CP Daily: Wednesday June 19, 2024

Published 01:21 on June 20, 2024  /  Last updated at 01:21 on June 20, 2024  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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TOP STORY

EU-China agree to cooperate on emissions trading

The EU and China agreed on Wednesday to cooperate in promoting emissions trading as an effective tool for reaching net zero emissions, as part of a wider pact to work together during a high-level environment and climate dialogue in Brussels.

VOLUNTARY

Funds sue CME in multi-million dollar lawsuit due to voluntary carbon product changes in wake of CORSIA decision

The change in credits eligible for the current phase of CORSIA, the UN’s international aviation offsetting scheme, compared to its pilot, has triggered a $155.4 mln lawsuit against CME Group after it altered eligibility for its GEO futures contract.

Huge REDD carbon project planned in Mozambique

A large REDD voluntary carbon project that will span 4 million hectares has been given the go-head by the government of Mozambique.

Carbon removals registry partners with multiple marketplace platforms

A carbon removals registry has teamed up with over 10 platforms to expand the reach of its credits in a bid to drive sales to new buyers, it announced Wednesday.

Forest carbon coalition partners with MRV tech firm

A recently-launched coalition has partnered up with a digital monitoring, reporting, and verification (dMRV) provider as it looks to develop its new forest carbon standard.

CDP climate disclosures rising, but full transparency still a challenge

A quarter of companies disclosed climate transition plans in line with a 1.5C limit in 2023, up by 44% compared to the previous year, climate disclosure non-profit CDP announced Wednesday.

Study highlights untapped, understudied potential of temperate peat-forming wet woodlands for climate mitigation

Wet woodlands not only store substantial amounts of carbon in both tree biomass and underground peat, but also offer natural flood protection and bolster biodiversity, according to a new study.

EMEA

DATA DIVE: The European countries set to capitalise on demand for carbon storage

Certain European countries blessed with geographical advantages can expect to reap significant rewards as demand for carbon storage heats up this decade.

EU Commission earmarks larger budget for 2025, but climate action sum unchanged

Expense for environment and climate action in the EU will remain the same as last year, although the general budget is growing, according to allocations for 2025 proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday.

EU nations call to tweak how ETS is applied to shipping sector to avoid carbon leakage

Spain, backed by a number of EU countries, has proposed tweaking how the ETS is applied to the maritime sector to avoid carbon leakage, and urged the UN shipping body to adopt greenhouse gas emissions measures to avoid regulatory fragmentation.

BRIEFING: Trade, consumption, and GHG pricing to drive EU national carbon footprints

The EU’s carbon footprint may appear to be shrinking, but that is at least in part because calculations are focused on emissions from production inside the bloc rather than more far-reaching emissions from consumption, according to a study published this week.

INTERVIEW: Investors chilled by noise of European Green Deal unravelling

As competition with China and the US intensifies on clean tech, the EU must stay the course on the Green Deal and make sure it is implemented by filling the remaining gaps in areas like finance and electrification of end-uses, says Iberdrola’s director for climate, Gonzalo Saenz de Miera.

Germany’s climate fund is drying up, think-tank warns

Germany’s “Climate and Transformation Fund” (KTF) is nearing breaking point, putting the federal government in front of hard decisions, according to a study by the Berlin-based Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) published on Wednesday.

Hidden emissions from CCUS push could derail the UK’s net zero strategy -think tank

A drive to scale carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects, including ‘blue’ hydrogen and gas with abatement, could lead to increased demand for LNG imports, which in turn would cause the UK to exceed its carbon budget, research by a financial climate think tank has found.

Biochar producer announces first pre-purchase agreement in boost for nascent UK carbon removal market

A UK biochar producer has announced its first carbon removal agreement, in what marks a boost for the British carbon removal (CDR) market.

EU must manage social impacts of carbon pricing, business group warns

A briefing released today by the Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) Europe following EU elections earlier this month, makes the case for a “social deal” and an “industrial deal” alongside the Green Deal, to manage the transition to a net-zero economy.

Euro Markets: EUAs jump most in a month as options expiry releases market to track gas prices

European carbon prices posted a strong afternoon gain after the expiry of the June options contract in the early afternoon appeared to release EUAs to resume their close correlation with natural gas, while UKAs retreated after reaching their highest level in eight months, as profit-taking picked up to offset some speculative bullishness around the approaching election.

