CP Daily: Monday February 6, 2023

Published 01:35 on February 7, 2023  /  Last updated at 01:35 on February 7, 2023  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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China weighs ETS interventions to ease pressure on emitters -analysts

China is considering introducing the opportunity to let coal-fired power plants covered by the national emissions trading scheme borrow permits from future years in order to ease the scheme’s short term cost impacts, according to analysts.


California carbon market watchdog calls for greater clarity on post-2030 legal authority

California policymakers and lawmakers must provide greater certainty on their authority to implement the state’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme after 2030 in order to hit the state’s ambitious GHG reduction targets, a watchdog report said Friday.

Research finds California’s carbon market lowered air pollution disparities in study sample

California’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade programme reduced air pollution disparities between disadvantaged and other communities in a recent study covering 5% of the state’s reported emissions, potentially allaying concerns that market-based programmes present an equity-efficiency trade off, according to the findings of a new study.

RGGI Market: RGA prices find support following slight annual emissions climb

RGGI Allowance (RGA) values rose slightly for the second consecutive week even as transacted volume cratered, with market experts pointing to elevated 2022 CO2 output as one of multiple possible drivers.

RFS Market: RINs sink to two-month low as waivers, credit generation weigh

US biofuel credit (RIN) values receded over the past week to levels not seen since December, as traders pointed to the lasting impact of a court ruling on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance waivers and strong potential credit generation numbers in January.


Euro Markets: EUAs slide to one-week low as short covering seen over amid milder weather outlook

EUA prices fell to a one-week low on Monday as the recent short squeeze appeared to come to an end,  while energy prices also came under some pressure as weather forecasts predicted an end to the current cold snap within a couple of weeks.

EU’s carbon border plans to increase recycling in the steel industry -study

The EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) will help increase scrap recycling in steel production, according to a recently-published study, which noted that framing the border policy as a key ingredient to the circular economy has several benefits.

Talks over EU renewables law break down in row over hydrogen

Negotiations to finalise the EU’s revised renewable energy directive (RED) were left in tatters on Monday as senior parliamentarians reacted angrily to the cancellation of the latest round of talks over a row about green hydrogen.

Polish coal power output to plummet by 2030s, say analysts

Coal is set to be pushed out of Poland’s power mix by 2032 due to the falling cost of renewables and increasing carbon prices, analysts said in a report published on Monday that suggests Warsaw’s current phaseout timelines will be undermined by market forces.

Denmark greenlights its first CCS licenses in the North Sea

Three new licences for large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) got approval from Denmark to begin work in the country’s part of the North Sea, the government announced on Monday.


VCM Report: Slump in standard N-GEO prices continues, but OTC REDD+ finds a floor

The slump in standardised nature-based offsets continued last week following the claims of widespread over-crediting in the REDD+ avoided deforestation sector, but there were signs that sought-after over-the-counter (OTC) credits may have found a floor.

UPDATE – New US-based platform to sell 10 mln reforestation offsets at low end of price spectrum

(Updates Friday’s story with further details)

An Alabama-headquartered technology firm has launched a blockchain platform to sell millions of tokenised carbon credits from a patented reforestation programme, coming in at a price per tonne well below that of most nature-based removals.


NZ carbon trader launches parliamentary petition urging govt to heed CCC’s ETS advice

A New Zealand carbon trader has launched a parliamentary petition demanding the country’s House of Representatives urge the government to implement the ETS price settings recommended by the Climate Change Commission (CCC).


European fund to finance Asia-Pacific marine protection projects

The Blue Action Fund, backed by four European governments, will channel €20 million to projects that support ecologically representative and well-connected systems of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Asia-Pacific region, it announced over the weekend.

Canada releases blueprint for MPA network, as Pew launches high seas protection tool

The governments of Canada and British Columbia along with 15 First Nations have released a blueprint for setting up a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) covering a third of the Northern Shelf Bioregion, as Pew Charitable Trusts published a mapping tool to help plan such MPA networks in international waters.

Indonesia partners with mining company to plant 30,000 mangroves seedlings

The Indonesian government recently partnered with a local mining company to plant 30,000 mangrove seedlings and releasing 20,000 clams in North Sumatra, as the government earmarked the region as an ideal area for mangrove restoration.


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North American Carbon World (NACW) 2023 – Mar. 21-23, Anaheim: For 20 years, the NACW conference has been the place for carbon professionals working in North American carbon markets and climate policy to learn, collaborate, and network. Taking place Mar. 21-23 in Anaheim, California, NACW 2023 will dive into new policies and developments that will shape and scale carbon markets and climate solutions with integrity, ambition, and equity. Register now to gain actionable insights for bold climate solutions and participate in premier networking opportunities with an active and engaged audience to strengthen your organization’s strategy for navigating the carbon landscape.



