CP Daily: Tuesday September 13, 2022

Published 03:20 on September 14, 2022  /  Last updated at 16:31 on September 14, 2022  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

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

One 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.

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TOP STORY

Sovereign ownership could increase risk to voluntary carbon market -experts

Nature-based and other offsets could follow other resources that have seen governments clamp down on private activity as nations set about meeting their Paris Agreement climate pledges, a conference heard on Tuesday.

EMEA

EU lawmakers ramp up ambition in efforts for deforestation-free supply chains

EU lawmakers endorsed on Tuesday a draft bill that would make it harder for EU-based companies and banks to either directly import or finance products at the origin of deforestation and forest degradation, paving the way for inter-institutional talks later this month to finalise the bill.

Euro Markets: EUAs shed 2.8% in afternoon sell-off as market awaits EU intervention details

EUAs failed to hold on to Monday’s strong gains as sellers returned in the afternoon, though prices recovered after a sharp dip on bearish US economic news while energy markets were slightly higher as traders waited for more details of the European Commission’s plan to cap energy costs.

AMERICAS

Youngkin claims legal basis for Virginia’s planned RGGI repeal

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) this week explained the legal basis of rescinding the state’s RGGI rulemaking, even as state lawmakers have maintained that a repeal of the cap-and-trade regulation is only possible via legislative authority.

California should incorporate self-ratcheting mechanism to increase LCFS ambition -former official

California should include a self-ratcheting mechanism in its low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) that will strengthen the environmental performance of the programme without the need for formal rulemakings, a former official for state regulator ARB said Tuesday.

British Columbia delays implementation of updated LCFS law

British Columbia has pushed back the effective date of a law to update the Canadian province’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) due to consultations with Indigenous peoples as well as the aviation and marine industries, a senior government official said Tuesday.

2023 WCI floor price expectations inch down with August inflation slide from June peak

Floor price expectations for next year’s WCI-linked cap and trade auction reserve price continued to inch lower with August inflation, according to federal data published Tuesday.

New compliance carbon ETF launches in US

A new carbon market-tracking ETF launched on the NYSE on Tuesday, joining the growing number of vehicles that give investors exposure to compliance-grade emissions trading schemes.

ASIA PACIFIC

China sets out to include coalbed methane in domestic voluntary market 

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) is studying the possibility of including coalbed methane in its national offset programme, an official document showed, offering a first solid insight into the government’s thinking around what the national carbon credit market might include when it restarts.

Australian climate group wants carbon credit limits on Safeguard facilities

A climate advocacy group is urging the Australian government to restrict the number of carbon credits facilities covered by the Safeguard Mechanism will have access to in order to offset their emissions.

State-owned Taiwanese oil and gas giant lifts emissions ambition

Taiwan’s state-owned oil and gas company CPC Corp. on Tuesday announced new, more ambitious climate targets as parliament prepares to grapple with climate bill.

INTERNATIONAL

COP28 host UAE ups NDC target to 31% cut in BAU emissions by 2030

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which will host COP28 next year, has updated its NDC to target a cut in business-as-usual (BAU) GHG emissions of 31% by 2030, the petro-state’s ministry of climate change and environment has announced.

Georgia becomes latest addition to Japan’s JCM

Japan and Georgia have signed an agreement to trade Paris-aligned carbon credits under the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), Japan’s environment ministry announced on Tuesday.

Experts map out road to net zero for ‘laggard’ chemical sector

The chemicals industry must dramatically transform operations to avoid 4C of global warming, according to a study published on Tuesday that maps out a Paris Agreement-aligned route for the sector whereby it could earn $55 billion in carbon credits a year by 2050 by sequestering its emissions.

VOLUNTARY

VCM supply “pinch” to remain amid project dearth with prices to turn bullish -experts

The supply of voluntary carbon credits will tighten significantly over the next year, due to a dearth of projects following methodology changes, labour shortages, and a shifting regulatory framework, a virtual event heard Tuesday.