Veteran North American carbon, energy trader joins European utility

A veteran North American carbon and energy sales trader has joined one of Europe’s largest utilities.

ASIA PACIFIC

Verra, Malaysian Forest Fund sign deal to align forest carbon initiatives

Verra has signed an agreement with the Malaysian Forest Fund (MFF) to support the alignment of the Southeast Asia nation’s forestry carbon initiatives with the Verified Carbon Standard.

South Korea to launch CCU ‘mega project’ to assist industrial decarbonisation drive

South Korea plans to roll out carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technology across industrial facilities in what the government has dubbed a “mega project”, designed to help decarbonise country’s biggest-emitting industries and reach its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

Chinese province launches forestry-based carbon offset programme

The government of a Chinese province has launched a carbon crediting programme for forestry-related projects, urging local emitters to use it to meet their voluntary emissions targets and as part of the province’s contributions towards realising the country’s overall climate ambitions.

Tokyo-based carbon developer partners with Vietnamese govt for methane reduction projects

Japanese carbon project developer has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a second provincial government in Vietnam to reduce methane emissions resulting from rice cultivation in the Southeast Asian nation.

Report urges Australia not to let coal mines self-report methane emissions

A report has warned against the Australian government moving to allow all coal companies to self-report their emissions, saying it could obscure millions of tonnes of methane pollution.

Australia presents climate finance reporting, taxonomy steps in roadmap

The Australian government on Wednesday published a Sustainable Finance Roadmap that lays out the next steps of its reforms on climate reporting and a green finance taxonomy.

AMERICAS

Petitioners request US federal appeals court to rescind SEC climate disclosure rules

Opponents of the US Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate disclosure rules have asked a federal appeals court to revoke the regulation altogether, just months after the agency issued a stay to resolve mounting legal challenges.

Biorefinery firm finalises CCS agreements for its Nebraska facilities

A US biorefinery firm on Tuesday announced it has finalised agreements and equipment orders to deploy carbon capture and storage (CCS) with a 1.2 million tonne capacity at its Nebraska plants.

BIODIVERSITY (FREE TO READ)

Over 80% of rich countries fail to meet fair share of biodiversity financing target, report shows

Only two out of 28 rich countries have allocated what is estimated as their fair share of the resources for biodiversity required under the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), while over 80% of them provided less than half of it, according to a report released Thursday.

US foundation allocates over $33 mln to restore longleaf pine forests

A US-headquartered foundation has announced the allocation of $33.5 million in grants to finance the conservation and restoration of longleaf pine forests in eight southern states.

Recycling shifts focus away from effective ways to tackle plastic crisis -report

Industry promotion of recycling through instruments like plastic credits distracts from the urgent need to reduce overall production, with less than 10% of plastic recycled globally, according to a sustainable finance think-tank.

Indigenous-led organisation says communities want to explore biodiversity credits

An Indigenous-led organisation has released guidelines to mobilise funding for First Nations’ nature conservation efforts in Canada, with biodiversity credits among the financing mechanisms that should be explored.

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CONFERENCES

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTERNATIONAL

Help, UN needs somebody – The IPCC is calling on its member governments and observer organisations to nominate experts to the meeting that will draft the outline of the ‘Methodology Report on the Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage’. The meeting is being organised by the IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI) and is tentatively scheduled for the second half of October this year. Nominated experts for the meeting should have relevant expertise about the estimation of sinks or sources from a wide range of carbon removal and CCS technologies. The deadline to apply is July 19.

Mutiny aboard – Fifteen major shipping companies are currently working to produce a number of examples of how the price difference between cheap, black fuels and expensive, green alternatives can be bridged, according to Shipping Watch. These include major shipping companies MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, and Cosco, as well as car carriers like Wallenius Wilhelmsen. If the green transition is to succeed for shipping, the current price difference must be eliminated, according to the shipping companies. The World Shipping Council is currently working on price examples that will be presented to the IMO’s climate committee, MEPC82, in a few months.

EMEA

Freeing up onshore wind – The UK’s Labour Party has pledged to ease planning restrictions for onshore wind farms in England as soon as the parliament returns, and without the need for legislation, if it wins the general election on July 4, the Financial Times reported. Labour, which is widely expected to win, said it planned to make a written ministerial statement removing a requirement in the national planning policy framework for community concerns to be “appropriately addressed”. The change would remove a stipulation that can block onshore wind products and, according to Labour, would encourage developers to advance projects. Labour said it is still committed to some form of community consent process, but did not give details. Few onshore wind farms have been built in England since 2015, when rules were tightened.