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


Green plans – Fossil fuel companies raking in huge profits without credible net zero plans in place “should not be in business”, according to UN chief Antonio Guterres, who today again called on businesses and investors worldwide to come forward with credible transition plans this year. In a speech today at the UN headquarters in New York City, Guterres said that by September this year, all businesses, cities, regions, and financial institutions that have pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 should present their transition plans “with credible and ambitious targets for 2025 and 2030”, as recommended by the UN net zero expert group he appointed last year. Companies’ 2030 climate targets should also come backed with credible and immediate action “meaning actual emissions and not fake carbon credits”, Guterres added. (BusinessGreen)

Shape up – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s single largest investor, has warned company directors it will vote against their re-election to the board if they do not up their game on tackling the climate crisis, human rights abuses, and boardroom diversity. Carine Smith Ihenacho, the chief governance and compliance officer of Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages more than 13 trillion Norwegian kroner ($1.26 trillion) on behalf of the Norwegian people, said the fund was preparing to vote against the re-election of at least 80 company boards for failing to set or hit environmental or social targets. Established in the 1990s to invest surplus profits from Norway’s huge oil and gas reserves, it is the world’s largest sovereign fund, controlling an average of 1.3% of 9,338 companies across 70 countries. Large holdings include Apple, Nestle, Microsoft, and Samsung. (Guardian)

The ‘G’ stands for gone – One of Germany’s greenest banks has quit the world’s biggest climate-finance alliance in protest, citing concerns that Wall Street is preventing the group from achieving its stated goal. GLS Bank, a founding member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, said it no longer wants to be part of the group as much bigger signatories in the US still support oil, gas, and coal projects in emerging markets. NZBA, which is a subgroup of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, was created to get the banking industry aligned with the goal of preventing global warming from exceeding the critical threshold of 1.5C. But the combination of an energy crisis fuelled by war and an increasingly difficult political environment in the US has made that goal harder to reach. (Bloomberg)


On to the next one – The EU is starting to plan for 2040 pollution-reduction targets as negotiations on a massive green overhaul for this decade are nearing completion. The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, will start consulting governments, businesses, researchers and activists about a new goal that would set the post-2030 trajectory for the EU on its way to climate neutrality by mid-century. Public consultations will be launched later this month, followed by an outline of 2040 climate objectives later this year, Bloomberg reported, according to an EU official with knowledge of the matter.

Climate risk – Talks to send more US natural gas to Europe have stalled as the continent’s climate goals deter buyers from making long-term fossil fuel supply commitments, according to two US energy executives reported in the FT. The US has shipped record volumes of liquefied natural gas to Europe over the past year, helping the continent avoid an energy catastrophe after Moscow cut off most of its pipeline supplies as part of the war in Ukraine. But US gas executives say buyers have largely not been willing to commit to new multi-decade supply deals needed to underpin a fresh wave of project construction on the Gulf of Mexico that would further lift supply in the coming years, due to high climate ambition in Brussels and other capitals.

DC demands – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will head to meetings with counterparts in Washington on Tuesday demanding more transparency from President Joe Biden’s administration on green industry subsidies, in order to avoid an escalation of transatlantic trade tensions.  Le Maire and Robert Habeck, who runs Germany’s economy portfolio, will meet with US officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as part of the EU’s response to Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which includes roughly $500 billion in new spending and tax breaks over a decade. (Bloomberg)

Investment leakage – Germany has seen a surge of optimism that the worst of the energy crisis has passed. But companies including EU ETS-covered firms BASF and Lanxess are poised to cut thousands of jobs and shift investment out of the country because they don’t expect the government in Berlin to provide the energy they need at prices close to those they once paid for Russian pipeline gas. (Bloomberg)

Missing the boat – Cash-strapped Britain could benefit from an additional £1.8 bln a year if it were to tax shipping emissions, a new Transport & Environment (T&E) analysis shows. Pricing the UK’s shipping emissions is a win for the climate and a win for the exchequer, says T&E. UK shipping activity was responsible for 22 Mt of CO2 in 2021 – equivalent to a third of all the UK’s cars. If the UK government were to include all the sector’s emissions in its cap-and-trade scheme, these emissions could generate nearly £2 bln annually. However, T&E’s analysis shows that with the government’s current plans, less than 10% of UK shipping emissions would be covered, generating just £170 mln a year. The government is currently considering an extension of the UK ETS into shipping but only to ships that are above 5000 gross tonnage (GT) and making domestic voyages. This means a cargo or passenger ship sailing, for example, from Felixstowe to Calais or from New York to Liverpool, would not be made to pay anything. This is despite these international voyages making up for about 90% of the UK’s shipping emissions.

