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WCI Q2 current vintage auction clears at highest point in a year
The Q2 California-Quebec current vintage carbon auction settled at its highest point since Q2 2022, nearly matching secondary market levels, according to government data published Thursday.
Euro Markets: EUAs drop to four-month low in wake of technical breach
European carbon dropped sharply on Thursday, reaching its lowest in four months as traders offloaded length after prices had dropped through a key technical level in the previous session and natural gas prices posted their heaviest one-day loss in more than two months.
Rising EUA prices would add 0.2% to euro zone inflation by 2025, central bank forecasts
Rising carbon prices in Europe would have a “rather limited impact“ on the euro zone economy, though the increase would not be enough to drive the emission reductions needed to meet the bloc’s 2030 climate target, the European Central Bank has forecast.
Norwegian DAC startup partners with storage tech firm to build 100kt plant
An Oslo-headquartered engineered removals company has signed an agreement with a provider of durable mineral carbon storage as they target the launch of a 100,000-tonne direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) plant in Iceland in 2027.
Startup launches EU-compliant corporate climate disclosure platform
A France-based carbon startup has launched a new platform to help firms report on their environmental and climate impact, specifically preparing companies for compliance rules due to come into force under the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
NEFCO, CCA partner to accelerate clean cooking solutions in sub-Saharan Africa
The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation’s (NEFCO) Modern Cooking Facility for Africa (MCFA) has announced a partnership with the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) to boost clean cooking solutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
Australian mine extension’s emissions risks Safeguard Mechanism cap, think-tank submission says
The expansion of a Queensland coal mine could potentially push the boundaries of the reformed Safeguard Mechanism, given that the mine’s owner has been historically underreporting its emissions, according to a think-tank submission.
Tech firms team up to launch Asia-Pacific digital carbon registry
Two climate tech firms have joined forces to build what they say is the first digital carbon registry in the Asia-Pacific, with a function for digital measuring, reporting, and verification (dMRV) embedded in the platform.
Macao launches carbon inclusive programme, joins Mainland China offset network
The special administrative region of Macao has launched a so-called carbon inclusive programme and joined a network of exchanges in Mainland China that run similar offset schemes targeting individuals and small businesses.
India’s Grow Indigo, Dvara E-Registry to pioneer climate-smart agriculture in Madhya Pradesh
Agricultural technology startups Grow Indigo and Dvara E-Registry on Thursday announced a partnership aimed at fostering climate-smart agriculture and creating new income opportunities for smallholder farmers in the Madhya Pradesh region of India.
Global clean energy investment extends lead over fossil fuels -IEA
Investment in clean energy technologies is significantly outpacing spending on fossil fuels as affordability and security concerns triggered by the global energy crisis strengthen momentum, the IEA said in a report published on Thursday.
WMO members approve “landmark” global GHG monitoring system that plugs critical climate info gaps
The World Meteorological Congress has given the green light to a new “landmark” global greenhouse gas monitoring initiative that aims to plug critical information gaps, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced Wednesday.
Global X launches compliance market ETF on New York Stock Exchange
An investment management company has listed its carbon allowance exchange-traded fund focused on global compliance markets on the New York Stock Exchange, it announced Thursday.
Open-source carbon credit metadata system unveils prototype
The detailed prototype of an open-source metadata system was unveiled this week, demonstrating how users will be able to more easily navigate carbon markets on a single platform, with data collected from across the diverse landscape of carbon registries.
Specialised venture capital firm claims 500kt in GHG mitigation across portfolio
A venture capital firm, which focuses investment in climate technology companies active in urban environments, on Thursday claimed its portfolio removed or reduced nearly 500,000 tonnes of carbon last year.
Shipping emissions could be cut by up to a fifth with a shift in paperwork -report
Redrawing the relationship between ship owners and charterers could lead to a 15-20% reduction of maritime-related emissions, according to a white paper published on Thursday by a technology software company and one of the world’s largest shipping association.
Startup closes €2.5 mln seed funding round to expand shipping CO2 management tool
A Berlin-based startup has raised €2.5 mln in a funding round as it looks to develop a digital solution for the shipping sector to manage and reduce its carbon emissions, as well as engage in the EU ETS.
