CP Daily: Tuesday March 12, 2024

Published 01:45 on March 13, 2024  /  Last updated at 01:46 on March 13, 2024  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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ANALYSIS: Colombia’s tax reforms slow demand for voluntary carbon credits as supply pool shrinks

Colombian reforms of offset use against its carbon tax have weakened demand for voluntary credits in the country, and a strong rise in issuances from domestic standards has done little to counterbalance dwindling supply figures as participants’ focus shifts to the international market.


Parliament passes energy-cutting law for buildings, ahead of EU ETS inclusion

The European Parliament approved new measures to boost the energy performance of buildings across the EU on Tuesday, in an attempt to decarbonise the sector before it enters the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).

Re-routing to avoid Red Sea threat could triple ETS emissions costs for EU-bound ships

Ongoing attacks by Houthi rebels on ships navigating the Red Sea have forced many Europe-bound vessels to divert their routes, which could as much as triple their emissions liabilities under the EU ETS, according to an ESG data provider.

Brussels responds to EU’s first climate risk report with new resilience plan

The European Commission outlined plans on Tuesday for the 27-nation bloc to better anticipate and manage extreme weather events following the publication the day before of the EU’s first-ever EU Climate Risk Assessment Report.

European Parliament approves list of ‘high priority’ energy projects, including two gas pipelines

Members of the European Parliament voted on Tuesday not to reject a European Commission list of energy infrastructure projects eligible for funding and streamlined permitting processes, which includes two natural gas pipelines.

EU Parliament backs prior scrutiny for CO2 offsetting ads

Companies in the European Union will have to submit carbon offsetting claims for prior verification and approval by third-party certifiers before putting them in front of consumers or face hefty fines, according to draft EU rules voted on Tuesday.

FEATURE: Industry-led emissions reporting for financial institutions outpaces EU regulations

An industry partnership that develops guidelines for financial institutions to disclose their  Scope 3 value chain emissions is fast gaining momentum for both voluntary and mandatory reporting, with parts incorporated into EU regulations even as the bloc postpones issuing its own sector-specific guidelines.

EU ban on new fossil fuel cars key to hitting 2040 climate target -NGO

The EU’s revised CO2 regulation for cars, which bans the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles as of 2035, is “the single most important emissions reduction measure” necessary to hit the bloc’s 90% GHG reduction target by 2040, according to a new study.

Euro Markets: EUAs rally twice to post small gain ahead of options expiry and position report

EU carbon allowance prices posted their first gain in five days on Tuesday, as they twice clawed back losses after the daily auction cleared at a premium to the spot and traders later covered positions ahead of Wednesday’s options expiry and positions data, while energy markets fell again due to a persistently bearish fundamental outlook.

Germany launches subsidy auctions worth billions to help heavy industry transition

Germany has started the first bidding process for a ‘climate contracts’ funding programme worth up to €4 billion, whereby EU ETS-covered energy-intensive firms can apply for 15-year funding for large green transformation projects.

UK’s CCUS ambitions would lock in higher costs and emissions -report

The UK government’s plan to build up carbon capture, usage, and storage is based on outdated and unrealistic assumptions and risks locking consumers into expensive and fossil fuel-based technologies when cleaner alternatives exist, according to analysis released on Wednesday.

North Sea’s largest oil and gas countries fail to phase out production in line with 1.5C -report

The approval of oil and gas projects in the North Sea’s five-biggest producing countries — Norway, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany — could lead to billions of tonnes in new carbon emissions, according to NGO analysis published on Tuesday.

Turkiye overtakes Poland to become Europe’s second largest coal-fired power generator -analysts

Turkiye overtook Poland to become the second largest coal-fired power generator in Europe last year, due to its increasing reliance on fossil fuel imports and wavering wind capacity installation, according to an environmental think tank.


Direct air capture company announces $80 mln fundraise

A California-based carbon removal firm announced Tuesday the completion of its $80 million Series A financing, with investment participation from the venture capital arms of industry heavyweights.

