EU agrees carbon removals framework

  • : Emissions
  • 24/02/20

Negotiators for the European Parliament and EU member states have provisionally agreed on a regulation establishing an EU carbon removal certification framework. Parliament said the new rules will allow for farmers to receive payments for carbon removals and set minimum sustainability requirements for carbon farming activities.

The provisional agreement paves the way for formal adoption by parliament and EU member states, possibly before the EU elections in June. The new voluntary EU certification framework for carbon removals covers permanent carbon storage through industrial technology, carbon storage in long-lasting products, as well as carbon farming.

Parliament noted an extended scope covering carbon farming activities that cut emissions from agricultural soils. And livestock methane emissions reduction is to be included on the basis of a review in 2026. Permanent carbon removals are defined as storing carbon for at least 35 years. And carbon farming activities must continue for at least five years.

The agreement also foresees carbon removals and emissions cuts as contributing to achieving the EU's nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — emissions reduction pledges — to the Paris climate agreement. And the European Commission will establish an EU registry for carbon removals and soil emissions reductions within four years of the regulation's entry into force.

European waste-to-energy association Eswet noted the specific recognition of biogenic permanent carbon removal via bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Eswet called for the carbon removals certification framework to interact with the EU's emissions trading system (ETS) so as to provide incentives to remove carbon and accelerate to net zero emissions, which the EU is legally mandated to reach by 2050.

But non-governmental organisation Carbon Market Watch (CMW) was more negative, calling for parliament and member states to reject the regulation.

The units certified under the framework risk being double-counted by both voluntary carbon markets and as part of the EU's NDCs and climate policies, CMW warned. And sustainability criteria for biomass are not strict enough, probably leading to increased biomass demand.

But CMW does see some positive elements, such as biodiversity conditions for carbon farming and a periodic review into the impact of biomass. CMW further said the framework's units will "initially" be ineligible for use under non-EU member state NDCs or the UN's carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (Corsia).

"The EU should have banned offsetting in voluntary and compliance frameworks, such as the EU ETS and Corsia, and double-counting rather than allow the carbon removal certification framework to slow down decarbonisation efforts," Wijnand Stoefs, CMW's lead on carbon removals, said.


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24/04/22

Europe 2.6°C above pre-industrial temperature in 2023

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.

India mulls using more natural gas in steel sector


24/04/19
24/04/19

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.

Canada furthers investment in GHG reductions


24/04/18
24/04/18

Canada furthers investment in GHG reductions

Houston, 18 April (Argus) — The Canadian government plans to have C$93bn ($67.5bn) in federal incentives up and running by the end of the year to spur developments in clean energy technology, hydrogen production, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) along with a new tax credit for electric vehicle (EV) supply chains. The Canada Department of Finance, in its 2024 budget released on 16 April, said it expects to have the first planned investment tax credits (ITCs), for CCUS and renewable energy investments, in law before 1 June. The ITCs would be available for investments made generally within or before 2023 depending on the credit. The anticipated clean hydrogen ITC is also moving forward. It could provide 15-40pc of related eligible costs, with projects that produce the cleanest hydrogen set to receive the higher levels of support, along with other credits for equipment purchases and power-purchase agreements. The government is pursuing a new ITC for EV supply chains, meant to bolster in-country manufacturing and consumer adoption of EVs with a 10pc return on the cost of buildings used in vehicle assembly, battery production and related materials. The credit would build on the clean technology manufacturing ITC, which allows businesses to claim 30pc of the cost of new machinery and equipment. To bolster reductions in transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the government will also direct up to C$500mn ($363mn) in funding from the country's low-carbon fuel standard to support domestic biofuel production . Transportation is the second largest source of GHG emissions for the country, at 28pc, or 188mn metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent, in 2021. But the province of Alberta expressed disappointment at the pace of development of ITC support that could help companies affected by the country's move away from fossil fuels. "There was nothing around ammonia or hydrogen, and no updates on the CCUS ITCs that would actually spur on investment," Alberta finance minister Nate Horner said. The incentives are intended to help Canada achieve a 40-45pc reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, relative to 2005 levels. This would require a reduction in GHG emissions to about 439mn t/yr, while Canada's emissions totaled 670mn in 2021, according to the government's most recent inventory. The budget also details additional plans for the Canada Growth Fund's carbon contracts for a difference, which help decarbonize hard-to-abate industries. The government plans to add off-the-shelf contracts to its current offering of bespoke one-off contracts tailored to a specific enterprise to broaden the reach and GHG reductions of the program. These contracts incentivize businesses to invest in emissions reducing program or technology, such as CCUS, through the government providing a financial backstop to a project developer. The government and developer establish a "strike price" that carbon allowances would need to reach for a return on the investment, with the government paying the difference if the market price fails to increase. CGF signed its first contract under this program last year , with Calgary-based carbon capture and sequestration company Entropy and has around $6bn remaining to issue agreements. To stretch this funding further, the Canadian government intends for Environment and Climate Change Canada to work with provincial and territorial carbon markets to improve performance and potentially send stronger price signals to spur decarbonization. By Denise Cathey Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Scotland abandons 2030 climate target to focus on 2045


