CP Daily: Wednesday September 7, 2022

Published 02:56 on September 8, 2022  /  Last updated at 03:20 on September 8, 2022  /  Conversations, Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

Just over a month until Carbon Forward 2022 – Europe’s leading environmental markets conference. Taking place in London and online from Oct. 12-14, don’t miss the chance to hear about the risks and opportunities presented by the world’s largest carbon markets – compliance and voluntary. Or come network with your industry peers and meet our sponsors and exhibitors.

Early Bird discounted tickets available until Sep. 12. Register Now!

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TOP STORY

Virginia commences regulatory process to rescind RGGI participation

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s (R) administration filed a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) on Wednesday, initiating the first step in the standard regulatory process to repeal the trading rule and Virginia’s participation in RGGI, according to the state registrar’s office.

EMEA

EU Parliament’s biggest party seeks drastically increased, accelerated MSR sales under proposed RePowerEU changes

The centre-right EPP political group wants to auction €20 billion worth of MSR-held carbon allowances within a single year – rather than the four-year stretch proposed by the European Commission under its RePowerEU initiative, according to amendments submitted this week that could increase bearish pressures on the market.

Frontloading EU carbon sales a ‘win-win’ amid crisis, says ETS architect Delbeke

The EU should avert further hikes in its ETS by frontloading carbon allowance auction sales rather than capping prices at a time of unprecedented turmoil in the energy markets, one of the founding fathers of the bloc’s carbon market has told Carbon Pulse.

Brussels to propose mandatory electricity curbs, contributions from energy firm profits, and cap on Russian gas -von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Wednesday that Brussels is planning a set of measures to shield vulnerable consumers and businesses, with the emergency package featuring a mandatory target for reducing electricity use during peak hours, the introduction of a windfall tax on generators using other sources than gas and a cap on gas flows from Moscow.

EU’s industry groups issue plea over existential threat of winter energy costs

The bosses of major energy intensive industry associations have sent a joint letter to the European Commission calling for urgent action to save the sector ahead of a key ministerial meeting, as energy costs have soared and plants have closed.

Euro Markets: EUAs fall further below €70 as British units tumble on auction day

EUAs gave up early gains on Wednesday to fall for a fourth day even as EUA auctions started a two-day pause, while energy markets drifted as EU lawmakers unveiled measures to cap the wholesale price of energy.

UK PM Truss backs offshore oil and gas as climate advocates send warnings

Liz Truss reiterated her commitment to domestic oil and gas on Wednesday, as climate advocates provided policy recommendations through official and non-official channels to the newly minted UK prime minister.

EU summer of record solar generation saved €29 billion in gas imports -study

The EU generated a record 12% of its electricity from solar between May and August, helping to avoid an estimated €29 billion in fossil gas imports, according to an environmental think-tank.

ASIA PACIFIC

Japan releases draft carbon trading regulations for GX League

Japan plans to introduce a price ceiling and floor in its voluntary emissions trading market to avoid price shocks, while companies seeking to earn credits in the scheme must set ambitious, government-certified targets.

China’s cement emissions to peak by 2023, industry association says

An industry association for China’s building materials sector has reiterated its commitment to help local cement producers peak their CO2 emissions by 2023, a target observers believe to be on track.

New Zealand auction clears below expectations

(Updates article in Tuesday’s newsletter with comments and additional information throughout)

VOLUNTARY

Offset platform adopts tougher scrutiny of the forestry projects it lists

A US-based carbon credit platform launched an updated version of its screening process for listing forestry projects on Wednesday, using ‘dynamic’ satellite data to audit CO2 savings in a bid to overcome criticism of over-crediting based on its previous use of  ‘static’ historical data.

Large carbon project developer looks to expand into regenerative agriculture

One of the largest project developers in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) is looking to scale the regenerative agriculture market by teaming up with a US agtech start-up company that secured $38 mln in second round funding in May amid plans to broaden the global reach of its software.

