the shift to net zero represents. The report’s finding are based on modelling of a number of different scenarios that the authors say “reflect the boundaries of the Australian debate” on how to get to net-zero emissions.
Green is good – Green hydrogen company Ohmium International and oil & gas player Shell India have inked an agreement to evaluate hydrogen applications, markets, and project opportunities in the country and globally, Business Today reports. As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) both will be forming joint working groups to assess opportunities from the technical, commercial and safety perspectives. Ohmium claims to offer easy-to-install and maintain polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysers as an alternative to customised electrolysers. An electrolyser plays a key role in green hydrogen production as it helps in separating hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water using electricity. In November 2021, Ohmium despatched its first India-made electrolyser unit to the US.
Fly greener – Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s home airline, has launched a carbon-offset programme for air freight, as part of the company’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, it said in a statement. Customers can now purchase Gold Standard-verified credits from selected projects to offset emissions associated with their shipments, according to the statement. The move came after the airline earlier this year launched its corporate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme, with the target of making SAF 10% of its total fuel use by 2030.
Infrastructure projects underway – China has vowed to build charging sites along national and provincial-level trunk roads by 2025, in a bid to meet the growing demand for charging infrastructure, China Daily reported, citing a plan proposed by the Ministry of Transport. Despite the increasing number of electric vehicles in the country, the construction of public charging facilities is still lagging behind the demand, the report said. As of June, the total number of charging infrastructure hit 3.9 million units, a year-on-year increase of 101.2%, according to data compiled by the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance.
OPG more like OMG – Ontario’s energy generation body sold C$5.5 mln credits in May, triggering an investigation from the Canadian province’s regulator. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) didn’t publicly announce the sale, instead classifying the profits as “immaterial revenues”. With no official registry of credits in Ontario, questions of double counting clean energy usage in national contributions and voluntary credits are swirling the OPG. (The Narwal)
Weak wind – New additions of US wind capacity reached just 945 MW in the second quarter, falling 77% from the more than 4 GW that was installed during the same period last year, according to new data from S&P Gobal Market Intelligence. The second quarter capacity additions were also 66% below Q1 2022 figures, when wind developers added 2,786 MW of wind power capacity, according to the data. The decline in wind additions came amid inflation and supply chain constraints, as well as uncertainty about the outlook for production tax credits, analysts noted. (Utility Dive)
Contrail counting – The way Google calculates the climate impact of your flights has changed, the BBC reports. The world’s biggest search engine has taken a key driver of global warming out of its online carbon flight calculator. With Google hosting nine out of every 10 online searches, this could have wide repercussions for people’s travel decisions. The company said it made the change following consultations with its “industry partners”, in July deciding to exclude all the global warming impacts of flying except CO2, which some experts say Google’s calculations now represent just over half of the real impact on the climate of flights. Read Carbon Pulse’s feature on the challenges of cleaning up aviation’s non-CO2 problem.
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