CP Daily: Thursday November 16, 2023

Published 02:48 on November 17, 2023  /  Last updated at 03:26 on November 17, 2023  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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Article 6 body unanimously agrees crediting methodology guidance in last-ditch talks before COP28

The UN body responsible for guiding which projects may be credited under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement has unanimously agreed to its methodology recommendations after two years of intense discussion, just in time to forward its guidance document to country negotiators at COP28.


EU publishes EUA auction totals for 2024, holds back from announcing September-December standard volumes

The European Commission has published projected EUA auction volumes for 2024, including allowances that will be sold to generate funds for the REPowerEU initiative.

FEATURE: Companies see EU ETS rule tweak kickstarting carbon storage in buildings 

Companies are counting on an under-the-radar tweak to EU ETS rules to kickstart projects to store carbon permanently in buildings, with the incentive to shave carbon costs enough to get going without needing to rely on fledgling efforts to generate carbon credits from removals.

Euro Markets: EUAs give up week’s gains, drop by most in 5 months amid strong selling, hesitant buyers

European carbon prices plunged on Thursday afternoon, giving up the week’s hard-won gains amid a solid block of selling activity, as participants continued to speculate over whether prices will recover ahead of the expiry of the current front-December contract.

NGO slams latest text being considered for EU’s carbon removals bill

NGOs have said they have “serious concerns” with a text being considered for adoption by member states on the bloc’s new legislation aiming to define how to certify carbon removals, they said in a letter published on Thursday.

EU co-legislators strike deal on energy market, proceed with redesign

EU co-legislators reached a provisional deal on Thursday on a bill to enhance the transparency of the bloc’s rapidly decarbonising energy market and met for a second time to talk about a related bill for shielding citizens from higher energy prices.

EU’s Green Deal boss gives preview of new plan for power grids

The European Commission will soon present a communication on how to improve energy grids in Europe that will also cover how important CCS technology has become, the executive’s Green Deal boss Maros Sefcovic said on Thursday.

Ukrainian energy minister says country may need EU’s help with power supplies this winter

Ukraine’s deputy energy minister said on Thursday that the country’s electricity grid may need additional inputs from the EU this winter to prevent blackouts, adding that the embattled nation’s power sector is shaping up in the hope of EU accession.

Egyptian parliament proposes, falters on carbon pricing as COP27 presidency nears end

The Egyptian Senate has wrapped up several days of deliberations on whether to establish carbon pricing in the country, with the government approaching handover of its year-long presidency of the UN climate negotiations with little sign of progress on its pledges for the topic.


Washington state contemplates steps to link with California-Quebec carbon market

The Washington Department of Ecology (ECY) on Thursday hosted a Q&A session to discuss the potential request for legislation required to facilitate linkage between the state’s cap-and-invest scheme and the joint California-Quebec cap-and-trade programme.

Joint California-Quebec workshop addresses concerns about allowance price forecasts beyond 2030, clarifies market considerations

A joint California-Quebec workshop Thursday regarding potential changes to the cap-and-trade programme heard clarifications about modelled CO2 permit prices, as staff responsible for regulation of the joint market also presented their rationale regarding considerations for changes in market mechanisms.

WCI Markets: CCAs, WCAs both ride to higher level prices on thinner volumes

California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) and Washington Carbon Allowances (WCAs) both saw rising prices even as volumes traded fell over the week, with market participants largely agreeing that CCAs would remain at a premium after the ARB cap-and-trade informal rulemaking public workshop slidedeck was posted on Wednesday, but were split on the fate of WCAs.

Oregon Environmental Quality Commission passes rulemaking for climate programmes

A number of modifications to three of Oregon state’s climate programmes proposed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) successfully passed, but heard particular concern from the Environmental Quality Commission regarding state regulation of biomethane on Thursday.

US DOE grants $4.3 mln for assessing feasibility of CO2 storage hub in Virginia

The US Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday granted nearly $4.3 million to the Virginia Department of Energy to assess the site feasibility and commercial viability of a CO2 storage hub project in a local county.

