CP Daily: Monday July 27, 2020

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*TOP STORY* Offset firm EcoAct bought by IT specialist Atos
Offset developer and consultancy EcoAct is being acquired by digital services firm Atos, the French firms said on Monday, in a move intended to bolster their corporate decarbonisation offerings.
*ASIA PACIFIC* Major Australian emitters team up to hammer out path to carbon neutral future
Some of Australia’s biggest carbon emitters have joined efforts to identify pathways to making five major industrial sectors reach net zero emissions by 2050. Brunei to make carbon pricing centrepiece of climate strategy
Brunei Darussalam will introduce a carbon pricing mechanism by 2025 as the main pillar of its strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions around 50-60% below BAU levels by 2035.
*AMERICAS* Complex ownership, financials could limit existing California offsets from earning ‘DEBs’ status
Some existing out-of-state California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) may never receive the designation of providing a direct environmental benefit to the state (DEBs) because of cumbersome ownership structures and potential financial constraints, stakeholders said. Climate Action Reserve plots minor adjustments to soil carbon protocol
California-based offset registry Climate Action Reserve (CAR) is undertaking several revisions to its draft soil organic carbon protocol in response to public comments, but it will maintain other design elements despite some stakeholders calling into question several aspects of the methodology regarding environmental integrity and commercial viability.
*EMEA* EU Market: EUAs fall another 5% to July low as weak auction, virus surges weigh
EUAs have dropped below €25 for the first time since June, falling on Monday after a weak auction and as wider financial markets fretted about the potential impact of a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
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*Job listings this week*
– Program Director, Verra – Washington DC – Senior Program Manager, Verra – Washington DC – Value Chain Certification Officer, SustainCERT – US Remote – Senior Managing Consultant, Climate Policy and Carbon Pricing, South Pole – London/Amsterdam/Berlin – Director, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, Pacific Community – New Caledonia – Adviser, Environment, Energy and Climate Change Branch, Dept of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – Canberra – Researcher, The Australia Institute, Canberra – Senior Consultant, Sustainability Practice, Burson Cohn & Wolfe – Brussels – Policy Analyst, Climate Change Experts Group, OECD – Paris – Carbon and Climate Consultant, Arcadis – London – Traineeship Climate Policy & Carbon Finance, Climate Focus – Amsterdam/Rotterdam – Climate Strategy Director, League of Conservation Voters – US Remote – Senior Analyst, Sustainability & Climate Solutions, Green Diamond Resource Company – Seattle – Expert Consultant, Land-Based Carbon Credits, Ceres – Tender
*Or click here to see all our job adverts*
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*BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD*
*Coal cuts -* Poland state-run mining firm PGG is likely to announce within days deep cuts in coal output and the closure of a number mines as part of a restructuring plan that is expected to prompt protests by miners, industry sources said. PGG’s management will meet with union representatives on Tuesday to present the plan, which is due to cut the firm’s coal output by far more than 10%, but not as much as by half. (Reuters)
*Deutsche ban -* Deutsche Bank will end all global business activities in coal mining by 2025 at the latest, amid efforts to improve its green credentials, it said in adopting a new fossil fuels policy. It will review all clients in Europe and the US until year-end 2020 and gradually phase out existing exposure if there were no diversification plans in place. Starting in 2022, the bank will extend this review and phase out to Asia and selected developing markets. (Montel)
*Brand update – *Boris Johnson is to end Britain’s support for “dirty” global oil and gas projects for fear of tarnishing the country’s reputation on climate change. The prime minister has ordered a review of the use of government export finance guarantees that have helped to fund billions of pounds worth of fossil fuel projects around the world. It follows controversy over the government’s decision this week to give £900 mln in loans and guarantees to a gas pipeline project in Mozambique that environmental groups estimate will contribute to a near fiftyfold increase in emissions in the region. (The Times)
*Doing the math* – The European Commission has published a set of guidelines to help companies interested in applying to the EU’s €10 bln Innovation Fund calculate the GHG emission avoidance of their projects . The first call for the fund, financed through the auctioning of at least 450 mln EUAs, was launched on July 3 and will finance up to €1 bln in carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency, renewables, and energy storage projects. The potential for GHG avoidance is the first of a list of key criteria for the awarding of the cash. Read Carbon Pulse’s latest on the Innovation Fund .
*High hopes *- There is a high probability that the EU will move towards an extended ETS as a result of higher climate ambition, Veronika Grimm, an economic advisor to the German government, told Clean Energy Wire . Also a member of the country’s hydrogen council, Grimm said that both the German and the European-wide hydrogen strategies will benefit from a harmonised CO2 price approach and the inclusion of new sectors to the bloc’s carbon market. “I expect the pressure to increase because it will become increasingly clear that … there is a clear trade-off between strengthening emissions trading systems and spending a huge amount of money on fragmented support schemes,” she added.
*Grid negative -* The UK power grid operator has published a new vision report saying that CO2 emissions from Britain’s electricity system could turn negativ e by as early as 2033 if the UK uses carbon capture technology alongside more renewable energy to reach its climate targets. The report warned that the UK will not meet 2050 net zero target without “immediate action” from the government on key energy policies, and the negative emissions from bioenergy combined with CCS. (The Guardian)
*Everything in twos – *President Donald Trump on Monday announced he would nominate two commissioners to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), including a Democratic nominee. Allison Clements, who previously served as director of green group Natural Resources Defense Council’s Sustainable FERC project and then spent several years as a consultant, will be the Democratic nominee, while Republican nominee, Mark Christie, has served on the Virginia State Corporation Commission since 2004. FERC has been operating with a 3-1 Republican majority since March. (Utility Dive)
*Sununu says Su No No –* New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) on Friday vetoed legislation (SB-124) that would have expanded the Granite State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The bill would have increased the RPS to make clean energy cover nearly 57% of New Hampshire’s fuel mix by 2040, up from the current standard levelling out around 25% in 2025, the lowest percentage at the earliest date of any state in the New England region. Sununu said it represented a handout to the state’s fledging solar industry, while Democrats decried the veto as another effort by the governor to block clean energy expansion. (NHPR)
*Twice as (not) nice* – Opponents of battling the climate crisis have had twice the media coverage of those advocating to take action, according to a study published on Monda y. The new report looked at more than 1,700 climate-related press releases over a 30-year period, and news articles including the information which were published in the US’s largest-circulation newspapers. Researcher Rachel Wetts, an assistant professor at Brown University’s sociology department, found that approximately 14% of press releases in opposition of climate action, or denying the science behind the climate crisis, were more likely to grab headlines compared to roughly 7% of those in support of climate action.
*And finally… Cafe bleu -* France plans to ban heaters used by restaurants and cafes on outdoor terraces from early next year, with Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili seeking to end the “ecologically aberrant practices that lead to totally unjustified energy consumption”. Because the ban could impact a sector hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, the government will only implement it from the end of the coming winter to give business time to adapt, she said. President Emmanuel Macron in June promised €15 billion of new funding for a greener economy, a day after the Greens trounced his party and took control of big cities in local elections. He has also promised measures including a moratorium on building new commercial zones in city outskirts to help protect small city retailers and prevent wasted journeys. The government is drawing up draft environmental legislation, which Pompili said parliament would review in January. (Reuters)
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