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*TOP STORY* RGGI Q2 emissions likely bolstered by waning coronavirus restrictions, warmer weather
RGGI’s Q2 emissions appear on track for smaller year-on-year differences than Q1 as power consumption rebounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic easing, while shifts in consumer behaviour may have contributed to varied results among individual states in the regional carbon market.
*PODCAST* CARBON PULSE CONVERSATIONS 015: Sheppard Mullin
In the latest episode of our Carbon Pulse Conservations podcast, we speak with Sheppard Mullin Partner Nico Van Aelstyn about the recent federal court rulings in the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) legal challenges to the California-Quebec carbon market linkage.
*EMEA* EU Market: Strong Polish auction vaults EUAs back above €26, as investment funds pull back
EUAs climbed above €26 on Wednesday as a strong Polish auction helped extend this week’s rebound from a one-month low, while weekly data showed a large downsize in investment fund holdings despite more of these firms entering the market. EU seeks to ‘green’ little-known fund for coal and steel research
The European Commission seeks to rebrand a fund for research on coal and steel production to help decarbonise these ETS-covered sectors, while propelling the initiative’s total funding to over €100 million a year. Chemicals firm BASF to publish CO2 footprint of all its products
Germany-based chemicals giant BASF plans by the end of 2021 to publish the carbon footprint of all the nearly 45,000 products it sells, in an effort to drive emissions cuts across its supply chain, it said on Wednesday. UK utility Drax sees jump in H1 coal power output as it clears stockpiles
Coal power generation at UK utility Drax more than doubled in H1 as the company sought to use up its remaining stockpiles ahead of an anticipated coal phaseout in Mar. 2021, it said in first-half results on Wednesday. Virus surges risk EU airline Wizz Air’s rapid recovery
Hungary-based airline Wizz Air has recovered to around 70% of its pre-pandemic flight capacity, though renewed travel restrictions could dent prospects for a full recovery by year-end, it said in financial results on Wednesday.
*AMERICAS* California fuel sales crater in April during heights of COVID-19 pandemic
California’s WCI-capped fuel consumption collapsed in April as a statewide ‘shelter-in-place’ order scuttled vehicle miles travelled (VMT) across the Golden State, leading to historic lows for gasoline demand, according to state data released Wednesday. Massachusetts House removes CO2 pricing from climate bill as legislative session faces possible extension
The Massachusetts House of Representatives omitted carbon pricing language from a Senate climate bill on Wednesday, but advocates are hopeful that lawmakers can reinsert the provision after the lower chamber agreed to extend the legislative session past this month. Brazil formalises voluntary REDD+ market from UN-backed programme
The Brazilian government has approved the creation of a voluntary forest offset market, an outgrowth of the UN Green Climate Fund’s inaugural foray into schemes designed to cut emissions by halting deforestation.
*ASIA PACIFIC* South Korea MPs move to ban public investments in overseas coal
Lawmakers from South Korea’s ruling Democratic party have proposed legislation that would ban further public investment in coal-fired power plants abroad amid criticism towards state-owned KEPCO’s involvement in such facilities in Indonesia and Vietnam.
*BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD*
*Coal stay -* Poland’s government has scrapped a plan
*No tree-huggers *- The European Commission’s climate chief Frans Timmermans is confident that Warsaw will soon subscribe to the EU-wide net zero target by 2050 as the country gears towards renewables, he told the Columbia-SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy
*Nest best -* The UK’s largest pension fund, the government-backed 9-mln member National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), is to begin divesting from fossil fuels
*In the mood – *Moody’s Corporation, the US holding company for credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service, on Tuesday announced plans to source 100% of the power
*Drilling below zero -* Maersk Drilling is investing $1 mln in a California biomass company
*Frontier retreat* – BP’s exploration and development ventures have been pushed back in Africa
*A lower TIER – *The Alberta government issued amendments
*RGGI results –* Health benefits from the Northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme are even greater than previously thought
*Petra no go –* A Texas CCS project hailed as a key solution to climate change has been mothballed over low oil prices, E&E News reports
*And finally… A little H with your CH4? – *The Russian government is urging the country’s leading energy companies to quickly expand their hydrogen production capacities and is considering using the controversial offshore gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 to transport the synthetic gas to Germany, Handelsblatt reports. The state-owned energy companies Gazprom and Rosatom have been instructed by Russia’s energy ministry to establish large-scale hydrogen production capacities by 2024. The country seeks to transform its hydrogen production from “grey” to “turquoise” meaning that instead of CO2 emissions stemming from the use fossil fuels, the production with methane separation will have solid carbon as a by-product that could be used as fertiliser. “In case of a mass transformation towards hydrogen in Europe, Russia otherwise could face a shutdown of the pipelines” and turn Nord Stream 2 into an “investment ruin”, Handelsblatt reports. In a first step, Gazprom is reportedly pondering adding up to 20% hydrogen to the natural gas flowing through older pipelines in its network and might increase the share to up to 70% in newer ones like the offshore link connecting Russia with Germany through the Baltic Sea. (Clean Energy Wire)
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