US EPA announces roster of environmental justice funding to Southern states

The US federal Environment Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Thursday a string of grants to environmental justice (EJ) initiatives across several states in the Southern US.

Board chair of ART jurisdictional REDD+ standard steps down to join US Presidential climate team

The chair of the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) programme has stepped down to join the Office of the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate as a forests advisor.

Canadian carbon removals developer announces C$75 mln fundraise

A Montreal-based carbon removals developer has announced a Series A funding round of C$75 million ($54.5 mln) to advance its goal of a billion tonne-scale project in Canada.

US chemical carbon conversion company raises $5 million

A Washington-based company reducing the carbon intensity of feed, fibers, fuel, and fertiliser by converting recycled CO2 has received $5 million in seed funding from four investors, it announced on Thursday.


Asia-Pacific climate commitments off pace with rest of the world, UN report says

Most Asia-Pacific nations are trailing global commitment levels in emissions targets, and they should use the next cycle of NDC updates in 2024-25 to recalibrate, a UN report said Thursday.

Environmental plantings to dominate future ACCU issuance, outlook shows

An outlook into Australia’s carbon market expects Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) sourced from environmental planting (EP) projects will make up a large portion of the annual issuance in the years ahead.

Japan’s steel sector far from credible decarbonisation -report

None of Japan’s ‘big three’ steel makers are close to realising the kinds of steep emissions cuts needed for the energy transition according to their own stated emissions plans, an Asian think tank said Thursday.

China to announce additional regulations to support CCER relaunch

China is set to announce three supplementary rules to back the operation of its national voluntary scheme, providing more clarity for developers and traders to participate in the long-suspended market, the government said Thursday.


Climate finance for developing countries just shy of $100 billion goal in 2021, expected to be surpassed in 2023 -OECD

The goal of developed countries providing and mobilising $100 billion of climate finance annually to developing countries to help them cut emissions and adapt to climate change is expected to have been achieved as of 2022, with funding a little under that amount in 2021, according to a progress report by the OECD.

INTERVIEW: Meeting host country needs key to securing Article 6 carbon credit deals

Delivering on host country needs around foreign investment, job creation, and ensuring tangible impact will be key to achieving deals on the issuance of correspondingly adjusted carbon credits under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, according to a carbon-financed energy utility that has already signed such an agreement with Rwanda.

Climate targets that rely heavily on carbon removals may break international law, says new research

Countries that set climate targets that depend heavily on the removal of carbon dioxide could be breaking international law given both the uncertainties when it comes to the technology and the potential detraction from making cuts to emissions, according to new research.

More fossil fuel wealth should be funnelled into loss and damage finance, says report

The world’s biggest oil and gas companies could have afforded to pay for the loss and damage associated with the fossil fuels they produced over the past few decades, and more of this wealth should be funnelled into loss and damage funds, according to a report published on Thursday.

‘Circus in the desert’: COP28 expected to see record 70,000 attendees descend on Dubai

FREE READ – Dubai will grow in population by the equivalent of a small city as a record number of delegates descend upon the desert metropolis later this month for this year’s COP28 climate summit.


Finance partnership to offer forest nations cash for emissions reductions agreements, eyes two deals pre-COP28

A financing mechanism, launched on Thursday by green groups with backing from the UK government, will provide advanced funding for forest-rich countries that sign binding Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreements (ERPAs) with the LEAF Coalition, with executives hoping to secure two such deals this month and several more in the first half of 2024.

Corporates outline “cautious optimism” for jurisdictional forest carbon in 2024 outlook

Two large corporate carbon credit buyers expressed a broadly positive outlook for the development of jurisdictional REDD+ in spite of “a difficult year” for the forestry sector, in a webinar on Thursday, urging patience from the market.

Smaller businesses want to decarbonise but struggle with measurement and reporting, finds report

A global study of over 15,000 small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has highlighted that many SMEs want to make progress sustainability, but often are unable to measure and report on emissions.

