Paris agreement must restrict old carbon offsets: EU

  • Spanish Market: Emissions
  • 04/06/19

Countries should not be allowed to use carbon offset credits produced before 2020 to meet their greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets under the UN Paris climate agreement, EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete has said.

Negotiators are hoping to complete rules that could establish an international carbon market under the Paris agreement at a UN climate summit in December, after talks on this issue broke down at last year's summit. A sticking point in the negotiations is whether countries will be allowed to use emissions reduction credits generated under the Kyoto protocol's clean development mechanism (CDM), to comply with their Paris agreement targets.

EU climate commissioner Canete has urged countries to restrict the use of these credits. "The use of pre-2020 units towards post-2020 obligations could significantly undermine ambition," Canete said.

The first CDM projects were registered in 2001, meaning that some credits issued by these projects represent CO2 cuts that were achieved more than a decade ago. Countries' Paris agreement targets take effect from 2020.

Article 6.4

The issue sits inside Article 6.4 of the Paris agreement, which will set up a sustainable development mechanism (SDM) to succeed the CDM.

Negotiators have not yet decided whether CDM projects, and certified emission reduction (CER) credits generated by them, will be transferred to the new mechanism.

The system should avoid "unrestricted banking" of Kyoto protocol units, Canete said. Failing to avoid this would "undermine ambition from the very beginning", he said.

Canete's comments echo those of some parties in the UN negotiations, who want to use the SDM as a way to start a fresh carbon market, containing only newly issued credits that meet certain standards. But others worry that if CDM credits are not transferred to the new market, the system will not contain enough supply to set up a functioning carbon market. It could take years for SDM projects to start issuing their first credits, meaning the new market could struggle with low liquidity.

Most large carbon markets, including the EU's, have restricted the use of CDM credits for compliance, partly because of concerns over the environmental integrity of credit-issuing projects. Critics of the system say the credits do not represent "additional" emissions cuts — some CDM projects would likely continue cutting CO2 even if they stopped selling emissions reduction credits, so buying their credits does not support "additional" emissions cuts.

Low demand for the credits has caused a large oversupply to build up in recent years, and kept prices low. The price of certified emission reduction (CER) credits has been below €1/t of CO2 since late 2012.

"It is important to be blunt here — the CDM delivered investment, but it did not work for everyone, particularly in terms of additionality, distribution and sustained demand," Canete said.

This year's negotiations on Article 6 will kick off this month at a UN meeting in Bonn. Final decisions are expected to be taken at the UN summit in December, in Santiago, Chile.


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23/04/24

US-led carbon initiative misses launch date

US-led carbon initiative misses launch date

Houston, 23 April (Argus) — The Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA), a global initiative to use voluntary carbon market revenue to speed the decarbonization of developing countries' power sectors, has missed its planned Earth Day launch but continues to prepare for doing business. At the Cop 28 climate conference in Dubai last year, the initiative's leaders said they hoped to formally launch the program on 22 April 2024 . That didn't happen, but the program's leaders last week announced that the US climate think tank Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will serve as the ETA's new secretariat and that former US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry will serve as the honorary chair of an eight-member senior consultative group that will advise the ETA's design and operations. The ETA plans to spend 2024 "building" on a framework for crediting projects they released last year. ETA leaders said the initiative could ultimately generate tens of billions of dollars in finances through 2035. The ETA also said the Dominican Republic had formed a government working group to "guide its engagement" as a potential pilot country for investments and that the Philippines would formally participate as an "observer country" rather than as a direct participant immediately. The ETA is still engaging Chile and Nigeria as potential pilot countries too, the initiative told Argus . The ETA is being developed by the US State Department, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bezos Earth Fund and would be funded with money from the voluntary carbon market. The initiative's ultimate goal is to allow corporate and government offset buyers to help developing countries decarbonize their power sectors through large projects that accelerate the retirement of coal-fired power plants and build new renewable generation. As of now, the ETA's timeline for future changes and negotiations with countries and companies is unclear. The program's goals are ambitious, especially at a time when scrutiny of some voluntary carbon market projects from environmentalists has weighed on corporate offset demand. By Mia Westley Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

