CP Daily: Monday March 27, 2023

Published 03:44 on March 28, 2023  /  Last updated at 05:34 on March 28, 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**

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

TOP STORY

Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism passes in lower house of parliament after government strikes compromise with Greens

The Safeguard Mechanism passed the lower house of Australian parliament Monday and looks set to survive a Senate vote later this week after the Greens party announced it had negotiated with the Labor government a series of measures to strengthen the scheme, including putting a cap on absolute emissions and giving the climate minister broad powers to ensure projects don’t exceed the cap.

EMEA

European Commission to start auctions of REPowerEU permits in July

The European Commission said it plans to begin the sale of EUAs under the REPowerEU initiative in July, the market’s administrator said after the market closed on Monday, confirming earlier reports that the EU was eyeing a summer start to the process.

Euro Markets: EUAs post slight loss as market seeks direction after March futures expiry

European carbon posted a modest loss on Monday as traders prepared for the expiry of the March futures contract ahead of the end of the compliance period, while sources described the market as quiet and seeking direction ahead of the Easter holiday period and a carbon market conference this week.

EnBW posts marginal drop in 2022 ETS-covered fossil burn, brings forward coal phaseout

German utility EnBW reported a 1% fall in its ETS-covered thermal generation in 2022, according to results published Monday, but a double-digit rise in brown coal burn that will keep support for its compliance demand.

EU states to address stalled CO2 cars deal after Germany signals breakthrough

EU transport ministers are poised to consider approving the bloc’s stalled CO2 car standard this week after Germany signalled a breakthrough, though sources suggested that the compromise might not be smoothly adopted as other states seek more time to consider changes.

Latest Swiss carbon permit auction clears at new record

Switzerland’s latest carbon allowance auction has cleared at a new record high.

AMERICAS

Washington approves two registries to issue offsets for cap-and-trade compliance

Washington will accept offsets issued from two US-based carbon registries under the state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-trade system, the state’s environmental agency announced Monday, though it is unclear when compliance-eligible credit generation may commence.

RGGI Market: RGAs resist macroeconomic driven volatility, as traders examine programme review modelling inputs

RGGI Allowance (RGA) values traded within a narrow range through another volatile week for global markets tossed around amid ongoing banking sector nervousness and interest rate hikes, while participants assessed modelling scenarios ahead of the power sector carbon market’s first programme review meeting in 15 months.

Canadian carbon project financier closes fresh round of financing

A Canada-based carbon credit investor announced on Monday it had successfully closed its latest round of financing for climate mitigation projects.

VOLUNTARY

Buyer pays $52/t for first electric cooking offsets

A buyer has paid an average of $52/tonne for the first issued electric cooking carbon offsets as well as future units, a project developer told Carbon Pulse.

VCM Report: Prices slide as jitters spread from Credit Suisse debacle

Avoidance carbon credit prices slid lower over the past week, led by sharp losses in nature-based credits as the corporate world’s attention focussed on the unfolding global banking crisis following the near collapse of Credit Suisse, although removal offsets continued to tick higher to extend a trend.

Developer lines up reforestation project deal with Ghana

A nature-based project developer has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ghana to develop a reforestation project in the country.

Brexiteer Farage’s carbon offset firm stock options expire worthless

A Dutch voluntary carbon offset firm has terminated Nigel Farage’s stock options, which were at one point expected to amount to a €20-million windfall for the former UK lawmaker and Brexit campaigner.

ASIA PACIFIC

Sydney-based fund manager establishes global compliance carbon market fund

An Australian fund manager on Monday launched a carbon credit fund to offer investors exposure to global compliance carbon markets, with a goal to outperform market benchmarks by at least 2% per annum.

Australian planting tech company partners with investment group to raise A$200 mln

An Australian environmental tech company that uses drones to plant trees has partnered with an impact investment manager to establish a carbon sequestration fund seeking to raise A$200 million ($133 mln).

China’s Hainan approves mangrove methodology, enhancing local blue carbon scheme

The government of the Chinese island province of Hainan has passed the technical review of a methodology for mangrove afforestation and reforestation projects, which could further strengthen the operation of the region’s offset programme and the country’s emerging blue carbon sector.

BIODIVERSITY (FREE TO READ)

Around 80% of key biodiversity sites have human infrastructure with share set to rise, study finds

The vast majority of the of the world’s key biodiversity sites already contain human-made infrastructure, with the share of these areas likely to be impacted by further development only expected to increase, a global assessment by scientific researchers has found.

ICYM

POLL: EU ETS emissions seen edging up in 2022 as dirtier power gains trump industrial pain

Emissions from stationary installations covered under the EU ETS probably rose marginally last year, according to a survey of analysts, as a rise in CO2 from dirtier power generation was partially offset by a drop in industrial output.