Corporate buyers of carbon credits more likely to reduce emissions than other firms -study

A global consultancy has found that companies buying carbon credits and removals are on average more successful in reducing their operational emissions than those that do not, echoing similar findings from another recent voluntary carbon market (VCM) report.

International NGO launches Malaysian mangrove fund

An international conservation NGO on Thursday announced it is launching a Mangrove Conservation Fund for Malaysia as its first action after establishing a presence in the Southeast Asian nation.

EU cleantech startup raises €4.5 mln to reduce emissions in heavy industry

A European cleantech firm has raised €4.5 million including grants from Brussels to improve the energy efficiency and reduce emissions as part of heavy industrial processes, according to a release Thursday.

EU agtech startup expands soil carbon platform reach to 2 mln hectares

A Danish tech company announced Thursday its soil carbon platform now covers two million hectares spanning 17 European countries, with the expansion aided by a €46 mln raise earlier this year.

Ratings agency teams up with satellite provider to enhance first carbon MRV capabilities

A ratings agency for the voluntary carbon market (VCM) has announced a partnership with a satellite data provider, it announced Thursday, to enhance the monitoring, reporting, and verification of forestry projects.

Verra wants REDD developers to review provisional baseline validity periods

A list of 46 countries and their provisional baseline validity periods for Avoiding Unplanned Deforestation (AUD) projects was published by standards body Verra accompanying a Request for Proposals (RFP), and the organisation wants REDD developers to review the new timeframes.

Verra seeks consultant for “pioneering” GHG accounting methodologies in food systems

Environmental standard-setter Verra is inviting proposals for a consultant to develop two “pioneering” greenhouse gas accounting methodologies focused on sustainable food systems.


Protracted CORSIA approval process for eligible carbon credits gives ICE early edge

ICAO’s slow burn in announcing the standard bodies eligible for the next phase of its CORSIA aviation offsetting mechanism may have opened the door for exchange ICE to steal a march in the race to become the dominant hedging instrument provider for correspondingly adjusted carbon credits.


EU to renew glyphosate approval for a decade despite divisions

The EU will extend for 10 years authorisation for the use of glyphosate, the European Commission said on Thursday, exercising its default power after member states failed to agree.

EU agrees to strengthen environmental crime laws with broader coverage, stricter sanctions

The EU has provisionally agreed to update its environmental crimes and sanctions rules, with Parliament and Council negotiators clinching a deal to introduce an updated list of offences and related sanctions.

Over 140 fossil fuel and chemical company lobbyists at global plastic treaty negotiations, report finds

Some 143 fossil fuel and chemical industry “lobbyists” have registered to attend the global plastic treaty negotiations in Kenya, according to a non-profit concerned that the delegates will exert an undue influence upon the proceedings and force lower ambition.

British Columbia commits to whole-of-govt approach in new biodiversity framework

Canada’s British Columbia has released a strategy framework on biodiversity and ecosystem health, vowing to take a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to govern the protection and restoration of nature.

WWF pitches international nature positive financial regulation blueprint

A coalition of countries could collaborate on a plan for regulation to push a nature positive agenda globally, the director general of the WWF International has said.

Precision agriculture firm preserves 1,200 species in one year, US asset manager says

A company working in precision agriculture helped avoid the loss of 1,216 species worldwide throughout 2022, US-headquartered asset manager Federated Hermes has suggested.

Biodiversity Pulse: Thursday November 16, 2023

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Go higher – The average price of carbon offsets needs to rise to at least $25-35 per tonne in order to encourage greater climate action by investors and emitters, said the climate envoy of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), speaking to Reuters. A resurgence to the level of trading seen under the Clean Development Mechanism, a programme that collapsed in 2012, will be needed however, to “get a decent price on carbon,” he said. Current costs of VCM credits are around $6-8 a tonne for sequestering in forests, while many point to the real cost of carbon exceeding $100 a tonne. Negotiations around the governing of carbon offsets at COP28 in Dubai could push up demand for credits at a time when corporate interests in the market are flagging. A $25 a tonne credit level could also help accelerate an ADB-backed plan to retire a number of Indonesian coal-fired power stations before the end of their life, Warren Evans, the ADB climate envoy, said.