TotalEnergies takes FID for Oman's Marsa LNG


22/04/24
22/04/24

TotalEnergies takes FID for Oman's Marsa LNG

Dubai, 22 April (Argus) — TotalEnergies has taken a final investment decision (FID) for the integrated Marsa LNG bunkering project it is carrying out in Oman with state oil company OQ. The project involves the production of 150mn ft³/d (1.55bn m³/yr) of gas from Oman's onshore block 10, the liquefaction of that gas at a new 1mn t/yr capacity plant to be built at the port of Sohar on Oman's north coast, and the construction of a 300MW solar generation facility that will power the plant. The ambition of the project is to serve as the first LNG bunkering hub in the Mideast Gulf region, showcasing "an available and competitive alternative marine fuel" to reduce emissions coming from the shipping industry. TotalEnergies said today that it expects to begin producing LNG by the first quarter of 2028. That LNG is "primarily intended to serve the marine fuel market in the Gulf", the company said, but all LNG quantities not sold as bunker fuel will be off-taken by TotalEnergies and OQ. "We are proud to open a new chapter in our history in the sultanate of Oman with the launch of the Marsa LNG project, together with OQ," TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said. TotalEnergies holds a majority 80pc stake in the joint venture, with OQ holding the remaining 20pc. "We are especially pleased to deploy the two pillars of our transition strategy, LNG and renewables, and thus support the sultanate on a new scale in the sustainable development of its energy resources," Pouyanne said. TotalEnergies, Shell and OQ formalised an agreement to develop the gas resources in Oman's block 10 in late 2021 . The consortium began producing gas from the Mabrouk North East field in block 10 in January 2023. At the time, the companies said they expected to reach plateau production of 500mn ft³/d by the middle of 2024. But TotalEnergies today said the consortium had already reached plateau this month. As part of the original agreement, Marsa LNG was due to deliver production from the block to the government for 18 years, or until the end of 2039. But the decision by TotalEnergies and OQ to take FID has triggered an extension of Marsa LNG's rights to block 10 until 2050. The planned 300MW photovoltaic solar plant should cover 100pc of the LNG plant's annual power consumption, which will help "significantly" reduce greenhouse gases. "By paving the way for making the next generation of very low-emission LNG plants, Marsa LNG is contributing to making gas a long-term transition energy," Pouyanne said. By Nader Itayim Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Europe 2.6°C above pre-industrial temperature in 2023


22/04/24
22/04/24

Europe 2.6°C above pre-industrial temperature in 2023

London, 22 April (Argus) — Temperatures in Europe stood at 2.6°C above pre-industrial levels in 2023, data from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) show. Europe last year experienced either its joint-warmest or second-warmest year on record, the WMO and EU earth-monitoring service Copernicus found today, in a joint report, European State of the Climate 2023 . The organisations use datasets covering different geographical domains for Europe. WMO includes Greenland, the South Caucasus and part of the Middle East in its dataset. Copernicus put the temperature in Europe last year at between 2.48–2.58°C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to "well below" 2°C and preferably to 1.5°C. Europe is warming roughly twice as fast as the rest of the world. The global average temperature in 2023 was 1.45°C above the pre-industrial average, the WMO said earlier this year . It confirmed 2023 as the hottest on record. Climate scientists use the period 1850-1900 as the baseline for a pre-industrial average. Temperatures in Europe in 2023 were above average for 11 months of the year, and there was a record number of days with "extreme heat stress", the report found. The three warmest years on record for Europe have occurred since 2020, and the 10 warmest since 2007, it said. Electricity generation from renewables in Europe last year reached the highest proportion on record, at 43pc up from 36pc in 2022, the WMO and Copernicus said. Increased storm activity between October-December and above-average precipitation and river flow resulted in higher potential for wind power and run-of-river hydropower generation, respectively. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and methane — the greenhouse gases (GHGs) causing the most warming — continued to increase in 2023, "reaching record levels", the report found. It put CO2 concentrations at 419 parts per million (ppm) and methane at 1,902 parts per billion (ppb) on average last year. "Only around half of anthropogenic emissions of CO2 have been absorbed by land vegetation and oceans", the organisations said. GHGs from human activity are driving climate change, but the El Nino weather phenomenon also typically leads to higher temperatures. The El Nino weather pattern, which started in July 2023, peaked in December , the WMO said previously, but could still affect temperatures this year. There is a 60pc chance of La Nina conditions — which typically lead to lower temperatures — developing in June-August, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said earlier this month. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US funds $28mn iron, steel decarbonization


