CP Daily: Wednesday September 14, 2022

Published 01:21 on September 15, 2022  /  Last updated at 01:21 on September 15, 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.

In-person passes are limited and going fast, so Register Now!

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TOP STORY

FEATURE: Avoiding double negatives – Filling the void on carbon removals

The current lack of understanding and development of a global carbon removals policy threatens climate goals with experts warning that there remains a lack of strategic thinking, focus on false solutions, and challenges with distinguishing between removals and reductions, ahead of crucial EU CDR policy proposal expected by the end of the year.

INTERNATIONAL

Japan spearheads new global effort to spur international emissions trade

Japan this week hosted more than 30 governments and organisations at a meeting aiming to launch a new global partnership this year to encourage more nations to participate in international emissions trade and implement Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

ASIA PACIFIC

SK Market: Korean auction clears just below secondary market, demand dips

South Korea’s monthly CO2 permit auction held on Wednesday cleared just 0.6% below the secondary market, with bidding interest declining compared to the previous sale.

Australia Market Roundup: ACCU issuance ticks up, two landfill gas projects revoked

Issuances for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) shot up this week but are still down compared to previous updates, as an energy company voluntarily removed two landfill gas projects from the register.

Malaysia’s Sarawak to start local carbon trading scheme in 2023, official says

The Malaysian state of Sarawak is expected to start trading carbon by next year, a government official told local media Wednesday.

Australia expands its Climate Change Authority board

The Australian government has added three women with climate background experience to the board of its Climate Change Authority (CCA), though concerns persist over some of its existing members, including its chair.

EMEA

Brussels advances €140 bln profit-grabbing measure, binding 5% power demand curbs

The European Commission will stick to its plans to propose a windfall levy on non-gas power generators in an attempt to redistribute what it sees as excess profits among households and businesses grappling with an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday.

Euro Markets: EUAs spike after Timmermans rejects price cap and funds report record net short

EUAs were little changed as Brussels unveiled energy market reform plans on Wednesday but jumped sharply after EU climate chief Frans Timmermans firmly rejected any notion of capping carbon prices and exchange data showed investment funds had amassed their largest ever net short position.

EU lawmakers adopt aggressive stance on energy efficiency, renewable targets

EU parliamentarians voted on Wednesday to raise bloc-wide 2030 targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy while curbing biomass use, with both measures taking centre stage in the EU debate examining how to increase energy independence following the start of the Russian war in Ukraine.

South African business groups urge government to slow down with carbon tax increases

South African business groups have urged the government to slow the proposed pace of national carbon tax increases for fear it could hurt growth and hinder their decarbonisation strategies.

German startup scores €10 mln in funding to help decarbonise cement industry

A Berlin-based startup that aims to help the cement industry slash its carbon emissions has secured €10 million in Series A funding.

AMERICAS

California offset issuance hits 5.5-mth high, price discounts widen with CCA gradual recovery

California regulator ARB issued the largest number of compliance offsets since March this week, according to government data published Wednesday, while offset discount values widened slightly as WCI allowance prices gradually recover from lows seen at the start of the month.

Quebec free carbon allowance allocation jumps to all-time high in 2021

Quebec handed out the remainder of its free carbon market permit distribution on Wednesday, with the year-on-year total climbing as the provincial economy bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic and more entities received allowances.

US EPA focusing on two new fuel pathways in upcoming RFS rulemakings

The US EPA’s proposed 2023 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will introduce a new fuel pathway, and the agency will look at another emerging fuel type down the road, a government official said Wednesday.

VOLUNTARY

Traditional carbon actors seek to deepen ties with decentralised finance

Traditional carbon market actors are deepening ties in the DeFi world as a veteran developer is partnering with a US crypto firm to develop a “blockchain-first” removals project, while Gold Standard has joined fellow certifier ACR in seeking views on creating digital tokens from their credits.

World could pay just $20 billion to ‘save the Amazon’, says tech firm CEO

It would cost just $20 billion to purchase the severely endangered areas of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest based on a conservative estimate by the CEO of a carbon offset technology firm in the country, a conference heard on Wednesday.

Ratings firm gives moderate grades to two offset projects, reaffirms another

A carbon credit rating agency has awarded moderate gradings to two projects over the past week, while reaffirming the ratings of one of the nine projects it put ‘on watch’ last month.

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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. In-person passes are limited and going fast, so 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

Green with anger – Five civil society organisations decided to leave a European Commission-led expert group on sustainable finance, saying the EU executive has interfered politically in decisions such as the controversial inclusion of nuclear power in the EU’s green finance taxonomy, Euractiv reports. The resigning organisations are the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), Birdlife Europe and Central Asia, Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), T&E, and the WWF European Policy Office. The five NGOs announced their decision in a letter on Wednesday, saying the European Commission has interfered in their work and acted against evidence despite its legal obligation to follow science-based advice. The expert group was set up in June 2018 to assist the EU executive in drawing up technical criteria under the EU’s green finance taxonomy, a rulebook aimed at defining the technologies that can be labelled green investments and those that cannot. But the NGOs pointed the finger at the Commission for repeatedly ignoring the expert group’s recommendations, without providing any scientific justification for these decisions. This was particularly noticeable when it came to forestry, bioenergy, gas-fired power, and nuclear power, the NGOs pointed out.

