CP Daily: Monday October 17, 2022

Published 23:56 on October 17, 2022  /  Last updated at 01:16 on October 19, 2022  /  Newsletters  /  No Comments

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

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TOP STORY

Green-hushing: More companies choose to keep quiet about their climate ambitions

While ever more global companies are supporting their net zero emissions commitments with science-based pathways, one in four are keeping details on the downlow, according to a survey published Tuesday that points towards a new trend of “going green and then going dark.”

EMEA

Analysts slash EUA price forecasts as recession, supply to outweigh ambition and coal demand

A team of analysts has trimmed their EUA price forecasts for the next two years as the market is tugged in opposite directions by competing forces, with the prospects of market reform and increased coal burn on one side and the threats of intervention and economic recession on the other.

Euro Markets: EUAs give up early gains as traders adopt wait-and-see tactic

EUAs continued to consolidate in their recent channel on Monday despite a weak auction, as traders maintained a watching brief for news on the EU’s REPowerEU initiative while energy prices weakened as the bloc’s gas reserves continue to rebuild ahead of their mandated pace.

EU greenlights Poland’s extension of indirect ETS cost compensation

The EU on Monday approved Poland’s plan to provide €10 billion to its energy-intensive companies through 2030 to partially compensate the firms for higher electricity prices resulting from the EU ETS.

EU free carbon permit allocations for 2022 advance in September

Progress by two countries has helped the EU make more inroads towards completing this year’s free carbon permit allocations under the EU ETS.

Offtake facility created for UK peatlands restoration scheme

A new UK peatlands restoration scheme will guarantee a minimum carbon credit floor price for landowners after teaming up with a carbon finance company, it announced Monday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australia Market Roundup: ACCU price slides, as Chevron demand pushes voluntary cancellations to record high

The spot price for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) has steadily dropped off in recent weeks, even as steady demand for Chevron has pushed the cancellation tally for the domestic credit above the 1-million mark for the first time.

Speculators boost NZU holdings as surplus continues to rise

Speculators in the New Zealand ETS added almost 12 million NZUs to their total holdings in Q3, according to government data, as the value of the permits rose over the period.

INTERNATIONAL

Growing CCS project pipeline still accounts for mere fraction of global emissions

The global pipeline for carbon capture and storage (CCS) has grown to a new record level of 196 projects, according to the latest status report from an industry group, although the total capacity of facilities either operating, under construction, or in development still accounts for a small fraction of global GHG emissions.

VOLUNTARY

VCM Report: Nature-based offsets take brunt of slide in prices

Carbon credit prices continued to retreat over the past week as financial gloom deepened and as participants awaited further clarity from next month’s UN climate talks over how the market will integrate with the Paris Agreement.

CARBON FORWARD 2022: London favours keeping VCM distinct from Paris Agreement

The voluntary carbon market (VCM) should remain distinct from the sovereign market of the Paris Agreement, a consortium of London players have argued ahead of crunch UN talks at COP27 in Egypt next month.

Blue carbon project land could be worth more than agriculture land, report says

Blue carbon projects could potentially be worth more than agricultural land, thanks to its potentially massive carbon sequestration potential and keen investor interest, according to an Australian carbon consultancy.

Cleantech firm announces sale of 50,000 tCO2e biochar project on voluntary marketplace

An Indo-Danish developer of a biochar project announced on Monday the sale of 50,000 tCO2e over five years to a digital carbon marketplace, in what it calls one of the biggest purchase agreements in the carbon removal space.

Web3 data storage solution seeks to improve carbon offset transparency

Backed by most of the key players in the blockchain-based carbon market, a Web3 group on Monday launched a service aimed at improving offset transparency by offering storage options for the attributed underpinning carbon credits.

AVIATION

ICAO to review CORSIA offsetting baseline in 2025, experts say current level not Paris-aligned

The emissions baseline above which airlines will need to buy carbon credits to comply with the UN’s CORSIA aviation offsetting scheme will be up for review in 2025, a country representative for the associated ICAO Council told an event on Monday, as speakers broadly agreed that the current level of ambition was not stringent enough to be compliant with a Paris Agreement warming trajectory.

Aviation industry at risk of overlooking non-CO2 warming effects -analyst

The global aviation industry is at risk of ignoring severe warming effects that come from other harmful greenhouse gases, with most net zero roadmaps overlooking the non-CO2 effects of the forecast rise in demand for air travel, a conference heard Monday.