No guilt – New innovative technologies that could enable electric flying taxis and hydrogen powered aircraft to take to the skies will be developed in the UK, thanks to £113 mln of investment being announced by the Business and Transport Secretaries Tuesday. Through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, government and industry are jointly backing new zero-carbon technologies to open up a future of “guilt-free” flying. This includes a project by Bristol-based electric aircraft manufacturer Vertical Aerospace to develop high-end, lightweight batteries, as well as projects led by Rolls-Royce to develop the building blocks of a liquid hydrogen combusting jet engine, which would enable flight without the carbon emissions. The ATI Programme continues to deliver practical successes, the most recent being the maiden flight of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered 19-seater aircraft in January. In addition, the UK Department for Transport is launching a call for evidence seeking views from the sector on how to reach the target for airport operations in England to be zero emissions by 2040. The target was set as part of the Government’s Jet Zero Strategy, launched in July last year.

Liberia push – The President of Liberia, ex-football star George Weah, said last week that he would like to see Africa’s carbon market operationalised as soon as possible. Liberia was one of several nations that proposed the idea of the African market during the UN’s COP26 climate talks in Glasgow as a way to contribute to climate mitigation while leveraging carbon payments for national and community development. “We are improving policies and revising laws and regulations, for commercial forestry to be more sustainable. Of course, there are still challenges and issues, but we remain unrelenting in our efforts to deal with them,” he said during the opening of a two-day Liberia Forest and Climate Resilience Forum. Liberia maintains the largest portion of the remaining Upper Guinea Forest and is recognised globally for its key biodiversity hotspots. The country flagged its intention to consider international carbon credits as way to finance the conditional elements within its Paris Agreement commitment, resubmitted last year, aiming to reduce emissions by 64% below BAU by 2030. (Daily Observer)


The 1% trigger – The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering easing rules outlining climate disclosure in audited financial statements after pushback from companies, investors, and lawmakers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The final version of the SEC climate-disclosure rules is expected this year, but the commission is weighing making requirements less onerous than originally proposed, such as raising the threshold above the planned 1% or more of each line item at which companies must report climate costs, known as a bright-line test, using different percentages depending on the financial item in question, or eliminating the bright-line test altogether. The disclosures the agency is considering cover everything from costs caused by wildfires to the loss of a sales contract because of climate regulations, such as a cap on carbon emissions. Under current rules, companies are generally required to disclose only those climate costs and risks they judge to be material, or significant, for investors. The article outlined that SEC officials have been taken aback by the strength of opposition to their financial-reporting proposals according to sources close to the agency. Many companies said the changes would bring high costs, complexity, and potential unintended consequences. The article cited Amazon’s view that the proposed disclosures of items such as lost revenues and costs not incurred because of climate-related factors “would require companies to keep a second set of accounting books”. Businesses would be forced to undertake “extremely difficult, if not impossible” analysis, much of which would be speculative and subjective, the tech company said in its response last year to the SEC’s proposed rule. Retailer Walmart urged the SEC to reconsider its approach. While investment firm BlackRock told the SEC that the planned 1%-threshold rule “would result in highly inaccurate disclosures and unduly burdensome compliance costs”. Alex Martin, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform said that other proposed changes to companies’ financial statements were more important than the 1% threshold, such as disclosure of companies’ assumptions used to make forward-looking estimates regarding, for instance, the profitability of fossil-fuel assets.

Solar shines brightly – Developers plan to add 54.5 GW of new utility-scale electric-generating capacity to the US power grid in 2023, the US Energy Information Administration (US EIA) reported Monday, citing its Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. More than half, or 54%, of this capacity will be solar power, followed by battery storage, at 17%. US utility-scale solar capacity has been rising rapidly since 2010. Despite its upward trend over the past decade, additions of utility-scale solar capacity declined by 23% in 2022 compared with 2021. This drop in solar capacity additions was the result of supply chain disruptions and other pandemic-related challenges. The US EIA expects that some of those delayed 2022 projects will begin operating in 2023, when developers plan to install 29.1 GW of solar power in the US. If all of this capacity comes online as planned, 2023 will have the most new utility-scale solar capacity added in a single year, more than doubling the current record (13.4 GW in 2021).

Green jobs galore – Between last August, when President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill became law, and the end of January, companies have announced more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in the US, according to an analysis by the nonprofit advocacy group Climate Power, Bloomberg reported Monday. The group monitored press clippings and company announcements to estimate private-sector jobs across a range of sectors that aim to reduce GHG emissions — including EV and battery manufacturing, wind and solar energy, and home energy efficiency. The group says its figure is likely a low-ball estimate because it relied on public reports. Climate Power identified more than 90 new clean energy projects in 31 states that have been announced since Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, representing a total of nearly $90 bln in new investment.

