CP Daily: Thursday September 8, 2022

Published 02:39 on September 9, 2022  /  Last updated at 02:41 on September 9, 2022  /  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

Swedish mining firm to fight on in battle of EU ETS benchmarks

State-owned Swedish iron ore miner LKAB is persisting in its long-running legal battle with the European Commission over how to set benchmarks that determine free EU ETS allocations, with the latest court hearing due next spring, a panel heard on Thursday.

EMEA

UK launches fossil fuel push, starts ‘pro-business’ review on net zero review

New UK PM Liz Truss lifted a ban on fracking and opened the nation’s offshore oil fields up to new drilling on Thursday, while starting a review into how the country can meet its net zero ambition in a ‘pro-business and pro-growth’ way.

Euro Markets: EUAs stretch losing streak to five days as market digests speedy MSR sale proposal

EUAs tumbled for a fifth consecutive day, reaching a new six-month low as the market reacted to a proposal by the largest bloc in the European Parliament to fast-track sales of EUAs from the market stability reserve, while energy prices wiped out early losses as ministers prepared to discuss emergency relief measures for consumers facing soaring power and gas costs.

EU biomass policy threatens to create ‘carbon bomb’ of tree felling

The EU’s current biomass policy is causing a ‘carbon bomb in the heart of Europe’ warns an environmental group ahead of an upcoming revision of the policy, encouraging a high CO2 polluting power company to burn more wood and escape the clutches of mitigation in the bloc’s Emission Trading System (ETS).

Brussels receives 66 small-scale project applications in second call for EU Innovation Fund cash

The European Commission has received 66 applications in response to its second call for small-scape projects under the EU’s Innovation Fund, it announced Thursday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Scammers target Chinese carbon exchange

Fraudsters pretending to be staff or trading members at a carbon exchange in China have been seeking out people on social media to sell low-value carbon assets at extortionate prices, it emerged Thursday.

ACCU holdings swell despite dip in new issuances

Project proponents in Australia’s offset market increased their Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) holdings by almost 50% in the first half of the year even though new issuances fell slightly, data released on Thursday showed, though the Clean Energy Regulator was cautious to explain it with the fixed ERF delivery exit arrangement announced in March.

Australia’s NSW environment agency to assess market-based tools for emissions reduction

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state government will consider market-based approaches, such as fees, targeted caps, offsets, or a trading scheme as potential future options to help implement its climate change action plan released on Thursday.

Mitsui, Shell team up in bid to boost CCS in Asia-Pacific

Japanese trading powerhouse Mitsui has signed a joint agreement with oil and gas major Shell to explore the technical and commercial feasibility of carbon capture and storage (CCS) development in the Asia-Pacific region, the two companies announced on Thursday.

Australian parliament formally adopts law committing to 43% GHG emissions reduction by 2030

The Australian parliament has formally adopted its first climate change legislation in over a decade with the Senate voting in favour of the Labor government’s climate bill on Thursday, which commits Australia to targeting a 43% cut in GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 as well as net zero emissions by 2050.

Carbon industry group manager turns trader, originator

The general manager of Australia’s Carbon Market Institute is departing to head up the Australia and Pacific business of an international carbon trading firm.

AMERICAS

NA Markets: CCAs recover slightly from 6-mth low, RGAs await Q3 auction results

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices gained ground from lows logged after stronger 2030 GHG abatement targets were stymied by the state legislature, while RGGI Allowances (RGAs) drifted lower after the Q3 auction took place mid-week.

Enhanced federal tax credit under US climate bill seen fuelling CCS projects

The US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) could open the door to far more carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the country, despite the federal tax credit for the technology predating the landmark climate bill, industry representatives said Thursday.

British Columbia GHG output still off track from goals during pandemic-impacted 2020

Canada’s British Columbia slightly lowered its emissions in 2020 both year-over-year and compared to its 2007-level baseline, the government announced Wednesday, though the Pacific province is still far away from reaching its interim GHG abatement targets.

INTERNATIONAL

Oil and gas ‘supermajors’ more talk than walk over green credentials

Major oil companies are over-exaggerating their green credentials in a splurge of advertising because only around a tenth of their capital expenditure is spent on low-carbon activities, a new report has concluded.

VOLUNTARY

Rating agency warns of over crediting risk after awarding low grade to US forestry project

A US forestry project has been awarded a low chance of avoiding a tonne of CO2 by a rating agency because of a significant risk of additionality and over crediting.

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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

INTERNATIONAL

Energy Jobs – The IEA published its first ever World Energy Employment Report on Thursday, assessing global energy employment by region and technology. The report found that the global energy sector employed over 65 mln people in 2019, equivalent to around 2% of global employment, with these jobs distributed across fuel supply (21 mln), the power sector (20 mln), and in end uses such as energy efficiency and vehicle manufacturing (24 mln). Low-carbon power generation, mainly solar and wind, employs 7.8 mln, on par with oil supply. Vehicle manufacturing employment, which stands at 14 mln globally, already employs 10% of its workforce in the manufacture of EVs, their components, and batteries. “Understanding how energy employment evolves year-on-year can help growing sectors plan efforts to train and attract new workers, while sectors in structural decline can ensure these are just transitions for their workers,” the agency said.