Low-rated Uruguayan offsets supply Korean ‘carbon neutral’ engine oil

A South Korean company on Wednesday announced it is launching the nation’s first ‘carbon neutral lubricants’ product, using offsets from a Uruguay-based reforestation project that was given the worst possible score by a carbon offset ratings agency earlier this year.

INTERNATIONAL

World Bank climate project financing sets new record in 2022

The World Bank Group blew past its previous annual climate-financing record for developing countries’ climate mitigation strategies in FY 2022, jumping 19% higher than last year’s record-setting delivery.

AMERICAS

Green groups seek intervention in Oregon climate programme lawsuit

Environmental groups and business organisations filed an intervention Wednesday to defend the market-based Climate Protection Program (CPP) in Oregon against a lawsuit seeking to roll back regulations.

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CONFERENCE

Just over a month until Carbon Forward 2022 – Europe’s leading environmental markets conference. Taking place in London and online from Oct. 12-14, don’t miss the chance to hear about the risks and opportunities presented by the world’s largest carbon markets – compliance and voluntary. Or come network with your industry peers and meet our sponsors and exhibitors. Early Bird discounted tickets available until Sep. 12. Register Now!

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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

EMEA

Reality bites – High energy prices are beginning to bite into companies’ investment plans and curtail production in Germany, raising the spectre of de-industrialisation in the country that boasts one of the largest industry sectors of all major economies, Handelsblatt reports, citing a survey by industry federation BDI. It found 58% of industrial companies regard the price hike for energy and also for raw materials as a “strong challenge” and 34% even as an “existential” one that could ultimately force them out of business. 42% of the surveyed companies said they plan to respond by reducing investments in climate and efficiency measures. (Clean Energy Wire)

Oil-fired powerships – After securing five floating LNG terminals, Germany is doubling down on emergency energy infrastructure for the coming winter: floating power plants running on oil are expected to help balance the country’s electricity grid after Germany’s nuclear exit at the end of the year. Normally docked at developing nations, so-called ‘power barges’ are additional oil power plants that can be deployed at short notice, a government spokesperson said. (EurActiv)

It burns – As gas and electricity prices skyrocket, many households in Europe are turning to firewood as an alternative heating source this winter. But the surge in demand and supply cuts from Russia are pushing up prices and causing shortages, threatening to leave the most vulnerable, who are often reliant on wood-burning, out in the cold this winter. “When talking about wood for energy, most EU member states are experiencing shortages and pellet prices have multiplied by around 2.5 times in countries like Germany and Belgium,” a Bioenergy Europe spokesperson told Euractiv. Moreover, the increase in energy prices has led many EU citizens to turn to this energy source, according to the trade association. From July 2022, a ban on importing Russian pellets used for energy production came into force. Sanctions on wood imports have also led to supply shortages and high prices, which has had a ripple effect across the supply chain. High prices are seen across Europe but could hit central and eastern European harder, as many households in these countries, particularly in the lowest income brackets, rely on biomass for heating. In May 2022, the price crunch was already hitting Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, where a high share of low-income households heat their homes with firewood. In Bulgaria, where around half of the households use firewood in winter because it is the cheapest and most accessible fuel, one cubic metre of firewood has risen from €40-50 in 2021 to around €100-150, depending on the region.

It burns even more – The wildfires that swept across Europe this summer, driven by high temperatures and prolonged dry conditions, have caused the highest CO2 emissions from fires in 15 years, EU satellite data shows. Summer 2022 saw more frequent and more intense wildfires in much of western Europe, with Spain, France and Italy particularly affected. From Jun. 1 through to Aug. 31, an estimated 6.4 Mt of CO2 was emitted in the EU and the UK – the highest level for these months since 2007, according to data from the CAMS Global Fire Assimilation Service. In France alone, 62,000 hectares were destroyed from the start of the year to Sep. 3, six times the full-year average for 2006-2021, according to European Forest Fire Information System data. (Euractiv)

ASIA PACIFIC

New coal plant – A new coal-fired power plant, based in Indonesia’s Central Java, has become operational with a total capacity of 2,000 MW, according to a statement issued by Tokyo-headquartered electric utility J-Power. The facility was funded by J-Power, Japanese conglomerate ITOCHU Corporation and Indonesia’s second-largest coal miner, PT Adaro Power. The power plant is the first public-private partnership (PPP) project guaranteed by Indonesia’s finance ministry and a national infrastructure fund, the statement showed.

