CP Daily: Monday March 13, 2023

Published 04:49 on March 14, 2023  /  Last updated at 04:53 on March 14, 2023  / Mark Tilly /  Newsletters  /  No Comments

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

**Carbon Forward Asia is coming – May 2-3, Singapore**

Presenting CP Daily, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter. It’s a daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here


PREVIEW: Topsy-turvy times ahead of year’s first NZ auction

The New Zealand government’s decision to leave the ETS price settings largely as-is looms large over the first carbon auction of the year, but market watchers expect buyers will come in to snap up cheap NZUs.


Euro Markets: EUAs slump under aggressive selling as market shifts to ‘risk-off’ amid US bank failure

EUAs on Monday unwound the previous session’s gains as risk-off sentiment spread across markets after the weekend rescue of Silicon Valley Bank, with energy prices dropping despite support from continuing strikes affecting LNG import terminals in France and uncertainty around nuclear availability.

Brussels shuffles timings in packed week of climate-related EU activity

The European Commission has brought forward plans to present the its revised Electricity Market Reform to proposal to Tuesday, according to a Commission spokesperson on Monday, a publication date two days earlier than previously had been foreseen.

Coal burn in Turkey hits record high as Ankara turns to Russia for imports

Annual coal burn in Turkey jumped 10% year-on-year in 2022 to hit a new annual record, according to generation data published Monday by an environmental think-tank, with Russian exports to the country surging last year even as prices shot up.


VCM Report: Prices edge lower amid thin liquidity

Standardised and over-the-counter offset prices generally edged lower over the past week to extend a trend amid a continued dearth of activity in the market, and a continued build-up of surplus credits.

Microsoft invests in marine geoengineering project to support carbon negative pledge

Technology giant Microsoft announced plans to invest in a marine geoengineering project that aims to enhance the ocean’s ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere with long-lasting storage at deep ocean depths.

Soil carbon credit platform receives $16 mln from French hedge fund

A Paris-based hedge fund on Monday announced an equity investment into a new platform that will generate carbon removal credits from soil-based climate practices.


Seaweed farming offers big carbon sequestration potential for China, researchers say

Seaweed farming is believed to have considerable potential for carbon sequestration in China compared to other ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches, though further research is still needed, a report has found.

Australian carbon developer launches sustainable agriculture venture

An Australian carbon project developer has launched an agribusiness spin-off company, designed to manage natural assets in a bid to ramp up the sustainable agriculture industry.


RGGI Market: RGAs recover after touching 6-mth low in wake of US bank collapse, weak auction

RGGI Allowance (RGA) values held steady over the majority of the week and immediately after member states published the March auction result, but briefly collapsed to near six-month lows on Monday as traders went risk-off following the recent collapse of two US-based financial institutions.


Australian pension fund divests from land developer over biodiversity transparency concerns

An Australian pension fund has divested from a land development company in protest of its decision to proceed with a project that could threaten the survival of one of the last remaining healthy koala colonies in New South Wales.


The need for clarity around corporate climate claims – a review of the defining elements of corporate climate claims

While public, private, and hybrid efforts are emerging that seek to better govern climate-related claims, currently the engagement of companies in voluntary carbon markets is greatly hampered by the lack of understanding and clarity around the types of claims that can be accurately and credibly made when integrating carbon credits into corporate climate strategies. A recently published academic paper seeks to review and define the core elements of such claims.


Job listings this week

*Premium listings

Or click here to see all listings



Argus Asia Carbon Conference – Mar. 14-16, Sarawak, Malaysia: Organised by Argus Media in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Sarawak (MEESty), and with host sponsor Samling Group, the Asia Carbon Conference will take place on Mar. 14-16 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Join us for the first industry leadership conference for carbon offsetting and trading in Asia to get ahead of your competitors in a rapidly growing global market. This is your opportunity to interact, learn, and network, for the answers you need on fundamental questions about carbon offsets: how do they work, and how might they impact Asia? Find out more

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.

European Climate Summit (ECS 2023) – Mar. 28-30, Lisbon: Registration for the 5th edition of the European Climate Summit organised by IETA and partners is open. The ECS brings together leading private sector experts and policymakers from both the carbon and energy world, to analyse and discuss the current developments and pressing challenges. The summit provides a discussion and networking forum for policymakers, business leaders, and innovators involved in building, scaling, and collaborating on markets for net zero. The event will feature high-level plenaries, cross-cutting deep dives, interactive side events, and quality networking opportunities. Registration here

Carbon Forward Asia – May 2-3, Singapore/Online: Carbon Forward is coming to Asia! Join us in Singapore or watch the conference online, and gain valuable insights into the trends and developments in carbon pricing throughout the Asia Pacific region. We will discuss investment opportunities across compliance and voluntary carbon markets, as well as transport initiatives such as CORSIA and SAF for aviation and shipping sector programmes, the impact of the EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), CCS crediting, developments under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, corporate climate goals, and other exciting topics. We are curating a high-level programme for this rapidly-evolving region, with the agenda and speaker line-up to be released soon. Early Bird tickets are now available. Purchase yours now



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


Flushed with cash – Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled oil giant Aramco on Sunday reported a record net income of $161.1 bln for 2022 — the largest annual profit ever achieved by an oil and gas company, CNBC reports. Aramco said net income increased 46.5% over the year, from $110 bln in 2021. Free cash flow also reached a record $148.5 bln in 2022, compared with $107.5 bln in 2021.

