CP Daily: Friday September 15, 2023

Published 08:26 on September 16, 2023  /  Last updated at 08:41 on September 16, 2023  /  Newsletters  /  Comments Off on CP Daily: Friday September 15, 2023

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

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China approves offset market framework, paving way for imminent relaunch of CCER scheme

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) on Friday evening announced it had approved, in principle, a set of administrative measures that will underpin the relaunch of its national carbon offset programme, which has been suspended for more than six years.


US agtech firm with voluntary carbon offerings announces $250 million raise

A US-based agricultural technology firm providing carbon services and products has raised over $250 million to advance its suite of offerings for sustainable agriculture, according to a release published Friday that follows reports of a steep drop in the company’s valuation.

FEATURE: Nascent biochar industry eyes link to use case in search of higher value

In the nascent and fragmented biochar market, more could be done to tie the carbon credit price for a project with how the biochar will ultimately be used, such as in concrete or as a soil amendment, and subsequently how long the carbon will likely be sequestered.

Verra says academic criticism of REDD methodologies addressed in its new approach

Verra has largely welcomed the latest academic bashing of REDD methodologies because it says the criticisms are addressed in its upcoming VCS methodology updates, although the standard body has also pointed out some areas that need to be clarified.

Indian voluntary carbon credits face quality challenge, warns climate expert

A lot of India’s voluntary carbon projects produce credits of low quality, and the country should engage in the high end of the market to attract greater investment, a carbon market veteran told a conference in New Delhi this week.

Norway wealth fund releases stricter climate action, voluntary carbon guidelines for companies

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which oversees Norway’s NOK 15.3 trillion ($1.4 trillion) sovereign wealth fund, on Friday published stricter climate action guidelines for companies in which it invests, highlighting that climate risk equates to financial risk but also offers opportunities.

Developer plans boom in African bamboo carbon projects, although Kenyan expansion in limbo

Bamboo could be the next market to boom in nature-based removal solutions as a startup developer in Uganda expects its first batch of afforestation carbon credits to trade at $20, although the company’s expansion plans into Kenya may be at risk from the country’s new revenue sharing demands for local communities.

ICE introduces liquidity provider programme for voluntary carbon offering

ICE is introducing a liquidity provider programme to boost trade in its voluntary carbon credit futures, the exchange said Friday.

Carbon credit certifier strikes partnership to develop blue carbon methodologies

A carbon credit certifier announced a partnership with two international institutions to develop methodologies for blue carbon and blue economy on Thursday, while signalling a long-term aim to broaden its work beyond carbon.


Euro Markets: EUAs slide amid late sell-off as short squeeze ends, while UKAs post 10% weekly drop

EU carbon prices ended the week up 1% from the previous Friday, erasing much of their recent advance during the day as the short squeeze triggered by Wednesday’s Commitment of Traders report faded towards the end of trading and was replaced by a robust sell-off, while UK prices set a new record low and fell 10% from last Friday’s settlement.

Largest UK ETS emitter to receive £500 mln to exit coal, but thousands of jobs at risk

The UK government will provide £500 million to keep the largest steel plant in the country open and to reduce its carbon footprint by switching its energy source from coal to electricity, the British government said in a statement on Friday, although doing so will likely lead to thousands of job losses.

UK CCS picks up pace as carbon storage licences handed out in first-ever licensing round

A developer of a carbon transport and storage network off the coast of north-east Scotland is among the 14 companies to have been awarded 21 licences in the UK’s first-ever carbon storage licensing round, conducted by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA).

EU renewables saved over half of Russian gas imports in August, say analysts

The growth in solar and wind electricity generated across EU countries spared the equivalent of 54% of the total fossil gas imports from Russia in August, according to analyst findings published on Friday that highlight how the rapid expansion of renewables is helping EU nations cover the loss of Russian supplies.

UK biomass strategy under scrutiny as critique grows over environmental impact of burning pellets

The UK’s approach to using biomass to produce electricity will be closely examined by the country’s National Audit Office, following ongoing critique about where the fuel is sourced and concerns by environmental activists that burning biomass is not truly renewable.


US legislators introduce bill for national programme on carbon removal R&D

A US congressman and senator introduced companion bills on Thursday that would launch a 10-year, multi-agency programme for research, development, and demonstration of multiple varieties of carbon removal technologies.