Italian farm output hit by climate change – Italian agricultural production shrank 3.9% last year as farmers took a hit from extreme weather caused by global warming, Reuters reports. Wine production fell more than 17% to 2017 levels due to hot summer temperatures, while woody crops such as vines, fruits and olives were down 11.1%, the national statistics bureau ISTAT said on Tuesday.

Offshore legal action – A marine conservation group, Oceana UK, has taken legal action against he UK, claiming the government’s decision to issue North Sea oil and gas licences without taking into account their impact on the environment was unlawful, the Guardian reported. Oceana said that by issuing 82 licences, the UK’s energy security secretary, Claire Coutinho, and the North Sea Transition Authority had ignored advice from independent government experts about the possible effects on marine protected areas. The licenses, issued between Oct. 2023 and May 2024, cover 226 blocks, a third of which overlap with marine protected areas.

Cheap politics – The Greens’ new co-president Bas Eickhout told the press on Wednesday his group is “not expensive”, referring to a potential alliance with the centre-right party EPP (plus Renew and S&D) to form a new EU Parliament excluding the extreme right and the Left. This would be the strongest option, covering 458 seats out of 720. Eickhout led journalists to believe that he will support a candidate ready to commit to the European Green Deal, despite a recent back roll in this sense. Read more on the attempt to form a broad coalition.

EU prep for COP – Tomorrow, the EU Commissioner for Climate Action Wopke Hoekstra will be in Baku to start work ahead of the UN climate summit, to take place there in November. He will meet with president-designate and Azerbaijani minister for Ecology Mukhtar Babayev, with the Energy minister Parviz Shahbazov, and with the Foreign Affairs minister Jeyhun Bayramov.

Tough reading – A report from Eurostat looks at the key metrics of progress along the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals within the EU, finding that there has been progress on SDG 10 ‘Reduced Inequalities’, but that the bloc is behind on SDGs 15 ‘Life on Land’, 3 ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’, and 13 ‘Climate Action’.

Build me up – Estonian building automation startup Bisly has raised a €6.2 mln in Series A funding. It will use the funds to expand throughout Europe before setting its sights beyond to the US. The firm helps builders and construction managers look to affordably navigate tightening regulations around energy use in new buildings.

ASIA PACIFIC

Solar scale up – The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched its A$100 mln ($66.7 mln) Solar ScaleUp Challenge, inviting developers, innovators, and engineers to speed up innovation in large-scale solar, it announced Wednesday. The challenge aims to unlock innovation and collaboration in the solar sector, particularly in installation, operations, and maintenance. ARENA is partnering with online platform Greenhouse Tech to form multi-disciplinary teams to support collaboration on a global scale, it said. ARENA is looking to reduce the installed cost of a solar project to just A$0.30 per watt and reach a levelised cost of electricity below A$20 per megawatt hour by 2030. This could help unlock a total installed capacity of 1 terawatt by 2050, it said.

Low carbon cement – Thailand’s Siam Cement Group has produced a new cement product in Vietnam with carbon emissions during the production falling by 20% compared with the production of normal cement, it announced this week. Under the new manufacturing process, Siam has used biomass energy to replace fossil fuels and increased the use of renewable energy sources. Green infrastructure projects are gaining popularity in Vietnam, which is the third largest cement producer globally, after China and India.

No, thank you! – The proposed Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) Bill to be tabled in the Malaysian Parliament in November will not be applicable to the state of Sabah, the Deputy Chief Minister Jeffrey Kitingan has said. According to the official, both land and forestry matters come under the state government’s jurisdiction and with its own carbon reduction programme, Sabah was well advanced and positioned to take responsibility of its carbon credit potential under land and forestry laws. The official added that Sabah’s stand was in line with that of Sarawak that there was no necessity for the CCUS to be extended to the Borneo states, and this stand has already been made known to the federal government.

AMERICAS

Alaska offsets – The Alaska Department of Natural Resources looks to complete the development of regulation for its state carbon offset programme in the next few months, local media KHNS reported Wednesday. Trevor Fulton, manager of the programme, gave a presentation in Haines, Alaska, where he outlined that in the case of the Haines state forest, carbon credits would be worth about $15 each. However, Fulton was cautious to place a value to the revenue that could be generated from 280,000 acres of state forest. The State Carbon Offset Program was initially authorised by law in May 2023 via Senate Bill 48. Shortly following signage into law, CarbonPlan warned buyers to stay away from credits generated by the state, following previous comments from officials who said timber sales would not need to slow if it adopted the programme.

