May 12, 2021 — LONDON: Germany detailed allowed emissions sector by sector as it published its new, more-ambitious planned climate law yesterday.
Energy industry emissions to plunge 61% in the decade through 2030; transport emissions to drop 43% in the same period, in a brutally clear signal for lower crude oil demand, according to the data.
Germany now to become climate neutral by 2045 instead of 2050 and has outlined a path to achieve this with binding targets.
This is at the heart of the revised Climate Change Act, which the federal cabinet adopted today as recommended by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze. The interim target for 2030, currently 55 percent, is being increased to a 65 percent greenhouse gas reduction compared to 1990. A new interim reduction target of 88 percent has been set for 2040.
No longer “slack”
Schulze commented in a statement: “With this Act, we are creating more intergenerational equity, greater planning certainty and resolute climate action that does not stifle industry, but instead restructures and modernises it. I am not talking here about increasing climate targets, for me this is about defusing the climate crisis. The Climate Change Act sets the framework for the coming years and decades and presents us all with a major task. It is not about maths, but about the way we want to live our lives in future, how we want to produce goods, generate heat and travel. This affects many policy areas. In future, all ministries will have to be climate ministries more than ever before. My Climate Change Act guarantees that the government will no longer slacken in its climate action efforts and that we will reliably achieve all targets.”
See this snip (in German):
Appendix 2 – Permissible annual emissions for the years 2020 to 2030 Energy industry Industry Buildings Transport Agriculture Waste management and miscellaneous
(millions of tons of co2 equivalent)
See also these yearly emission caps for Germany after 2030 vs 1990
Appendix 3 – Annual reduction targets for the years 2031 to 2040 *Annual reduction targets compared to 1990
(Updates with energy and transport emissions; earlier with annual emission caps; more to come; translation by Google Translate)
–U.S. has no “current plans” to do so: state department spokesperson –Palm-oil replacement seen helping save forests around the world
By Mathew Carr
May 11-14, 2021 — LONDON: UBS, the Swiss bank with a well-regarded team of analysts, sees the U.S. joining China-EU collaboration on climate, creating a global solution to a worldwide problem.
“I see, for example, the new joint platform of the EU and China as an open arrangement between two major jurisdictions that the Americans should, and in my view will, join,” said Axel Weber, chairman of the bank, speaking Tuesday at an online UBS climate seminar.
Regional solutions won’t do because the climate problem is global, Weber said. “It needs to be collaboration” between America and China rather than competition, he said.
“The U.S. government has no current plans to join the EU-China emissions trading system,” a spokesperson for the U.S. state department said by email in response to questions.
The lack of complete agreement around the world on how to approach the climate transition need not prevent substantial progress, UBS said.
There will be “a lot more” momentum leading up to the global climate talks to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, November, Weber said. “We have the chance in a market that’s still nascent to develop joint standards and move things forward.”
Sometimes it’s better for the biggest economies to spend money on climate solutions in emerging and least developed countries, because that’s better value for money, Weber signalled.
The key problem for policymakers is that they’ve left effective lawmaking so late, they now need to cut emissions by about half in the next 10 years — that’s about 3 billion tons a year to 22 billion tons at the end of the century.
After 30 years of global climate talks, they are still bickering about accounting and carbon trading rules.
“I think it’s time for the Europeans and Americans to work together, also with China and other major emerging market economies,” Weber said.
The UBS seminar featured Shara Ticku, CEO and co-founder of C16 Biosciences, who’s helping build a business that provides an alternative to palm oil, and so cutting the associated deforestation and CO2 emissions.
Ticku said she was working at a huge bank on health care, then realised that work was going to be super challenging unless the climate was saved first, so she switched to an industry where she was using her time to scale emission reductions by helping save forests (see link at the bottom).
(Updates with U.S. state department comment; earlier adds headline translation from Google translate; earlier updates with palm-oil example, Weber comments; more to come)
–Hartree: U.K. carbon market seen tighter than the EU
By Mathew Carr
May 11, 2021 — LONDON: The U.K. has set a “cost containment price” in its carbon market that’s starting next week at a level that’s effectively about two fifths higher than the market price in Europe.
Britain was forced out of EU carbon market, the world’s biggest, this year because of its Brexit vote in 2016. It’s new market begins May 19.
“As of 10 May 2021, for the COST CONTAINMENT MECHANISM to be triggered, the average December 2021 futures contract price as traded on the ICE exchange, would need to remain above £46 for 3 consecutive months,” the U.K. government said last night on its website.
U.K. is seen favoring a tighter, wider carbon market than the EU, according to Hartree Partners, the energy solutions company (see link below).