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CONFERENCES

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

Net zero aluminium – The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) launched Aluminium Forward 2030, a coalition of IAI’s 25 production members and 20 downstream and customer companies who have committed themselves to transforming the aluminium sector, the institute announced in a press release. The aim is to accelerate progress toward net zero emissions while working together on a roadmap that is inclusive of all the other UN Sustainable Development Goals. This IAI initiative flows from discussions with various players in the beverage can, automotive, electrical, transport, and construction markets and demonstrates the power of collaborative efforts to tackle one of the most complex global challenges. The group will build on existing collaborations, such as in the beverage can sector, to enhance circularity and reduce emissions. Reducing GHG emissions and combatting climate change have become priorities for the aluminium industry. However, the sector needs to move comprehensively toward net zero carbon in a way that addresses all other aspects of sustainability. Key leaders in major aluminium sectors, such as Jaguar Land Rover; beverage can producers Ball, Crown Holdings, and Ardagh Metal Packaging; Cable producers Nexans; and aluminium technology company Gränges, among others, have already endorsed Aluminium Forward 2030.

AMERICAS

Cross-border climate – US President Joe Biden and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau met on Friday in Ottawa, and together released a statement committing to catalyse clean energy and create good jobs. The countries said they will work together to address the climate impact of goods and promote common approaches for trade in low-emissions goods, such as green steel and aluminium. Additionally, both nations intend to propose regulations before this autumn that would help reach net zero grids by 2035 and accelerate efforts to phase down new, unabated coal generation facilities.

Budget boost – Canada’s push for a zero-emission electricity grid will get a significant funding boost in the federal budget on Mar. 28, including with new tax credits expected to encourage the development of renewable power sources like wind and solar. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has expressed an intention to limit new spending in this budget, amid the inflationary worries and affordability pressures on most Canadians. But she also has made clear Canada can’t hold back too much on clean technology investments because the competition is fierce. (Canadian Press)

EMEA

State aid – A €396 mln Spanish scheme to reduce electricity consumption levies imposed on energy-intensive companies was reintroduced on Monday by the EU Commission. The original scheme, which aims at reducing the risk of relocations, was approved by the Commission in January 2021 and expired in December 2022. Beneficiaries will receive a levy reduction between 75 and 85%, depending on their risk exposure. The applicable reduction must not result in a levy below €0.5/MWh. Under the scheme, which will run until 31 December 2028, beneficiaries will have to either perform certain energy efficiency investments, invest at least 50% of the aid in greenhouse gas emission reduction projects, or (cover at least 30% of electricity consumption with renewable sources (RES). Moreover, beneficiaries of a levy reduction by 75% can receive higher aid if they cover at least 50% of electricity consumption with RES and 10% of consumption through a RES Power Purchasing Agreement or 5% through on-site RES generation.

Scrub the grid – An additional investment of over 128 bln compared to earlier plans is needed to make Germany’s electricity grid fit for a climate neutral future, according to a first draft of a 2037-45 grid development plan drawn up by the country’s four TSOs. For the first time, the development plan describes a grid that is fit for overall climate neutrality 2045 – and a fully renewable electricity system by 2035 as a key milestone. This means that most of the grid expansion needs identified for 2045 will already be needed in 2037, said the TSOs. After that, additional renewable power would be used to produce green hydrogen. Compared to previous plans, the assumptions on the extent of hydrogen use have increased significantly, added the grid operators. “A comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure is assumed as early as 2037, the design of which has an impact on the development needs of the electricity transmission grid,” they said. Electrolysers would be built in locations where they can help stabilise the grid. (Clean Energy Wire)

Not neutral – A referendum in Berlin on Sunday that would have bound the city to strive to be climate neutral by 2030 has failed, the city’s mayor Franziska Giffey said in a statement. The measure would have forced the new conservative local government to invest heavily in renewable energy, building efficiency and public transport. Had it passed, Berlin would have been one of the few major European cities with a legally binding goal to become carbon neutral in seven years. (Reuters)

ASIA PACIFIC

Cooperative carbon capture — Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP has signed an agreement with Chinese steelmaker HBIS to pilot a carbon capture and utilisation technology, the company announced. HBIS and BHP will trial pilot-scale demonstrations of CCUS technologies at HBIS steel operations in China that can be integrated into steel production processes to reduce CO2 emissions. Examples BHP listed included vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA), an alternative technology to capture CO2, slag mineralisation, and biological conversion to protein. The company said it would also support HBIS in developing and deploying desulfurisation at HBIS’ hydrogen metallurgy demonstration project in Xinhua.  The project aims to use 60,000 tpa of capture CO2 from the direct reduced iron process in the food of industrial sectors. BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said the agreement builds on the company’s seperate carbon capture trail with ArcelorMittal, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Development, announced in Oct. last year. The agreement will tap draw from the $15 mln investment agreed to, over three years, in an MoU between the two companies signed in 2021.

