CP Daily: Monday June 24, 2024

Published 02:44 on June 25, 2024  /  Last updated at 02:44 on June 25, 2024  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

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INTERVIEW: Climate targets ‘untouchable’, but other Green Deal laws must be rewritten, says EU election winner

The EU’s anti-deforestation regulation is a “bureaucratic monster” that must be revised, alongside the 2035 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, says Peter Liese, a German lawmaker who is environment spokesperson for the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) that won the EU elections this month.


EU announces record €3 bln spending on clean energy from carbon trading revenues

The European Commission has disbursed €2.967 billion from emissions trading revenues to support 39 clean energy projects in less-developed EU member states, in what is the largest disbursement of this kind to date, the EU executive announced on Monday.

EU ETS should apply to all types of CO2 from waste incineration, NGO argues

The EU should press ahead with plans to extend its ETS to the incineration of municipal waste, while ensuring that rubbish isn’t diverted to landfills to avoid the carbon price, an NGO recommended on Monday based on new analysis.

Europe should shut down gas grids to avoid price spiral -report

Gas grids in Europe should be progressively shut down to avoid costs for consumers spiralling out of control, according to a study published on Monday.

Save UK steel jobs through low-carbon investment, says think-tank

The next UK government could protect thousands of jobs at the Port Talbot steelworks and expand British steelmaking by investing in low-carbon technology over the next five years, according to a climate think-tank.

World Bank, IMF operationalise climate action framework with first Madagascar project

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have launched the ‘Enhanced Cooperation Framework for Climate Action’ with Madagascar as the first beneficiary.

EU Chips Act could see sector rival steel, chemicals for emissions, says report

EU plans to boost semiconductor manufacturing could see the sector rival those of chemicals and steel as a source of emissions, according to a study published on Monday.

Euro Markets: EUAs drop a third day as gas continues sideways trading, while UKAs make late rally

European carbon prices fell for a third day, reaching their lowest in more than seven weeks on Monday as natural gas prices were little changed despite a worsening outlook for demand amid rising temperatures in northern Europe and a persistently negative clean dark spread.


US DAC company announces $475 mln investment into two Louisiana facilities

A California-based direct air capture (DAC) company announced Monday a $475 million investment towards two DAC facilities in northwestern Louisiana with a combined expected annual capacity of nearly 320,000 tonnes of CO2.

Canada outlines CCUS investment tax credit guidance

The Government of Canada released guidance to implement a batch of clean economy tax credits, including a carbon capture, utilisation, and storage investment tax credit (CCUS ITC), as part of its fall economic statement provisions.

Traders mostly shorten net length across North American carbon markets

Covered entities widened RGGI allowance (RGA) net length while traders mainly reduced holdings across California Carbon Allowances (CCAs), with muted activity in Washington Carbon Allowances (WCAs), according to weekly data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

RGGI Market: RGAs hover below peaks in the absence of programme review news

RGGI Allowance (RGA) values edged up even as market activity tapered off, partly driven by higher temperature forecasts across the Northeast, amid ongoing silence from the scheme’s administrator regarding updates to the Third Program Review.

Washington’s cap-and-invest participation picks up in Q2

The number of entities registered with active accounts in Washington’s cap-and-trade scheme increased in Q2 despite the looming possibility of a programme repeal.


Australia Market Round: Former NSW energy minister to chair Climate Change Authority, regulator issues 1.3 mln ACCUs

The federal Labor government has appointed the former New South Wales Liberal Energy and Environment Minister and Treasurer Matt Kean to chair the Climate Change Authority (CCA), following the resignation of Grant King.

South Korea secures Article 6 partnerships with Cambodia and Bangladesh, holds talks with several others

South Korea’s trade ministry will this week sign Article 6 partnership with Cambodia and Bangladesh during discussions with representatives from seven countries for further cooperation in establishing international emissions reduction projects aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Japanese developer teams up with multiple agencies to implement rice paddy JCM projects across Vietnam

A Japanese company has signed several agreements in Vietnam to develop agriculture-based carbon projects across the country under Japan’s Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), the firm announced Monday.