Bad buildings – As the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive enters the home stretch, it faces a first crucial test in the European Parliament this week, where opposition is lying in wait, EurActiv reports. The EPBD is currently being revamped in a bid to decrease the energy consumption of buildings in Europe and align it with the EU’s more ambitious climate goals for 2030. To do this, the European Commission has proposed introducing minimum energy performance standards for the 15% worst performing buildings, which would be rated “G” on the EU’s energy performance scale. Under the proposal from Dec. 2021, all buildings in Europe must reach a minimum performance threshold by 2033, whether they are residential or not. And by 2050, the entire building sector should be almost entirely emission-free. However, it’s not clear whether the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) will survive mounting opposition from EU countries.

Retiring dirty assets – Sweden is inviting international asset managers to help allocate 1 trillion kronor ($90 bln) of pension savings, but says it won’t accept applications from firms that don’t incorporate ESG into their strategies, Bloomberg reports. The new framework will replace a system tainted by an embezzlement scandal that infuriated Swedish taxpayers and triggered calls for a more robust setup. The upshot is that only investment firms that integrate environmental, social and governance goals into their work need apply, according to the Swedish Fund Selection Agency, which is overseeing the process.

Good news with a catch – For the first time, more money was raised in the debt markets for climate-friendly projects that for fossil fuel companies, Bloomberg reports. Around $580 bln was channelled to renewable energy and environmentally responsible ventures in 2022, while the fossil fuel industries turned to the debt market for about $530 bln, data analysed by Bloomberg shows. However, the real reason for this apparent ‘good news’ is that Big Oil is getting its money from other sources. Notably, high oil prices have raised profits for these companies and reduced their need to turn to debt markets. Instead, they are turning to their own pockets to fund projects or to more opaque private equity which is harder to track. Since the Paris climate agreement was announced in 2005, banks have raised almost $4.6 trillion for oil, gas and coal companies, double the $2.3 trillion gathered from green loads and bond sales.

Trees in Iraq – Iraq will plant 5 mln trees and palms to combat climate change, the country’s prime minister said and Bloomberg reports. The country, which has been plagued by years of droughts and war, has had crop area cut half due to impacts of extreme weather caused by climate change. Iraq is moving ahead with projects to help the environment by signing contracts to generate solar power to cover a third of the country’s power need by 2030 and has pledge to reduce its carbon emissions.


Alaska approved US President Joe Biden has approved ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil drilling project in pristine Alaskan wilderness, which will produce 239 MtCO2 in indirect emissions, according to an announcement by the Department of the Interior on Monday. The annual emissions from the exploration will be equivalent to opening 1.2 coal plants per year. Alaska’s North Slope, where the project will take place, is an environmentally sensitive area that’s already warming faster than most of the planet. The Biden administration only approved three out of the five requested oil pads and will not include ConocoPhillips’ right to 27,500 ha in the area. (Axios)

Collapse of a ‘climate bank’ – As the fallout of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank continued to spread over the weekend, it became clear that some of the worst casualties were companies developing solutions for the climate crisis. The bank, the largest to fail since 2008, worked with more than 1,550 technology firms that are creating solar, hydrogen, and battery storage projects. According to its website, the bank issued them billions in loans. “Silicon Valley Bank was in many ways a climate bank,” said Kiran Bhatraju, chief executive of Arcadia, the largest community solar manager in the country. (New York Times)

California contention – Some 60 House Republicans have introduced legislation that would restrict the US EPA from issuing any waiver for new regulations that would ban the sale or use of new vehicles with internal combustion engines, the conservative publication Ripon Advance reports. The bill follows action last summer from California regulator ARB to ban the sale of new light-duty vehicles by 2035 in favour of zero-emissions vehicles. To institute its plan, California would need a waiver of Clean Air Act pre-emption provisions from the EPA, and multiple states say they intend to follow California’s lead.

