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Academics call for tighter forest carbon methodologies to prevent over-crediting
Academics have fired another broadside at the voluntary carbon market (VCM) with a new paper claiming improved forest management (IFM) projects are belching out hot air.
Concerns mount that Franco-German deal would put EU climate goals at risk
EU emissions goals could be put in jeopardy by a compromise between France and Germany as the two major powers seek to promote their own interests in separate elements of the bloc’s climate policy, observers warned on Tuesday.
Euro Markets: EUAs drawn back towards €90 as March options expiry looms
European carbon prices clawed back several days of losses on Tuesday, rising to their highest since Mar. 16 as options traders eyed the expiry of the March contract tomorrow, while energy prices steadied after sharp declines on Monday.
Drax halts BECCS plans, seeks clarity on UK government support
UK power producer Drax has paused its BECCS plans in the UK until it gets more clarity over how the government will support the technology, it said on Tuesday.
Utility CEZ reports 5% drop in ETS-covered power output for 2022
Czech majority state-owned utility CEZ reported a 5% year-on-year drop in its EU ETS-covered thermal power output for 2022, it said on Tuesday, though its demand for carbon allowances saw less of an impact as coal output held relatively steady.
CORRECTION – EU nations advance 2023 EUA allocation to 62% of total, seven states yet to issue any
South Korea proposes to cut 2030 emissions reductions target for industry, scale up carbon sequestration and international credit purchases
South Korea has proposed to lower its 2030 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector, while planning to expand its domestic carbon sequestration programme and purchase more credits from abroad under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
Demands for ACCU limit in Safeguard Mechanism would cripple it, analysis says
Calls to place quantitative limits on Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) in the Safeguard Mechanism are unfounded, and would render the scheme inert, according to analysis released Tuesday, as an industry head hinted Australia would be unsuccessful in its bid to host COP31 if it failed to get the scheme up and running.
Voluntary carbon demand to taper off for avoidance, ramp up for removals -analyst
Avoidance-based carbon offsets will be sold for “bargain basement prices” to companies practicing “corporate charity” by the end of the decade, while demand for carbon removals will exceed the current projected supply, an analyst said Tuesday.
Difficulties in following the money impeding voluntary carbon market clarity, project climate value -experts
The financial trail of underlying projects is of equal interest to would-be voluntary carbon credit buyers as other transparency elements such as project location and methodology, a panel heard Tuesday.
Financials opening more short positions in RGGI due to growing allowance bank -analyst
Investors have taken up greater short positions in the power sector RGGI carbon market because of its growing allowance bank, an analyst told the North American Carbon World (NACW) conference in Anaheim on Tuesday.
California DEBs offset premium to double by 2030 -analysts
California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) with direct environmental benefits to the state (DEBs) will retail for more roughly double the price of credits without this distinction by the end of the decade, analysts said Tuesday.
UAE commitment to lead COP28 in “no way” detracted by oil interests, says Egypt
The UAE has a political commitment to steer this year’s UN COP28 climate negotiations that is not undermined by being an oil producing country, according to Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, who led the COP27 event last year.
ClearBlue Markets nets in $8 mln funding round led by RBC
Carbon trading and advisory firm ClearBlue Markets has raised $8 mln in a Series A funding round led by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
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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.
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
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
Suck it – Direct air carbon (DAC) technology would need more energy than used to run the world’s homes if it is to play a significant role in reaching global climate goals, according to oil major Shell’s future energy scenario. Shell modelled a scenario in which the world limits global warming in line with the 1.5C levels of the Paris Agreement, final energy demand for DAC rises from about nothing today to almost 66 exajoules in 2100 and allow the removal of more than 5 bln tonnes of CO2 per year. (Bloomberg)
It’s not on us – French oil major TotalEnergies expects its GHG emissions to barely dip by 2030 due to its growing gas business, executives said in an update on Tuesday, outlining plans to increase LNG output 40% this decade. Its Scope 3 emissions stood at 389 MtCO2e last year and are projected to be less than 400 Mt in 2030, claiming a net positive for the planet when this displaces coal. TotalEnergies aims to reduce emissions from its oil products by 40% in 2030 from 2015 levels, increasing its reduction target from the 30% announced last year. The firm plans to reduce the emissions intensity of the fuels it sells by 25% by 2030 from 2015 levels. (Reuters)
Accra calling – Ghana is calling for carbon market project ideas that can be evaluated by the government and matched with potential funders on its upcoming exchange. The government is inviting one-page proposals until Apr. 28. It said common examples of projects which may qualify to become carbon market projects include waste-to-energy, composting, renewable energy, clean cooking, low-carbon electricity generation, electric mobility, landfill gas management, energy efficiency, and afforestation/reforestation. Read Carbon Pulse’s feature on how Ghana has emerged as global a frontrunner on Paris Agreement-era carbon sales.