Soil carbon unaffected by Texas wildfires, grasslands project developer says

The Texas wildfires impacted a ranch used to generate grassland soil carbon credits, but the project developer said the soil carbon levels were likely only minimally impacted, if at all, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

INTERVIEW: Cement maker explores offshore CO2 storage, eyes credit sales from carbon mineralisation

A multinational cement maker is working with partners to develop ways to store its CO2 in offshore reservoirs in Europe, while supporting the development of carbon mineralisation technologies from which it could generate carbon credits.

Research group launches publicly available offsets database

A non-profit research team has released a publicly viewable database of global offset projects, streamlining pockets of incomparable information from various registries to help improve monitoring of the voluntary carbon market.


Indonesia could miss methane goal if it continues to under-report coal mine emissions, think tank says

Indonesia is jeopardising its efforts to meet its international climate commitments by under-reporting its coal mine methane emissions, a report released Tuesday said.

“No appetite” for carbon neutral LNG as buyers too price sensitive, oil major says

There is little appetite in the buyers’ market for lower carbon LNG cargoes given they are already very “price sensitive”, an oil executive told an investor briefing Monday.


Green Climate Fund commits $100 mln for climate funding in Somalia

The UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) has pledged to invest $100 million for climate action in Somalia over the next year, it announced Tuesday.

Taxing carbon without carbon taxes: Economists chart fiscal policy path to effective climate action

Governments can effectively target carbon emissions without implementing explicit carbon taxes, economists have demonstrated, offering policymakers new tools amid rising public backlash against greenhouse gas pricing policies worldwide.


Controversy brings plans to utilise captured CO2 for natural gas production to a hush

A New York-based startup that aims to extract natural gas by injecting captured CO2 has grown quieter amid intensified legislative resistance against CO2-based fracking in the Empire State.


Airlines on a flight of fancy over SAF production, warns report

Airlines are relying on production processes for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that are not yet ready to scale to avoid paying for their carbon emissions under the first phase of CORSIA, warns a report.


UK-based financial group partners with Projects for Nature to fund restoration programmes

A British financial services group has teamed up with the government-launched Projects for Nature, planning to fund projects on nature recovery and becoming the first founding business partner of the initiative, the company announced Tuesday.

Biodiversity funds pass $1.5 bln in 2023 with eight fund launches

Biodiversity-specific funds passed $1.5 billion by the end of 2023, with eight vehicle launches throughout the period despite relative underperformance across the board.

Mirova’s Climate Fund for Nature announces second close at €195 mln

French asset manager Mirova has announced the second close of the Climate Fund for Nature at €195 million ($213 mln) with investments from three corporations.

Italian region allocates almost €11 mln for nature conservation projects

A regional council in northern Italy has allocated €10.5 million from the EU to fund projects aimed at protecting and restoring biodiversity, warning that conservation efforts must expand beyond existing protected areas.

Biodiversity Pulse: Tuesday March 12, 2024

A twice-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).


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Corporate views on voluntary carbon markets revealed – A new survey of more than 180 executives and managers will uncover private sector perspectives on voluntary carbon markets in corporate climate action. The survey results, coordinated by the We Mean Business Coalition, will identify the barriers and opportunities for companies, and will offer a number of recommendations for improving market infrastructure to unlock more corporate climate finance. Journalists can register here for an embargoed online roundtable on Wednesday, March 13 at 1400 CET (0800 EST) to discuss the results with the authors.


North American Carbon World (NACW) 2024 – March 19-21, San Francisco: Attend NACW 2024 to learn, collaborate, and network with the North American carbon community and provide a stronger, unified force in advancing climate solutions. Hosted by the Climate Action Reserve, NACW will dive into major new policies, innovations, and developments that will shape and scale carbon markets and climate solutions with integrity and ambition. In addition to outstanding speakers, discussions, and insights, NACW provides premier networking opportunities with an active and engaged audience of leading climate and carbon professionals from all sectors of the economy. www.nacwconference.com