Digital redemption – Brazilian media report that in the wake of Operation Greenwashing, a probe by the Federal Police (PF) into alleged carbon crediting fraud, the PF held a seminar in Brasilia Tuesday to discuss using satellite images acquired by PlanetScope, a partnership with geospatial tech company SCCON, to verify project-based carbon emissions claims. The partnership intends to collect images daily, generating reports and substantiating carbon credits. According to outlet NeoFeed, a PF source stated that growing carbon credit fraud had forced the police agency to dedicate a team of three investigators exclusively to the topic. Operation Greenwashing arose after businessman and suspect Ricardo Stoppe allegedly set up a digital land-grabbing scheme involving notary office employees, public servants, and access to the land management system (Sigef) of Brazil’s land reform agency, INCRA.

Brazil SAF – Brazil opened its first pilot plant for the production of syncrude to create sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), EPBR reported Tuesday. The Brazil-Germany Cooperation for Sustainable Development and the International Center for Renewable Energy opened the SAF Production Technology Center in Itaipu, having received an investment of R$10 mln ($1.8 mln) from the German government in 2022. Syncrude, a feedstock for SAF, will be generated at the plant via synthesis of biogas and green hydrogen. Brazil’s Minister of Ports and Airports, Silvio Costa Filho, told EPBR that conversations with African and European markets have demonstrated that international markets are keen for Brazilian SAF production.

VOLUNTARY

Sink or swim – Carbon Standards International has launched its new Global Biochar C-sink methodology, which is now available to biochar producers. The methodology claims to be the first system to provide a method of certifying the carbon sink potential of biochar. All companies can apply for the new standard from July 1, 2024 onwards. The process follows a consultation.

Clear solution – Capture6, a carbon removal company, and Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, a water processing firm, this week announced a global collaboration agreement to help address both the cause and symptoms of climate change by deploying carbon removal facilities with integrated water management systems. Capture6’s direct air capture technology requires saltwater to create its carbon removal solvent. By partnering with water treatment facilities and repurposing existing industrial-scale technologies, Capture6 can recover freshwater from desalination waste brine for drinking and industrial purposes while capturing CO₂ and reducing waste brine in the process.

Hot project – The subsidiary of cookstove producer Burn, ECOA Climate Capital, is developing a carbon programme of activities in Africa using Gold Standard’s ‘Metered and Measured Energy Cooking Devices’ methodology, and is consulting stakeholders out to July 15 on the project. The PoA will span several African countries and may be extended to others later. The objective is to deploy metered and electric cooking devices, reducing and or substituting the use woody biomass consumption for households, institutions, and SMEs, according to a recent release.

Inside knowledge – Amid a surge in demand for forest land in the Congo Basin for carbon offset projects, Rainforest Foundation UK has launched a new set of guidelines to help impacted local communities to better understand these projects and how to exercise their rights in relation to them.

First club – Dutch direct air capture firm Skytree launched its Pioneer Program Wednesday, which would ensure priority delivery of the firm’s Stratus units, designed to capture up to 1000kg of CO2 per day. The programme is available for the first 10 customers, and also includes a maintenance and service package, energy analysis and integration support, and data insights on CO2 performance.

AND FINALLY…

Drought drama – The US Drought Monitor, an essential tool for managing water resources since 1999, is facing challenges in adapting to the intensified and prolonged dry periods particularly affecting the American West. Researchers, including some at Dartmouth University, have highlighted in a study published in AGU Advances that the monitor, which assesses drought based on various climatic inputs, coincided with the onset of one of the Southwest’s driest eras. This period, sometimes labelled as a mega-drought, has seen parts of California experience severe drought conditions far more frequently than historical averages suggest. The study suggests that the Drought Monitor, while effective in real-time assessment, struggles with long-term trends exacerbated by climate change, potentially affecting its utility in decision-making. The tool has been pivotal in guiding drought-related policies and aid distribution but may need re-evaluation to better address the chronic and escalating drought conditions. Suggestions include recalibrating the drought categories or expanding baseline data to reduce the occurrence of extremes, recognising that tools like the Drought Monitor must evolve with the changing climate to remain effective. (LA Times)

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