WCI Markets: CCAs rally slightly into auction results, WCA pre-auction lull prolongs
California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices increased through a quiet week as participants awaited WCI Q2 auction results released Thursday, while there was a continued lull in activity ahead of next week’s Washington Carbon Allowance (WCA) auction.
BIODIVERSITY (FREE TO READ)
US Supreme Court decision upends federal jurisdiction over wetlands
A unanimous US Supreme Court ruling delivered on Thursday narrows the federal government’s authority in regulating bodies of water and could have larger implications for protection of wetlands across the country, according to analysis from an environmental publication.
Australian state land restoration programme partners with planting tech company to deliver projects
An Australian land management company has partnered with an international restoration tech company to restore and protect 20,000 hectares of land in Victoria, as part of the state government’s Bushbank programme.
Finnish firm to pilot biodiversity premium payment for forest-owners
Forestry firm Stora Enso is launching a pilot programme where it will pay forest-owners across several regions in Finland for leaving their harvested forests in better shape than required by regulations.
Biodiversity Pulse Weekly: Thursday May 25, 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).
The implication of market mechanisms of the Paris Agreement for developing countries’ emission reduction targets
We are seeing a growing trend of developing countries becoming more interested in participating in Article 6.2 cooperative approaches to generate ITMOs from climate activities. but it is vital to make sure that developing countries fully understand the implications of Article 6 on NDC implementation, writes Temuulen Murum of IGES.
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Carbon Fast Forward Mediterranean 2023 – June 22, Athens: Following the pandemic and the energy crisis in Europe, the environmental markets in the Mediterranean have gained momentum as a central tool for companies in the region to achieve their emissions reductions targets, through transparent carbon pricing and a robust cap-and-trade mechanism. The increased ambition that the European Commission has announced as part of its Fit for 55 package will bring the shipping sector into the EU ETS market and increase compliance costs for industrial installations and airlines operating in the region. Join us for this one-day, regionally-focussed event geared towards Mediterranean installation operators and shipowners. Register now – spaces are very limited.
Grow to Zero! – June 26-27, London: Insightful discussions on carbon market evolution? Thought leadership on blended finance for impact? Networking with impact investors and sustainability professionals? Find it all at Gold Standard’s Conference, Grow to Zero! 26-27 June 2023 at Kings Place, London. Tickets and agenda details available here: www.growtozero.co.uk
Argus Carbon Markets & Regulation Conference – July 5-7, Lisbon: In the wake of new legislative reforms to the EU ETS being confirmed, and as voluntary carbon markets continue to shift and evolve, the Argus Carbon Markets & Regulation Conference returns to Portugal to provide necessary insights for your company to remain competitive and aware of the upcoming opportunities within Europe and globally. This is your opportunity to stay up to date on the latest market dynamics through panel discussions, fire side chats, and presentations with industry peers and policy makers in-person. Join market-makers in defining both the compliance and voluntary carbon market by booking your place today. To find out more and to book your place, click here
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
Letter of discontent – More than 100 carbon removal experts have submitted a letter in response to the UNFCCC’s Article 6.4 Supervisory Body detailing how CO2 removal is an essential component of the response to climate change. Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement will shape the future of how global carbon markets operate, and the response comes following an information note from a UN panel that suggested engineered removals were inconsistent with the world’s climate goals. The letter urges the UNFCCC to adopt the IPCC definition of CDR, and a method-neutral, criteria-based approach to determine CDR project eligibility under the Article 6.4 mechanism.
Outgoing insurers – Three of Europe’s biggest insurers have quit the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance as growing US political pressure and legal fears plunge the climate initiative into crisis, the FT reports. Axa, Allianz, and Scor said on Thursday that they were leaving the NZIA, which is one part of Mark Carney’s umbrella group Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), created by the former Bank of England governor ahead of the 2021 COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow. The departures bring the total number of large insurers which have left the NZIA to seven, severely curbing its collective power and posing a question over its future. Its website listed 23 members on Thursday.