European Climate Summit – April 16-18, Florence: To kick off its annual regional climate summit series this year, IETA looks forward to welcoming delegates to its flagship ECS2024 event, taking place in Italy. ECS comes at a key inflection point for the region’s carbon market. How will the European carbon market evolve in its next phase, which starts in 2031? Around the world, carbon markets are emerging at the fastest ever pace, with new emissions trading systems being developed from Brazil to Vietnam. More markets may mean more opportunities for international cooperation and linking, and some of these could come to Europe. The health of the voluntary carbon market is also a hot topic this year, as the market works to overcome challenges. Environmental integrity and robust quality assurance are at the top of everyone’s mind, and IETA’s ECS2024 will address these issues as well. To register, simply click HERE to join as a delegate. In-person event.

Next steps for the UK Emissions Trading Scheme – April 22, Online: Hosted by Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum, stakeholders and policymakers will explore priorities for implementation and maximising the carbon market’s contribution toward the UK’s net zero strategy. Discussion will consider policy priorities, challenges for industries, and plans to expand the scheme to include domestic shipping and energy from waste. Sessions will also explore the auction reserve price, the forthcoming CBAM, and strategies to enhance the UK ETS’s efficacy while mitigating negative impacts. Book your place

Carbon Forward Turkiye – May 9-10, Izmir: With the launch of the pilot ETS in Q4 and a burgeoning voluntary carbon market in the country, this event will give attendees an understanding of the significant impact these schemes, as well as the EU’s CBAM, will have on your business. Full conference agenda coming soon. Secure your spot

Argus Asia Carbon Conference – May 13-15, Kuala Lumpur: Join over 200 industry leaders and senior government officials at the Argus Asia Carbon Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 13-15 May 2024. Connect with key players and explore new opportunities in the region as we discuss innovations in carbon technology, advances in voluntary and compliance markets, the impact of CBAM, financing, nature-based project developments, and more. With ministerial addresses and keynote sessions from Petronas and SaraCarbon, this is your opportunity to gain valuable insights on pan-Asia’s evolving carbon markets. Register

Argus Europe Carbon Conference – May 21-23, Nice: Plan your carbon strategy through market-driven decarbonisation solutions at the at the Argus Europe Carbon Conference on 21-23 May in Nice, France, as we examine the EU ETS and other global compliance structures, voluntary carbon markets and their intersection with carbon abatement industries. This year’s agenda covers the integration of the maritime sector into the EU ETS, the impact of Europe’s exported carbon price through CBAM, developments in carbon removal technologies, voluntary certification methods, and developments around diverse, high-quality credits from Verra and many other leading standards. Register your place to explore new opportunities within Europe and globally.

Carbon Forward North America – June 11-12, Toronto: Join us in the Great White North to hear about the evolving carbon pricing and climate policy landscape in North America. Whether you are an emitter, investor, developer, or a new participant in any of the continent’s carbon markets – compliance or voluntary – Carbon Forward North America offers you the opportunity to gain knowledge on both present and future policy developments and market opportunities. Explore the chance to meet the right people or source the right solutions to help you enhance your business prospects or minimise your risk. Come meet the region’s world-leading carbon market experts, compliance players, government officials, investors, project developers, analysts, brokers, and other stakeholders. Agenda to be released soon. To express an interest in speaking or sponsoring, please email michelle@carbon-forward.com

Carbon Forward Expo – October 8-10, London and Online: Save the date! More info coming soon…




Here we go again – Allies of former President Donald Trump are strategising to permanently exit the Paris Agreement by withdrawing the US from the overarching UNFCCC, E&E News reports, a move that could make it significantly more challenging for future administrations to re-enter. This plan, supported within Trump’s circle, aims to require a two-thirds majority vote in the US Senate for re-entry, a formidable barrier. The proposal is part of a broader conservative policy roadmap for future Republican administrations, intending to cement climate policies more durably than Trump’s first-term efforts. Critics argue this move would damage US global standing and undermine multilateral efforts to combat climate change. The legality of a president unilaterally withdrawing from a Senate-ratified treaty like the UNFCCC is debated, but historically, presidents have had the ability to exit such pacts. Exiting the UNFCCC, ratified by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, would also affect US contributions to climate change mitigation funds including the GCF, and could have broader implications for international cooperation on climate and other global issues.