Support for blue carbon – Z Energy, a New Zealand-based fuel distributor, is to support a local blue carbon project with its $1 million biodiversity fund, the company said in a statement. The project, initiated by the Nature Conservancy (TNC), will work to implement a natural climate solution by restoring salt marshes in key coastline locations across Aotearoa, maximising the blue carbon potential of the country’s natural ecosystems, the statement showed. TNC is currently working to finalise the locations for the pilot phase of the project, with site work planned to commence in early 2023.

AMERICAS

ESG expanse – Environmental commodities tech firm, APX, launched a ESG-reporting software called ESGclear on Wednesday, according to a press release. The finance transparency system can be used for regulatory and voluntary reporting, APX said in the release. APX was acquired by market platform, XPansiv, last month.

Goal vs. target – A report commissioned by Fertilizer Canada and the Canola Council of Canada concluded that Canadian farmers are likely to achieve about a 14% reduction in fertilizer emissions by 2030, vs. the federal government’s 30% reduction target. Reaching the 30% is not “realistically achievable without imposing significant costs on Canada’s crop producers and potentially damaging the financial health of Canada’s crop production sector,” the report explained. “It was an arbitrary target that was set somewhere in the government, with no path as to how it was going to be achieved,” said Tom Steve, general manager of the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions. However, the government claims its 30% target, set late 2020, is a goal, not a mandatory enforceable target, and believes it to be achievable, since many of the required technologies and practices to reduce emissions from fertilizer use already exist. (Toronto Star)

VOLUNTARY

Green own goal –  The Middle East’s first ever football World Cup promises boom time for Dubai hotels this November, with thousands of fans expected to descend on the Gulf city due to limited accommodation in neighbouring host nation Qatar. But the environmental costs of transporting those visitors nearly 400 km for match days, overwhelmingly by plane, raises further doubts over Qatar’s pledge last year to host the first ever carbon-neutral World Cup that was made before the flight shuttle services were unveiled. (Reuters)

AND FINALLY…

Getting heated – Temperatures above or below a feel-good window of 12-21 degrees C (54-70 F) are linked to a marked rise in aggressive online behaviour across the USA, a new study finds. Analysing billions of tweets posted on the social media platform Twitter in the US between 2014-2020, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) found hate speech increasing across climate zones, income groups, and belief systems when temperatures were excessively hot or cold. “This indicates limits to adaptation to extreme temperatures, and sheds light on a yet underestimated societal impact of climate change: conflict in the digital sphere with implications for both societal cohesion and mental health,” the institute said in a release late Wednesday. “Detecting hate tweets in more than four billion tweets from US users with our AI-algorithm and combining them with weather data, we found that both the absolute number and the share of hate tweets rise outside a climate comfort zone: People tend to show a more aggressive online behaviour when it’s either too cold or too hot outside,” added PIK scientist Annika Stechemesser, first author of the study to be published in The Lancet Planetary Health. The authors found low levels of hate tweets in a ‘feel-good window’ of 12-21 C, with the minimum of hate tweets reached for temperatures between 15-18 C (59-65 F) . Outside of these ranges, the study found that online hate increases up to 12% during colder temperatures and up to 22% during hotter ones across the US. The precise feel-good window varies a little across climate zones, depending on what temperatures are common. Temperatures above 30 C/ 86 F are however consistently linked to strong increases in online hate across all climate zones and socioeconomic differences such as income, religious beliefs, or political preferences.

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