Comcash – Comcast is reaching out to gauge investor interest in what may be its first-ever bond sale earmarked for environmental projects as the US’ largest broadband provider looks to slash carbon emissions across its global operations. The Philadelphia-based cable and media giant has asked banks, including Bank of America, to arrange a series of calls with fixed-income investors focused on ESG issues in connection with Comcast’s green financing framework, a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. Proceeds from any green financing will be allocated to eligible green investments that may include funding renewable energy projects, green buildings, clean transportation, and waste prevention, reduction, and recycling, according to Comcast’s green financing framework.


Life lessons –Analysis from the IEA shows that if all countries were to adopt the kind of measures recommended by India’s Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) initiative, they would reduce global CO2 emissions by more than 2 billion tonnes by 2030 (IEA press release). This alone would deliver around one-fifth of the emissions reductions needed this decade to put the world on a path to net zero emissions. What’s more, according to the IEA, the measures would also save consumers globally around $440 billion in annual energy bills, and reduce the inequalities in per capita energy consumption between advanced economies and the rest of the world. Efforts to improve the energy efficiency of everything from cars to home appliances, along with changes in habits and behaviour, will play a crucial role in making the world’s energy use more sustainable. In this context, India’s LiFE initiative is an important platform that could help lower energy costs, CO2 emissions, air pollution, and inequalities in energy consumption.

Petro-Aus — Malaysian state-owned oil company, Petronas, has announced it will buy German storage developer Wirsol Energy’s Australia renewable energy assets for a price potential between A$900 million and $1 billion, RenewEconomy reports. The German company is selling off its Australia subsidiary, which features 746 MW of solar and battery assets and a 700 MW development pipeline. The foreign firm put the assets up for sale in April last year, with Perth-based Azure Capital running the process. Petronas is buying at a time of record solar prices. Prices for large scale solar averaged $108 per MWh in 2022 as energy prices spiked on the back of Putin’s war with Ukraine, according to data from OpenNEM. The previous year averaged $43/ MWh. Petronas launched a clean energy arm Gentari in June last year to hold existing assets of some 1 gigawatt-peak of solar capacity in India and Malaysia, a fleet of 220 EVs, and a pipeline of clean hydrogen projects the first of which is due for commissioning in 2025.

SAF deal – Indian Oil Corp will sign a memorandum of understanding with sustainable fuel tech provider LanzaJet to produce sustainable aviation fuel at its Panipat refinery in northern India, Money Control reports. The company has a tie up with LanzaTech for converting waste gas to ethanol, and US-based LanzaJet will be helping in upgrading ethanol to jet fuel. By 2030, 2% of aviation fuel will be sustainable aviation fuel, Chairman S. M. Vaidya told Reuters on the sidelines of India Energy Week in Bengaluru.


Bluesphere bucks – US-based Bluesphere Ventures is seeking to raise over $1.2 million to launch its Bluesphere Carbon Exchange (BCX), according to the company website and a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. The company is offering common stock at a $50 price, with a minimum investment of $500. Bluesphere lists its suppliers as the big four carbon offset registries – Verra’s VCS, Gold Standard, American Carbon Registry, and Climate Action Reserve – and notes its team will audit the credits for compliance and quality before offering them on the BCX. The company has a deadline of meeting its target offering amount of $25,000 by Apr. 30.

VCS consultation – Offset standard developer and manager Verra on Monday formally launched a public consultation to inform the future development of its VCS programme. First announced on Jan. 17, this consultation will solicit feedback on VCS process and programme updates to improve the usability and outcomes of the programme, both in the near term and as the organisation plans for VCS Version 5.0. A webinar will take place Feb. 22, and the consultation is open through Apr. 7.


Shade saviours – Doubling tree cover in European cities could cut the number of heat-related deaths during summer months by nearly 40%, according to a modelling study. The average canopy tree coverage in European cities is just under 15%, and cities such as London and Barcelona are aiming to double this coverage to 30% by 2030 and 2037, respectively. To investigate the effect of achieving this, Tamara Iungman and her colleagues at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Spain, combined mortality data from 93 cities between June and Aug. 2015 with daily temperature statistics to estimate the number of heat-related deaths over this three-month period. Between June and August, 6,700 premature deaths occurred across the 93 cities due to extreme heat. Yet 2644 of these – nearly 40% – could have been prevented by increasing tree cover to 30%, the results suggest. Trees help tackle a phenomenon known as the “urban heat island effect”, which sees temperatures in cities climb higher than in nearby rural areas. This is because urban surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete, absorb and retain heat. In some areas, the temperature difference between cities and nearby rural areas can be more than 4C. (NewScientist)

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