Move to measure – The UAE is developing a carbon registry that will track companies’ progress in cutting emissions, and help them to set up a carbon credits trading programme in the future. The national registry will involve several industries as the country targets net zero emissions by 2050 and the plan is expected to be announced formally at COP28, starting in Dubai later this month. The registry is also likely to be a first step on the way to developing a nationwide trading programme for carbon credits, Bloomberg reports. The country is also expected to begin implementing initial laws and regulations to work toward net zero across industries like energy, transportation, construction, and agriculture.

What do you think? – A consultation on the future of the UK’s Climate Change Agreements (CCA) scheme, launched in 2021, has yielded a range of industry responses, highlighting support, concerns, and suggestions for the scheme’s design and implementation. The feedback showed there is widespread industry appetite for the continuation of CCAs, with a preference for a long-term scheme (8-10 years or longer). This is seen as a way to incentivise capital expenditure on energy efficiency measures with longer payback periods and to establish a stable policy environment. Some sectors, particularly those less energy- or trade-intensive, expressed concerns about the review of eligibility criteria. While many agree that energy intensity should be a key metric, there are worries about certain sectors becoming ineligible. A few respondents suggested the introduction of carbon-only targets to align with the government’s net zero ambitions. There’s also a call for the scheme to recognise renewable and low-carbon energy sources, as these can sometimes make operators appear less energy efficient. Most respondents favour the continuation of the surplus and buyout mechanism but seek more flexibility in its usage, including adjustments and trading options. Opinions vary on setting the buy-out rate and whether to maintain the current carbon conversion factor or switch to a kWh metric. The rate should be set to encourage participation and align with other schemes where possible, some wrote. Some respondents are also worried about the tight timelines for future scheme work, particularly regarding target setting and eligibility review. Overall, the consultation reveals a general consensus on the value of the CCA scheme, with suggestions for improvements to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with broader environmental goals.


Accelerate  – Australian mining and energy company Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) announced that it had established a new green energy investment accelerator platform, Fortescue Capital. The company said it would be an integral next step in its commitment to deliver green energy projects and decarbonisation investments. The entity is being developed as a fiduciary for third-party capital, which FMG said would complement the Energy and Metals internal corporate finance teams that already exist. Funding models will differ on a project-by-project basis as projects are formally approved by the company’s board. FMG expects to hold equity stakes of between 25-50% in each project, with third-party investors. FMG has appointed former Riverstone Holdings managing director Robert Tichio as CEO and managing partner.

We found it – SK Earthon, the petroleum exploration and production unit of South Korea’s energy giant SK Innovation, has found crude oil after four years of exploration in an offshore block in southeast Vietnam’s Cuu Long Basin, according to the Korea Economic Daily. The company said it managed to extract crude oil amounting to a maximum daily production of 4,700 barrels and 7.4 mln standard cubic feet (MMscf) per day of natural gas, adding that extraction tests in the second crude oil reservoir section are currently underway.

Digital green bond – Japanese electronics company Hitachi is planning to issue a digital environmental bond using security token offering (STO) through collaboration with JPX Market Innovation & Research, Nomura Securities, and blockchain platform BOOSTRY, aiming to improve the transparency of data related to green investments and the efficiency of data collection, they announced Thursday. The proceeds will be used to refinance the construction and renovation costs of an energy-saving building, Hitachi said, without disclosing the potential size of the new bond.

Sustainable shrimps – The Ca Mau Forest Department in Vietnam, in coordination with the Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance, has signed an MoU with UAE-based Blue Forest to identify methods in which 10,000 hectares of degraded mangrove forests could be restored back to their original health, according to a LinkedIn post. Carbon Pulse has reached out to Blue Forest for further information. Vietnam has reportedly lost more than 50% of its mangrove forests, largely due to expanding shrimp farms.