19/04/24
19/04/24

US funds $28mn iron, steel decarbonization

Houston, 19 April (Argus) — The US Department of Energy (DOE) released plans to invest $28mn towards decarbonizing iron and steel production for 13 projects spanning nine states. The DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will manage the projects under the Revolutionizing Ore to Steel to Impact Emissions (ROSIE) program. The projects will focus on advance zero-process emission ironmaking and ultra-low life cycle emissions steelmaking. Funding will be split between multiple universities and manufacturing companies. States receiving funding include California ($4.01mn), Colorado ($2.87mn), Georgia ($2.84mn), Illinois ($3mn), Massachusetts ($6.16mn), Minnesota ($2.8mn), Nevada ($2.1mn), Pennsylvania ($760,000) and Utah ($3.48mn). The iron and steel industry currently accounts for 7pc of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 11pc of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with demand projected to rise 40pc by 2050, according to ARPA-E. Following projected metrics by ROSIE, US CO2 emissions could decreased by 65mn tonnes (t), or 1pc. Global emissions could be cut as much as 2.9 gigatonnes, or 5.5pc. By Karly Lamm Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

India mulls using more natural gas in steel sector


19/04/24
19/04/24

India mulls using more natural gas in steel sector

Mumbai, 19 April (Argus) — India's steel ministry is considering increasing natural gas consumption in the sector as it aims to lower carbon emissions from the industry. Steelmakers held a meeting with the steel ministry earlier this month, to discuss challenges and avenues to increase gas allocation to the sector, according to a government document seen by Argus . Steel producers requested that the government set gas prices at an affordable range of $7-8/mn Btu for them, to make their gas-based plants viable, as well as for a custom duty waiver on LNG procured for captive power. India's LNG imports attract a custom duty of 2.5pc. City gas distribution firms sell gas at market-determined prices to steel companies. Representatives from the steel industry also requested for the inclusion of gas under the purview of the country's goods and service tax, and to be given higher priority in the allocation of deepwater gas, which has a higher calorific value. Deepwater gas is currently deployed mostly to city gas distribution networks. Steelmakers are currently undertaking feasibility tests for gas pipeline connectivity at various steel plants. But a gas supply transmission agreement requires a minimum five-year period for investment approval. The steel industry is heavily reliant on coal, and the sector accounts for about 8-10pc of carbon emissions in the country. A task force of gas suppliers including IOC, Gail, BPCL, Shell, and HPCL and steel producers like Tata Steel, AMNS, All India Steel Re-roller Association and the Pellet Manufacturers Association has been set up, and the team is expected to submit a report on increasing natural gas usage and lowering carbon emissions by 15 May, the government document said. This team is one of the 13 task forces approved by the steel ministry to define the country's green steel roadmap. The steel ministry aims to increase green steel exports from the country in the light of the policies under the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which will take effect on 1 January 2026. Under the CBAM, importers will need to declare the quantity of goods imported into the EU in the preceding year and their corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. The importers will then have to surrender the corresponding number of CBAM certificates. CBAM certificate prices will be calculated based on the weekly average auction price of EU Emissions Trading System allowances, expressed in €/t of CO2 emitted. This is of higher importance to Indian steelmakers as the EU was the top finished steel export destination for Indian steelmakers during the April 2022-March 2023 fiscal year with total exports of 2.34mn t, and has been the preferred choice for Indian steel exports in the current fiscal year owing to higher prices compared to other regions. Indian steelmakers have started to take steps to lower their carbon emissions by announcing collaborations with technology companies to decarbonise, and are trial injecting hydrogen in blast furnaces, and increasing the usage of natural gas in ironmaking. By Rituparna Ghosh Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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