Japanese consultancy to explore tokenisation of domestic carbon credits

A major consultancy firm in Japan has teamed up with a blockchain solution provider to support the creation of offsets from domestic forestry projects by promoting the tokenisation of carbon credits.

China steel industry should seek carbon financing opportunities from emissions markets, report says

China’s steel industry should explore more financing options for its decarbonisation plans, especially potential ones linked with emerging power and carbon markets in the country, a report has said.

Rio Tinto wants biofuels feedstock production to be eligible to earn ACCUs

Australian miner Rio Tinto has urged the federal government to allow farming projects that grow feedstock for biofuels and renewable diesel to be able to earn Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).


BRIEFING: Carbon credits key part of coal phaseout equation

Carbon credits to compensate for loss of revenue in the early closure of coal plants will be an integral part of achieving coal phaseouts in developing countries, said stakeholders during a high-level dialogue on phasing out coal hosted in London.

International standards body announces fresh plan to harmonise emissions disclosure landscape

An international sustainability standard-setter has unveiled a new two-year plan to help bring together the various corporate climate disclosure requirements, also formalising several partnerships with other organisations in the field.

Mission 2025 group launches to push govts to meet Paris Agreement goals

A global coalition consisting of some of the world’s biggest corporations, cities, and regions was launched Monday to push governments worldwide align their national climate goals with the Paris Agreement.

New climate models sharpen future warming predictions, says researcher

The uncertainties surrounding forecasting global warming have narrowed considerably in the past 10 years, offering a clearer window for planning and budgeting by companies and governments, according to a researcher with the Canadian government.


VCM Report: Thin trade dampens voluntary carbon spirits in dry June, but signs of ARR, CDR markets hotting up

The summer drought extended for another week in the voluntary carbon market, leaving one major exchange and several participants describing activity levels as torporific, although there was a bounce in Phase 1 CORSIA price assessments and continued interest in the carbon removals (CDR) sector.

Voluntary carbon market to hit $100 bln by mid-2030s, driving environmental, economic, social benefits -ratings agency

A $100 billion global voluntary carbon market would support sustainable development, reduce carbon, restore land equivalent to the size of Peru, and create millions of jobs – but work is needed to improve the market’s integrity and transparency, according to a study released on Tuesday.

New study cites MRV challenges as hindering large-scale carbon removals via enhanced weathering

A number of challenges are hindering the deployment of enhanced weathering (EW) at scale, including implementing accurate MRV approaches, a new study has warned.

Swedish carbon startup raises $5.5 mln to launch blockchain-based removal token

A Swedish startup has raised $5.5 million to help verify nature-based carbon removal credits, it announced Monday, using the funding to launch tokens based on blockchain technology.

Software firm raises carbon offset buying one-third as it continues pivot to removals

A large software company increased the volume of voluntary carbon credits it bought in the last fiscal year by 33%, it said in an annual impact report, as it continues its transition towards buying only removal units at the end of the decade.

New policy drivers required to close 10 bln-tonne carbon removal gap by 2050, says report

New policy drivers are needed if the world is to develop the required carbon removal (CDR) capacity to abate residual emissions by mid-century, especially the integration of credits within compliance carbon markets and leakage mechanisms, according to a new report.


ANALYSIS: The Nature Restoration Law – what’s next for EU companies?

EU member states could include the private sector in their plans to achieve national targets under the Nature Restoration Law (NRL) as public funding will likely prove insufficient, and the newly approved legislation is likely to contribute to scaling the biodiversity credit market, according to experts.

Australia consults on draft ’30 by 30′ terrestrial roadmap

The Australian government is seeking feedback on a draft roadmap to show how it will reach its goal of restoring and protect 30% Australia’s land by 2030.

AXA Climate, tech company launch forestry insurance to protect against increasing natural disasters

France-headquartered climate risk manager AXA Climate and an Irish forestry management software company have teamed up to launch insurance for forestry fires and storms.

