CP Daily: Thursday March 16, 2023

Published 22:20 on March 16, 2023  /  Last updated at 22:24 on March 16, 2023  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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

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TOP STORY

ANALYSIS: Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulations to drive up demand for US renewable fuel

The Canadian Clean Fuel Regulations’ (CFR) first obligation period begins on July 1, triggering greater demand for US renewable fuel imports to satisfy compliance obligations, experts who spoke to Carbon Pulse agreed.

EMEA

EU presents its net zero industry bill in bid for global clean tech leadership

The EU presented its Net Zero Industrial Act (NZIA) proposal on Thursday, seeking to set 2030 targets to produce ‘strategically important’ clean technologies domestically, deploy carbon capture, and laying out a plan to further support green hydrogen.

Brussels proposes EU strategy on sourcing critical raw materials

The European Commission presented its Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) proposal on Thursday, seeking to reduce the bloc’s dependency on third-countries in sourcing raw materials indispensable for the development and building of clean technology.

Euro Markets: EUAs swing sharply amid easing macro worries and weakest-ever auction

EUA prices moved in a €5.50 range on Thursday as prices whipsawed in response to a succession of conflicting inputs including news that a major European bank would receive a capital injection, the weakest-ever EUA auction, and a sharp rally in energy prices.

VOLUNTARY

REDD+ developer expresses frustration, concern with Verra engagement on methodology overhaul

An established REDD+ project developer has highlighted the major challenges standard body Verra is facing in revamping its avoided deforestation methodology, noting that greater engagement with developers could have helped.

Carbon neutral commodity claims need emissions accounting for entire supply chain, conference told

Oil and gas companies may have eased off on making carbon neutral claims for commodity shipments, but work to improve methodologies for calculating lifecycle emissions of cargoes is an ongoing task that will be key to the greater use of carbon neutral commodities as part of company decarbonisation strategies going forward, an industry conference was told on Thursday.

Hybrid voluntary carbon contract shifts weighting to reflect less forestry

A hybrid standardised contract aiming to provide a single global price for the voluntary carbon market is about to undergo its first annual reweighting, which will see fewer forestry credit prices and more renewable and energy efficiency credit prices included.

French company directs €1 mln towards tech-based carbon removal purchases

A Paris-headquartered environmental services firm on Thursday said it helped corporates buy €1 mln worth of carbon removal units from tech-based endeavours.

US climate tech startup to offer carbon removal credits as $30 mln fundraise closes

A California-headquartered climate tech firm on Thursday announced it has completed its $30 mln Series A fundraise, and will use the money to market its mineralisation-based carbon removal units.

Ratings firm downgrades two project scores, upholds several others

A carbon credit ratings agency has downgraded its scores of two previously highly-ranked African projects, while upholding the scores of several others in a review of afforestation offset activity.

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

**This story has been withdrawn after multiple companies alleged Carbonomy was using another firm’s digital identity, and falsely claiming it had received $16 mln in funding from an investment firm.**

ASIA PACIFIC

China releases final ETS allocation plan with minor adjustments, leaves key questions unanswered

China’s environment ministry has released the final ETS allocation plan for the years 2021 and 2022, marginally easing the settings for coal-fired power plants compared to the previous draft while leaving the key issues of offset use and permit carryover unresolved.

Malaysia to target up to 10 Mt/year CO2 storage capacity for regional emitters by 2030

Malaysia plans to establish itself as a regional hub for CCS in Asia, largely through its national oil company Petronas, with plans to develop infrastructure to store up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030, according to a presentation at a conference on Thursday.

Enel ETS-covered power output jumps 31% in 2022 on coal and gas surge

A significant rise in both coal and gas output last year increased fossil power generation across Enel’s Italian and Iberian assets by almost one-third year-on-year, according to its annual results published late on Thursday.

