CP Daily: Wednesday March 15, 2023

Published 22:20 on March 15, 2023  /  Last updated at 23:07 on March 15, 2023  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Verra halts issuance at under-fire African soil carbon credit project

Verra has halted offset issuances at a soil carbon project in Africa that has been subject to scathing criticism from an environmental group regarding additionality and leakage.


NZ Market: Auction fails as clearing price falls short of govt-set minimum price

New Zealand on Wednesday did not sell any of the 4.475 million NZUs on offer, as bids failed to meet the government’s confidential reserve price.

New Zealand “wasting money” on 2030 ITMOs, analyst says

New Zealand should focus on cutting emissions at home rather than rely on international carbon credits to meet its 2030 NDC, a carbon analyst told a conference on Wednesday.

Australia Market Roundup: Investors pile climate pressure on Woodside, AgriProve secures new batch of soil carbon projects

Institutional investors and an activist group on Wednesday called directors of oil and gas firm Woodside to be held accountable for failing to establish a credible climate strategy, while project developer AgriProve Solutions had nine more soil carbon projects approved by the Clean Energy Regulator.

Indonesia’s IDX to launch carbon exchange on national independence day, industry head says

Indonesia’s biggest stock exchange is targeting an August launch date for its carbon trading platform, and will feature four pilot projects to start off with, according to an industry leader.

Malaysian state bids for key regional role in carbon markets, CCS infrastructure

The forest-rich Malaysian state of Sarawak aims to play a key regional role in the pursuit of net zero goals through the promoting of carbon trading and developing carbon storage capacity, the state’s premier announced in a keynote address at a conference on Wednesday.

Indian city to seek carbon credits for metro rail system

A city in southwestern India is planning to seek carbon credits for its metro rail system that has been operational for almost six years, and have contracted a large project developer to help guide it through the process.

South Korea launches bulletin board for offset trading

South Korea has established a bulletin board for the transaction of domestic offset units as a service to traders who want to engage in over-the-counter trading but struggle to get their hands on supply.

China thermal power generation drops 2.3% in Jan-Feb, despite increased coal output

Thermal power generation in China declined in the first two months of 2023 despite continued coal expansion, while total generation growth saw a minor increase from a year ago, government data showed Wednesday.


California lawmakers advance legislation to strengthen 2030 GHG target bill, mull carbon market reforms

A California Senate committee on Wednesday endorsed legislation to ratchet up the ambition of the state’s 2030 climate target, but lawmakers are also mulling the future incorporation of measures into the bill that would strengthen the programme’s WCI-linked cap-and-trade system and address environmental policy shortcomings in the Scoping Plan.

Judge sets trial dates for Washington power producer’s cap-and-trade lawsuit

A US federal judge this week set a trial date for a natural gas-fired power generator’s legal challenge to Washington cap-and-trade regulation, while both the electricity generator and state government requested earlier oral arguments on a motion to dismiss the case.

California Senate committee advances two climate disclosure bills

Two climate disclosure bills which would compel corporations in California to publish their impacts on the environment passed the state’s Environmental Quality committee, pushing them forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee.


Euro Markets: EUAs slump to seven-week low on weak macro

EUA prices moved sharply lower in volatile trading on Wednesday amid a persistent “risk-off” mood across markets, with the benchmark EUA contract slumping as much as 4% to its lowest settlement since mid-February as big losses among bank stocks dragged down equity indices in Europe.

European Commission president and lawmakers tout green growth potential of upcoming industry bills

European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen and lawmakers spoke positively about the bloc’s Green Deal Industrial Plan as the MEPs gathered for their monthly meeting in Strasbourg on the eve of the expected publication of proposals for key elements.

Mirova announces first closing of ‘Gigaton Fund’

French investment firm Mirova has raised $171 million for its first closing of the Mirova Gigaton Fund, a blended debt finance vehicle that aims to accelerate the energy transition in the developing world.


Danish ministerial aims to rekindle political interest in UN climate talks

A Danish ministerial event taking place next week aims to rekindle political interest in the UN climate change negotiations, with a heavy agenda expected over the next nine months for global governments ahead of the COP28 climate talks in the UAE.