EMEA

Slap a cap – A draft EU law for the first time introduces obligatory demand reduction targets for electricity consumption, and places “a revenue limit” on power companies making windfall profits from the energy crisis, according to a leaked proposal seen by EurActiv. The revenue cap is the centrepiece of a draft EU regulation on emergency measures to stabilise the electricity market, expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks by the European Commission. It will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers on Friday to address the EU’s response to the energy crisis. “The Commission proposes a limit of €200/MWh” on so-called “inframarginal” electricity generators, the proposal says in reference to renewables, nuclear and lignite, which have low operating costs and have benefitted the most from high gas prices.

Dutch delight – The European Commission has given a thumbs up to the Netherlands’ recovery and resilience plan from the impact of Covid, paving the way for the EU to disburse €4.7 billion in grants to the country under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), with half the cash going on measures to support climate action objectives.  The plan includes investments and reforms to speed up the deployment of renewable energy sources, investments in sustainable mobility and nature restoration. Several measures also contribute to the REPowerEU objectives to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil, boost offshore wind and energy efficiency in housing, as well as a new Energy Law, which is expected to attract investments in the electricity grid and to allow consumers to sell self-produced renewable energy.

AMERICAS

Climate Fed – The new governor of the US Federal Reserve, Michael Barr, said he wants to push for action on climate change and regulate stablecoins, cryptocurrencies tied to assets like fiat currencies. Barr said he wanted to understand the financial risks from climate change and find the central bank’s narrow, but important role in addressing the issue. (CNBC)

Wither Willow – Over 150 organisations and businesses have objected to the ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project in an open letter to US Secretary of the Interior Deb Halaand sent Thursday. Approving the project would cement 30 years of oil development in Alaska, making President Joe Biden’s climate goals unreachable, the letter argues.

ASIA PACIFIC

Green Galan – Ignacio Galan, chairman of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, has announced that his company is to invest between €2-3 bln into Australia’s clean energy transition, including renewables, storage, networks and green hydrogen, RenewEconomy reports. Galan is visiting Australia this week, and has met with NSW energy minister Matt Kean, Victoria premier Daniel Andrews and state energy and environment minister Lily d’Ambrosio, possibly to discuss his company’s offshore wind plans, and on Wednesday met with prime minister Anthony Albanese and climate and energy minister Chris Bowen. Galan says his company aims to lift its renewable portfolio in Australia to 4 GW in the coming years, and is particularly keen on green hydrogen. “There is huge global demand from industry for new climate solutions such as green hydrogen, green ammonia, and green steel,” he said in a statement.

VOLUNTARY

Newly minted – A new website based around carbon credits tokenised on the blockchain was launched by Vancouver’s BlockMint Technologies, the company said in a press release Wednesday. CarbonTokensMarket.com will provide price information on digital carbon tokens.

SCIENCE & TECH

Out of thin air – An international collaboration of researchers has successfully demonstrated the production of green hydrogen directly from the air, a press release said, according to Interesting Engineering. The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Communications, explains how researchers used renewable energy to split water molecules to create hydrogen. While the technique usually requires access to fresh water, the team was able to source water molecules from the air instead — greatly increasing the number of places that could produce the gas. The findings could help with the global transition toward sustainable energy sources. Solar and wind installations are picking up steam as the world looks toward greener energy sources. Although energy is generated in an emission-free way in these methods, energy storage requires large batteries, which do not fit into the idea of sustainable living.

AND FINALLY…

Colour him astonished – German economy and climate minister Robert Habeck has reacted with irritation to a German nuclear plant operator’s objection to his plans for putting two of the remaining reactors in the country into an emergency reserve for grid stability for the first months of 2023. Habeck said he had taken note of a letter submitted by PreussenElektra, a subsidiary of energy company E.ON, “with some astonishment”. The operator of the Isar 2 plant in Bavaria has said Habeck’s emergency reserve plans are “technically unfeasible” as the plant could not be turned off and on again as needed for its purpose in an emergency reserve to stabilise the grid in critical situations, especially if there is not refueling with nuclear rods beforehand. The company said it had no experience with such an operation mode and “running a trial of a never-been-done procedure” in the current energy crisis would not be compatible with its own nuclear safety standards. Habeck countered that the company “apparently has not understood the concept” of the reserve, as the idea was not to run reactors up and down but to have a power production capacity backup for a calculable situation of grid bottlenecks that provide enough lead time for taking all necessary precautions for safe operation. The minister had explained earlier this week that he does not expect plants to be turned off and on several times. If Germany decided to keep the plants online during the coming winter then the plants would run continuously until April. Habeck said his ministry had been in close contact with PreussenElektra before announcing the decision for an emergency reserve and the operator company had assured that turning the reactor off and on again would be technically possible for allowing a so-called “stretched” operation mode. “But exactly this should not be possible for the reserve, they’re saying today. This is difficult to comprehend from a technical point of view,” the minister said, adding that his ministry would now try to clarify what the operator’s position actually is. Following a grid stress test conducted by grid operators, Habeck on Monday had announced the ministry would call for moving the Isar 2 plant and another reactor in southern Germany in an emergency reserve until mid-April before decommissioning them for good. The measure would provide the government with more energy policy flexibility in the coming winter but not fundamentally alter the decision to end nuclear power swiftly in the country, he argued. (Clean Energy Wire)

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