AMERICAS

WCI Markets: Risk-off contagion spreads to CCAs, WCAs hold above reserve tier price

California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices traded through a volatile week in line with the risk-off tone sweeping across markets amidst the spate of banking collapses on either side of the Atlantic, while Washington Carbon Allowances (WCA) held above the scheme’s Tier 1 reserve price on the secondary market.

INTERNATIONAL

Green Climate Fund commits over $580 mln to new projects

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) this week approved $587.4 million in new funding for seven mitigation and adaptation projects at this year’s first board meeting, including a payment to a cross-country programme aiming to cut carbon emissions by over 55 million tonnes of CO2e.

BIODIVERSITY (FREE TO READ)

Biodiversity Pulse Weekly: Thursday March 16, 2023

A weekly summary of our biodiversity news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. All articles in this edition are free to read (no subscription required).

Biodiversity Credit Alliance could serve as nature’s ICVCM on governance -experts

There is considerable potential for the Biodiversity Credit Alliance (BCA) to serve a similar function to the cross-stakeholder Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM), though a key difference will be that this initiative is not two decades overdue, a panel heard Thursday.

Agreement on high-level principles needed before scaling biodiversity credit market -experts

Anchoring high-level principles that will underpin voluntary biodiversity credits is needed before more technical details can be ironed out, according to a panel of experts that spoke Wednesday about the barriers to market scale.

Forestry investor begins measuring biodiversity baselines in preparation for incoming nature markets

A global forestry investment company has begun measuring biodiversity baselines across their assets in anticipation of emerging nature markets, a company representative said Thursday.

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CONFERENCES

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

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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

Shell appeal – Shell’s chairman has called on shareholders to back the company’s energy transition policy that has shied away from setting a medium term net zero target for Scope 3 emissions. “The Board has considered setting a Scope 3 absolute emissions target but has found it would be against the financial interests of our shareholders and would not help to mitigate global warming,” said Andrew MacKenzie, chair of the company. He added that Shell has reduced carbon emissions from operations by 30% by the end of 2022, compared with 2016 on a net basis, and that the company continues to work towards becoming a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 by making significant investments in solar and wind power, biofuels and hydrogen. Read Carbon Pulse’s reporting on how Shell has warned of increasing reputational and litigation risks from the impact its oil and gas operations on climate change.

EMEA

Room for removals – All 27 EU environment ministers discussed the bloc’s certification framework for carbon removals proposal as part of their Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday. The Council secretariat said they welcomed its aim to further incentivise carbon removal activities in the EU but concurred that more discussions will be needed on the fundamental aspects of the proposal. A majority of member states also underlined that while carbon removals will play an increasingly important role in the EU’s climate policy the main focus should nonetheless remain efforts to reduce emissions and decarbonise the European economy. Read Carbon Pulse’s extensive reporting on the proposal.

Supporting neighbours – The EU has earmarked €70 mln for Bosnia-Herzegovina from its energy support package, most of which will be disbursed over the next two months to support vulnerable families and help companies improve energy efficiency, the EU envoy in the country said, EurActiv reports.

AMERICAS

Having a (dead) cow – Argentina has secured $540 mln from the Latin America Development Bank to finance a new pipeline that would allow for “record” gas exports. The bank announced a deal last week to finance the Nestor Kirchner pipeline, a project that would allow the country to export gas from the Argentinian Patagonia’s Vaca Muerta field, which campaigners have described as a ‘carbon bomb’ due to huge emissions potential. Vaca Muerta currently holds the world’s second-largest shale gas deposit and could lead to “record oil and gas production,” according to Argentina’s president Alberto Fernandez. (Climate Home)

Banking on the future – Toronto Dominion (TD) bank is setting a C$500 mln sustainability and decarbonisation target, the lender announced in a press release on Thursday. Canada’s second-largest bank by total assets will also publish an additional set of interim 2030 Scope 3 financed emissions targets for the automotive manufacturing and aviation sectors. The ESG measures are a part of TD’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Applause for laws – The US could reach 90% clean electricity production by 2030 thanks to the 2021 infrastructure law and last year’s climate law, a recent Department of Energy study cited by Axios on Thursday found. That’s up from the previous estimate of 41%. The laws’ ability to push renewables, carbon capture, and sustain nuclear power were modelled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which pegged the range of clean electricity now attainable at 71-90%. Poor development of transmission lines would keep the share of clean energy towards the lower end of the range, the study found.