Analytics firm makes methodological tweaks to voluntary carbon market corporate buyers data

A voluntary carbon market (VCM) data aggregator this week published its second corporate buyers guide that ranks firms according to the share of emissions offset, the price per tonne paid, and the average vintage of credits bought, increasing the number of companies covered and better accounting for carbon removal forward agreements.


Only 41% of firms track value chain emissions, with nature impact lagging even further -report

New data released Wednesday by a climate disclosure organisation indicates that only 41% of those reporting track value chain emissions, and significantly fewer are aware of their impact on nature.


UK trade deal in Asia-Pacific to see palm oil import tariffs slashed -media

The UK’s accession to a trade partnership with multiple Asia-Pacific countries would see concessions on nature such as the slashing of tariffs on palm oil imports from Malaysia, according to people involved in the talks as reported by the Financial Times.

Stakeholders take aim at insurance firm’s biodiversity paper

A report from a major insurer on quantifying nature loss risk has been critiqued by several stakeholders in the nascent biodiversity crediting market citing poor data and undervaluing the impact of the destruction of species on the economy.


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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


Don’t wanna be an American copycat – The UK government will announce a raft of environmental policies by the end of March in response to US President Joe Biden’s massive package of green subsidies, the IRA, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The plan has internally been titled “Green Day” and will include measures to protect jobs in British industries such as EV production, which may come under threat from the US IRA and the EU’s Green Industrial Plan. Experts have previously told Carbon Pulse that the UK is at risk of slipping behind such rivals and allies due to slow responses to enacting green policy. But the plan isn’t likely to rival the US or EU packages in terms of subsidies, and instead will include measures to address risks to British jobs and implement a plan for green growth, the sources said.

Budget commitments – In an annual budget speech, the UK’s finance minister confirmed it will provide £20 bln over 20 years in CCS and hydrogen support help to decarbonise industrial clusters and reasserted the target of 20-30 Mt of CO2 capture by 2030, the same as was in the country’s initial net zero plan. The government will add nuclear to its green taxonomy, something the EU has been arguing over, promising further funding. The UK will also extend citizen energy bill support out to June. The government has until the end of March to publish its new net zero strategy after a court found its first version to be insufficient in detail.

Industrial ideas – The EU’s energy commissioner has warned Germany that a cap on electricity costs for industry would harm Europe’s single market, as she urged Berlin to back fairer reforms to ease power prices, the FT reports. Kadri Simson, a commissioner from Estonia, challenged Germany’s idea of an industry price for electricity as she advocated the European Commission’s alternative proposals to stabilise the market through the use of long term contracts. Read the Carbon Pulse take on the electricity market reform proposals.


Nixing NOx – The US EPA issued its final Good Neighbour Plan on Wednesday, which requires significant reductions in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from power plants and industrial facilities. The rule will ensure 23 states meet the Clean Air Act standards, but California is only covered for other industries and not power plants, Utility Dive reported. The rule includes a NOx trading programme, EPA administrator Michael Regan noted. Power plants without NOx emissions reduction equipment will have to install it and power plants with the pollution control equipment will be required to run it all the time during the ozone season to protect downwind areas. The agency expects the rule will result in an additional 14 GW of coal retirements by 2030, or a 13% cut to national coal capacity. The rule will incentivise selective catalytic reduction retrofits on about 8 GW of coal plants while also resulting in an incremental 3 GW of renewable capacity additions in 2025, according to the agency. The final rule will reduce NOx emissions by about 70,000 t from power plants and industrial sources during the 2026 ozone season, which runs from May 1 to Sep. 30 each year, according to an EPA fact sheet. The agency estimates that in 2026 sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions will drop by 29,000 t, fine particle emissions by 1,000 t, and CO2 emissions by 16 Mt as a result of the rule.