WCI current vintage auction size increases for Q4

California and Quebec will offer more carbon allowances at the November auction in comparison to the Q3 2023 sale in August following the inclusion of past vintage units, according to a government notice published Friday.

Rockefeller Foundation pledges over $1 bln to advance global climate solutions

The US-headquartered Rockefeller Foundation has pledged to invest over $1 billion in the coming five years to expedite the global climate transition.

California environmental justice body seeks end to LCFS avoided methane credits, limits for biofuels

The environmental justice committee for California state regulator ARB on Thursday asked the Board to immediately scrap avoided methane credits in the agency’s forthcoming Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) rulemaking, as well as impose limits for lipid biofuels.

Producers and speculators trade positions on CCA vintages, RGGI length

Compliance entities moved their positions on the California Carbon Allowance (CCA) market to the current year while selling off RGGI Allowances (RGAs), while speculators rolled their CCA positions to next year and picked up RGAs over the past week, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published Friday.

Labour leaders advocate for workers’ concerns in New York cap-and-invest programme design

In a webinar Friday, a panel of labour leaders cautioned against over-zealous regulation, while accepting the need to transition to clean energy and promoting the protection of unions and workers under the proposed scheme.


Australia cancels 700 mln carbon credits to close Kyoto loophole

Australia announced on Friday it has cancelled its more than 700 million remaining Kyoto Protocol-era carbon credits to make sure no future government will be able to use them towards the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

CN Markets: CEA price continues to climb amid lower trading volumes

China’s national carbon markets saw prices continued to increase over the past week despite a decline in trading volume, while trading activity in the offset market improved somewhat ahead of the relaunch of the national voluntary programme.

India stands to earn $12.5 bln annually in international carbon markets by 2030, IETA says

India could earn significant revenues from engaging proactively in Article 6 cooperation and earn up to $12.5 billion annually in the international carbon market by 2030, according to the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).

China thermal power growth declines in August, though coal output expands

Growth in China’s thermal power generation declined in August, with the overall power generation remained stable from a year ago amid gradually improved economic sentiment, government data showed Friday.


Investment in renewables and clean cooking tops $1 trillion, but more is needed, warns UN

More than a trillion dollars have now been committed to boost renewables and access to electricity and clean cooking technologies by 2030, although it falls far short of the funds needed to meet the Paris Agreement climate target, warns a report released Friday ahead of a UN summit.

Study points to promising CO2 sequestration potential of ERW in tropical agriculture sectors

Using enhanced rock weathering (ERW) in the agricultural sectors of tropical regions offers promising potential to combat climate change while enhancing crop yields, a study has found.


Environmental credits standard eyes role in global plastic treaty

Plastic credits such as the ones it issues itself should be an integral part of a new global plastic treaty framework to help close the estimated $40 billion finance gap to stave off the plastic crisis, environmental credits standard body Verra has told the UN.

Industry body urges Australian insurers to act on nature risk, back credits

Extreme weather events and biodiversity loss create major risks for Australian insurers, but also opportunities to invest in projects and instruments that mitigate those risks, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said Friday.


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Flowcarbon Carbon Smart Summit – Sep. 19, New York City: Your chance to get up to speed on the fast-changing carbon markets at Climate Week NYC!  Join us for a full-day/in-person event featuring leading experts working at the forefront of the voluntary carbon markets — from project development and finance to key policy initiatives, corporate sustainability and technology trends. Speakers will include: Mark Patel (McKinsey), Kelley Kizzier (Bezos Earth Fund), Mark Kenber (VCMI), Alexia Kelly (High Tide), Judith Simon (Verra), David Antonioli, Zach Scott (Trafigura), Julie Bennett Bunuan (Truist) — and many more. Registration is free. Sign up today at carbonsmart.global

North America Climate Summit – Sep. 19-21, New York City: The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) looks forward to welcoming delegates to our flagship North America Climate Summit (NACS) 2023, an official accredited event of New York Climate Week 2023 and the UN General Assembly 2023. The Summit is the ideal forum to take stock of the world’s evolving net zero landscape and clean growth opportunities, and a zoom into North America. Hear from policymakers, business leaders and innovators who are leading the pack in building, scaling and collaborating on carbon pricing and markets for net zero. Register here

Carbon Forward 2023 – Oct. 11-13, London: Join us for Europe’s pre-eminent carbon markets conference, covering the EU and UK ETS as well as international voluntary markets and compliance schemes elsewhere in the world. The event brings together attendees from all related sectors, including traders and intermediaries, big emitters, financiers, project developers, analysts, consultants, NGOs, and government representatives. Topics to be covered include carbon pricing regimes globally, investment opportunities, Article 6 cooperation, CBAM, net zero strategies, and de-risking the voluntary carbon markets. Passes are going fast to secure yours today!