“The UK is likely to favour more stringent measures for its own ETS and expand the comparatively narrow range of industries covered by it,” Hartree said in an emailed note.
This 46-quid figure is based on the rolling 2-year average carbon price present in the UK. Because Britain has an £18 a ton “floor support” policy, that makes the U.K. level the equivalent of about 74 euros a ton. EU carbon futures ended yesterday at about 52.22 euros a ton, after an impressive run higher since the beginning of the global pandemic.
EU carbon rose to another all-time high Tuesday:
HOW THE BRITISH CCM WORKS:
The cost containment mechanism will be triggered if the average price for one allowance on secondary futures markets is more than: o During year one, an amount equal to two times the average price in the preceding two year period for three consecutive months; o During year two, an amount equal to two and a half times the average price in the preceding two year period for three consecutive months; and o During year three, an amount equal to three times the average price inthe preceding two year period for six consecutive months. (SOURCE: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2021/9780348220049/pdfs/ukdsiem_9780348220049_en.pdf )
The U.K. has also apparently reduced the volume of free allowances it will hand out this year (amid the global pandemic):
RELEVANT TEXT: The CCM is more responsive than its equivalent in the EU ETS, providing a powerful tool for the UK ETS Authority to intervene if prices are elevated for a sustained period. In 2021 and 2022, the CCM will be triggered if the average allowance price on the secondary futures market is double the average price for the preceding 2-year period, for 3 consecutive months.
The UK ETS Authority will update the UK ETS guidance page on a monthly basis with the price at which the CCM would be triggered. As of 10 May 2021, for the CCM to be triggered, the average December 2021 futures contract price as traded on the ICE exchange, would need to remain above £46 for 3 consecutive months. This figure is based on the rolling 2-year average carbon price present in the UK. The next update will be 10 June 2021.
If the CCM is triggered, the Authority will consider the most appropriate interventions given the market context and will implement them in a timely manner. The interventions the Authority may take in this instance are changing distribution of allowances to be auctioned within the year or increasing the number of allowances to be auctioned within the year by bringing forward allowances from future years, releasing allowances from the New Entrants’ Reserve or releasing allowances from the market stability mechanism account. As indicated above, the Authority may also consider additional interventions should the circumstances warrant further or earlier action.
(Updates with Hartree, with notes, adds tweet, links; COMMENTS MY WAY AT MATHEWNCARR@GMAIL.COM)
*The EU inserted a similar measure in its 2009 law:
The following Article shall be inserted: ‘Article 29a Measures in the event of excessive price fluctuations
If, for more than six consecutive months, the allowance price is more than three times the average price of allowances during the two preceding years on the European carbon market, the Commission shall immediately convene a meeting of the Committee established by Article 9 of Decision No 280/2004/EC.
If the price evolution referred to in paragraph 1 does not correspond to changing market fundamentals, one of the following measures may be adopted, taking into account the degree of price evolution: (a) a measure which allows Member States to bring forward the auctioning of a part of the quantity to be auctioned; (b) a measure which allows Member States to auction up to 25 % of the remaining allowances in the new entrants reserve. Those measures shall be adopted in accordance with the management procedure referred to in Article 23(4).
Any measure shall take utmost account of the reports submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council pursuant to Article 29, as well as any other relevant information provided by Member States.
In any year, if paragraph 6 of this Article is not applicable and measures are adopted under Article 29a of Directive 2003/87/EC, 100 million allowances shall be released from the reserve and added to the volume of allowances to be auctioned by the Member States under Article 10(2) of Directive 2003/87/EC. Where fewer than 100 million allowances are in the reserve, all allowances in the reserve shall be released under this paragraph.
May 7, 2021 — LONDON: Sorting out a “roadmap” for a 2025 target for climate finance from richer nations is important for climate talks in Glasgow, according to the European Union.
Rich countries are currently seen falling short of $100 million a year finance target for developing nations.
SO, IS A ROADMAP ENOUGH FOR EMERGING COUNTRIES?
KEY COMMENT, from Frans Timmermans, who is leading the European Commission’s work on the European Green Deal and leading international negotiations to strengthen the ambition of other major emitters by 2021:
Bearing in mind that Parties to the Paris Agreement have given themselves until prior to 2025 to set the new goal, it is important to allow for a broad exchange of views and expectations.
All the aspects linked to the post 2025 goal deserve due attention; the effectiveness and transparency of support; the contributors base; and how the donor support fits into the wider context of making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development.
In this context, COP26 in Glasgow could agree on a roadmap for continued deliberations on the post-2025 goal over the years to come.