AMERICAS

High court’s ruling derails Pennsylvania’s chance at Q4 RGGI auction listing

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent RGGI ruling denying an expedited review of the state’s RGGI injunction practically derails chances of Pennsylvania participating in the 11-state power market’s Q4 allowance sale, experts say.

CARBON FORWARD 2022

CP Daily: Carbon Forward 2022 Conference Special

Now in its seventh year, Carbon Forward has grown to become Europe’s premier carbon markets conference. Bringing global carbon market expertise and talent from government, finance, energy, and transport sectors, it is the singular must-attend industry event of the year. This is a summary of the articles Carbon Pulse published covering last week’s event in London, which took place Oct. 12-14 at the Royal Institution.

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CONFERENCE

One week 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

INTERNATIONAL

Disclosure fail – New research from the Transition Pathway Initiative Global Climate Transition Centre (TPI Centre) shows that 51% of the world’s biggest publicly-listed energy companies are failing to disclose a decarbonisation strategy that sets out how they intend to meet their long- and medium-term targets for reducing GHGs. The centre’s research also finds that 89% of these energy companies do not disclose how they are working to decarbonise their capital expenditures. Looking at how companies’ emissions pathways would align with international climate goals, the centre’s latest research suggests that only 19% of the world’s 132 biggest publicly-listed energy companies would align with 1.5C in 2050, and only 14% would do so in 2035. While a further 32% of companies would align with a below 2C target in 2050, there is still much room for improvement, it added. TPI is an initiative supported by 131 asset owners, asset managers, and service providers representing more than $50 trillion in combined assets under management and advice.

Debt shedding – Some 20 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries are considering halting their repayment of $685 bln in collective debt to rich countries, the New York Times reports. According to the newspaper, Mohamad Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives, warned that “poor nations were locked in a Sisyphean trap: they must borrow money to ward off rising seas and storms – only to see disasters made worse by climate change destroy the improvements they make. But the debt remains, and often countries are left to borrow once again.”

EMEA

More gas sass – EU leaders meeting on Thursday and Friday will explore a range of options for gas price caps, over which they have been divided for weeks, according to a new draft of conclusions for the summit seen by Reuters. The European Commission is due to propose energy measures to tackle the crisis on Tuesday, with the latest draft conclusions showing that the leaders would agree to “explore a temporary dynamic price corridor” on natural gas until an alternative EU gas price benchmark is in place. Diplomats say a consensus could emerge on capping the price of gas used for power generation, known as the “Iberian model” after a scheme implemented by Spain and Portugal in June, though some worry it could raise EU demand for gas.

Log slog – Faced with soaring energy prices and potential blackouts, many EU governments are relaxing logging rules and encouraging people to burn wood to keep their houses warm — something campaigners say spells disaster for Europe’s already vulnerable forests. NGOs and scientists warn that consuming more wood for fuel risks decimating dwindling forests and increasing illegal logging — a claim the industry strongly rejects. (Politico)

Freeze unfrozen – The UK’s programme to freeze energy prices to help households shoulder the burden of rising costs will be scrapped at the end of this winter, as the government seeks to salvage its credibility with investors. It would be “irresponsible” for the government to continue exposing the public finances to unlimited volatility in international gas prices, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said Monday. The Treasury will investigate a replacement programme that better targets lower-income households. The energy price freeze – at £2,500 for the average household – was a landmark policy for PM Liz Truss. It was supposed to run for two years, keeping bills stable for households amid the worst cost-of-living crisis for decades. The policy was expected to need about £130 bln, but could require more if wholesale gas prices increase with the government on the hook for the extra costs. (Bloomberg)

ASIA PACIFIC

Sustainable agreement – Malaysia and the European Union (EU) have agreed to explore further cooperation under the Transport Ministry to develop sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said, Malay Mail reports. He said this included making the product more accessible and affordable to the aviation industry players in the future, in addition to promoting the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme Agenda for International Aviation (Corsia). These matters were discussed during the bilateral meeting between the Malaysian delegation led by him and the EU delegation led by the European Commission’s department for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei, at the 28th Asean Transport Ministers Meeting in Bali, Indonesia today.

Attracting green finance – India’s green sector is getting only 25% of the annual financing it needs to meet its energy transition goal, as it seeks to mobilise finance through several policy measures, according to Mongabay. In the latest move, the International Financial Services Centres Authority has released a report in which it has recommended a slew of measures to attract green finance. “In the present global climate finance structure, mobilising green finance is not an easy task for an emerging economy. Given this, the government is trying out different options to generate the necessary impetus to draw investors for green finance,” the report stated.