24/04/18
24/04/18

Scotland abandons 2030 climate target to focus on 2045

Edinburgh, 18 April (Argus) — The Scottish government is abandoning its 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after the UK's Climate Change Committee (CCC) said last month Scotland would not be able to meet it, but reiterated "unwavering commitment" to its 2045 net zero goal. Scotland had an ambitious interim target to reduce GHG emissions by 75pc by 2030 from a 1990 baseline and its legally binding 2045 net zero goal date is ahead of the rest of the UK. The CCC said in March that the nation was unlikely to meet its 2030 climate goals as "continued delays" in plans and policies mean the required actions to hit targets are now "beyond what is credible". And today, Scotland's cabinet secretary for net zero Mairi McAllan said that the government "accepts the CCC's recent re-articulations" that the "2030 target is out of reach". "We must now act to chart a course to 2045 at a pace and scale that is feasible, fair and just." She said that the government will bring forward "expediting legislation" to remove the 2030 target, calling it "a minor legislative change". McAllan said climate actions are backtracking at the UK level and blamed "severe budget restrictions" by the UK government and the "constrains of devolution". Scotland is a member nation of the UK, and the Scottish parliament has some devolved powers. But energy, for example, remains a reserved matter in the UK, and decisions — including licensing, regulation and policy — are taken by the UK parliament. She said that Scotland was trying to achieve societal and economic transformation with "one hand tied behind our back". Scotland's first minister Humza Yousaf said there was no intention to "roll back" on the target to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, saying that Scotland has made faster progress than any other nation in the UK during 2019-21, but that 2030 was a "stretched" target. McAllan said annual reporting on progress will be kept but by introducing a target approach based on "five-yearly carbon budgets" — a cap on the amount of GHG emitted over a five-year period — in a similar way to the rest of the UK. Scotland missed its annual emissions-reduction target in 2021, for the eighth time in the last 12 years. The CCC's interim chair Piers Forster said today that the removal of the 2030 target was "deeply disappointing". "We are reassured that the net zero target remains in place but interim targets and plans to deliver against them are what makes any net zero commitment credible," he said. McAllan announced a series of measures that the government wants to introduce, including reducing methane emissions in farming, a Scotland-wide integrated transport ticketing system, and the quadrupling of electric car charging points. But it is unclear what will happen to Scotland's delayed climate strategy, which was due at the end of 2023. By Caroline Varin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Germany delays HVO and B10 sales at fuel stations


24/04/18
24/04/18

Germany delays HVO and B10 sales at fuel stations

Hamburg, 18 April (Argus) — HVO and B10 will not be available for sale at German fuel stations until the end of April at the earliest, the environment ministry BMUV told Argus . The biodiesels were previously expected to be on sale from mid April, but the relevant amendment to the 10th Federal Immission Control Ordinance (BImSchV) still needs signatures from the heads of the three federal ministries involved — environment, transport and economics — and the German chancellor, after which it can be published in the Federal Law Gazette. The new regulations can come into force one day after publication. When this happens HVO100 and B10 diesel will be available for sale at German fuel stations. By Max Steinhau and Nik Pais dos Santos Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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