Backtracking – Shell is mulling over slowing the pace of its carbon emissions cuts as it updated its energy transition strategy, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports. The oil major is due to publish an update of its long-term plan for clean energy and GHG emissions on Thursday, and any changes to its climate targets could come as soon as then, according to the people. The move comes as CEO Wael Sawan aims to allocate a greater portion of investments into oil and gas to drive up shareholder returns. In 2021, Shell pledged to decrease its emissions intensity from the energy it sells to customers by 20% in 2030 versus the 2016 baseline, by 45% in 2035, and to reach net zero in 2050. Last year, rival BP said it would pump more oil and gas and produce more CO2 emissions this decade than previously planned.


“Greener” but heavier trucks – Members of the European Parliament adopted their position on the revision of road transport weights and dimensions rules to incentivise the use of zero-emissions trucks. MEPs agreed to increase the maximum weight of zero-emission trucks by four tonnes, to compensate the space and weight needed to fit battery or hydrogen cells, and to provide additional loading capacity. This update, they argue, could act as an accelerator for the transport industry to switch to cleaner vehicles. The draft bill is part of a package of proposals for the greening of EU freight transport. Trucks and buses are responsible for 28% of road transport GHG emissions.

EP: MS IED? OK! – The European Parliament also endorsed the deal with member states that revises the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) on Tuesday. The new rules will make it mandatory to set the strictest achievable emissions levels for the sectors covered. The revised IED will now also cover extractive industry installations (mines) and large installations manufacturing batteries.

Tug of war – The boss of Mercedes-Benz has called on Brussels to lower tariffs on EVs imported from China, just as the European Commission mulls raising import duties amid a probe into Beijing’s subsidies for its car industry, the FT reports. Increased competition from China would help European carmakers produce better cars overall, said CEO Ola Kallenius, adding that protectionism was going the wrong way and global competition needs to play out. French carmakers like Stellantis and Renault have been vocal about the threat of Chinese automakers, while German carmakers have resisted the probe due to reliance on China for a large part of their sales and profit.

It’s a gas – New gas-fired power plants are needed in the UK to ensure the country’s energy security, said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday. The new stations are intended to replace existing plants, many of which are aging and will soon be retired, but the government plans fail to include measures for carbon capture, the BBC reports. Critics say that the plans could threaten legally binding commitments to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, while prolonging the country’s reliance on foreign gas. The government has not detailed when or where the new power stations would be built but stresses they are needed to fill gaps in energy supply when wind and solar plants fail to deliver.

New promises – Saudi oil giant Aramco launched a new programme Tuesday called ROOTS through its arm Wa’ed (‘promising’) Ventures: a digital solutions lab to contribute to activating voluntary carbon markets. ROOTS will aim to simplify registration, monitoring, reporting, and verification in the VCM in order to facilitate issuances of carbon credits certificates and enhance market transparency. The launch took place at the 3rd Annual LEAP Tech Event, founded by the Saudi government, according to local media reports.

Next step forward – The Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has laid out registration and delisting rules for companies seeking to sell carbon credits on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX), according to a government statement issued last Thursday. Prospective vendors must submit a request for registration to the FRA so that their projects can be included in the database. The application must include environmental impact assessment studies, design documents, evidence that projects are listed on a carbon market registry, and other documentation. Once projects are officially registered, they can be traded on EGX, though trading involves providing additional details, including initial price per credit. Companies that own or finance carbon projects are also eligible to apply for futures contracts. Thursday’s statement builds upon growing momentum in the Egyptian VCM, with the FRA releasing a draft regulatory framework in late February pending cabinet review, and officially authorising three verification and certification bodies last month.