EBRD urged to improve biodiversity safeguards, rule out offsetting

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should improve its biodiversity standard, as recent changes to its environmental policy are not sufficient to ensure the bank does not finance nature-damaging projects, a campaign group has said.



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$10 tln climate insurance bill – At least $10 trillion in insurance protection is needed globally to cover global investments already committed to the net zero transition, according to a report by Insurance broker Howden and Boston Consulting Group, the FT reports. The study says that much will be needed between 2023 and 2030 just to cover for the energy, road transport, and building sectors as well as offshore wind, solar farms, and the insulation of existing housing stock. The report is meant as a “wake-up call” on the vital role of insurance coverage in the energy transition and the challenges this presents, the authors said.

Tech specs – A UN assessment team has noted that data and information used by Chile in constructing technical forest assessment reports was transparent, complete, and in overall accordance with guidelines. A report containing the assessed proposed forest reference emission level (FREL) and forest reference level (FRL) was published late last week, also identifying a few areas for future technical improvement. The FREL and FRL were modified slightly higher than in the original submission to just over 18 MtCO2e per year for the periods 2001–2013 and 2001–2010.


Carbon border adjustment headache – The EU’s CBAM continues to provoke basic operational questions within the business community, even though companies are already subject to its formal reporting obligations, Euractiv reports. For now, the scheme is just collecting data. Tariffs for foreign products will only apply from 2026. However, the CBAM has already been described as “bureaucratic madness” by business groups. Politico reported Friday that as many as 95% of firms declined to submit an actual figure for emissions before the latest deadline, sending instead a default value as a placeholder. The policy’s implementation has so far been plagued with various issues, including with a malfunctioning EU registry system and tech-related hiccups.

EU ban on Russian LNG – The EU27 today adopted their 14th package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, targeting for the first time imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The ban applies to: 1) reloading services for Russian LNG on EU territory for the purpose of transshipment to third countries, and 2) new investments for the completion of LNG projects under construction. Thierry Bros, a gas market expert and Professor at Sciences Po Paris, said the impact on world markets will be negligeable. “The EU imported 96.7 mt of LNG in 2023 (net re-export) and re-exported 1.4 mt. On a global production of 401.4 mt, even if all the re-exports were LNG of Russian origin it is very marginal and will have no impact,” Bros told Carbon Pulse.

Permit to store – Denmark awarded its first permits allowing companies to investigate the feasibility of carbon storage in underground sites, using a model already used for the Nordic country’s oil and gas projects, Bloomberg reports, via Politico Pro. Units of Wintershall Dea, INEOS Group, Equinor, and Orsted are among the companies that were granted rights to explore whether the Danish subsoil is suitable for commercial CO2 storage and to establish whether the process can be done safely and securely, the Danish Energy Agency said last week. If they are successful, the companies will be able to apply for permission to start storage.

Carbon-saving cruises – MSC Cruises cut the carbon intensity of its fleet by 6.5% between 2022 and 2023, taking the company’s total reduction to 37.8% since 2008, Ship & Bunker reported. The company launched its second LNG-fuelled ship last year and used shore power connections 44 times. It plans to use shore power 220 times this year. MSC aims to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2050, and is working with partners including shipyards and technology and fuel providers to get there, it said.

Greener cement – Swedish utility Vattenfall and low-carbon cement startup Cemvision have announced an agreement for the supply and development of cement with a reduced carbon footprint of 95%, with potential applications including foundations for wind power turbines, power distribution, and prefabricated concrete elements. Sweden-based Cemvision provides an alternative to traditional Portland cement, produced using raw materials recycled from industrial waste instead of virgin limestone, and using kilns powered by green electricity at much lower temperatures. Cement production accounts for about 8% of global CO2 emissions, with over 900 kg of CO2e generated for every 1,000 kg of material produced. (ESG Today)