Moratorium miss – A West Virginia bill that would have imposed a 60-day moratorium on forest offset projects, carbon tax credits, and similar benefits failed on Saturday after the Senate and House could not agree on a path forward, the West Virginia. SB-739 would have originally enshrined this provision, so as to give the legislature time to deliberate and pass laws to prevent or mitigate substantial economic harm to citizens. However, The Mountain State House of Delegates passed amendments last week that struck the proposed moratorium wording in the bill that had passed the Senate 33-0 on Mar. 1, instead requiring parties to register timber-related current and new offset agreements with the West Virginia Tax Department, who would be required to report that information to the legislature and executive branch. The Senate then proceeded to abandon the House elements and restore the original wording of the moratorium on Saturday, but the House refused to concur these changes and the bill failed. (West Virginia Gazette Mail)


Date set — The Australian state of Victoria will hold the first auctions for offshore wind projects in the country in 2025 to ensure that the first tranche of at least 2 GW is build before the first of the state’s two last coal generators closes down, RenewEconomy reports. The state government is proposing to contracts for difference as the major currency in underwriting the scheme. It is also flagging “complementary contributions of capital and financing”, although the details of these will not be released until further discussions with industry. The contracts, used extensively in Europe, mean that any super profits for surging electricity prices are returned by the project owners to the government and consumers. However, the Victoria government says it accepts that the projects in the first tranche of its auction process will require a higher price than later projects, particularly as they will be the first of their kind in Australia, and it is likely a significant amount of the materials needed will have to be imported. The financial support is part of a package of measures proposed in the state government’s latest implementation statement, which also includes a commitment to ensure enough transmission is made for two 2.5 GW connection points, and ports are prepared to accept massive wind turbines of up to 18 MW each. The government said that state-owned Vicgrid will provide common connection points for offshore wind farms and shared transmission lines to connect to the current network where necessary.

Scope 3 ahead – The government of Singapore could soon be well poised to start calculating and reducing its Scope 3 emissions – indirect greenhouse gas emissions incurred by a company as part of its value chain – with plans for a greener procurement strategy and new measures to improve sustainability reporting, Strait Times reports. Under the GreenGov.sg report, the government will start with reporting its Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and electricity and water consumption, with reference to international standards and frameworks. Even though there are no official plans for now to disclose Scope 3 emissions, experts said the new measures announced during the recent budget debate could lay a foundation for the government to begin accounting for such emissions with greener procurement requirements. Starting from FY2024, the government will implement up to 5% of tender evaluation points for sustainability-related considerations for construction projects worth at least $50 mln, and information and communication technology projects worth at least $10 mln.

Fight over lithium – China’s efforts to ramp up lithium extraction could see it accounting for nearly a third of the world’s supply by the middle of the decade, Bloomberg reports, citing a forecast by UBS AG. The bank expects Chinese-controlled mines, including projects in Africa, to raise output to 705,000 tonnes by 2025, from 194,000 tonnes in 2022. That would lift the country’s share of the mineral critical to electric-vehicle batteries to 32% of the global supply, from 24% last year, according to UBS. While some other nations including the US have prioritised access to the materials necessary for making batteries, China’s needs are particularly acute because it’s home to the world’s biggest market for new energy vehicles.


Eight rate – As of Monday, the carbon credit ratings agency BeZero has changed its rating scale to an 8-point scale from a 7-point, noting that this amendment aligns with financial market standards, and comes with more granular risk definitions. This means that each of the 280+ projects BeZero has rated to date have now shifted to the new system, which grades projects from AAA to D compared to the old AAA+ to A grading. The new system effectively adds a new point at the lowest end of the scale giving BeZero’s view on the  likelihood a project achieves a tonne of carbon avoided and/or removed. BeZero stressed that none of the ratings have changed, but merely “have been translated onto the corresponding new scale on a one-to-one basis”.

From sea to sky – Chicago-based United wants to turn microalgae into SAF through the first new investment of its recently announced UAV Sustainable Flight Fund since its launch: algae biofuel company Viridos. This $5 mln investment will support the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from algae, an abundant and scalable resource that can be grown and harvested without impacting the food supply chain. Viridos specialises in the bioengineering of microalgae and its proprietary technology accelerates the amount of oil that can produced from microalgae. This algae oil could then be used to scale the future production of SAF. To date, United has invested in the future production of over three bln gallons of SAF – the most of any airline in the world.

Verra hire – Offset standard developer and manager Verra on Monday announced Farhan Ahmed has joined the organisation as its new chief programme management officer. In this role, Farhan will lead Verra’s Program Management Department and be responsible for maintaining and enhancing quality and integrity across Verra’s programmes. Farhan joins Verra from Fair Trade USA, and previously held leadership roles at standard-setting and certification organisations Bureau Veritas Group and RINA.


Wild goose chase –  The pink-footed goose has become a bold explorer in what appears to be a remarkable example of an Arctic species not only adapting, but thriving, in the face of climate change, Bloomberg reports. In the 1990s, small numbers of the silvery-brown bird with flashy pink legs began popping up in Sweden and Finland, far from their traditional migration route and breeding grounds in Norway.  The sightings became more frequent in the 2000s before exploding in the 2010s, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology that charts researchers’ amazement at discovering some of the birds were headed for an entirely new breeding ground on Russia’s Novaya Zemlya archipelago, almost 1,000 kilometers from their traditional grounds in Svalbard, Norway.

Got a tip?  How about some feedback?  Email us at news@carbon-pulse.com