Clean hydrogen cost cuts – The US Department of Energy said Wednesday it is offering $750 mln for research, development, and demonstration efforts to slash the cost of clean hydrogen. The funding is part of a $1.5 bln effort to advance electrolysis technologies and improve manufacturing and recycling capabilities for hydrogen and fuel cells. President Joe Biden’s administration aims to cut the cost of hydrogen produced from emissions-free electricity to $1 per kilogram within a decade, down from around $5/kg today. The just-released funding opportunity specifically aims to improve the efficiency, increase the durability and cut the cost of producing clean hydrogen from water using electrolysers to less than $2/kg by 2026. (Utility Dive)

ASIA PACIFIC

Wind power hub – East Asia is set to remain the top wind power production region thanks to a project development pipeline that will expand current wind power capacity by 65% by the end of 2030, Reuters reports, citing data from Global Energy Monitor (GEM). While China will remain the largest wind producer and top wind capacity developer, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan will all post faster growth rates than China through 2030, according to GEM. Combined, these East Asian countries are set to take up 36.2% of world wind capacity by 2030, with the region remaining the largest hub for wind power.

VOLUNTARY

NCS buyers guide – The Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, on Wednesday published “A Buyer’s Guide to Natural Climate Solutions Carbon Credits.” The guidance is meant to support businesses as they navigate the procurement process for high-quality NCS carbon credits that meet the tripartite goals of climate change mitigation, biodiversity gains and benefits to people. Specifically, the alliance said the guide gives practical information to guide them step by step through the entire purchase process for NCS carbon credits.

OFFICIAL CORRECTION: Verra API – Offset standard manager and developer Verra on Wednesday said it had had finalised its policy on establishing application programming interface (API) links between the Verra registry and third-party interfaces. However, a Verra spokesperson on Thursday told Carbon Pulse the organisation is still in the process of finalising its procedure and policy on this, and the original announcement came from an internal miscommunication.

SCIENCE & TECH

Deforestation divide – A new study has found that the carbon sink potential of forests recovering from deforestation does not align with the current rate of deforestation. The research, published in the journal Nature, demonstrates the potential of these ecosystems as a carbon sink and outlines the current limits of forest regrowth to address climate change and ecological emergencies. The findings revealed that degraded forests recovering from human and environmental damage, such as fire and logging, are removing at least 107 MtCO2 from the atmosphere annually. Although the results show that recovering forests have the potential as a carbon sink, the amount of carbon being taken up in aboveground forest growth only counterbalanced around a quarter (26%) of the current carbon emissions from tropical deforestation and degradation. (Innovation News Network)

Au revoir Arctic – Arctic ice may never recover from the melting initiated in 2007, according to a Norwegian Polar Institute study published in Nature on Wednesday. The study refers to the Arctic as a “new regime”. In 2007, 19% of Arctic sea ice was at least 4 m thick, and now only 9.3% of Arctic sea ice is that thick. The ice is much younger too, averaging at 2.7 years-old, or one third younger. Thinning ice due to rising ocean temperatures poses a threat to natural wildlife. (Climate Nexus)

AND FINALLY…

Scotch guard – Scottish whiskey producer Jura Distillery is set to become the first building in the country to trial an self-repairing limewash as part of it commitment to sustainability. The new coating, developed by the University of Hertfordshire and leaders in bio-based construction, UK Hempcrete, aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the island whisky makers. It does this increasing a building surface’s absorption of CO2 and therefore serves as a potential solution in building conservation particularly in remote, rugged, locations such as Jura that force frequent building repairs. (Drinks International)

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