Offset rating agencies expected to witness boom when corporates face mandatory emission cuts

Carbon credit ratings agency will boom from a ‘race to the top’ to find high quality offsets when corporates are required not only to report their carbon accounting but also lower their carbon footprint, a webinar heard Tuesday.

Ratings agency promises expert-level approach to carbon project assessment

A carbon credit ratings agency announced a new service on Tuesday that provides quality indicators for more than 150 carbon projects, promising transparent, comparable, and comprehensive assessments of underlying carbon and sustainability claims while using an expert panel to vet its approach.

Carbon removal marketplace secures $55 mln in funding

A carbon removals marketplace is eyeing a rapid expansion after securing $55 million in second round funding, it announced Tuesday.

Canadian biochar developer strikes offtake deal

A Canada-based consumer offset retailer has struck a deal with a biomass waste conversion company in the country to source its carbon removals credits for sale to individuals seeking to address their carbon footprint.

Agtech company eyes carbon markets after securing extra $40 mln

An agtech company has raised a further $40 mln in funding to accelerate a three-year rapid expansion plan that will target the carbon offset market.

NBS project developer enjoys landowner enrolment surge after TV ribbing

A US-headquartered nature-based solutions project developer has seen a surge in landowners voicing interest in enrolling their forests after the company receiving a TV ribbing by comedian John Oliver.

COMMENT

Why we should welcome Gabon’s big UNFCCC REDD+ issuance

Voluntary carbon market participants should look positively on the news that Gabon will soon come to market with an offering of 90 million tonnes of sovereign carbon credits, writes Federica Bietta of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations

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CONFERENCE

One 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.

—————————————————

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

Making a statement – Investor groups from around the world, co-ordinated by the founding partners of The Investor Agenda, publicly released a statement, signed by 533 institutional investors with $39 trillion in assets under management, advocating for governments to enact ambitious policies that would leverage the private capital required to effectively address the climate crisis. “The ongoing energy security crisis further highlights the imperative for an orderly transition and accelerated clean energy policies and investments, which can secure countries against volatile prices and supply side shocks,” the 2022 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis stated. “Full implementation of the Paris Agreement will create significant investment opportunities in clean technologies, green infrastructure and other assets, products and services needed in this new economy. In turn, investors can use capital allocation and stewardship to support sustainable activities that generate jobs and economic growth, make a just transition from carbon-intensive activities and increase resilience,” the signatories added. The letter called on governments to ensure that the 2030 targets in their NDCs align with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C. “If their targets are not aligned, governments must enhance and strengthen their 2030 targets before COP27, taking into account different national circumstances.” The letter also called on governments to strengthen climate disclosures across the financial system through requiring mandatory TCFD-aligned reporting for the largest companies and financial institutions to report on climate-related risks and opportunities that are backed by a robust global taxonomy; requiring the public disclosure of 1.5C pathway-aligned, science-based, and independently verifiable climate transition plans for listed and large non-listed companies, asset managers and regulated asset owners; and coordinating and driving consistency across global financial regulation in the areas of mandatory climate risk disclosure and prudential risk supervision as critical engines of progress necessary to address systemic risks.

Mining misadventures – Industrial-scale mining for materials such as coal, gold, and iron ore is spurring tropical deforestation, with once-impenetrable forest cleared for mines and access roads, according to research published in the journal PNAS. In the first study to quantify the impact of industrial mining on tropical forest loss, an international team of scientists found that just four countries are to blame for 80% of the related deforestation over 2000-19: Brazil, Indonesia, Ghana, and Suriname. While at least 70% of deforestation is done to clear land for agriculture, the scientists called out industrial mining as an emerging concern due to the growing global appetite for minerals used in clean-energy technologies to combat climate change. (Reuters)

EMEA

Coal comeback – Uniper’s Ratcliffe-1 500MW British coal plant will extend the life of a unit that was set to shut down end-September for another two years as the country seeks to secure energy supplies ahead of winter, the company said in a notice posted to EEX, Bloomberg reported. It is the third of the nation’s three remaining coal plants to opt to continue since the government asked them to delay shutdowns. EDF and Drax will keep their units running six months longer until March.

GDP slump – Africa is losing 5-15% of its per capita economic growth due the effects of climate change and is facing a gaping climate finance shortfall, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), Reuters reports. Africa has been hit disproportionately hard by the fallout from climate change, which has aggravated droughts, flooding and cyclones across the continent in recent years. African nations received around $18.3 billion in climate finance between 2016 and 2019, Kevin Urama, the AfDB’s acting chief economist, said in a statement released on Tuesday. But they are staring down a nearly $1.3 trillion climate finance gap for the 2020 to 2030 period. Rich nations promised in 2009 to deliver $100 billion in climate financing to the developing world. But that pledge has only ever been partially met and is due to expire in 2025.

ASIA PACIFIC

Money at risk – Australia’s ‘big four’ banks face billions of dollars in carbon risk if they fail to manage their indirect emissions, InvestorDaily reports. New research has taken aim at the big four over their apparent tardiness regarding Scope 3 or indirect GHG emissions. Carbon fintech firm Emmi revealed “patchy” and inconsistent Scope 3 reporting from the banks across their lending and investment portfolios, which, it said, exposed them to greater carbon risk. Emmi applauded Commonwealth Bank (CBA) for recently disclosing its Scope 3 emissions which the fintech estimated at 2,300 times higher than the bank’s direct emissions in Scope 1. This, it explained, translated to more than $6 billion in costs by the end of the decade as carbon pricing is allocated to lenders. According to Emmi’s first data-backed estimate, the Scope 3 emissions of the remaining banks — ANZ, NAB and Westpac — stand at between 18 to 24 million tonnes.

Decarb targets – Singapore-based DBS Group has set decarbonisation targets for nine industry sectors, including power, oil and gas, aviation and shipping, and reinforced its commitment to net zero financed emissions by 2050, ChannelNewsAsia reports. DBS said the nine sectors represent 31% of the bank’s outstanding loans, but constitute the most carbon-intensive institutional banking segments it has financed. “We do believe that this is one of the most expansive set of commitments that exist in the financial sector,” Piyush Gupta, the CEO of Southeast Asia’s largest bank, told a news conference on Tuesday. Last October, DBS agreed to align its lending and investment portfolios with net zero emissions by 2050 but had not provided a breakdown of the sectors.

Green deal – A tie-up of five companies has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for studies to secure at least 900 MW of hydropower supply for a large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia project in Malaysia with targeted exports to South Korea, Renewables Now reports. The project, H2biscus in Sarawak, should enable the production of 7,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, 600,000 tonnes of blue ammonia, 630,000 tonnes of green ammonia and 460,000 tonnes of green methanol. This entire output is planned to be exported to South Korea.

CCS deal – France-headquartered Technip Energies and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) of Japan are in the frame for the key engineering, procurement and construction and operations contract for the carbon dioxide floating storage and injection hub facility for deepC Store’s (dCS) CStore1 offshore Australia, Upstream reports. dCS has awarded a letter of intent for the CStore1 project, which it is hailing as the first large-scale offshore multi-user hub. The offshore facility has a planned CO2 injection capacity of between 1.5 million and 7.5 million tonnes per annum. The project, which encompasses the entire carbon capture and storage value chain, involves the capture and liquefying of CO2 from industrial sources in Australia and potentially also within the Asia-Pacific region. The liquid CO2 will be shipped to the floating storage and injection hub offshore northern/western Australia where it will be temporarily stored prior to injection for permanent subsurface storage near the hub.

AMERICAS

Pinteresting – San Francisco-based global image sharing platform Pintrest has announced it is ramping up its sustainability efforts by committing to purchasing 100% renewable electricity for its offices around the world from next year, BusinessGreen reports. The company said in an announcement last week that the new commitment builds on its existing efforts to save energy across its office estate, which comprises offices in more than 12 locations including its headquarters in San Francisco as well as sites Atlanta, Berlin, Chicago, Detroit, Dublin, London, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seattle, and Tokyo. The transition to renewable power will begin with the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, where it will receive 100% renewable electricity through the SuperGreen programme operated by CleanPowerSF – a San Francisco-based non-profit which is operated by the city’s public utilities commission to support local businesses and residencies in the transition to renewable energy. Pintrest said that it will now work throughout its portfolio to purchase so-called Energy Attribute Certificates, which it said would follow a set of guiding principles to ensure the power it uses is matched by renewables generation.

Well that’s a bit crap – The 2022 Issue with Tissue report and sustainability scorecard (grading at-home toilet paper brands from “A” to “F”) released today by NRDC reveals that more companies are bringing sustainable tissue options to the market than ever before, offering consumers alternatives to products sourced from the climate-critical Canadian boreal forest. Yet America’s top toilet paper maker, Procter & Gamble (P&G), resolutely refuses to stop making Charmin with large volumes of pulp from the boreal, despite shareholder directives to address forest supply chain impacts, and rapidly growing consumer interest in purchasing toilet paper and tissue brands that are not complicit in clearcutting the last forests untouched by industrial logging. Many major toilet paper brands are made almost exclusively from virgin pulp from centuries-old forests in the Canadian boreal, which are seen as essential in the fight against climate change, holding more than 300 billion tonnes of CO2 – twice as much carbon as the world’s oil reserves – in its soils, plants, and wetlands. The boreal also holds immense value for Indigenous Peoples and threatened species. More than 1 million acres of the Canadian boreal forest are clear-cut each year – in part to make the ultimate disposable, single-use item: toilet paper. Toilet paper made with recycled content has one-third the carbon footprint of toilet paper made from trees.

Yay for Yale – As part of its goal to reach net zero by 2050, Yale University has set its campus-wide carbon price at $20 per metric tonne for fiscal year 2023, rising to $35 in FY24 and $50 in FY24, which is the federal government’s current estimate of the social cost of carbon. Yale launched the first-of-its kind programme in 2017 to explore the effectiveness of putting a price tag on carbon emissions — and it used the university campus as a laboratory. To encourage energy-saving policies and behaviours on campus, the Yale Carbon Charge levied a charge on units that achieved lower carbon emissions than their campus peers and provided funds to units that had greater emissions reductions. It led to significant energy reductions: some units consolidated operations to improve energy efficiency, others invested in cleaner technologies. By relaxing thermostat settings by 1 degree Fahrenheit in its 29 buildings, for example, the School of Medicine consumed less energy — and saved more than $1 mln in utility costs annually.

MCA – MEXICO2, the environmental market platform of The Mexican Stock Exchange Group (BMV), has announced the launch of the Mexican Carbon Association. The association’s main objectives will be to contribute to the fulfillment of the commitments made in the Paris Agreement, to work toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to reduce the impact industries have on the environment. It will feature the participation of Mexico’s state government as well as other relevant market actors such as developers, intermediaries, buyers, service providers, certifiers, and carbon market experts.

AND FINALLY…

Final boss – A new batch of video games is immersing players in floods, wildfires, and other climate-influenced natural disasters. They’re not trying to convince people to take action – they’re just realistic. “Highwater,” which is coming out next year from Demagog Studio and LA-based Rogue Games, is a fight for survival in a drowned city that looks a lot like post-Katrina New Orleans. Players are given the opportunity to help others or prioritise their own survival. E&E reports that this is part of a broader shift in the video game industry, in which virtual and real-world experiences are more closely linked. But developers don’t want to make their games game ‘preachy’ of ‘guilt-trippy’, but rather the industry wants to make them relevant. In some cases, that means developing content that reflects real-world social, economic and environmental challenges — not in a ripped from the headlines way, but with nuance, intentionality and, yes, fun. The “more dystopian games, they bum people out,” one expert said. At the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York, officials launched the Playing for the Planet Alliance, a volunteer partnership between the UN Environment Programme and more than 30 game studios to set “ambitious, specific and time-based” commitments to meet sustainable development goals.

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