Back to the future – Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures US has temporarily delayed the Mar. 27 listing of its Washington Carbon Allowance (WCA) contract futures for V23, V24, and Current Auction Clearing Price instruments on its platform, the exchange announced Wednesday in a press release. A revised listing date would be announced when determined, the exchange said, without specifying the reason for the delay. The WCA contracts were part of the state’s newly launched cap-and-invest programme that kicked off in January.

Race for rebates – Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced in a press release Wednesday that it would temporarily suspend the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program as of May 1, as projections showed the programme to be oversubscribed in late spring 2023. Programme rules require the DEQ to suspend rebates once funds are depleted, which the DEQ expects to occur in the next few months based on volume of EV sales. The DEQ has created an Available Rebate Funding web page for applicants to see how much money was left in the scheme in 2023. Once funds were depleted, eligible applications would go on a waiting list for the 2024 allotment of funds early next year. After Apr. 30, 2023, EVs purchased or leased would not receive state rebates, but still qualify for federal tax credits, the statement noted.


Deeper ties – South Korea and the Netherlands this week earlier signed seven MoUs to enhance cooperation on sustainable mobility, renewable energy and various other industry sectors, Yonhap News Agency reports. Liesje Schreinemacher, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, is currently in South Korea for a three-day visit, leading a large trade mission comprising some 50 companies, to bolster business ties and seek deeper cooperation with Seoul.

Steel output cuts – China will again cut annual crude steel production in 2023, marking the 3rd year in a row that the government has mandated reduced output to realise its emissions goals, Bloomberg reports, citing an anonymous source. China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the alloy, has seen steel output decline each year to remain just above 1 bln tons after production hit a record of 1.053 bln tonnes in 2020. The steel sector accounts for about 15% of China’s total emissions, second only to electricity generation.


Top-flight carbon management – Airports Council International (ACI) on Tuesday released the annual airport climate action results for Airport Carbon Accreditation, the global carbon standard for airports founded and managed by ACI EUROPE on behalf of airports worldwide. The past reporting year, running from May 2021 to May 2022, ended with 395 airports spanning 79 countries engaging in carbon management and reduction at one of the six programme levels. The 91 new accreditations reported this year represent the highest growth since Airport Carbon Accreditation’s inception in 2009. Airports have also made great strides in progressing to more stringent levels of accreditation – 86 airports upgraded to a higher level of carbon management during the year, with 89 having now achieved advanced levels of carbon management. The latest carbon reduction and compensation results achieved by the airport industry are equally record-breaking. In the period covered, accredited airports succeeded in collectively reducing the CO2 emissions under their control by 549,643 tonnes, a reduction of 8.1%. This is the largest reduction ever achieved through the programme. In addition, 898,821 tonnes of CO2e were compensated with high quality carbon credits, in line with ACI EUROPE’s Offsetting Guidance based on a qualitative assessment of the compensation mechanisms and offset types available on the market.

Verra API – Offset standard manager and developer Verra on Wednesday announced it has finalised its policy on establishing application programming interface (API) links between the Verra Registry and third-party interfaces. The API Linking Policy will streamline the ability to make market transactions to help scale the market for Verified Carbon Units (VCUs), the organisation said.


Sea that you do – The governments of California and Japan on Wednesday announced a new collaboration to clean up pollution at seaports, commercialise zero-emission fuels and maritime technologies, and establish green shipping corridors, according to non-profit organisation Pacific Environment. The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) will support green shipping corridors, port decarbonisation, and the deployment of zero-emission transportation through California’s $1.2 bln Port and Freight Infrastructure Program, with awards for the historic one-time programme scheduled to be announced later this month.


A carbon-free TikTok – ByteDance, the Chinese owner of short-video app TikTok, announced on Tuesday that it aims to become carbon neutral in its corporate operations by 2030. To achieve the goal, the Beijing-based company aims to reduce operational emissions by at least 90%, source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, and address the remaining balance through carbon offsets, it said in a statement. ByteDance will also work on reducing emissions within its value chain and plans to disclose more on its approach by the end of this year, the statement said. The company is the latest Chinese tech giant to announce a net-zero commitment in support of China’s national goals of peaking GHG emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2060. Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu have all committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. (South China Morning Post)

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