Project slammed – The Environment Centre NT has slammed the Albanese government’s announcement that it will commit A$1.5 billion for the Middle Arm petrochemicals hub in Darwin Harbour in the Northern Territory, which also aims to facilitate CCS capacity, hydrogen, and minerals processing. Co-director of the Environment Centre NT Kirsty Howey stated that “funding the Middle Arm industrial precinct is a broken promise by the Albanese Government. Labor MPs have indicated that a Labor government won’t fund new oil and gas projects, and that’s exactly what the Middle Arm petrochemicals precinct is,” a press release from the centre stated. In July the NT government and Inpex signed an agreement that involved development of a CCS hub at the site.

New unit – China’s biggest state-owned forestry group has established a carbon asset arm to explore opportunities for investments in carbon sink projects, according to a statement released Monday by China Longjiang Forest Industry Group Corporation. The move came after the Heilongjiang-based company in May reached an agreement with China Beijing Environmental Exchange (CBEEX), one of the major trading platforms for national voluntary carbon credits, to cooperate on project development, trading and consultation on issues related to carbon sink credits. The group manages forests at an area of almost 6.6 mln hectares, data showed.

AMERICAS

Implementation time – President Joe Biden’s new national climate adviser may not have the high profile of his predecessor, but observers say Ali Zaidi’s mix of policy and economic chops are just what the administration needs to execute its agenda. The former White House adviser, Gina McCarthy, had a charismatic style and name-brand recognition – as a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator – needed to build political support for the infrastructure bill and climate-and-tax law known as the Inflation Reduction Act, observers said. But with both bills shifting into the implementation stage, Zaidi’s technocratic skills are now critical, Bloomberg reports. Zaidi has acknowledged that timing is critical, as a failure to get projects built quickly could weaken Democrats politically. Zaidi – who took over for McCarthy in September after serving as her deputy – is a veteran of the Energy Department, White House Domestic Policy Council, and Office of Management and Budget. He also served as New York’s deputy secretary for energy and environment and as an adjunct professor at Stanford University.

Americas price carbon – ‘Carbon Pricing: One of the Most Efficient and Cost-Effective Policy Tools to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Drive Clean Innovation’ was the theme of the public session of the Council of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation held last week in Santiago, Chile. Representatives of academia, the private sector, civil society, and the public sector were in attendance. The discussions follow the renewal of cooperation between the newly elected President Gabriel Boric’s administration and Canada on carbon pricing initiatives in the Americas that was signed in June.

Green Label whiskey – North American energy infrastructure company TC Energy has invested $29.3 mln in a renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility owned by Lynchburg Renewables Fuels that uses a byproduct of the distilling process from a nearby Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchberg, Tennessee to generate RNG. Project developer 3 Rivers Energy Partners will produce the RNG with a 50% lower carbon intensity score than traditional natural gas and piped directly to a local natural gas utility, reducing emissions by 60,000 tCO2/year. The plant will also produce liquid fertilizer in the process and is expected to be operational in 2024. TC Energy will market 100% of the RNG production, including renewable identification numbers and low carbon fuel standards.

VOLUNTARY

Offset class action – A proposed class action lawsuit against Evian Natural Spring Water’s owner, Danone Waters of America, alleges the company’s claims of being “carbon neutral” are false. A plaintiff named Stephanie Dorris argues in a 29 -page brief that the Evian uses “carbon neutral” to mean offset, which isn’t explained on the packaging, and “nearly sixty percent” of consumers don’t understand that. The suit proposed further claims the offsets Evian buys don’t remove carbon from the atmosphere, and Evian emits CO2 during its manufacturing process. The lawsuit says it aims to represent all consumers of Evian’s “carbon neutral” packaged water in the US. (Class Action)

AND FINALLY…

Sinking seaweed sink – The BBC profiles a huge seaweed farm the size of Croatia floating in the South Atlantic between Africa and South America that sucks a billion tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere every year and sinks it to the ocean floor out of harm’s way. Businessman John Auckland is confident his Seafields floating farm will draw sufficient CO2 from the air to moderate the effects of climate change, while also earning its backers carbon credits. The project is currently road-testing its technology in the Caribbean and Mexico with an aim to be ready by 2026.

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