CCUS deal – BP is set to build a CCUS cluster with PetroChina in Hainan province in southern China, Upstream reports. The UK supermajor’s China arm signed an MoU with PetroChina’s China Southern Petroleum Exploration and Development to focus on CCUS-based low-carbon projects onshore Hainan. Under the agreement, the two companies will capitalise on BP’s expertise in developing the UK’s first gas power project with CCUS technology. At the signing BP chief executive Bernard Looney said the Net Zero Teesside Power project is part of a larger project to halve emissions from industrial clusters in the UK. He said the MoU is part of the strategic partnership BP has with PetroChina’s parent, China National Petroleum Corporation, that was signed in 2015 and recently extended to 2026. The initial goal of the partnership is to expand the co-operation on international projects. The partnership also covers shale gas exploration and development and fuel retailing ventures in China and is now expanded to low-carbon projects.
Swamped — The South Australian state government has received 29 formal proposals to its hydrogen jobs plan, RenewEconomy reports. The state Labor government has committed nearly A$600 mln ($400 mln) to build a 250 MW green hydrogen electrolyser and a 200 MW green hydrogen power plant in the steel town of Whyalla. The guarantee of government funds for the first of its type of project has attracted huge interest from Australia and around the world. The government received around 60 expressions of interest last year, which have converted into 29 formal proposals under a tender that closed last week. The government says it has received responses received from organisations across Europe, North and South America, and the Asia Pacific, including Australia. The proposals include those from major renewable energy companies, equipment manufacturers, and technology providers. The 29 bids include those just bidding on one part of the proposal – such as the provision of hydrogen electrolysers, the building of the power plant, hydrogen storage, and PPA proposals for hydrogen off take from people wishing to use the product. It is expected the contracts will be awarded in the second half of this year, with the facilities due to be delivered by 2025.
New foresty deal – A subsidiary of Yueyang Forest & Paper, one of China’s major papermakers, has inked a 20-year contract with the government of Hubei’s Wufeng Tujia Autonomous County to develop forest sinks in the region, according to a company statement. The forestry project is expected to generate net profits of over 20 mln yuan ($2.9 mln) based on the current prices of carbon credits, Yueyang said, without disclosing the expected scale of the plan. The agreement is conditional on the relaunch of the CCER scheme, the national offset programme that has been shut down since 2017, the announcement said.
Another lifeline for nukes? – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin says he wants to figure out ways to fund operations for beleaguered nuclear power plants — perhaps with a nationwide fee on electric bills. In comments made at a Capitol Hill briefing on nuclear hosted by Third Way, the West Virginia Democrat said he is seeking a policy path forward that would put nuclear plants, especially in merchant — or competitive — markets, on better financial footing to ensure stronger national energy security. One way to do that, Manchin suggested, would be some price attached to electric bills that could go to a fund managed by the federal government. That fund would serve as a backstop to nuclear plants closing prematurely. Such a fee would be “minuscule”, he said, but would go a long way toward supporting struggling plants. (E&E Daily)
Limiting limits – The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) joined the Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and ICM Inc., in filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of Minnesota’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, Farm Progress reported Tuesday. Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency rules require that new cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles in the state meet emission limits set by California and match California’s requirements for the sale of a certain percentage of ZEVs as defined by California regulators. The lawsuit contends that the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), which creates a uniform national standard for vehicle fuel efficiency, prohibits states from adopting policies “related to” federal fuel-economy standards. In EPCA, Congress expressly forbade the National Highway Safety Administration from considering the fuel economy of vehicles that run on “alternative fuels” (such as electricity) in setting fuel-economy standards, according to the lawsuit. The suit also challenges Congress’ decision to grant California — and only California — special authority to adopt its own motor-vehicle emission standards different from those set by the US government. This scheme, the lawsuit contends, violates the Constitution’s equal sovereignty doctrine because it grants California a greater degree of sovereignty and capacity for self-government than all other states. “Some of the most significant reductions in carbon emissions from transportation have come from using more renewable fuels and more efficient internal combustion engines. Adopting California’s rules in Minnesota would stop further investments in efficient use of renewables and other liquid fuels and would result in more net carbon emissions than we would have without these misguided rules,” Henry Armour, president and CEO of NACS said. About $1.7 bln of Minnesota’s gross domestic product comes from the biodiesel industry.