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We need to talk – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with backing from UNDP, plans to host a discussion at next week’s UN General Assembly, urging the formation of effective carbon markets in Africa with fair carbon pricing, preferably at least $100 per tonne as opposed to the current $5 per tonne. The side event, scheduled for Sep. 19, is to foster conversations amongst global leaders and financial institution representatives on building carbon markets with integrity and transparency in Africa. President Tshisekedi of DRC intends to highlight the climate mitigation potential of the nation’s natural resources, proposing them as a solution for decarbonisation and enhancing global climate resilience. Reflecting DRC’s dedication to protecting biodiversity and reversing tropical deforestation, as shown in their pledges in various COP meetings, Tshisekedi has initiated a government strategy aiming to conserve 700,000 sq. km of land housing fragile ecosystems like peat bogs by 2030. This territory, which encompasses over 15% of the nation’s land, is set to be recognised as protected areas to be leveraged for carbon credits, helping to realise last year’s COP15 objective of allocating 30% of national lands for forest and biodiversity conservation. The DRC government, cooperating with organisations including UNFCCC and UNEP, has formulated protocols to facilitate carbon credits exchange, having already executed successful carbon projects domestically. He will stress the importance of ensuring ‘just’ carbon pricing mechanisms that reflect the ecological value of the DRC’s natural habitats and cater to the wellbeing of its communities, aiming for sustainable energy solutions and combating illicit activities threatening the Congo Basin, one of the world’s most proficient carbon sinks. (Pan-African Visions)


Paris proposals – France is preparing to update its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) to reflect EU climate targets, the country’s energy ministry said this week, playing down delays in submitting the refreshed plan to Brussels. Paris needs to incorporate EU targets into its own national legislation, such as the EU goal to reduce GHG emissions by 55% from 1990 by 2030 and to achieve a 42.5% share of renewables by the same date. The delay with the French law revision has resulted from consultative groups being tasked with making recommendations to the government. Among other objectives, the groups recommend that France aim for a 25-30% reduction in energy consumption by 2030, which is double the target set in the latest NECP submitted to the European Commission in 2021. (Euractiv)

Duel – E-fuels must be climate-neutral for new vehicles with combustion engines to be sold after 2035, according to a new draft regulation seen by Euractiv. This comes after an internal dispute emerged between the Commission’s DG Grow and DG Clima, following Germany’s push for e-fuels. A meeting for member states’ representatives to discuss the proposal is planned for October. Read our recap on the Fit for 55 package, and how the cars issue put it at risk earlier this year.

Mine opposition – Plans to mine 95,000 tonnes of coal from an opencast site in Wales have been rejected by a local council due to environmental concerns and local opposition, the BBC reports. Extending the life of the closed Glan Lash mine near Ammanford in Carmarthenshire as requested by Bryn Bach Coal Ltd would have created 11 jobs, but concerns about loss of habitat and impact on the local community won out over the perceived benefits. Since the application for the extension was submitted in 2019, the council had received 826 objections against the resumption of its operations. The news follows rejection of plans to extend  Ffos-y-Fran, another opencast coal mine in Wales near Merthyr Tydfil.

Youth resistance – Six young people from Portugal, aged between 11 and 24, will appear at the European court of human rights to try to convince 32 nations to rapidly accelerate emissions reductions in the world’s largest climate legal action to date. The claimants, who were driven to act by their experiences in Portuguese wildfires, will argue that the European nations’ climate change policies are inadequate and in breach of human rights obligations. Their aim is to seek a binding rule from the judges to force the countries to ramp up their emissions reduction efforts in what would be a historic milestone in climate mitigation, unprecedented in scale and consequence. The young people are crowdfunded by people from around the world, who have donated £100,000, and will speak in the Strasbourg court in 13 days’ time. (the Guardian)