Don’t believe the hype – South Australia’s experiment with blending 5% hydrogen into its household gas network in Adelaide is a “waste of precious renewable energy,” a visiting expert has said, RenewEconomy reports. A Cambridge professor, and co-founder of the Hydrogen Science Coalition, David Cebon, says using expensive green hydrogen for domestic use will prolong Australia’s dependency on gas instead of speeding up the transition to renewable energy. Hydrogen is not just expensive, it is also unable to be pumped into the gas network at any more than about 20%, meaning that it prolongs household dependency on a fossil fuel, according to Cebon. Studies also show that injecting 20% of hydrogen into existing gas pipelines will only save around 7% of emissions, Cebon claimed. Green hydrogen is made using electricity, a process that is extremely energy hungry. Many experts believe its application will be reserved for ammonia, some hard to abate industries, and niche uses, but the gas industry is keen to absorb and include hydrogen to protect their investments in networks of gas pipelines. Others, including Cebon, suggest it would be a lot cheaper to support households to electrify their homes for heating, cooking, and cooling rather than adding the extra step of making hydrogen.

Co-firing deal – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and PLN Nusantara Power, a unit of Indonesia’s state-owned utility PLN, will conduct studies related to co-firing of less carbon-intensive fuels at the latter’s power plants, Gas Pathways reports. The two parties will conduct three studies with support from Mitsubishi Power, MHI’s power solutions brand, according to the MoU signed between PLN Nusantara Power and MHI. This MoU follows a similar agreement concluded with PLN Group company PLN Indonesia Power in Nov. 2022, and will further aid in the advancement of solutions to accelerate the decarbonisation of energy systems in Indonesia, according to MHI.

New government body – Taiwan’s Cabinet has approved the establishment of the island’s Climate Change Bureau, which will be officially set up on this year’s Earth Day (April 22), in order to accelerate the planning for climate actions, according to a statement issued Monday by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA). The new bureau will add another 40 staff to the existing climate change office to work on 12 key regulations following the recently passed Climate Change Response Act, such as rules for carbon levy and certification agencies, EPA said.

Forestry agreement – State-owned China Forestry Group has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the government of Zhejiang province to work on the development of national reserve forests, the construction of a modern forestry industry and a related carbon credit system, it said in a statement recently released. Under the agreement, the two parties will develop forestry carbon sink projects in an orderly manner, leveraging Zhejiang’s expertise in big data and e-finance, according to the statement. Prior to the announcement, the foresty firm has formed partnerships with two regional authorities in China’s Shanxi and Hunan.

SCIENCE & TECH

Patently obvious – There was a record 411 global patent applications for CCS technology published in the past year, up 65% from 249 YoY, according to new research from law firm Mathys & Squire. The energy sector put forward 41 patent applications, the largest sector, including from Exxonmobil, Saudi Aramco, and Unilever. In addition, specialist carbon capture businesses were responsible for 19 of the patent applications published in the last 12 months. A total of 73% of published global carbon capture patent applications originated from China, Mathys & Squire said in a press release.

Don’t mess with sunset – The Mexican government is now actively drafting “new regulations and standards” to prohibit solar geoengineering inside the country, Reuters reported on Monday. The country also plans to rally other countries to ban solar geoengineering at the COP28 summit in UAE in December, according to Agustin Avila, a senior environment ministry official. The Mexican environment ministry statement said it would explore using the Convention on Biological Diversity’s call for a moratorium on “climate-related geoengineering activities” to enforce its ban. Last year, a US startup, Making Sunsets, released two weather balloons containing sulphur dioxide into the air from Baja California as part of a controversial solar geoengineering experiment which Mexico said violated its national sovereignty. Mexico has not set a date for implementing its ban, a spokeswoman for the environmental ministry said.

AND FINALLY…

Deniers’ delight – Ohio college and university instructors could be barred from teaching climate science without also including false or misleading counterpoints under a sprawling higher education bill that received its first hearing last week. Sen. Jerry Cirino, a Republican and SB-83’s primary sponsor, said it was his idea to include climate change as a “controversial” belief or policy, and that he “didn’t actually consult with climate people.” “My agenda was not to use this bill to impact energy policy,” Cirino said. However, he also said, “What I think is controversial is different views that exist out there about the extent of the climate change and the solutions to try to alter climate change.” Cirino said nothing in SB-83 will ban teaching about climate change or other controversial topics. “It’s that both sides of the equation need to be understood.” But on climate change, “both sides” arguments are often false or misleading propaganda from the fossil fuel industry and its allies. (Ohio Capital Journal)

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