Partnerships – Australia’s Northern Territory government has signed a two-year MoU with Samsung C&T Engineering and Construction to develop a large-scale renewable energy, transmission, and storage project in the NT. An announcement from the government said the project could include solar PV, wind, hydrogen, and battery energy storage systems, and that Samsung intends to establish a ‘substantial’ manufacturing hub as part of the project. The MoU will establish a working group between the NT government and Samsung to investigate the feasibility of the project, including identifying suitable locations for the project.


Royal renewal – Toronto’s landmark Royal York Hotel received Canada Green Building Council’s (CAGBC’s) Zero Carbon Building – Performance Standard certification, KingSett Capital and Fairmont Royal York said in a press release Wednesday. The certification comes following the hotel’s C$65 mln ($47 mln) investment that reduced 80% of the building’s emissions, or 7,000 tonnes annually. Constructed in 1929, the hotel’s major conversion involved switching heating and domestic hot water from steam to electric heat pumps using heat recovery from Enwave’s district energy network. Additionally, cooling systems were changed from electrical chillers to Enwave’s Deep Lake Water Cooling system, a Toronto innovation.

Scrap the tax – A majority of Canadians want the federal carbon levy to be waived for the next three years, according to the latest opinion poll released on Thursday by the non-profit research firm Angus Reid Institute. It demonstrated that 42% of Canadians surveyed want the carbon tax to be scrapped, while 17% would like it to be cut temporarily for the next three years, and one-quarter want a freeze in any subsequent increases. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government has been subject to much criticism since announcing a temporary pause on the federal carbon levy for home heating oil, sparking political dissent across the country with regards to carbon pricing. (Reuters)

He scrapped the tax – Dustin Duncan, the Saskatchewan minister responsible for crown corporation SaskEnergy, introduced the SaskEnergy (Carbon Tax Fairness for Families) Amendment Act into provincial legislature Thursday, slating to remove the federal carbon tax from SaskEnergy bills effective Jan. 1, 2024. Notably, the bill also amends the provincial SaskEnergy Act to designate the provincial Crown as the sole registered distributor of natural gas in Saskatchewan, providing the Minister with the sole decision-making authority to pay, or withhold payment, of any charge, tax, levy, remittance, or other payment required by the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (Canada). Premier Scott Moe first announced that SaskEnergy would do so on Oct. 30 in response to the federal government’s exemption on carbon pricing solely for home heating oil, amid warnings of legal consequences from experts on the matter.

A bridge too far – New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs has called for the abandonment of Canada’s carbon pricing system, suggesting a focus on reducing global emissions rather than domestic ones. This follows the federal government’s decision to pause the carbon tax on home heating fuel for three years. Higgs advocates for exporting natural gas to replace coal power in countries like China, a concept known as “global bridging.” But Heather Millar, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick, notes that while switching from coal to natural gas can reduce emissions short-term, it complicates the transition to other low-carbon alternatives. Higgs believes that the carbon pricing system’s impact on the economy and cost of living outweighs its environmental benefits. He joins other provincial premiers in seeking a discussion with the federal government about removing carbon pricing from all home heating sources. (Global News)


Study time – Two new studies, co-authored by the Berlin-based MCC (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change) and led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provide insights into the scaling of CO2 removal technologies. Published in Communications, Earth & Environment, and Joule, these papers assess whether climate technology is advancing rapidly enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals of limiting global heating to below 2, and possibly 1.5, degrees Celsius. The first study introduces the “Historical Adoption of TeCHnology” (HATCH) dataset. This innovative project tracks and analyses the adoption of various agricultural, industrial, and consumer technologies from the past, offering a perspective on the scale-up of new technologies like atmospheric carbon removal. It examines the emergence and growth of 148 technologies across 11 categories since the early 20th century, comparing this data with model carbon removal scenarios from the IPCC, company scale-up plans, and government removal targets. The findings suggest that the required scale-up of relevant technologies fits within the historical range of previous efforts, although company and government projections imply a much faster growth than historical records. The second study focuses on the scaling of novel CO2 removal methods. It finds that to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals, these methods need to scale at a rate much faster than currently observed. Experts say hundreds of billions of tonnes of CO2 need to be removed from the atmosphere over this century. While conventional methods like reforestation and wetland restoration are in use, novel methods (such as DAC and biochar storage) have only seen small-scale deployment. Currently, about 2 bln tonnes of CO2 are removed annually, mostly through forestry, with less than 0.1% from novel methods. In contrast, scenarios limiting global heating to 1.5 or 2C require a 1,300-fold increase in novel removal by mid-century.