Clicks – State-owned electricity company, PLN, initiated the PLN Climate Click platform as an instrument to support carbon trading between power plants in Indonesia. Through the PLN Climate Click, developments, and decarbonisation steps being carried out by PLN can be monitored regularly. Director of Transmission and System Planning of PLN Evy Haryadi explained that the application will also provide data in the form of inventory of GHG emissions for Scopes 1-3 emissions. Moreover, data will be available on trading emissions and carbon offsets, climate change mitigation actions, and climate change adaptation actions within the PLN Group. (Antara)

Biorefinery assessment – South Korea’s LG Chem and Eni Sustainable Mobility have teamed up to conduct technical and economic feasibility assessments for a potential biorefinery in the country, they announced Friday. The new biorefinery, designed to process around 400,000 tonnes of bio-feedstocks annually, will have the flexibility to process renewable bio-feedstocks and to produce multiple products including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the companies said. The final investment decision is scheduled for 2024 and the plant will be completed by 2026 at the existing integrated petrochemical complex in Daesan, according to the statement.


Money tree – The US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is awarding $1.1 bln in competitive grants for tree plantation and preservation efforts across communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. Territories and Tribal Nations, according to the press release. The Forest Service selected 385 grant proposals from entities working to increase equitable access to trees and nature, and the benefits they provide for cooling city streets, improving air quality, and promoting food security, public health, and safety. The grants will be covered by the Justice40 Initiative, which is a part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Cash for carbon carriers – The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced Friday $27 mln in funding to support the transport of CO2 to locations for permanent geologic storage or conversion to useful products. The CO2 could be captured from industrial and power generation facilities, or from legacy emissions captured directly from the atmosphere. It may be transported by any single mode of transport, including pipelines, rail, trucks, barges, or ships. The DOE says, in order to accommodate the expected rapid growth of the CCS industry, it will need to significantly expand the current CO2 transport infrastructure over the next decade. Funding of up to $3 million per front-end engineering and design (FEED) study is expected, and the application deadline is November 16, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. EST. 

Oregon in 60 seconds – Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality has extended the public comment period for its rulemaking on its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, Third Party Verification, and Climate Protection Program, the agency announced Friday. The deadline will now be Oct. 13 at 1600 Pacific time (2300 GMT). Program clarifications and a handful of modifications are being proposed in the rulemaking, the agency said.

Rising rural costs – Canada’s Liberal Members of Parliament (MPs) who represent rural ridings in the country’s Atlantic provinces are calling for carbon tax rebates higher than those the backstop program currently offers, bringing their concerns to the national Liberal caucus meetings this week. Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador currently receive payments every three months under the programme, while in neighbouring Nova Scotia, the amounts are lower. Those who reside in rural and small communities also receive a supplement to account for increased energy needs and reduced access to transportation. However, the elected MPs say that the payments aren’t high enough and many of their constituents feel abandoned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government. (CBC)


Aussies in the air – The Australian government has unveiled its Aviation Green Paper titled ‘Towards 2050’ (AGP50), focusing on decarbonising the aviation sector as part of its strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030, aiming for net zero emissions by 2050. The paper, launched by National Minister for Infrastructure Catherine King, encourages industry and public suggestions to form a long-term strategy, to be presented in next year’s Aviation White Paper. The paper highlights four main pathways to achieve decarbonisation: sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), fleet renewal, and the development of electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies, along with improved air traffic management. AGP50 suggests that Australia could create a domestic SAF industry using locally-produced feedstocks, leveraging its agricultural assets, although the country currently lacks refining capacity and has been exporting large volumes of potential feedstock abroad. The strategy also points to the potential of hydrogen and electric propulsion technologies, expected to be significantly developed between 2030 and 2050. However, these technologies face challenges including high costs and the creation of necessary infrastructure. Furthermore, the government considers high-quality offsets as a temporary solution before the full adoption of decarbonising technologies, but raises concerns over their social impact and reliability. Emission reduction targets for large airlines have been set, encouraging the adoption of SAF and other measures for decarbonisation. Qantas, Australia’s largest airline company, is supporting this initiative, pledging to expand its SAF commitments to 500 mln litres per year from 2028, in collaboration with Airbus and Boeing, aligning with its new orders for widebody jets. The group aims for SAF to constitute 10% of its jet fuel consumption by 2030. However, Qantas criticised the Australian government for insufficient support for SAF development, highlighting that their SAF would be sourced from the US, where government policies are more favourable. The green paper also mentions potential reductions in flight demand due to alternative transportation modes and increased use of technology for virtual meetings, though it notes Australia’s geographical characteristics might limit the viability of these alternatives. (GreenAir)