May 5, 2021 — LONDON: To ensure the European Union’s policies achieve the region’s required emission cuts, investors will probably need the comfort of clever carbon contracts that protect clean investors.
The region’s policies needs to reflect industry’s needs during the transition to climate neutrality, the European Commission said today in an updated plan (see link below).
“De-risking of initial investments through tools like Contracts for Difference need to be explored,” it said.
CCfD would pay out the difference between the price of EU emissions allowances and the contract price, thus effectively ensuring a guaranteed carbon price would be protecting the hydrogen project from competition fueled by coal, crude oil or natural gas.
The allowances have surged to a record this week.
Whichever green-hydrogen project, for instance, offers to produce the fuel at the lowest carbon price, would win the CCfD incentive. This competitive tension will drive down costs, as electricity contracts for difference did for offshore wind.
In exchange for the insurance, investors would pay money to the government should carbon prices be higher than the CCfD strike price, reducing financial risks for the taxpayers providing the incentive.
Companies would therefore have an incentive to make climate-friendly, innovative investments and reduce their CO2 emissions, knowing they were protected from market shifts or a counter attack from fossil fuels.
Carbon prices are likely to help determine hydrogen prices, as hydrogen competes with old energy.
Governments will become incentivised to keep carbon prices high and the carbon market tight.
This is for three important reasons:
First, they’ll want to get more money when they sell carbon allowances in auctions. These funds can help poor people navigate the energy transition and create jobs.
Second, they’ll try to keep the carbon price above the CCfD strike levels because, otherwise, they’ll have to tap indebted taxpayers to pay the difference to the makers of the hydrogen.
Third, high carbon prices (tight constraints on emissions using various policies) are the only way they’ll meet their emission-reduction targets.
The CCFD would help spur industrial scale demonstrators of green technologies and the launch of markets for green and circular products, the commission said today (Wednesday).
Other derisking measures could include insurance programs and special purpose vehicles for off balance sheet financing “to support the uptake of new low carbon technologies at industrial scale.”
The Green Tech Investment Initiative would increase the access to equity finance for innovative small-medium enterprises and start-ups that develop and adopt green-tech solutions.
April 30, 2021 — LONDON: Britain’s new post-Brexit carbon market will be fun to trade, and potentially financially dangerous, because of the multiple political risks on the table.
When the market officially kicks off in three week’s time, traders bidding in the first auction and buying and selling futures contracts on ICE Futures Europe will have plenty to think about.
Initially, prices won’t trade too low because there’s a 22 pound per ton reserve price at auctions. The country also has a separate floor support system with complicates comparisons between the EU and U.K. programs (see story linked below).
The British government intends to withdraw its reserve price as the market “matures,” according to guidance updated April 28 (see link below). “The government will consult on its intent to withdraw the auction reserve price as part of the planned consultation to appropriately align the U.K. emissions trading system cap with a net zero trajectory which will be launched later this year.”
There’s plenty for traders and potential traders to think about in that sentence right there.
But there’s also plenty of potential market shifts, should prices surge, because that’s when “cost containment” measures will kick in.
The Cost Containment Mechanism (CCM) will provide “a process for the U.K. government and devolved administrations to address significant extended price spikes in the market. The UK CCM will have lower price and time triggers in the first 2 years of the U.K. ETS when compared to the equivalent EU ETS mechanism.
This will allow quicker intervention in the early years if appropriate. If the CCM is triggered, a meeting of the UK ETS Authority is called to consider what intervention, if any, to make. If there is no agreement on what action to take, the final decision will be taken by HM Treasury (HMT). This intervention can include:
redistributing allowances between the current year’s auctions
bringing forward auctioned allowances from future years to the current year
drawing allowances from the market stability mechanism account
auctioning up to 25% of the remaining allowances in the New Entrants Reserve
All of these decisions will require complicated analysis and traders seeking to second guess the authority and then potentially Treasury will probably need sophisticated models to predict the various potential outcomes.
I imagine the U.K. cost containment system will indeed be able to be nimble compared with the EU, should prices spike. That’s what the British government is aiming for and that may prove attractive to traders. EU rulemaking is notoriously laborious, yet even so has its own logic for traders with the stamina to get to know it.
So even after EU carbon prices surged this year, the first year of the Paris climate deal, there are going to be plenty of opportunities, and risks, going forward for traders. See this two-year chart:
The U.K. market may initially dent the EU market, as traders divide their time, potentially sell EU futures to finance purchases of U.K. contracts. On the other hand, increasing interest from the wider global investment community will probably more than make up for those short-term shifts.
ICE was appointed to host emissions auctions on behalf of the U.K. governments as the new market replaces the country’s participation in the EU ETS.