Crushed carbon – Enhanced rock weathering startup Eion has removed its first 50 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere using its technique of scattering crushed rocks on farmland, Bloomberg reports. The technique deployed commercially for eight months on farmland in Mississippi and Illinois has contributed to the first deliveries of a 500-tonne purchase by Stripe Climate. Eion’s technology is centred around the mineral olivine, which is quarried, ground up, and scattered across farmland, and as that mineral dissolves, a series of chemical reactions occur that capture CO2 as it moves through the soil. The CO2 then makes its ways through waterways to the ocean, where it is permanently locked up. Farmers can use the olivine as a substitute for agricultural lime, which is used to stabilise soil acidity and can be applied in a 1-to-1 replacement. Eion’s olivine is cheaper than traditional agricultural lime in part because the company is able to sell carbon credits, offsetting some of the costs. It takes approximately one tonne of olivine to remove nearly one tonne of CO2 per Eion’s methodology.

New renewables platform –  Singapore-based fintech investment group InfraBlocks has struck a strategic partnership with Odyssey Energy Solutions to launch a one-stop platform to develop distributed renewable energy (DRE) projects, such as solar power, where electricity is generated near the point of use instead of from centralised power plants. InfraBlocks blockchain-based carbon credit marketplace, powered by Odyssey’s solutions in financing, procurement, and operations, will offer project finance and technology services, streamlining investments in emission reduction projects. The collaboration will also utilise best-in-class carbon monitoring and verification technologies to ensure the highest quality of carbon credits generated by DRE projects.

Clime perks – Time magazine’s list of the 100 most innovative leaders driving climate action include Climeworks co-founders and co-CEOs Jan Wurzbacher and Christoph Gebald, a Climeworks press release announced Thursday. The two had been featured in last year’s Time100Next article as well as last year’s Time100 Most Influential Companies. Climeworks is behind the first commercially viable direct air capture and sequestration (DAC+S) plant, Orca in Iceland.

Power plant – US utility Duke Energy is offering to plant a tree for every customer who signs up for its Renewable Advantage programme, according to a press release Thursday. The offer is only available for the first 1,000 residential customers who sign up for the subscription between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, and is in coordination with the organisation One Tree Planted. The programme already has 8,000 customers and is a $4 subscription that supports the generation of 250 KwH from wind, solar and biomass. Duke Energy operates in six states and has over 8 mln customers.


Speedy GonSAFles – Project Speedbird – a partnership between Nova Pangaea Technologies, LanzaJet, and British Airways – has secured a total of £9 mln from the UK government’s Advanced Fuels Fund (AFF) competition, according to a Friday release. New funding stream follows multi-million-pound investments by IAG and British Airways in the summer, and the project will produce 102 mln litres of SAF per year, reducing CO2 emissions by 230,000 tonnes per year, the firms state. It is hoped the new funding will help establish the UK as a world-leader in SAF production.


O2 versus CO2 – The O2 Arena in London is introducing a ‘green rider’ to reduce the carbon impact of shows by using sustainable equipment materials and a number of carbon removal methods, Rolling Stone reported Thursday. The arena will host “carbon removed” shows in 2024, including four headline dates from The 1975. Environmental group A Greener Future has partnered with the arena to help reducing the carbon footprint of tours. O2 Arena hosts over 200 events a year, and thinks it can drive sustainable change in the industry.

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