Nuclear saga – The German Council of Economic Experts that advise the government on policy, is calling for the country’s last nuclear power plants to remain in use until the current energy crisis is definitely over. The economy ministry’s proposal to put two of the remaining three reactors into an emergency reserve for grid stability during the first months of 2023 is not expedient, the government advisors argued in an op-ed published in newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The reactors should at least continue to be operated until the energy crisis is overcome in the long term, they wrote. The council members, who advise the government on economic issues, claimed the ministry proposal would only incur the standby costs, without realising the benefits of operation. All options should be considered to further reduce gas-fired power generation, dampen the sharp rise in electricity prices and increase energy availability throughout the crisis, which they expect to last at least until the summer of 2024. (Clean Energy Wire)

More cash for coal – Readying retired German coal plants for use during the winter in case of gas shortfalls is not economically viable for the sector, Germany’s coal industry has said, as reported by Clean Energy Wire. The lifetime extension agreed by the government until April next year is far too short and the conditions far too strict to make the required investments worthwhile, power plant operators, coal transporters and coal traders said at a press conference. The government demand to store coal for 30 days of full-load operation is excessive and requires too much up-front investment to make a limited extension possible, the industry said. Due to these hurdles, only two coal power plants have returned to the market so far. Coal power company Steag said it is ready to re-activate two power plants from the grid reserve and keep two others running that were supposed to go off market but certain conditions will have to be met before a decision can be made.

ASIA PACIFIC

Big beef  — Australian supermarket Coles is partnering with a local cattle feedlot company in Queensland to trial a new feed supplement that greatly reduces methane emissions. The company said in a statement that 9,800 cattle will form part of the trial, which will involve using the feed supplement Bovaer to cut the cow’s methane emissions. It will be the first trial in Australia to test the feed supplement in a real-world, large scale commercial feedlot, according to the company. Researchers from Bovine Dynamics will produce a paper outlining their findings from the trial, which are expected to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Kiwi bond — The New Zealand government has launched a Sovereign Green Bond Programme to invest in projects that contribute to climate and environmental objectives, it said in a release. Money raised from the bonds will be used to fund projects that help the government achieve its emissions reduction targets of cutting GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson listed project examples such as transitioning to clean transport, and support for biodiversity. The country’s Debt Management at the Treasury will lead the work on the programme, with the inaugural issuance expected later this year.

Smooth transition – Southeast Asian countries, supported by renewable-based power systems, should be able to smoothly transition to net zero by mid-century, according to a report issued by Wärtsilä Energy. The study, which simulates the paths to net zero emissions in three major Southeast Asian power systems, shows that the combination of renewables can help the region meet the increasing power demand. By 2050, Vietnam’s net zero power system will cost 20% less than the business-as-usual scenario, saving carbon taxes of nearly $28 billion per year, according to the report.

Man of low-emissions steel – Japan’s biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp said on Wednesday it will start selling steel products next year that are certified as reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the steel manufacturing process, Reuters reports. Nippon Steel has set itself a goal to trim its CO2 emissions in 2030 by 30% versus 2013 levels. Nippon Steel plans to adopt a so-called mass balance method in which the total amount of CO2 emissions that the company has actually reduced by improving manufacturing processes is determined and allocated to any given steel product.

AMERICAS

Get (climate) smart – The US Department of Agriculture will invest $2.8 bln in 70 projects for farmers, ranchers, and forest-owners to create climate-smart commodities, according to a press release. The Department had initially earmarked $1 bln for the project, before greater demand for the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities attracted so much demand that President Joe Biden’s administration is tripling its initial investment, with a second round of funding coming later this year.

VOLUNTARY

Cryptoclean – Crypto platform BlockFills and environmental financier Isla Verde Capital announce partnership to offer offsets and renewable energy credits to bitcoin miners and broader crypto industry looking to minimize or eliminate their carbon footprint. “We are excited to partner with BlockFills to help cryptocurrency miners, traders, and other participants find green solutions for their energy usage,” said Ronnie Virissimo, Co-CIO at Isla Verde Capital.

SCIENCE & TECH

As if it wasn’t hot enough – Temperatures are rising nearly twice as fast as the global average in the east Mediterranean and Middle East, an international team of scientists has warned. Climate change could have a devastating effect on the lives of millions in the region in the face of an overall warming of up to 5 degrees Celsius or more by the end of the century, a report prepared by the Cyprus Institute said. That temperature spike was almost twice that anticipated in other areas of the planet, and faster than any other inhabited parts of the world, it added. The report, prepared by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center of The Cyprus Institute, claims a combination of reduced rainfall and weather warming will contribute to severe droughts, compromising water and food security, and rising sea levels. (Independent)

AND FINALLY…

Another lawsuit, Moscow edition – Activists have filed the first-ever climate lawsuit in Russia, demanding that the government of the fourth-largest emitter takes stronger action to address climate change, the Moscow Times reports. Groups say that Russia’s insufficient measures to curb emissions in line with the Paris Agreement target of 1.5C are “violating the Russian constitution and the European convention on human rights”. The activists note that they face “considerable risks” by filing the case, in light of recent government crackdowns on civil and opposition movements in Russia, especially since the invasion of Ukraine. Two organisations – Ekozashita (Eco-defence) and the Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia’s oldest human rights organisation, originally founded by Soviet dissidents – as well as 18 individuals are listed among the plaintiffs. (Carbon Brief)

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