According to ICE: Full details of the U.K. Allowance (UKA) auctions, including the auction calendar, can be found here. ICE plans to launch UKA Futures contracts on May 19, coinciding with the launch of the first auction, with UKA Daily Futures following on May 21, subject to regulatory approval. These will clear at ICE Clear Europe alongside ICE’s global environmental complex, including European Union Allowances (EUA), California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) and California Carbon Offsets (CCOs).
“We believe the UK ETS will be pivotal in supporting the climate ambitions of the U.K.,” said Gordon Bennett, Managing Director of Utility Markets at ICE, in an emailed statement. “Reliable and liquid carbon and energy benchmarks are critical for markets to deliver an efficient transition from high to low carbon energy generation and carbon cap and trade programs have proved to be an incredibly successful policy tool in abating emissions.”
ICE provides access to the largest and most liquid environmental markets in the world. More than 14 billion metric tons of carbon trades on ICE annually, which is equivalent to about 40% of the world’s total annual energy-related emissions footprint based on current estimates, it said.
Environmental markets have been offered for nearly two decades. A wide and increasing group of investors and emitters use the price signals from markets and indices to help assess and manage climate-action risk in their portfolios of stocks, bonds and commodities.
“The LEAF Coalition is a groundbreaking example of the scale and type of collaboration that is needed to fight the climate crisis and achieve net-zero emissions globally by 2050. Bringing together government and private-sector resources is a necessary step in supporting the large-scale efforts that must be mobilized to halt deforestation and begin to restore tropical and subtropical forests,” said Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, in a statement.
April 22, 2021 — LONDON: Investors who bought EU carbon allowances on March 18, 2020 — the depth of the pandemic — might have tripled their money.
The market traded as high as a record 46.68 euros a metric ton this morning, ahead of President Joe Biden’s climate summit, after dropping as low as 15.71 euros last year, according to data on the website of ICE Futures Europe.
Climate negotiations are ramping up; Paris rulebook / carbon club scenarios for 2030, 2031:
April 21, 2021 — LONDON: At the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend and deliver a speech at the Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22, Xinhua reported.
The world seems at a crossroads, where rampant capitalism needs to be reigned in by sustainability measures, socialism (or better rules that improve society rather than eat away at it. For instance, climate polluters need to start to pay for each ton of carbon dioxide equivalent they emit).
China announced Xi’s attendance as the Financial Times quoted him on page one saying better multilateralism was needed.
President Biden this week will pledge to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by the end of the decade, according to two individuals briefed on the plan, as part of an aggressive push to combat climate change, Washington Post reported
Asked for comment, a White House official said a final decision had not been made, according to the report.
COMMENT: A cut of 50% leaves wiggle room for the USA amid climate negotiations through talks in Glasgow, Scotland, set for November.
Those talks on the rulebook for the Paris climate deal could see developing nations, who have not used as much space in the atmosphere for heat-trapping gases, extract even more ambitious targets out of rich countries that have caused the climate crisis.
Some have said the U.S. could cut by 60%. See notes.
Jan. 29-31, 2021 –LONDON: OPINION — Call me an optimist (plenty have), but the diplomatic foxtrot taking place across the globe right now seems like some sort of delicate-aggressive climate-trade negotiation.
The U.S., China and the European Union know it’s time to cooperate aggressively on climate action and on the trade of goods.
Doing so would tackle half the world’s heat-trapping gas and give us all an outside chance of keeping temperatures from rising 1.5C.
As climate activist Greta Thunberg rightly keeps reminding us, it seems very unlikely. But take a ride in my green-hydrogen-fueled helicopter for a few minutes and fly as high as possible — and you might be able to glean some hope.
“What we are seeing is the beginnings of a very comprehensive approach by China where climate negotiations will be a very important instrument of its wider foreign, trade and economic policy engagement, especially in a post-Covid world,” said Ashutosh Shastri, founder, director of EnerStrat Consulting, an energy and climate markets advisor. “They don’t take any of these things lightly.”
The substantial barriers to a climate deal between the three include choosing which currency gets to become the base currency of any global carbon market, agreeing some rules of green finance to limit greenwashing and agreeing green WTO/Paris carbon trading rules.
So the Renminbi, Euro and U.S. dollar are firmly in the frame and each will be fighting for a global role in the climate shift.
The U.S. and Europe are also using climate policy to further economic interests and climate-justice goals. Importantly, China is seeing a plan by Europe to install a carbon tax at its border as “an incentive” to engage rather than as a threat, which has apparently been its stance until this month.
******JANUARY STORY ENDS
Other countries are looking to tighter emissions targets: