CP Daily: Tuesday July 9, 2024

Published 02:08 on July 10, 2024  /  Last updated at 02:08 on July 10, 2024  / Carbon Pulse /  Newsletters

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

Presenting CP Daily, Carbon Pulse’s free newsletter. It’s a daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world. Subscribe here

TOP STORY

California ARB’s 2026 implementation of cap-and-trade changes sinks market hopes for immediate upside

California regulator ARB proposes to remove all allowances from auctions and allocations starting in 2026, leaving cost containment pools intact, with traders reporting secondary market prices slumping after an initial bullish spike given the delayed implementation timeline.

VOLUNTARY

DATA DIVE: Retirements in voluntary carbon market hold up in H1 2024 offering tentative signs of resilience

Carbon credit retirement volumes across the four main registries broadly held up in the first six months of 2024, compared to the same period last year, despite fresh scandals hitting the sector.

Tech giant signs largest direct air capture offtake deal to date

A technology company has signed a deal for the largest direct air capture offtake to date, it announced Tuesday.

Methane offset developer pre-sells units to EDF Trading

A Florida-headquartered methane offset developer has pre-sold units for plugging orphaned oil and gas wells to the trading arm of a French power company.

Colombian Constitutional Court rules to uphold Indigenous rights in first-ever carbon markets case -media

The Constitutional Court of Colombia on Monday decided its first-ever case on carbon credits, ruling that the developer, certifier, auditor, and consultant involved – as well as national authorities – had failed to act with due diligence to safeguard Indigenous rights.

Corporate climate group launches transition tool for asset managers

An independent ESG-focused organisation has launched a new transition analytics tool, designed for asset owners and managers to better manage climate risk, engage their portfolio companies, and meet their varied environmental commitments and reporting requirements.

European intermediary sells over 3 mln tonnes to corporates, individuals in 2023

Companies and private individuals took responsibility for 3.34 million tonnes of emissions, sold by an intermediary in the form of climate contribution certificates last year, it said Tuesday.

European carbon removals accelerator enters Indian market

A Netherlands-based carbon removals accelerator is expanding its programme to India hoping to launch its first pilot in the South Asian nation by the end of 2024, it announced Tuesday.

EMEA

BRIEFING: Deep EU power market reform needed to reach climate goals, experts say

Although it was overhauled this year to address the energy crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, the EU power market will need a second round of reform to enable a growing share of renewables in the system, experts say.

BRIEFING: Pylons, costs, public opinion among the challenges facing UK’s new clean power goal

The new UK government will need to take a sensitive approach to siting new energy infrastructure and keeping costs down as it pursues its goal of zero-carbon power by 2030, which will require better communicating the benefits of the energy transition.

BRIEFING: Green is the colour of growth for new Labour government, says expert panel

The UK’s new Labour government looks set to pursue a more climate-friendly agenda with a commitment to green growth opportunities, according to an expert panel gathered in the wake of last week’s general election.

Euro Markets: EUAs continue to weaken amid aggressive selling, weak gas, allocation speculation

European carbon extended losses for a second day after prices had dropped below a key support level on Monday, as aggressive selling in both gas and carbon continued to put pressure on all markets, while a weak EUA auction and speculation that the 2024 allocation of free EUAs has begun, underscored the bearish trend.

Environment and health issues to remain united in one European Parliament committee -lawmaker

The European Parliament’s Environment (ENVI) committee, where all climate and health bills need to pass before becoming law, will not be split in two as had been previously suggested, a heavyweight centre-right lawmaker said on Tuesday.

Poland seeks EU ETS exemption for electricity supplied to Ukraine

Poland is seeking an exemption from buying EU carbon allowances for the emissions tied to the power it supplies to Ukraine this winter, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said during a visit to Warsaw by the Ukrainian president on Monday.

Morocco’s Article 6 protocols enter final design phase -media

Morocco’s frameworks to support sovereign carbon trading are being finalised, according to local media sources.

AMERICAS

Q3 RGGI auction volumes dip slightly amidst strong compliance demand

RGGI states will offer a touch lower volumes at the scheme’s Q3 allowance sale, with prices in the secondary market supported at near record levels from ongoing strong compliance demand, according to a notice published Tuesday.