Fire up the gas – The UK government on Tuesday announced a “common-sense decision” to support the construction of new gas-fired power stations, which it said are necessary to maintain safe and reliable energy supplies when sunshine and wind fall short. The government framed the commitment as part of its effort to reach net zero emissions, in a “pragmatic way that rids the UK of the need to rely on foreign dictators like Putin”. To do this, the government will broaden existing laws requiring new gas plants to be built in a way that they can be converted to low-carbon alternatives such as carbon capture or hydrogen-to-power. The commitment drew strong criticism from environmental groups and climate experts.


Transition finance – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has launched a Business Green Loan, to support businesses finance assets and initiatives that can reduce emissions, it said. The loan is targeted at commercial businesses seeking competitive funding for sustainability practices such as renewable energy projects, energy efficient building upgrades, and pollution reduction initiatives. CBA aims to deliver A$70 bln ($46 bln) in cumulative funding across a range of green and clean industries by 2030 as part of its sustainability funding target.

Not looking good – Seoul-based NGO Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) has lodged greenwashing complaints against two of South Korea’s largest corporate emitters, industrial conglomerate SK and steelmaker Posco, for falsely claiming to reduce emissions through their use of green premium, an additional fee companies pay to procure government-certified renewable energy, it said in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday. As power producers already get to claim emissions reduction from renewable energy generation, there exists the issue of double accounting for RE100 companies doing the same, SFOC argued. Additionally, there is a lack of transparency on how the Korea Energy Agency uses funds from green premiums to expand renewables, the non-profit said. A group of POSCO shareholders recently also urged the company to review its climate plans, saying the steelmaker’s decarbonisation progress is too slow. POSCO should accelerate the adoption of hydrogen furnaces and disclose carbon reduction plans at overseas business sites, the shareholders said in an open letter.

The first step – Taiwan’s environment ministry is planning to hold the first meeting for the newly established carbon levy committee on Friday after finalising the list of participants, according to Central News Agency. The committee is set to discuss the current legal framework, the implementation of the climate law, and promoting carbon reduction. The government has said the final decision on the exact carbon levy and discounts for emitters should be announced this month.

From black to green – Indian ministry of coal has issued directives to domestic coal companies to accelerate the adoption of solar energy solutions, a statement released by the government stated. Under the new rules, all government buildings are required to install rooftop solar panels. The rules also include establishment of solar projects in de-coaled areas and other suitable lands. By 2030, the country’s coal sector aims to ramp up renewable energy capacity to over 9 GW. Currently, combined renewable capacity installed by the country’s leading coal firms stands at over 1700 MW.

Fields of gold – South African-headquartered gold miner Gold Fields has committed A$296 mln ($195 mln) to a renewable energy project that will reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions at its St Ives mine in Western Australia  by 50% by 2030, the company announced. The project includes 42 MW of wind power, 35 MW of solar, a 33 kilovolt substation, and a 132 kv transmission line. Last year, renewable energy accounted for 17% of Gold Fields electricity consumption, leading to a 5% year-on-year carbon emissions reduction for 2023. The company has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and says it has various other key renewable energy projects in the work to power its operations globally.


Pause on pricing – Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey on Tuesday requested the federal government to put a pause on its planned increase of carbon pricing from C$65 to C$80 per tonne on Apr. 1. Furey’s letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for the pause, posted on X, received support from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, as well as Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe. The officials emphasised the severity of ongoing financial strains on Canadian households amid heightened inflation and interest rates, adding that bumping up carbon pricing would only add to their burden.

Brazil carbon standards – The State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development (Semad) for the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais signed a partnership with the non-profit standards organisation Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) to develop and certify projects for carbon market applications, Semad announced Tuesday. The partnership will focus on ABNT-developed standard ABNT PR 2060:2022 which defines requirements and guidelines for organisations to demonstrate carbon neutrality, including the measurement of GHG emissions, setting of reductions targets, implementation of mitigation actions, use of carbon credits, and other offset measures. The ABNT president emphasised that the partnership marked a key step in verifying that mining companies will mitigate GHG emissions. This makes Minas Gerais the first state in the country to establish a partnership with ABNT.