Cry for help – British Steel has reportedly submitted a request for £600 mln worth of taxpayer support as it seeks assistance from the next UK government to upgrade to greener technology. Government officials are due to review plans that lay out the costs of switching from blast furnaces to electric arc furnaces at the company’s steelworks in Scunthorpe, northeast England, reported the Sunday Times. Labour leader Keir Starmer, who is heavily favoured in polls to be the next prime minister in the coming general election on July 4, has stuck to a pledge to invest £3 bln in decarbonising the steel industry, and ministers will have the final say over any support for British Steel after the election. Any deal will likely receive close scrutiny due to the company’s Chinese ownership. While new government ministers would also have final say on whether an already agreed £500 mln subsidy for Indian-owned Tata Steel would go ahead.

Hit by planning – Companies bidding for government contracts to build the UK’s first mini-reactors may be hit by planning hurdles, just as the Conservative and Labour parties jostling for election success view reactors as a key way to decarbonise the country’s energy network. Six companies have been shortlisted to compete for £20 bln in government funding to build the nation’s first small modular reactors, touted as a faster and cheaper way of boosting the country’s nuclear capacity, and in the next two weeks will submit their final bids with two selected by year-end. However, there are concerns that planning hurdles will hamper the role out of the first generation of so-called SMRs. The first small modular reactor is not expected to be up and running before 2035 due to difficulties in securing development consent orders, and other administrative hurdles. (the Times)

Renewables roadblocks – The majority of the UK’s onshore renewable energy projects are failing to surpass the planning stages, as more developers submit speculative applications, the planning system struggles to deal with the rise, and grid connections take time to come through, the Financial Times reported. Some 63% of around 4,000 applications submitted for wind, solar, and battery projects between 2018 and 2023 were refused, abandoned, withdrawn, or saw their planning permission expire, according to analysis by consultancy Cornwall Insight. Another 18% were sent back for revision. Only a fifth of projects were either waiting for a planning decision or ready to be built. Both the Conservative and Labour parties have promised to reform renewables planning processes, ahead of the general election on July 4.


Swamped – Australia said its first major tender under the Capacity Investment Scheme was swamped with more than 40 GWs of bids from wind and solar project developers, enough to meet its 82% renewable energy target, Renew Economy reported. Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen brought the figure up in an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review attacking the opposition’s plan for nuclear power and its opposition to renewables. His office said no further details regarding the 40 GW figure will be released. Registrations for the first tender under the CIS were due on June 19. The first formal bids are due July 1.

SAF development – Japan’s IHI Corporation has teamed up with Singapore-based Institute of Sustainability for Chemicals, Energy and Environment (ISCE²) to accelerate the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), it announced Monday. The two organisations plan to install a test device by September to verify processes for synthesising liquid hydrocarbons, the raw material for SAF, as IHI aims to develop catalysts and build efficient processes to directly produce SAF from CO2 and hydrogen. They will also start small-scale testing by the end of the year, injecting 100 kg of CO2 per day, according to the company statement.

Flying low carbon – Major airlines in Philippines including AirAsia Philippines and Cebu Pacific have pledged to fast-track the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) among other measures to lessen carbon emissions from their businesses. The carriers acknowledged that technological infrastructure development, policies, regulations, investment opportunities, and technical capabilities for SAF were still in their early stages in the country but admitted that they have been taking several measures to ensure its proactive actions towards sustainability. AirAsia’s Net Zero programme aims to use SAF throughout the whole group, from a low of 2% starting 2025 to a maximum of 70% by 2050.

CCUS study – Petros, the state-owned petroleum company in Malaysia, will undertake further studies to establish a Sarawak storage atlas on the potential of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) sites across the state, Malay Mail reported. The oil company will also undertake seismic acquisitions and promote potential sites through a Sarawak bid round exercise to potential CCUS developers and investors. In a statement released by the company, it said that the high-technology investment potential in Sarawak can only be realised with proper energy planning and the ability to secure reasonably-priced natural gas.