Beyond the cap – BC’s plans to set a GHG emissions cap for the oil and gas sector might leave the door open to additional LNG development, although probably not another mega-project like the Cedar LNG project, according to Mark Jaccard, emissions-modelling expert and director of the school of resource and environmental management at Simon Fraser University. “If you’re going to have an honest government on climate, and there haven’t been many, then you would hope (government would say), ‘We can’t keep approving stuff over here, without a cap over there’,” Jaccard said, expecting that smaller LNG proposals would go ahead because the emissions cap would set the ground rules for proponents to figure out how to fit under its terms. However, climate-activist Jens Wieting said approval of Cedar LNG, alongside the energy action framework, amounts to “cognitive dissonance during the climate crisis, seeking to reduce emissions with one hand while increasing them with the other”. In a news release, Wieting, a forest and climate campaigner for the Sierra Club of BC, said the 3 Mt of LNG the Cedar project proposes to produce would create almost 8 MtCO2e when burned. Jaccard, however, believes the path of BC’s framework “is the sane way to really achieve two objectives” — to benefit from what appears to be a still-growing LNG market while aiming to reduce emissions overall. (Vancouver Sun)
Carbon removal platform – Carbon Direct, a company built to help enterprises drive climate action, on Tuesday announced the Carbon Direct Platform, designed to provide organisations of any size with the information, strategies, and resources they need to set and equitably deliver on their climate commitments. The Carbon Direct Platform provides auditable carbon footprints, actionable strategies for emission reductions, and high-quality carbon removal portfolios that help companies make climate impact. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly focused on climate action. According to research from SME Climate Hub, 80% of SMEs surveyed consider reducing their emissions a “high priority”. However, SMEs frequently lack the resources—both financial and expertise—to take action.
Bean counting Bezos – The Bezos Earth Fund has announced new grants as part of its $10 bln climate and nature commitment. Some $19.1 mln will go to corporate disclosure CDP non-profit and the emissions accounting framework GHG Protocol to help companies get reliable information about their GHG emissions and those within their supply chain to set ambitious climate targets and reduce emissions. These build on earlier grants to drive corporate climate action to the Science Based Targets Initiative, the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, and the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative that totalled $21 mln.
SCIENCE & TECH
Mission accomplished – Following successful testing of its first Direct Air Capture (DAC) prototype unit for CO2 removal in the lab, GE announced Tuesday that it is planning larger scale demonstrations in 2024. GE Research and the GE Vernova business have been partnering closely with the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E), and a host of other industry and academic research partners to accelerate new advancements in CO2 removal. David Moore, GE’s carbon capture breakout technology leader, says the team’s recent success in the lab follows a more than two-year effort to build a world-class breakout team internally and externally with the DOE, ARPA-E, and an expanding number of industry and academic partners. GE’s Carbon Capture Technology Breakout Team has developed a unique DAC system that couples its decades of experience designing thermal management solutions and heat exchangers for its power turbines and jet engine platforms with deep chemistry and material systems expertise to develop innovative sorbent materials for CO2 capture. With GE’s DAC system, the thermal management design provides an optimal environment for the sorbent materials to remove CO2 from the air.
Flying on algae – United wants to turn microalgae into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through the first new investment of its recently announced UAV Sustainable Flight FundSM since its launch: algae biofuel company Viridos, Breaking Travel News reports. This $5 mln investment will support the production of 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. SAF is an alternative to conventional jet fuel that, on a lifecycle basis, reduces GHG emissions associated with air travel compared to conventional jet fuel alone. SAF is made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, and, in the future, could be made from other feedstocks, including household trash, forest waste, or algae. To date, United has invested in the future production of over 3 bln gallons of SAF – the most of any airline in the world.
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