CP Daily: Wednesday March 29, 2023

Published 05:24 on March 30, 2023  /  Last updated at 05:24 on March 30, 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 STORIES

VCM Integrity Council publishes core carbon principles, programme assessment framework, in next step of offset quality drive

The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) on Thursday published its core carbon principles, programme assessment framework, and list of additional attributes, as it moves closer in establishing its stamp of quality assurance in the market.

ICAO Council greenlights two offset programmes for next CORSIA phase, sets vintage range

Two existing CORSIA programmes have received re-eligibility from the ICAO Council to supply carbon credits under the next phase of the global aviation offset scheme, as the UN body also advanced the vintage range for units during this period, according to a recent decision.

EMEA

UK to unveil first CCS, hydrogen support and consult on carbon leakage

The UK is set to unveil major support for front-running CCUS and green hydrogen projects later on Thursday, and will launch a consultation on how ETS-covered companies can be better protected against carbon leakage.

ANALYSIS: EU urged to incorporate engineered removals into ETS “as soon as possible”, but big questions remain

The EU should take immediate action to include engineered carbon removals into its emissions trading system to allow technologies now considered essential for meeting climate targets to scale, though an assortment of major questions surrounding such a move remain unanswered, an event heard Wednesday.

Senior lawmaker warns against giving the US exemptions from EU’s carbon border measure

US steel and aluminium exports should not be exempt from the EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) as the nation’s climate measures aren’t as ambitious and handing out a free pass would dissuade the US and other countries from raising their game, German MEP Peter Liese said Wednesday.

EU experts look to avoid multiple methodologies for carbon removal activities

The EU will adopt a single methodology for each type of carbon removal activity, and these could be adapted from the voluntary market, a conference heard Wednesday.

Shipping sector not yet ready for looming EU ETS phase-in, say experts

Shipping is not yet ready for the EU ETS phase-in starting next year and the bloc’s FuelEU Maritime law to stimulate sustainable fuels will be more important in setting the pace for decarbonisation, experts told a conference on Wednesday.

Euro Markets: EUAs extend gains after funds and compliance seen reducing long positions

European carbon prices extended their gains for a second day on Wednesday, bringing prices firmly back above €90 as Commitment of Traders data showed investment funds cut another large tranche of net length last week.

EU legislators to face yet another trilogue talk to finalise renewables directive

The EU co-legislators are ready to start the seventh, possibly last, trilogue negotiation on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) late into Wednesday night, after an earlier member state representatives meeting lined up a possible conclusion.

GCC signs MoU with Egyptian exchange to expand regional carbon markets

Certifier Global Carbon Council (GCC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) to collaborate in the expansion of regional carbon markets, according to a press release Wednesday.

AMERICAS

New York planning cap-and-invest programme with future RGGI linkage in mind

New York state is designing their economy wide cap-and-invest programme to enable a future linkage with the RGGI scheme, while fluidity parameters for members entering and exiting the power sector scheme are still under consideration for the final Model Rule update, RGGI states discussed on Wednesday at their third programme review public meeting.

California-registered offset project likely set for termination after wildfire-induced carbon losses

An Oregon-based forestry offset project registered under California’s cap-and-trade programme will be cancelled after a wildfire caused a significant reversal in carbon stocks, according to a verifier report.

INTERNATIONAL

Dubai’s Blue Carbon signs Article 6 carbon deal with Liberia

Newly founded UAE-based carbon project developer Blue Carbon has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Liberia to implement carbon removal projects in the forestry sector under Article 6 guidelines, the Liberian government has announced.

Global gas flaring falls to lowest level since 2010 -World Bank

Gas flaring fell to its lowest level for more than a decade, according to a new report from the World Bank published Wednesday, declining more than 3% year-on-year though still emitting over 350 MtCO2e in 2022.

VOLUNTARY

ICE delays auction of reforestation carbon credits

The ICE exchange has delayed its first carbon credit auction, postponing the sale of 500,000 reforestation units on the eve of the sale, the bourse said on Wednesday.

Experts suggest carbon accounting as key to restoring voluntary market integrity

Experts discussed the importance of accurate carbon accounting to restore integrity to voluntary carbon markets (VCM) and prevent murky net zero claims, a webinar heard on Wednesday.

BIODIVERSITY (FREE TO READ)

Australia introduces nature repair market legislation to parliament

The Australian government on Wednesday introduced its world-first nature repair market legislation into parliament, though concerns remain over what some consider fundamental gaps in the legislation.

UK govt body readies metric ahead of biodiversity net gain scheme launch

The body responsible for nature preservation in England and Wales posted a significant update to its biodiversity metric, which it expects will be the final version used when biodiversity net gain becomes mandatory in November, it said in a consultation response.