En-dying? – Enviva, the world’s largest maker of wood pellets for bioenergy, is struggling through its most significant financial downturn ever, a problem potentially compounded by a class-action lawsuit alleging the company has misrepresented its environmental sustainability and growth potential. Wall Street reacted harshly on May 3 when Enviva announced a Q1 loss of $117 mln, nearly three times worse than predicted. Enviva also eliminated its shareholder dividend, a red flag for a company in distress. The firm’s balance sheet also indicates trouble. In April, Enviva management had been buoyant with investors about its revenue prospects for 2023. But one month later, it projected an annual net loss of between $136-186 mln. Its original annual net-loss projection was far smaller at just $18-48 mln, associated largely with new plant construction in the southern US. As a result, Enviva’s stock price, which has been sliding since late last year, plunged from $21 per share to less than $8, an all-time low since the company went public in 2015. Its shares have dropped about 90% since hitting a record high of $85 in April 2022. “We know what the specific issues are,” CEO Thomas Meth said in a statement. “Contract labour is too high, discipline around [pellet mill] repairs and maintenance spend[ing] is insufficient, wood input costs need to come down further and stay there, and [production] rates at specific plants need to improve and stabilise at those improved levels.” (Mongabay)
Official bad news – The German economy was in recession in early 2023 after household spending fell due to high inflation, Reuters reports. GDP fell by 0.3% in Q1 2023 when adjusted for price and calendar effects, an estimate from the country’s statistics office showed. This follows a decline of 0.5% in Q4 2022. A recession is commonly defined as two successive quarters of contraction.
Return to sender – The German government could revive the neglected idea of returning revenue from the national carbon price on transport and heating fuels to the population to help lower income households, reports Tagesspiegel Background. Responsibility for the mechanism, which is known as a “climate bonus,” has been moved from the finance to the labour ministry, government sources told the publication. The labour ministry set up an inter-departmental working group with a brief to prepare the “political decision-making process” on a possible design, a ministry spokesperson said, but didn’t give any details on the timetable of the working group. However despite the working group, it remains totally uncertain whether a “climate bonus” will be introduced. In their coalition agreement, the three government parties said they would develop a “climate bonus.” However, it remains unclear how the money could be distributed, because Germany lacks a system via which all residents could be paid. Last year, the government took in €6.8 bln from the EU ETS and €6.4 bln from the national scheme, according to the report. But at present, there is no money to distribute left, because it has already been earmarked for other purposes. (Clean Energy Wire)
Leaping to defend – The UK government has defended the UAE’s appointment of an oil executive as head of this year’s UN COP28 climate summit, the BBC reports. It comes after more than 130 lawmakers from the US and EU wrote to the UN calling for his removal. The UN has recently often been criticised for the involvement of the fossil fuel industry in the COP climate summits. The country’s minister for net zero Graham Stuart said Al Jaber, who heads up the UAE team for this year’s summit, was “an outstanding individual”.
Big spenders – In cooperation with German investors, Namibia has commissioned Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest green hydrogen production project, Clean Energy Wire reports. The government cabinet approved the entry into the $10 bln project with Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, whose shareholders are renewable power developer Enertrag and infrastructure developer Nicholas, the company said. The plan is to build wind farms and solar plants with a total capacity of 7 GW to produce green ammonia, a hydrogen derivative which can be transported more easily. At full scale development, anticipated before the end of the decade, the project will produce 2 Mt of green ammonia annually for regional and global markets.
Angry Dutch businesses – Business associations in the Netherlands have voiced their opposition in a letter to the nation’s parliament regarding the proposed energy tax on fossil fuels on Thursday. In the letter, head of employer’s association VNO-NCW Ingrid Thijssen said, “This is deeply unfair to thousands of business owners who want to reduce their gas consumption but cannot due to the overloaded electricity grid and lack of sustainable alternatives.” The price increase is estimated to be around €0.25-0.28 per cubic metre of gas, which businesses say could threaten manufacturing companies in several regions.