High demand – India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has updated the scheme guidelines for the National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM) and has increased the capacity set for bidding of green ammonia from 550,000 tonnes per annum to 750,000 tonnes per annum, due to increase in demand for fertiliser use. This is a significant step towards demand creation of green hydrogen and its derivatives in the country, a statement released by the government said. Earlier this month, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) issued Request for Selection (RfS) for the selection of green ammonia producers through a cost-based competitive bidding process. Under the NGHM, India has set itself a target to achieve production capacity of 5 mln tonnes per annum of green hydrogen in the country by 2030.


Next WCI workshop – California’s ARB announced Monday the date of the next cap-and-trade public rulemaking workshop set for July 10 between 1300-1500 Pacific (1800-2000 GMT). ARB staff will review and present on topics relevant to allowance budgets, according to the press release, and will accept public comments until July 31 following the workshop. The regulator will post workshop materials on July 9 at 12 noon Pacific. Allowance prices in the secondary market have waned since the prior workshop on May 31 lacked information on which pool of allowances budget cuts would be drawn from.

Washington poll – In a recent Scott Rasmussen National Survey, 45% of respondents said they supported Ballot Initiative 2117 (I-2117), which would repeal Washington’s state cap-and-invest programme, reported the Everett Post. More specifically, 21% said they strongly favoured I-2117 and 24% somewhat favoured it. On the other hand, 39% said they opposed the measure, with 18% saying they were somewhat opposed and 21% strongly opposed. Sixteen percent were not sure, according to the outlet. A follow-up question that mentioned rising gas prices and the potential of repeal to bring down fuel costs greatly affected the survey results, with more than two-thirds of respondents subsequently saying they supported I-2117. General state elections in Washington will be held on Nov. 5.

Maine moves to scuttle youth climate suit – The Maine Office of the Attorney General filed a motion Friday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by youth groups and environmental advocates arguing that officials have failed to take the necessary steps to cut CO2 emissions as required by law. The initial lawsuit – filed in April by the Conservation Law Foundation, Maine Youth Action, and Sierra Club – alleges that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is not following a 2019 law requiring the state to cut its CO2 emissions 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The plaintiffs have until the beginning of August to respond to the state’s motion. Hawaii, meanwhile, announced a first-of-its-kind deal last week to settle a suit brought against the state by youth climate activists. (Maine Morning Star)

EPA probe could stifle Texas CCS – The US EPA is launching a review into Texas’ oversight of wells for injecting gases and chemicals underground – a process that could thwart the state’s hopes to oversee long-term carbon sequestration and change how companies operate in the most productive oil fields in the country, reported Energy Wire. The review is in response to a petition from two nonprofits that asked EPA to investigate how the state’s oil and gas regulator oversees Class II wells, where companies inject wastewater, CO2, and other gases and chemicals. If EPA finds Texas violated federal law, it could yank authority over CO2 and wastewater injections from Texas regulators, which could slow down the carbon capture industry by slapping more requirements on operators. (E&E News)

Jet fuel tax – California regulators are floating a first-in-the-nation proposal to penalise the use of standard jet fuel for intrastate flights, reported Climate Wire. Every day, nearly 600 airline flights carry passengers between airports within California. Regulators are proposing to force jet fuel suppliers to invest in cleaner options via a policy aimed at expanding the supply of lower-emitting aviation fuels. The airline industry opposes the move. Intrastate flights produce about 2% of GHG emissions in California, according to the ARB, which expects the GHG pollution share to grow as other sectors cut emissions. (E&E News)

Cerilon cash and carbon – The North Dakota Department of Commerce has approved a $32 mln loan to Canada-based Cerilon for its planned large-scale, natural gas-fed gas-to-liquid facility in Williams County, reported the North Dakota Monitor. The loan comes from the agency’s North Dakota Development Fund. Cerilon has already secured a conditional use permit from the county, but is still seeking a siting permit from the state Public Services Commission (PSC), which last week held a meeting in which Cerilon Sustainability and Engagement Director Rochelle Harding emphasised that the project would meet all environmental standards, reported KRFY. The PSC will decide at a later date if it will approve the permit, and, pending that process, Cerilon is aiming to start construction in 2026, the outlet reported. According to Cerilon, the 24,000 barrel-per-day facility will have a commercial CCS component and will produce clean-burning transportation fuels, synthetic base oils, and specialised products. The captured CO2 will be injected into a local geologic sequestration site, according to the company’s website.


Biochar manual – International Biochar Initiative (IBI) and UK-based environmental services company Hamerkop Climate Impact have launched a manual for biochar carbon removal. The manual provides a roadmap for biochar producers, investors, and stakeholders keen on understanding the intricacies of biochar carbon removal certification and compares all the existing biochar methodologies and standards, including their costs. The e-book is launched with a goal to offer practical insights and comparisons to assist producers and investors in selecting the most appropriate approach for their specific biochar projects.

Partners – Project developer Ostrom Climate Solutions has entered into a cooperation agreement with Klima 1.5 Corp, a Philippine-based carbon management company. The agreement focuses on creating a conceptual plan and feasibility study for nature-based solutions in Mindanao, aiming to utilise natural processes to capture and store CO2, thus reducing GHGs and supporting biodiversity. The main initiatives include afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation projects, which are critical for carbon sequestration and enhancing biodiversity. The projects are set to take place in Mindanao, which, with its extensive forest cover and diverse ecosystems, provides a promising venue for such initiatives, the companies said. The agreement specifies the roles of each party, with Klima managing local engagement and regulatory support, and Ostrom providing technical and socio-environmental expertise. This partnership is expected to lead to more joint ventures, the partners said, expanding Ostrom Climate’s presence in the Philippines, which already includes a climate-smart agriculture project in Central Luzon. Klima operates under the Ayala Group, leveraging the conglomerate’s vast resources and network to implement large-scale environmental projects effectively, aiming to address environmental challenges while promoting economic growth and social equity.

Survey says – Patch is conducting a survey on the state of carbon credit supply. Describing the moment as a “pivotal time” for scaling climate solutions, the choices carbon credit suppliers make now will have ramifications for the state of supply both today and for years to come, they said. Stakeholders may submit an anonymous response here.

Lower ambition – Organisers of the Paris Olympics have dropped a pledge to set a hard limit on its overall carbon cost, with an initial commitment to set a definite ceiling on emissions at 1.58 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent being scrapped, France 24 reports. Organisers instead promised that the Olympics would emit half the average emissions of the 2012 and 2016 Games in London and Rio de Janeiro — an amount expected to be around 3.9 Mt of CO2. Reforestation and clean cooking projects will play a key role in supplying carbon credits to offset the residual emissions of the 2024 sporting event, taking place from July 24-Aug. 11. These credits must either comply with France’s ‘Label bas carbone’ or be certified by Gold Standard or Verra, a spokesperson for the Games told Carbon Pulse.


Climate-fuelling fires – The frequency and magnitude of extreme wildfires worldwide has doubled in the last two decades due to climate change, the Washington Post reported. According to a study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, the world’s six most extreme fire years have occurred since 2017, including the historic Australian fires of 2019 and 2020. Overall, extreme wildfire events have increased 2.2-fold since 2003, it found. The wildfires themselves emit more carbon, and lead to nature loss. Wildfire intensity is also lasting through overnight hours, as nighttime temperatures increase.


Paving the way for carbon credits – Nigeria’s works minister, David Umahi, said the lights on the Third Mainland Bridge in the country’s capital city, Lagos, would be completely removed and replaced with solar-powered lights, report the People’s Gazette and the Vanguard. “We will put CCTV and we will put solar lights and save energy,” he said, adding that the Nigerian government will seek to claim carbon credits from the move. “The president is going to be working with us to see how we can claim a lot of carbon credits by reason of this innovation,” Umahi said. “All these roads, we are building with concrete because there is low emission by reason of the traction of vehicles on these concrete roads,” he added.

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