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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

Take responsibility – A new study published Wednesday offers important new ways to view how individual countries have boosted global climate change. Published in the journal Scientific Data, the research is the first to assign responsibility – in the form of temperature increases – to individual countries and country groupings, rather than just emissions. The US alone is responsible for the largest share of global climate change, having caused 0.28C (0.5F) of warming from 1851-2021, or 17.3% of the globe’s temperature increase. The study allows climate negotiators to view emissions by country groupings, such as Brazil, South Africa, India, and China, which are known as the BASIC group and behind 0.37C (0.66F) of warming during that period. This is well below the so-called Annex I countries, which include the major industrialised nations. This bloc is responsible for pushing global average surface temperatures upward by 0.72C (1.3F) since 1851. The study found that total warming from GHG emissions alone during the period was 1.4C, but the IPCC noted actual warming has been 1.1C (1.98F) once cooling influences are included. (Axios)

And justice for all – At a UN general assembly meeting in New York on Wednesday, governments approved a resolution recognising the huge challenge of climate change and calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to provide an advisory opinion on how it intersects with international law. An advisory opinion from the ICJ interprets existing international law rather than creating new legal obligations, and it is not legally binding. But it is highly influential. Nilufer Oral, a member of the UN International Law Commission and director of the National University of Singapore’s Centre for International Law, said the opinion would “provide clarity and guidance on the legal obligations of states when it comes to climate change, and the legal consequences of failing to act”. Among other things, it will consider states’ human rights responsibilities and their intergenerational duties. (Climate Home)

EMEA

Green recovery – The European Commission issued on Wednesday €6 bln of NextGenerationEU green bonds in its fourth syndicated transaction for 2023, to fund 30% of its recovery programme, becoming the largest issuer in the world. The single tranche transaction was executed via a tap of the green bond due on 4 February 2048. The executive said investors demonstrated a strong interest in the transaction, which was over 12 times oversubscribed. This transaction brings the total volume of NextGenerationEU green bonds issued to date at €42.5 bln. The new bond carries a coupon of 2.625% and comes at a re-offer yield of 3.348% equivalent to a price of 87.930. The spread to mid-swap is +68 bps, which is equivalent to +98.8 bps over the Bund due in August 2046 and +13.9bps over the OAT due in May 2048. The final order book was of over €73 bln. The joint lead managers of this transaction were Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, JP  Morgan, Nomura and Nordea.

LNG block – European energy ministers proposed that new gas market rules should include the option for governments to temporarily stop Russian and Belarusian gas exporters from bidding up-front for capacity on the infrastructure needed to deliver LNG into Europe. The proposal is part of countries’ negotiating position on new EU gas market rules and must be negotiated with the European Parliament – a process that can take months. The bloc has pledged to ditch Russian gas in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Europe’s pipeline imports of gas from Russia have plunged since the invasion, but LNG imports have increased. Russian LNG deliveries to Europe increased last year – to 22 bcm, up from around 16 bcm in 2021, according to EU analysis. (EurActiv)

Big blow – Europe invested just €17 bln in new windfarms in 2022 – down from €41 bln in 2021 and marking the lowest investment figure since 2009. The EU wants to accelerate the build-out of wind energy to strengthen its energy security and ensure affordable electricity prices, but recent market interventions and remaining barriers are said to be deterring investors. According to WindEurope, Europe urgently needs to restore investor confidence, otherwise it might see a drop in new windfarms instead of the big increase envisaged in REPowerEU. WindEurope’s Annual Financing and Investment Trends report finds Germany invested the most in new windfarms in 2022, followed by Finland and Poland. The €17 bln financed windfarms with a total capacity of 12 GW in all of Europe, 10 GW of which were in the EU.

We’ve got a deal – The German government coalition has overcome a month-long dispute with a deal on comprehensive reforms in climate and environmental protection, the acceleration of major infrastructure projects, and billions for the modernisation of Germany’s ailing rail network. The deal, which came after 2.5 days of intensive negotiations between the Social Democrats (SPD), Green Party, and Free Democrats (FDP), received praise and criticism. Student climate activist group Fridays for Future heavily criticised the agreement as a “failure by ‘climate chancellor’ Scholz.” Environmental NGOs and climate activists called the proposed reform of Germany’s climate law a “sin against all future generations” that weakens accountability by individual ministries, while economists said the proposal could lead to more efficient climate action. (Clean Energy Wire)

