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*TOP STORY* EU leaders agree seven-year budget, COVID recovery scheme with Just Transition Fund halved
*(Updated with final results of the negotiations, reaction to deal)*
EU nations early Tuesday clinched a deal on the bloc’s €1.82 trillion seven-year budget and coronavirus recovery package, which may see funding for coal-dependent regions under the bloc’s Just Transition Fund slashed to under €20 billion.
*AMERICAS* Over 4 mln DEBs-eligible offsets awaiting ARB issuance, data shows
Additional compliance offsets that would meet California regulator ARB’s definition of having direct environmental benefits to the state (DEBs) are waiting for final approval, likely bolstering supply ahead of the WCI-linked carbon market’s post-2020 period, according to registry data. California gasoline sales climb in May after hitting COVID-fuelled lows
California gasoline sales rebounded in May after sinking to historic lows in April amid the COVID-19 pandemic, likely mitigating some of this year’s demand destruction in the state’s WCI-linked ETS, according to federal data released Tuesday. Major California-based hedge fund opens RGGI account ahead of Q3 sale
A $2.5 trillion hedge fund has registered for a RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System (COATS) ahead of the Northeast power sector carbon market’s September auction, marking its second entrance into US-based cap-and-trade programmes. RFS Market: RIN prices directionless in July on lack of drivers
US biofuel credits (RIN) values are stagnating in July as the market awaits clarity on next year’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes and compliance waiver requests.
*EMEA* EU Market: EUAs hold gains in choppy session after EU funding deal
EU carbon prices rose along with wider financial markets on Tuesday, boosted by a deal on the bloc’s next seven-year budget and a coronavirus recovery fund that was clinched overnight. Vattenfall cuts fossil generation in H1 amid “challenging” market conditions, coal write-down
Swedish utility Vattenfall saw its fossil-based production fall by a third during the first half of 2020 due mainly to weak generation margins and “challenging” market conditions, it announced Tuesday. Shipping to buoy EU ETS coverage by 8-9% -analysts
Including shipping in the EU ETS would increase the market’s scope by 8-9%, though the impact on allowance prices would depend on the sector’s emissions cap and level of free allocation, analysts said.
*ASIA PACIFIC* NZ Market: NZUs rise to new record high amid constrained supply
New Zealand carbon allowances hit a fresh all-time high on Tuesday, with prices being pushed up because potential sellers are holding on to their NZUs in the anticipation that prices will continue to rise. Australian offset issuance, delivery dip as new financial year begins
New offsets issued by Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator and carbon credits delivered to the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund both dipped over the past two weeks after higher-than-usual activity in June, as the 2019-20 financial year came to an end. Study puts Queensland blue carbon potential at 5 MtCO2e
Australia’s Queensland could earn some 5 million carbon credits by reinstating tidal exchange in some 90,000 hectares throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchments, a study has found.
*BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD*
*Blank slate – *If presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump this November, his EPA will have a blank slate for writing climate rules, E&E News reports
*Farm funds –* German pharmaceutical company Bayer launched a pilot programme
*Green Boris* – British PM Boris Johnson has announced £350 mln in funding
*How do you like them, Apple? – *Tech giant Apple on Tuesday announced that it will achieve carbon neutrality
*The Big Green Apple –* New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the largest solicitation for renewable energy capacity
*House(holder) of cards –* FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R) on Tuesday in connection with a $60 mln bribery scheme
*(Don’t) do it with flare* – Estimates from satellite data show global gas flaring increased in 2019 to levels not seen in more than a decade, to 150 billion cubic meters (bcm), equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Bank, the 3% rise from 145 bcm in 2018 was mainly due to increases in three countries: the US (up by 23%), Venezuela (up by 16%), and Russia (up by 9%). Gas flaring in fragile or conflict-affected countries also increased in 2019: in Syria by 35% and in Venezuela by 16%, despite oil production flattening in Syria and declining by 40% in Venezuela. Gas flaring, the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, takes place because of technical, regulatory, and/or economic constraints. It results in more than 400 million tonnes of CO2e every year and wastes a valuable resource, with harmful impacts to the environment from un-combusted methane and black carbon emissions. The top four gas flaring countries (Russia, Iraq, the US, and Iran) accounted for almost half of the global total between 2017-19. When looking at all oil-producing countries, excluding the top four, the World Bank said flaring declined by 9 bcm or 10% from 2012 to 2019. In Q1 2020, the practice fell by 10% globally, with declines across most of the top 30 gas flaring countries.
*Leave it* – A German startup is reportedly on the verge of industrialising a process that can increase biogas energy yields by 40%, and even turn leaves into fuel, the Berliner Zeitung reports. LXP, based in Teltow, uses a patented lignin extraction process to vastly increase the amount of plant material that can be used in biogas plants. For example, the cobs and upper part of maize plants – the most common biogas feed – are currently the only useable parts. But the LXP method breaks down woody parts, such as stalks, which are usually composted or burnt, to extract energy-rich cellulose. The resultant ‘wood sugar’ increases yields in biogas plants by 30-40%, with the energy requirements of the process reducing this by about 10%. The process is said to also work with leaves, branches, and small trees. LXP opened a demonstration plant near Regensburg in February and is now working with forestry, agricultural and recycling firms to industrialise the process. It aims to open its first large-scale lignin extraction plant in one to two years, initially supplying municipal utilities with at least 10,000 tonnes of wood sugar a year, eventually rising to up to 50,000 tonnes. Today, about 3.5% of the electricity generated in Germany comes from maize. But feeding the country’s 10,000 plants has resulted in 7% of its entire surface area being turned over to maize production, adversely affecting agriculture and prices. (Clean Energy Wire)
*And finally… **The impenetrable fortress of suburbia
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