Funding? Proba-bly – Proba, a service provider that converts climate actions into tradable assets through the issuance of carbon certificates, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from ECG Ventures. This investment aims to further Proba’s efforts in promoting collective action towards achieving net zero emissions by expanding its operations and customer base. Proba facilitates transparency and credibility for businesses, helping them highlight their environmental commitments through reliable carbon certificates that adhere to well-respected standards including the GHG Protocol and ISO 14064. This initiative not only encourages organisations to enhance their sustainability projects but also foster better supply chain relationships.


Let’s get cooking – The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA), and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have partnered to educate Africa’s banking industry on the efficient navigation of carbon markets. They collaborated with the Kenya Bankers Association to organise a recent workshop named “Banking on Carbon Markets”, which was attended by over 100 senior bankers and centred on financing clean cooking projects. The initiative aims to equip banks with knowledge on carbon finance business models and the risk-return profiles associated with clean cooking projects. During the workshop, industry stakeholders emphasised the significant role of banks in fostering carbon projects, which contribute to a sustainable future by aligning with environmental, social, and governance standards. The initiative encourages banks to leverage opportunities in green and sustainable finance, going beyond mere risk mitigation.

Hemp carbon credits – Canadian cleantech company Hempalta announced a strategic partnership with UK-based Hemp Carbon Standard on Friday to offer carbon credits to corporate buyers to give them the opportunity to secure “high-quality, high-integrity” credits. “The credits not only enable companies to measure and contribute to their decarbonisation efforts but also support regenerative agricultural practices,” said Tim de Rosen, CEO at ClimaFi, the sponsor of Hemp Carbon Standard. According to the press release, Hempalta will start inviting companies from the energy industry to secure carbon credits derived from industrial hemp cultivation, allowing them to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and support farmers embracing regenerative agricultural practices. (Newsfile)


Mine-bomb – Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ-USP) in Brazil have found that continued operation of all active legal mining sites in the country could result in emissions totalling 2.55 billion tonnes of CO2e in the coming decades, contributing about 5% of global annual GHG emissions from human activities. This stems from loss of vegetation and soil, which are significant carbon stores. The researchers, who published their findings earlier this year in the Communications Earth & Environment journal, proposed using nature-based solutions for post-mine reclamation to offset up to 60% of these emissions. This involves creating “technosols” from mine tailings and other residues like domestic and industrial waste to reconstruct soils, effectively leveraging them as carbon storage mediums, potentially even performing better than natural soils in some cases. While they said this strategy shows promise, the team emphasised the need for careful management to avoid the use of waste materials containing toxic elements, advocating for the incorporation of pollution prevention and heavy metal remediation techniques in the technosol development process. The researchers believe that their findings point to viable pathways for reducing the climate impacts of mining, not just in Brazil, but globally. (Mirage)

Nowhere to hide – Satellite observations of methane reveal that methane releases from global oil and gas operations are 30% higher than estimated by countries in reports to the UN, according to a new study published in Nature Communications. Most of the overall discrepancy comes down to the world’s four largest oil and gas emitters, the US, Russia, Venezuela and Turkmenistan. The satellite data confronts figures reported to the UN that use so-called emissions factors — estimates for how much methane equipment may typically release — applied to production and use rates. It finds that the satellite data suggests those estimates are way too low, using 22 months of detections from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite. The study finds that complementing these estimates with top-down methods of calculations would help to more accurately pinpoint who and what is responsible for methane emissions and provide governments with a clearer picture of how to make the cheapest and most effective cuts.


Bricking new ground – Belgian manufacturer Vandersanden is set to introduce the world’s first carbon-negative bricks, named “Pirouett”. The bricks are cured in CO2-filled chambers for 48 hours, using mainly waste materials from the steel industry and a fraction of primary raw materials. This innovative process allows each metric tonne of bricks to capture and store 60 kg of CO2, contrasting sharply with the traditionally high-emissions kiln firing process. The bricks, which are created by permanently binding CO2 to calcium, not only reduce emissions but actually have a negative carbon footprint, the company said. Vandersanden is gearing up to launch the first batch from its new energy-efficient factory, powered by wind and solar energy, in early 2024. (TrendWatching)

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