Lost decade – No single sector in England is prepared for the impacts of climate change – with the last 10 years being a “lost decade” for government action, according to a new assessment from the UK’s climate advisers. The CCC identifies 45 outcomes that will be needed to prepare for climate change across key sectors, ranging from nature and food security to finance and telecommunications. The government has not yet delivered on any of these – and only has credible policies and plans in place to deliver in the future for five of the 45 outcomes. (Carbon Brief)

AMERICAS

Biden backslide – An enormous swathe of the Gulf of Mexico, spanning an area the size of Italy, was auctioned off for oil and gas drilling on Wednesday morning, in the latest blow to US President Joe Biden’s increasingly frayed reputation on dealing with the climate crisis. Biden’s Department of Interior is offering up a vast area of the central and western Gulf, including plunging deep water reaches, for drilling projects that will stretch out over decades, despite scientists’ urgent warnings that fossil fuels must be rapidly phased out if the world is to avoid disastrous global heating. The auctions also come despite Biden’s own pre-election promise to halt all drilling on federal lands and waters. The auctions come just two weeks after Biden’s administration approved the controversial Willow project, a drilling endeavour in the remote tundra of Alaska’s arctic that will remove more than 600 mln barrels of oil over its lifetime, and the two actions have caused major alarm among those in favor of a livable climate, including Biden’s usual allies. (Guardian)

ASIA PACIFIC

Tungsten time – Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has struck a deal to swap out diesel for renewables and green hydrogen at a relaunched tungsten mine in Tasmania, Renew Economy reports. Group 6 Metals has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for FFI to explore opportunities” to potentially power its Dolphin Tungsten Mine on King Island in Tasmania, after its original option fell through. Group 6 Metals, which used to be known as King Island Scheelite, is looking to reopen the Dolphin mine some 31 years after it closed down following a period of too-low tungsten prices. The company says commissioning and first production should happen this year. At the same time, Hydro Tasmania secured a A$2 mln grant from the Tasmanian government in order to upgrade the capacity of the 11kv transmission line to the Dolphin mine. But last week Group 6 said due to several [unspecified] commercial and operational factors that the deal had fallen through, and the remaining A$1.6 mln is going towards a diesel generator to power the site, and look at other options. FFI has stepped into the breach. It is investigating a wind farm, a hydrogen plant, and a possible fertiliser plant nearby in order to supply electricity, heat energy and hydrogen to the mine, as well as look at processing higher value tungsten.

Give a hand – Four Japanese banks will co-finance a total of $300 mln in credit lines to power producers using renewable energy in Vietnam to help the growing Southeast Asian country decarbonise, according to Nikkei. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Mizuho Bank, Joyo Bank and Shiga Bank will provide funds through Vietcombank, the nation’s major bank, which will in turn provide subleasing loans to local businesses. Meanwhile, the government of Japan on Tuesday committed Rs 7,084.5 crore ($860 mln) to India for three infrastructure projects, including a forest and biodiversity conservation project in West Bengal, Outlook reports. The East Asian country will also fund a metro rail construction project in Patna and a livelihood improvement project for Rajasthan’s water sector, according to the report.

Electrifying — An electrification lobby group is urging the Australian government to commit funding in the federal budget to electrify 500,000 homes, the ABC reports. Rewiring Australia estimates it would cost roughly A$2.5 blm ($1.6 bln), however it would allow the average household to slash its energy bills by A$3,000- A$5,000 per year. The group also wants the Commonwealth to enshrine in legislation an extra A$10 bln for the government’s green bank, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to ramp up their work. On Wednesday the group teamed up with CAN Australia and federal MPs to hosting an Electrify Parliament event, in a push for home electrification. Last year the government said it would support a substantial package to help households swap their gas appliances with electric ones, and identified electrification as a priority in the transition away from fossil fuels.

SCIENCE & TECH

Svante spend – US airline United on Wednesday announced a $5 mln investment into Canada-based CCS technology company Svante. The investment was made as part of Svante’s Series E financing round and will fund and support the company’s commercial-scale filter manufacturing facility in Vancouver. The company’s technology has the potential to turn CO2 removed from the atmosphere and from industrial emissions sources into sustainable aviation fuel.

AND FINALLY…

Mammoth meatball – A giant meatball made from flesh cultivated using the DNA of an extinct woolly mammoth was unveiled on Tuesday at Nemo, a science museum in the Netherlands. The ‘offering’, created by Australian cultivated meat startup Vow, was made of sheep cells inserted with a singular mammoth gene called myoglobin. The meatball, a one-off that has not been tasted, was presented as a source of protein that would get people talking about the future of meat, according to Tim Noakesmith, founder of Vow. Experts say that if cell-based food production is widely adopted, it could vastly reduce the environmental impact of global meat production in the future, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane. (Reuters, AP)

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