Clean fuel fear – The four premiers from Atlantic Canada are asking the federal government to delay implementation of its new Clean Fuel Regulations. The four provincial leaders, including Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King, said in a news release Thursday that they want a pause until a plan can be developed to address what they call “the disproportionate impact of the regulations on Atlantic Canadians,” where many goods needed by consumers and businesses have to be trucked in. The Council of Atlantic Premiers met virtually Wednesday with Steven Guilbeault, the federal minister of environment and climate change, to discuss the issue. King, who currently chairs the council, had voiced his concerns about the timing of the new regulations this week in the Prince Edward Island legislature. Both the Clean Fuel Regulations and federal ‘backstop’ CO2 levy increase are scheduled to come into effect on July 1. (CBC)
Give it a shot – The US Department of Energy on Wednesday announced the launch of the “Clean Fuels & Products Shot”, which focuses on reducing CO2 output from the fuel and chemical industry through alternative, more sustainable sources of carbon to achieve at least 85% lower GHG emissions compared to fossil-based sources by 2035. The DOE said the initiative aims to help meet the national goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 by developing the sustainable feedstocks and conversion technologies necessary to produce crucial fuels, materials, and carbon-based products that are better for the environment than current petroleum-derived components. It aims to meet projected 2050 net zero emissions demands for 100% of aviation fuel; 50% of maritime, rail, and off-road fuel; and 50% of carbon-based chemicals by using sustainable carbon resources.
Delays and blowouts — Australia’s New South Wales government has revealed big delays and blowouts in the cost of some of its newly-created renewable energy zones, raising new questions about the timing of the Eraring coal-fired power station, slated for 2025, Reneweconomy reports. The revelations come in a newly released Network Infrastructure Strategy, and include a five fold increase in the original cost of the Central West Orana zone to A$3.2 bln ($2 bln) and a potential three year delay to its completion. The cost increase and delays are being blamed on a decision to provide more capacity in the CWO REZ and because of route changes to respond to community concerns. They are also likely to represent increases in labour and supply costs. NSW needs to deliver 12GW of new wind and solar generation and at least 2GW of long duration storage capacity by 2030 to deal with the planned coal closures.
Stabiliti sign-up – Environmental credit exchange Changeblock on Thursday announced a strategic partnership with Stabiliti, an automated carbon removal solution for businesses. As part of the partnership, Stabiliti will provide Changeblock with a selection of carbon credits that meet the standards of the UK Carbon Code of Conduct (UKCCC).
Retiring the retirer – Finnish non-profit Compensate Foundation has announced the closure of the entity’s consumer app and monthly subscription-based emissions compensation service at the end of the month. The move follows the significant scaling down of its commercial sister operation, Compensate Company, earlier this month after a failure to secure new investment. The app had channelled €2.5 mln into climate projects, translating into 315,932 carbon credits retired and 147,836 tCO2 real climate impact, according to Compensate’s overcompensation model based on its in-house rigorous project screening and rating process. The Compensate Foundation will continue its non-profit work to reform the voluntary carbon market and is planning to produce a white paper on non-offset climate claims in early June.
Comments welcome – Kenya-based Burn Manufacturing – one of Africa’s largest cookstove companies and carbon offset project developers -is developing a Programme of Activities (PoA) using Gold Standard’s Metered and Measured Energy Cooking Devices Methodology. This project will be called “ECC_Multi-country Electric Clean Cooking Programme.” The PoA will span several African countries and may be extended to others later. The objective of the PoA is to deploy metered & electric cooking devices, reducing and or substituting the use woody biomass consumption for households, institutions and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Burn is inviting stakeholder comments on the programme design at this early stage of PoA implementation.
Charles in charge – European Council President Charles Michel faced a public storm earlier this year after news outlet Politico revealed he’d spent €1.7 mln on travel last year. He took private jet flights to destinations as close as Paris, which has a high-speed train connection to Brussels, and to the COP UN climate talks in Egypt in 2022 and Scotland in 2021. But since 2021, Michel has offset his emissions by buying carbon offsets, with the latest Council tender published on the EU’s public database. Flight data pertaining to the Council president shows that between 2019 and 2022, Michel flew 18 of 112 missions on charter flights. EU records suggest that up to now, Michel’s offset project of choice has been a Brazilian ceramics factory that is switching its fuel from illegal wood to agricultural and industrial waste products.
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