Drax donation – Biomass power plant operator Drax is partnering with Louisiana State University (LSU) to back students and research associated with sustainable forestry and renewable energy through a new scholarship fund and support for existing funds, the company announced Tuesday. The agreement includes Drax pledge a $55,000 donation to the LSU Foundation to establish a new scholarship and support existing funds to benefit LSU’s College of Agriculture and Department of Career Services. The carbon removals company will also become a sustaining member of the LSU Center for Energy Studies’ (CES) endowment through a separate donation of $7,000.


Singled out – Some 25 of the world’s biggest corporate flyers are yet to set targets to reduce corporate flights, despite accounting for over a third of the travel emissions recorded in the latest edition of the Travel Smart Ranking. These 25 companies are considered poor performers based on their high CO2 emissions due to employee air travel and no credible targets to cut those emissions despite often touting green credentials. The analysis shows that were these top 25 flyers to cut their business flying in half, it would achieve a third of the emissions reductions needed by 2025 from the 328 companies in the ranking, while 5.9 Mt of CO2 would be saved, equivalent to emissions from 3 mln cars in a year. The top 25 flyers to be singled out without a target include Volkswagen, Accenture, KPMG, Microsoft, Netflix, Meta, SAP, and Boeing. While large flyers with a target to reduce corporate flying include consultancies PWC, McKinsey, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young.

Catch up – CO2 emissions associated with EV manufacturing are higher than those resulting from the making of gasoline-powered vehicles, but the lifecycle GHG output of EVs is still lower than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, BloombergNEF reported Monday. Most auto-producing countries had manufacturing CO2 emissions of medium-segment battery-electric vehicles (BEV) in 2023 up to 2.7 times higher than those of ICE vehicles. However, the lifecycle GHG output of BEV produced last year and used for 250,000 km would be between 7-27% lower than the emissions of an equivalent ICE car. For cars produced in 2030, and used mostly in that decade, BEVs in Europe and the US would emit 9-77% less CO2 across their lifetimes than ICEs, whereas the difference in China and Japan would be 50% and 42%, respectively.

Music industry offsets – Klimate.co is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Foundation, a non-profit focused on eliminating single-use plastics from the music and events sector, on the provision of carbon removals. Bye Bye Plastic will account for its carbon footprint arising from business travel through the purchase of carbon removal credits. The company will invest in the ”Market Signal” portfolio in order to signal to the music and events market that carbon removal credits are the most effective choice for companies looking to mitigate their unavoidable emissions.


Climate matchmaking – The recent launch of the Earthshot Prize Launchpad was celebrated at an event in London this week, with Prince William in attendance alongside investors, philanthropists, and Earthshot Prize Finalists. The online matchmaking platform of The Earthshot Prize, which seeks to scale innovative climate solutions from around the globe by 2030, aims to connect Earthshot innovators with like-minded investors and philanthropists. The Launchpad has attracted 135 investors and philanthropists so far, with funding directed to initiatives including electric motorcycle developer Roam and regenerative agriculture company Boomitra. Currently in its pilot phase, Launchpad spotlights 25 Earthshot solutions from six continents, with funding needs exceeding £400 mln.


Highway to the carbon negative zone – As part of efforts to make the A382 near Newton Abbot the UK’s first “carbon negative” highway, Devon County Council has relocated thousands of trees from the construction site to a temporary nursery. According to the BBC, this initiative is part of the Live Labs 2 programme, funded by the Department for Transport, aiming to innovate within civil engineering to reduce carbon emissions. Approximately 2,000 trees were cleared for the road improvement project, which received a portion of £30 mln in funding. The relocated trees will be nurtured for two years, with officials hoping they will thrive both in the nursery and once replanted. Experts hope previous mistakes are not repeated, including those made on a much larger scale when unsuccessfully trying to plant some 850,000 trees alongside a new 21-mile section of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon. National Highways acknowledged that over half a million of the trees died due to poor soil and extreme heat.  Replanting efforts commenced late last year that are estimated to cost taxpayers close to £3 mln but which will feature a five-year establishment period, aiming to address previous shortcomings.

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