Environmental non-profits urge RGGI states to provide Third Program Review update -media

A coalition of green groups have signed letters to the 10 RGGI states, urging their environmental authorities to clarify the schedule of anticipated changes to the power sector carbon market, now six months overdue its targeted conclusion date.

South Dakota carbon pipeline law faces possible repeal in November

A South Dakota carbon pipeline law faces a petition with tens of thousands of signatures that could send the measure to a vote in November, as a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry-backed campaign has emerged to defend the regulation.

US appeals court rejects opposition’s attempts to block EPA methane rules

A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied an attempt from several US states and industry groups to block recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

Alberta signs province’s first carbon sequestration agreement with oil major, energy firm

The government of Alberta signed Monday a carbon sequestration agreement with the Canadian subsidiary of oil major Shell and a global energy firm, as the province continues its efforts to expand carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS).

British Columbia, Quebec lead energy transition efforts in Canada, Saskatchewan falling behind -panel

British Columbia and Quebec have emerged as leaders in Canada’s “fragmented” energy transition that is driven by provincial actions, while Saskatchewan largely remains behind other jurisdictions in advancing climate goals, webinar participants heard Tuesday.

ASIA PACIFIC

Australian DAC startup raises A$10 mln

An Australian carbon removal tech startup has raised A$10 million ($6.7 mln) in seed funding as it gears up to meet its target of capturing 1 billion tonnes of CO2 per year by 2032.

Singapore adds Laos to stable of Article 6 partners

Singapore and Laos on Tuesday announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on carbon credits under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

CCS value chain hopefuls list litany of challenges to overcome

Industrial and oil and gas heavyweights have highlighted the long list of challenges that need to be figured out if their aspirations of establishing CCS value chains in Asia are to become a reality.

New Zealand proposes bringing carbon capture into ETS

The New Zealand government on Tuesday released a draft framework for carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS), proposing to bring resulting CO2 reductions or removals into the nation’s emissions trading scheme.

China publishes baseline emissions factors of regional power grids for carbon offset project development

China has published baseline emissions factors of the country’s regional grids for 2022 and 2023, a crucial element for developers to calculate emissions for renewable-based offset projects.

Carbon price must rise to underpin CCS projects in Australia, investment bank says

An executive from a major investment bank has said Australia’s carbon price will have to rise before it commits to investing in CCS projects in the region, arguing it cannot rely on government subsidies.

Japan looks to fund fluorocarbon projects under JCM

Japan has issued a funding call under the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) to provide financial support for projects that can achieve greenhouse gas reductions by destroying alternative fluorocarbons from used equipment.

INTERNATIONAL

Global green economy hits market cap of $7.2 trillion, second only to tech sector

The global market for low-carbon and environmental solutions posted a strong recovery last year, with a capitalisation second only to the technology sector – but headwinds to expansion remain, according to a study published on Tuesday.

Korean project developer secures purchase agreement for ITMOs from Africa

A South Korean project developer has secured a contract to purchase internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) under the Paris Agreement from an African country, as it seeks to expand its business in the emerging Article 6 market.

Philippines elected host country for UN Loss and Damage Fund

The Philippines has been elected as host country for the UN Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) at the second meeting of the board, which began in Songdo, South Korea on Tuesday.

SHIPPING

IMO to help developing countries decarbonise shipping

Developing countries will be able to get technical support when preparing their strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, thanks to a new programme announced on Tuesday by the UN’s shipping regulatory body International Maritime Organization (IMO).

BIODIVERSITY (FREE TO READ)

Indonesia signs $35-mln debt swap deal with US, NGOs to conserve coral reef ecosystems

Indonesia has signed a $35 million debt-for-nature swap and coral reef conservation agreement with the US and four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to protect and restore country’s coral reef ecosystems.

Amazon deforestation slows down in Brazil, hits best in 23 years in Colombia

Deforestation in the Amazon has dropped in Brazil and Colombia over the last few months, with the latter recording the lowest rates in the region in 23 years, according to government data.

Vietnam commits to protect nature, enhance biodiversity by 2030

The Vietnamese government has adopted a national environmental protection plan with the aim of preventing ecosystem degradation and enhancing biodiversity in the country by 2030.

INTERVIEW: Environment Bank markets portfolio as voluntary biodiversity credits

Nature uplift from almost an entire network of habitat banks, initially developed for the UK biodiversity net gain (BNG) market, is also available to purchase as voluntary biodiversity credits from Environment Bank, Carbon Pulse has learned.

NGOs urge the EU to address biodiversity goals in its next budget

Well-targeted financing through the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is crucial for achieving EU biodiversity goals, including the establishment of a dedicated conservation and restoration fund, a campaign group has said.

NatureMetrics automates marine eDNA sampling

Biodiversity monitoring company NatureMetrics has launched a “revolutionary” system for sampling environmental DNA (eDNA) in marine and freshwater environments autonomously, it said on Tuesday.

Biodiversity Pulse: Tuesday July 9, 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).

PARTNERSHIP

Carbon Pulse is partnering with carbon data provider Sylvera. As of today, Sylvera’s customers can access the latest Carbon Pulse news and intelligence on carbon markets, greenhouse gas pricing, and climate policy, directly via its platform. Sylvera is an end-to-end data platform for carbon procurement and investment, providing unparalleled market expertise, trusted ratings, superior data visibility and tools that companies rely on to ensure their carbon credit investments advance their climate goals and optimise returns on investment. With proprietary software that independently and accurately evaluates projects that capture, remove or avoid carbon emissions, Sylvera’s carbon credit ratings are project specific and help carbon offset buyers – public and private – invest in high-quality projects with real climate impact. Carbon Pulse will provide Sylvera’s customers with the full suite of its daily reporting to help inform their carbon and net zero strategies.

—————————————————

MARKETPLACE LAUNCH

Supercritical launches a world-first in carbon removal: a multi-pathway marketplace with live pricing and availability data for 80% of the biochar market. This launch brings radical transparency to a traditionally opaque market. Underpinned by a rigorous 118-point vetting process, the marketplace ensures quality across biochar and other removal pathways. Real-time data empowers buyers to make informed decisions and transact effectively. Trusted by 1/3 of all corporate buyers, including The Economist Group and Virgin Atlantic, Supercritical is redefining carbon removal procurement. For companies committed to climate action, Supercritical offers a single place to navigate the carbon removal market. FIND OUT MORE

—————————————————

CONFERENCES

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

—————————————————

Premium job listings

See all listings or post a job

—————————————————

BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

INTERNATIONAL

Undervalued – Low public market valuations are undervaluing clean energy companies and holding back the green transition, according to Sumant Sinha, head of India’s ReNew Energy Global. The firm has raised the prospect of moving its listing from the Nasdaq as concerns over a potential Trump presidency and high interest rates have helped to spur a clean energy sell-off. Low valuations have prompted some buyout groups to swoop in, lured by the prospect of potential bargains. For example, Brookfield is in talks to purchase France’s Neoen while KKR is buying German Encavis. The amount of new equity raised by climate tech and energy transition companies in the public markets has also dropped, from $68 bln in 2022 to $33 bln in 2023, according to BloombergNEF data. ReNew, which develops wind and solar projects in India, has been hit by a share price fall of more than 30% since its listing in New York in August 2021. Overall, clean energy stocks have tumbled 28% since July last year, according to the S&P Global Clean Energy Index. (FT)

Cement CCS – Mexican multinational materials company Cemex has invested an undisclosed value in Australian CCS start-up KC8 Capture Technologies via its venture capital unit, Cemex Ventures, the firms announced Tuesday. Cemex will test KC8’s technology in a front-end engineering design study at one of its cement plants, targetting capture of more than 100 tCO2 per day.

EMEA

On a mission – Chris Stark, an expert in climate and energy and former CEO of the Climate Change Committee, has been appointed to lead a new “Mission Control” centre aimed at achieving Britain’s goal of providing clean, affordable power by 2030. Announced by Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, the control centre is designed to fast-track the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, enhancing Britain’s energy independence and reducing energy bills. The centre will serve as a hub for industry experts and officials to streamline energy projects by collaborating with key organisations like Ofgem and the National Grid. This initiative also aligns with the broader goals of increasing job creation, ensuring national security, and leading in the global effort to combat climate change. Additionally, the launch of Mission Control complements the establishment of Great British Energy, a public entity aimed at fostering energy autonomy.

A tale of two Maritsas – The ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 coal-fired power plant in Bulgaria is reducing its workforce to just 35 employees due to unprofitable operation conditions driven by low electricity market prices. In contrast, the state-owned Maritsa East 2 has received a government lifeline for another year. Market pressures and high costs from the EU ETS have made coal power less competitive across Europe. The plant at Maritsa East 3, transitioning away from coal due to these financial strains, is considering alternative energy projects like solar power and battery storage. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian government continues to support Maritsa East 2, demonstrating a cautious approach to phasing out coal power despite the broader European trend towards closure of such facilities. (Balkan Green Energy News)

German requests – An alliance of business leaders in Germany, Stiftung KlimaWirschatft, sent a position paper today asking the EU to stay committed to implementing the European Green Deal. They said they want the Commission to: ensure reliable climate targets, provide sustainable energy at internationally competitive prices, strengthen domestic industry, secure financing for the transition, streamline reporting obligations, boost the availability of skilled workers, all while strengthening the EU’s global role.

Speedy shift – South Africa’s new energy minister has vowed to speed up the shift to renewable energy from coal, breaking away from a predecessor who opposed swift decarbonision and pledged to keep burning coal for a long while. Addressing journalists, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, who now runs the newly-created Energy and Electricity Ministry, said he wants to see an “exponential share” of renewable energy and to signal to investors the intention to go down that route. Owing to its heavy coal reliance, South Africa is among the world’s top 15 GHG emitters. However, with vast areas of desert and a windy coastline, the country has some of the world’s most abundant renewable energy potential. (Reuters)

Mini nuclear – French state energy giant EDF has pulled out of the competition to build small modular reactors (SMR) in the UK, leaving five companies left to compete: Rolls-Royce, GE Hitachi, Westinghouse, Holtec Britain, and Nuscale Power. The government is set to choose two winners by the end of the year, with submissions for the competition’s latest stage due at 4 pm on Monday, and the five remaining competitors understood to have met the deadline. EDF’s exit from the competition comes after it announced last week that it would halt internal work on new innovations for SMRs and switch to using existing technologies in designs. Great British Nuclear (GBN) who is managing the contest, will seek to reduce the list to four companies before deciding on the final two. SMRs hold the promise of being much cheaper and faster to build than large nuclear power plants, due to their modular, factory-made designs. The new Labour government has yet to say whether it will follow the same timescale on SMRs as the previous Conservative government. (Telegraph)

Turkish EV plant – China’s largest carmaker BYD has agreed a $1 bln deal to build an electric vehicle plant in Turkey, as it looks to increase its European production and continue its overseas expansion. Capable of producing 150,000 vehicles a year, the plant is slated to commence production at the end of 2026 and create about 5,000 jobs. The pact comes as BYD, the world’s second-largest EV maker after Tesla, looks to tap the EU market at a time when Brussels is clamping down on access for cars imported from China. BYD will face a total tariff rate of 27.4% on EVs imported from China. BYD is also building a plant in Hungary that will begin production next year and is considering a second plant in that country. Turkey boasts a large automotive industry, with automakers there having produced about 1.5 mln vehicles last year. The country’s primary export market is the EU and as part of the EU’s Customs Union, vehicles can be exported to the bloc without additional duties. (FT)

Swiss stats – In 2023, Switzerland’s CO2 emissions from gas and heating oil decreased by 8.8% compared to the previous year, primarily due to enhanced energy efficiency in buildings and a shift towards renewable energy sources for heating. This reduction aligns with a broader 41.7% decrease in emissions from these sources since 1990, reflecting ongoing efforts in energy optimisation and sustainable practices. However, emissions from petrol and diesel remained unchanged from the previous year. Despite these trends, overall fuel-related emissions in 2023 have decreased by 5.2% since 1990. Factors contributing to the stability in fuel-related emissions include changes in mobility patterns due to the pandemic, such as increased remote working and reduced business travel, as well as a slight increase in the use of biofuels and the growth of electro-mobility in road traffic. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) uses these annual statistics to monitor CO2 emissions trends, adjusting for seasonal variations to ensure accurate year-over-year comparisons.

Floating hub – SBM Offshore and Ocean-Power have signed an MoU to collaborate on a floating power generation hub in the North sea with CO2 capture and storage. The hub will generate electricity offshore using gas turbines plus carbon capture and storage, and will be used to power offshore assets via submarine cables and to electrify the continental shelf with minimal impact on the national grid. The partnership seeks to assess the technical feasibility and commercial readiness to collaborate on the concept, the parties announced today.

Blue, the happy colour – Sierra Leone will see $10 mln worth of political risk insurance from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) go to West Africa Blue’s equity investment in a mangrove blue carbon project in the Bonthe and Moyamba regions, according to a DFC announcement Tuesday. The project aims to develop long-term conservation, restoration, and income diversification activities funded through certified carbon credit issuances.

Tender time – A tender has been launched for a consultant to lead a study on the feasibility and potential benefits of implementing regional carbon pricing within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) area. This initiative is supported by the UNFCCC under the Collaborative Instruments for Ambitious Climate Action (CiACA) project. The study aims to explore and evaluate the opportunities for coordinated or joint carbon pricing mechanisms within UEMOA, considering the varying national policies and regional integration goals. The scope of work will include an assessment of existing national and regional carbon pricing strategies and their implications for UEMOA, identification and formulation of possible cooperative or aligned approaches for carbon pricing within the region, analysis of how regional carbon pricing could facilitate the adoption of mitigation technologies and strategies in UEMOA, and a framework for the implementation of regional carbon pricing and related fiscal measures. The consultant is expected to produce an inception report, draft and final assessments, and facilitate a validation workshop to finalise the recommendations. The budget for the consultancy is capped at $45,000. This study represents a strategic effort to integrate carbon pricing within UEMOA’s broader climate action and economic policies, aiming to create a unified approach that supports sustainable development and regional economic goals.

ASIA PACIFIC

JCM partnership – Thailand and Japan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reduce GHG emissions and promote low-carbon technology to achieve climate goals under the Paris Agreement, The Nation reported. The countries have signed agreement under Japan’s Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) through which they will be able to achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Under the agreement, Japan will help Thailand in bringing decarbonising technologies, infrastructure, and financial support and in return, Thai project developers will share credits generated by these projects with Japan.

Capacity building – Mongolia’s Climate Change Research and Cooperation Centre (CCRCC) has teamed up with global carbon standard Verra to enhance the country’s carbon credit capacity and market growth, they announced this week. The two organisations aim to support the development of a domestic voluntary carbon market through capacity-building programmes, helping stakeholders understand the technical and administrative requirements of voluntary projects.

Net Zero Commission – The state of New South Wales in Australia has launched a Net Zero Commission which will play an important role in monitoring, reviewing, and reporting on the state’s progress towards emissions reduction targets established under the Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Act 2023, an official release stated. The Commission will be directly accountable to NSW Parliament and will be required to prepare annual reports on the state’s progress.

Car alignment – The government of New Zealand has announced that it will be aligning the targets within its Clean Car Importer Standard with those being set in Australia, in order to provide the vehicle import market certainty and ease the cost of living pressures on Kiwis should they purchase a vehicle in future. The government conducted a review and found that the Standard’s current targets were too stringent and were getting increasingly difficult for the importers to meet. It also found that country’s commercial targets for 2026 and 2027 were more stringent than every other country in the world. The changes to the Standard’s emissions targets for 2025-2029 will come to effect from Jan. 1, 2025.

Not anymore – CEO of Sendle, Australia’s biggest delivery startup, has revealed that his firm has stopped buying emissions offsets from South Pole after its Kariba REDD+ project in Zimbabwe imploded, Financial Review reported. James Chin Moody, Sendle’s CEO, confirmed the start-up had earlier used credits from the troubled supplier to offset its emissions. Even though the credits purchased by the firm were not “questionable”, Sendle ensured that every single thing that it was doing, was actually sequestering carbon back out of the atmosphere, Moody said. Last year, international media reports found that South Pole’s Kariba project in Zimbabwe had massively overstated the amount of trees it was protecting and therefore emissions credits it was eligible for.

Great green investment – India’s Adani Group is planning to spend $9 bln on manufacturing and transportation infrastructure in the first phase of its green hydrogen venture. Adani New Industries Ltd., a division of the Adani conglomerate, is developing green hydrogen projects in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch, according to a report by Mint. As soon as the production process starts, Adani will hire specialised ships to export green hydrogen to Europe and other Asian countries. There will be four-five different phases involved in the project. In the first phase, the plan is to achieve a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum of green hydrogen. This move will help in fulfilling the its mission to replace 40% of hydrogen consumption in the country to green hydrogen by 2030.

AMERICAS

US carbon study bill – US Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Scott Peter (D-CA) have led a bipartisan group of 20 legislators in introducing the Providing Reliable, Objective, Verifiable Emissions Intensity and Transparency (PROVE IT) Act in the House of Representatives, which would require the Department of Energy to study of the carbon intensity of nearly two dozen domestic industrial goods. Curtis overcame fierce opposition from some conservative activists and oil and gas interests in doing so. The information gathered from that study is widely expected to show that materials made in the US have a lower emissions threshold than they do when produced by foreign countries, underscoring a perceived US carbon advantage in trade relationships. A Senate version was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee in January on a bipartisan basis. The proposal has elicited a split amongst Republicans, with some seeing it as a potential defense against the EU’s CBAM and others condemning it as a pathway to a carbon tax. The move is also indicative of growing bipartisan interest in some form of federal US carbon border fee. Curtis is the founder of the House of Representative’s Conservative Climate Caucus and is considered a heavy favourite to win Utah’s Senate seat this November, potentially providing a critical GOP vote against repeal of environmental policies in a possible second Trump administration. (E&E News)

Snowball in hell – Former Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe — a major figure in US Republican environmental policy — died Tuesday. He was 89. Inhofe led the Environment and Public Works Committee twice over the last two decades and was its ranking member at other points, playing a major role in climate change, air pollution, water, chemical regulation and other policy areas — often working across the aisle. But he was known internationally for his denial of mainstream climate change science. Inhofe called climate change “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” in a 2012 book and once tossed a snowball on the Senate floor to mock worries about global warming. The “hoax” argument on climate had significant staying power and has been picked up by other Republicans, including former President Donald Trump. (E&E News)

Oregon CFP workshop – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a workshop Tuesday to discuss proposed updates to its GREET model released last week for assessing carbon intensity in the state’s Clean Fuels Program (CFP). During the informal workshop, Bill Peters, Clean Fuels Analyst at DEQ explained the changes and addressed a number of technical and procedural questions. Peters clarified that, once the new CFP rulemaking is in effect, the DEQ will not accept new fuel pathway applications based on the old GREET model, but would take recertification applications from California “for some months after”, currently proposed through Mar. 2025. Additionally, answering a question on how hydrogen pathways like methane pyrolysis that can lead to lower or negative emissions will be considered in the CFP, Peters said he couldn’t say how the DEQ might handle more novel processes. “We tend to keep our options open and make sure that we can review the science as best we can,” said Peters. Finally, Peters also clarified that the submission process for annual fuel pathway reports will be similar under the new GREET model. Concerning timelines, the next Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting will be in August, probably mid-August, Peters noted. He also said it is likely that the DEQ’s CFP rulemaking is likely to go to Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) after California’s current Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) rulemaking is presented to the ARB, but that the DEQ is still reviewing timelines.

Gas for all – A new Washington state ballot measure looks to block state and local governments from restricting gas use, as a half-million signatures were submitted in favour of the sending the initiative up for vote in November, E&E news reported Tuesday. Initiative 2066 would require utilities to offer gas to any customer in their service area who may reasonably demand it. It also rescinds clauses that target electrification of current end-uses of natural gas. The initiative is supported by homebuilders, hotel and restaurant owners, and conservative activists.

Washington tax exemption – The Washington Department of Revenue issued last a week a special notice for business and occupation (B&O) tax and public utility tax (PUT) exemption for carbon credits and allowances received under the state’s embattled cap-and-invest programme. Established by Engrossed House Bill 2199 (EHB 2199), the exemptions are applicable to covered entities, opt-in entities, and entities that receive no-cost allowances under the Climate Commitment Act (CCA). However, the department noted that it cannot issue refunds for credits or allowances that were reported and paid before the effective date of Apr. 1, 2024.

CFTC concern – Reshuffling within the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) could leave the regulator short-handed and hamstring its efforts to tackle high-profile agenda items, such as its proposed guidance on voluntary carbon credit derivatives, reported Bloomberg Law. Two of the five CFTC commissioners will appear before a Senate committee Thursday, and are likely to be confirmed for new positions in the coming months, the outlet reported, citing agency watchers as sources. Christy Goldsmith Romero is the White House’s nominee to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., while Kristin Johnson is the choice for a top Treasury job. The White House hasn’t announced nominees to fill the potential CFTC vacancies, and Senate Democrats are facing a time crunch to confirm a long list of Biden nominees who would remain in office beyond the presidential election. CFTC commissioners serve for fixed five-year terms, and without immediate replacements, Behnam will be outnumbered by Republican commissioners. A biannual regulatory agenda from the Biden administration published last week targetted this month for the issuance of the CFTC guidance on voluntary carbon credit derivatives.

Saskatchewan showdown – The Saskatchewan government on Monday said its injunction to prevent the federal government from collecting its missed carbon tax payments has succeeded, Global News reported.  The Canada Revenue Agency in April had announced it would audit the province for refusing to make its carbon levy payments, but Provincial Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre called the move “unconstitutional”. The issue is now headed for a full hearing.

AB CCS – Alberta-based CCS project developer Entropy announced its final investment decision of its second post-combustion CCS project on Tuesday, following the company’s Dec. 2023 offtake agreement with the Canada Growth Fund. The initial allocation from the December agreement allowed Entropy to proceed with its Glacier Phase 2 project, which the company announced Tuesday will have a total CO2 capture capacity of 160,000 t/yr. An onstream date is expected in Q2 2026. The total cost of Glacier Phase 2 capture equipment, compression, transportation, and storage wells is $127 mln. The company also announced that it will enter the independent power producer market. It will repower its parent company Advantage’s Glacier Gas Plant via installation of a 15 MW gas-fired turbine and capture 90% of CO2 emissions via installation of a CCS module.

Serving papers – Two of Brazil’s largest fuel distributors, Ipiranga and Vibra, reportedly have authorisation from their boards to file lawsuits challenging their biofuels credit (CBios) purchase liability under the RenovaBio compliance carbon scheme in Brazil, three sources have told Reuters. Every CBio represents one tonne of CO2 avoided, and fuel distributors are required to purchase them to compensate for fossil fuels sold. If the lawsuits are filed, Ipiranga and Vibra would join the ranks of 28 other companies that have challenged their obligations in court, obtaining many favourable decisions, according to figures from the Brazilian Petroleum Institute (IBP) sent to Reuters. CBios prices have fallen in recent months, shrinking the market in biofuels credits even as non-compliance with the scheme is rampant: of the 145 distributors bound by RenovaBio, 63 did not meet their targets, and 54 did not acquire CBios at all, according to IBP.

Bill passes, saga ends – Argentinian President Javier Milei’s Ley Bases, a version of the embattled Ley Omnibus introduced in late 2023 that would have established a domestic ETS and restructured the Argentine economy, was signed into law late into the night on Monday, according to local media sources (El Cronista). It lacked any mention of an ETS or carbon markets broadly, but included extensive provisions on the extraction of hydrocarbons. On Tuesday, Milei then signed the Pacto de Mayo (‘May Pact’) he had promised, enshrining ten ‘key points’ that he stated will “seal the deal to push Argentina forward”. These include a “commitment by the Argentine provinces to advance exploitation of the country’s natural resources”.

Giving and taking – A bill in Chile would finance a tripling in coverage of the state electricity subsidy for vulnerable households in part through a temporary hike to the country’s $5/tCO2 tax (BN Americas). The bill has prompted strong resistance by local mining associations, which have raised concerns about the burden of electricity costs. Simultaneously, Carbon Pulse understands that the Chilean government is considering raising its carbon tax to more closely align with the official ‘social cost of carbon’, estimated in 2017 at $32.50 and in 2024 at $63.40.

VOLUNTARY

Verra CCP pathway consultation – Verra launched a public consultation Tuesday on an optional pathway for projects registered in the VCS Program to update to a new methodology or methodology version for past verification periods. This new procedure would also allow proponents to requantify the GHG emission reductions and CO2 removals (reductions and removals) from past verification periods in accordance with that methodology. If a new methodology or methodology version to which a project updates is approved by the ICVCM, that would enable proponents to obtain CCP labels for the requantified VCUs. Proponents seeking to follow the new procedure would need to take these steps: 1) prepare an updated project description and other project documentation as specified, including a VCS Requantification Report (the respective templates for these will be launched alongside the final procedure); 2) have the project documents validated and verified by an accredited VVB; 3) submit a completed Requantification Notification Template to Verra (upon the start of validation/verification activities); and 4) submit a verified requantification approval request to Verra. Verra also noted that it is optional for project proponents registered in the VCS Program, and methodology updates are only required at crediting period renewal or baseline reassessment. The consultation period will run from July 9 to Aug. 9, 2024. Verra aims to publish the procedure and begin accepting requantification notifications from Sep. 2024. Verra will host a webinar on July 16 at 1200 EST (1700 GMT) to provide an overview of the proposed procedure and how to participate in the consultation. The optional pathway was previously announced when Verra submitted the VCS Program for assessment against the ICVCM’s CCP label.

Formula E first – Formula E Champion and ABT CUPRA driver Lucas di Grassi has built a portfolio of carbon credits through the Rubicon Carbon Tonne (RCT) to offset his carbon footprint. The RCT portfolio is made up of a diversified portfolio of credits including removals, nature-based avoidance, and industrial avoidance projects.  “I am proud to be the first driver to offset all the carbon I have emitted from traveling around the world since my first Formula E race in Beijing. In line with the values and objectives of Formula E, I drive an electric car and have adapted my lifestyle. But still, credible carbon avoidance and removal is the only way to do the sport we love and be responsible for our environment at the same time,” said di Grassi.

INVESTMENT

Petrol power – Saudi Aramco has further reinforced its long-term bet on the internal combustion engine by making a €740 mln, 10% stake in Horse Powertrain, a company dedicated to building fuel-based engines. Created in the vision of supplying carmakers with engines for decades to come, Horse Powertrain was created a year ago from the engine and transmission divisions of Geely and Renault, and is now a €7.4 bln, 19,000-employee company, with 17 factories worldwide capable of building 3.2 mln units a year. Its aim to produce 5 mln, would put it roughly in the same league as Stellantis, the owner of Chrysler, Fiat and Citroen. Its backers believe that despite growing electrification of transport and emissions reduction regulation, the world will still have a need for ICEs for decades to come, and some automakers will look to purchase engines from third parties as their own engine divisions close. Horse is able to build 80% of the engine types currently on the market, and fits into Saudi Aramco’s investment belief that in 2050, more than half of all cars will still run on some sort of fuel. The world’s largest oil company is also stepping up efforts on building a global network of filling stations and is investing in R&D into low-carbon and synthetic fuels. (FT)

Reverse mining – Perth-based climate-tech startup InterEarth has secured an $8.25 mln deal with Germany’s Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE) to enhance its CO2 removal technology. The partnership, reported by Business News Australia, focuses on using native Australian species and innovative biomass storage methods for sustainable carbon sequestration. This revenue-sharing agreement allows InterEarth to expand and commercialise its technology, which involves a “reverse mining” approach of growing trees, harvesting them, and storing the biomass to prevent decomposition. This method is designed to be safe, scalable, and effective in removing CO2 from the atmosphere, supporting local employment, and offering environmental and social benefits. The collaboration with SEFE is part of the German company’s initiative to advance green energy transformation in Europe. The funding will also help InterEarth develop technologies for large-scale implementation.

SCIENCE & TECH

Beryl’s billions – AccuWeather has estimated the economic loss and damage in the US from Hurricane Beryl to be between $28-32 bln. The Category 4 hurricane first devastated the eastern Caribbean Islands with 140 mph winds and then progressed through the Caribbean, impacting Jamaica and the Yucatan Peninsula. It made landfall in central Texas as a Category 1 hurricane, causing significant storm surge and wind damage. Notable effects included massive power outages in the scorching Texas heat, which compounded the disaster’s impact. AccuWeather’s comprehensive damage assessment includes direct and indirect costs, such as infrastructure damage, medical care interruptions, and long-term economic effects on transportation and tourism. This storm’s cost contrasts with previous hurricanes, with Hurricane Ian in 2022 causing up to $210 bln and Hurricane Harvey in 2017 causing $230 bln in damage.

AND FINALLY…

Green tourism – Copenhagen’s official tourism organisation, Wonderful Copenhagen, is turning climate-conscious tourism into currency for cultural experiences, with a new initiative called CopenPay, it announced this week. CopenPay rewards tourists for taking greener actions such as cycling, participating in cleanups, or volunteering on urban farms with freebies such as guided museum tours, kayak rentals, or veggie lunches made from local crops. The goal is to inspire visitors to make more sustainable choices by giving them a better experience, it said. The system is designed to be simple, for easy participation. To redeem their rewards, tourists just have to present a train ticket, arrive on a bicycle, or present other simple proof of their green actions.

Got a tip?  How about some feedback?  Email us at news@carbon-pulse.com