In this report

Compliance: California regulator discusses need to strengthen cap-and-trade programme, Second NZU auction fails

Parties negotiating rules for the new UN carbon crediting mechanism under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement managed to advance discussions on technical details during UN intersessional climate negotiations held in Bonn, despite chaotic scenes that held up wider progress at the summit.

California state regulator ARB and the Quebec environment ministry held a workshop to discuss potential amendments to the WCI-linked cap-and-trade programmes, including more ambitious GHG reduction scenarios both before and after 2030, along with proposals to raise the Allowance Price Containment Reserve (APCR) tiers and ceiling prices.

The Washington Department of Ecology (ECY) announced a rulemaking to ensure certain electricity importers are assigned a compliance obligation under the state’s WCI-modelled cap-and-invest programme, with the rule adopted next summer.

The Canadian environment ministry published its draft improved forest management (IFM) federal offset protocol for the private sector and confirmed plans to develop a separate iteration for Crown lands.

The British Columbia government placed its fuel switching offset protocol (FSOP) under review because emissions reductions under the methodology may no longer be additional to business-as-usual practice.

New Zealand saw its second consecutive quarterly NZU auction fail, as bids did not match the confidential auction reserve price set by the government. Prices have been steadily falling since December and are now hovering around NZ$41 ($25.34), the lowest in two years and less than half their Feb. 2022 levels.

The NZ government has launched yet another ETS consultation, aiming to drive deeper emissions cuts and rely less on forestry credits. One of the options under consideration is to split the ETS scheme in two, with a separate market for forestry credits which can’t be used for compliance.

Australia has started issuing ACCUs from human-induced regeneration (HIR) again after a break of several months while implementing recommendations of the independent Chubb review. Around 1 million HIR credits have been issued over the past two weeks. That comes as a study by the Australian National University of newly released data claimed HIR projects have been over-credited historically by over 25 million units, an allegation that the government and regulator have strongly rejected.

European carbon emission allowance prices (EUAs) rose to a two-month high of almost €95/tonne last week, before easing back to settle at €87.88 on June 23, as the market continued to closely track natural gas prices.

Politicians are expected to intervene in the next few years to alter EU ETS rules with the market needing to hit absolute zero emissions in 2040, analysts told the Carbon Fast Forward conference, as they predicted EUA prices would exceed €250 several years before that unless something was done.

The British government said it will prioritise the integration of removals into both its domestic Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as well as international carbon markets as part of an ongoing policy formation process.

Swiss citizens voted to approve the introduction of a climate law requiring the country to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Voluntary: U.S. commodities regulator convenes July meeting

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will host its second voluntary carbon markets (VCM) hybrid meeting on July 19 that may inform future guidance or interpretations related to the agency’s authority over the sector.

Earlier in the week, the CFTC issued an alert to inform the public on how to report instances of fraud and manipulation in carbon markets.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with several international organisations including the Clean Cooking Alliance to develop a new global methodology for clean cookstoves, in an effort to strengthen that beleaguered segment of the voluntary carbon market.

San Francisco-headquartered crop intelligence firm Arable and Europe's Royal Dutch Shell announced a partnership to offer a “high-trust, low-cost” carbon measurement and verification system supported by fellow agtech company HabiTerre and GHG quantifiers Quanterra Systems. The initiative will roll out in Brazil.

Gucci has dropped its assertion of becoming “entirely carbon neutral” on its website alongside its policy of buying voluntary carbon credits amid a backlash against misleading environmental claims.

Carbon standards manager Verra launched a review of all IFM methodologies, which may shorten future project development timelines.

A Canada-headquartered carbon mineralisation firm Arca announced partnerships with mining giant Vale, and nickel producers Poseidon Nickel, NickelSearch, and Blackstone Minerals to boost its CO2 removal activities at mine sites.

A U.S.-based carbon reductions and removals firm Climate Vault Solutions raised $9.4 million in a Series A funding round to expand carbon credit project development.

An appeals court in Peru has overturned a landmark ruling that would have given the Kichwa tribes–an Indigenous community–the right to reclaim ancestral rainforests in the Cordillera Azul National Park, which has been registered as a Verra registered REDD+ project.

The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro approved tax breaks to incentivise voluntary carbon credit use and will allocate BR$60 million ($12.4 million) towards tax rebates for companies purchasing carbon credits.

The Saudi company set up to drive voluntary carbon growth, the RCVCM, sold 2.2 million carbon credits in an auction held in Kenya with the units clearing at a price around $6.30 and sold to 16 mostly Saudi firms.

Kenya has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to supply emissions reductions and removals credits to the LEAF Coalition.

A new international carbon standard registry, Africa’s first, called the Inclusive Carbon Standard, launched in South Africa with the aim of sharply cutting the cost of project development.

Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom REDD+ has been suspended, after offset standard REDD+ received stakeholder comments it considered serious enough to put the scheme under review. Details of the suspension are unclear though it is related to quality control. The project generates almost 4 million VCUs annually.

The news came just days after Cambodia said it had cleared three more REDD+ projects to participate in the voluntary market from 2024.

Indonesia has released new regulations for voluntary forest carbon projects, allowing conservation areas to host REDD+ projects. Its domestic carbon trading association has signed an MoU with Verra to align domestic voluntary projects with both Indonesian government and Verra regulations.

Taiwan is continuing to prepare for a domestic voluntary market and has released new regulations for emissions inventories in order to ensure data quality. Taipei is also planning to utilise idle public land to hosting forestry projects that can generate carbon credits.

Australian miner BHP has picked three projects for funding under its blue carbon grants programme, selected to help scale up the blue carbon market with methodologies that can be replicated.

Finance: Macron helps channel financial flows to developing countries at Paris Summit towards environmental protection efforts

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed “complete consensus” on reform of international financial institutions to better channel climate funds to developing countries at a summit in Paris last week, with world leaders pledging changes that are expected to free up an additional $200 billion of lending capacity over the next decade.

Senegal inked a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) deal with members of the EU, the UK, and Canada in which the West African country will receive €2.5 billion to help it achieve a target of 40% of installed electricity capacity from renewables by 2030.

The World Bank has outlined how introducing a carbon tax on international shipping could raise up to $3.7 trillion through 2050 to finance decarbonisation, as at least 23 mostly European nations also called for a global tax on the sector to be introduced also at the Paris summit.

Pegasus Capital Advisors and the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) have committed $6 million to Carbonwave, a pioneering firm that develops ultra-regenerative advanced biomaterials from overabundant and destructive sargassum, or seaweed.

Investment manager New Forests acquired the 19,000-acre McCloud forest in the Mount Shasta region of California through its $600 million Forest Climate Solutions Fund (CSF) to generate carbon offsets eligible for compliance use.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) unveiled a five-year offtake agreement for 40,000 tonnes with direct air capture (DAC) company CarbonCapture.

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer announced its purchase of a batch of biochar carbon credits from German-based climate tech startup Novocarbo but declined to confirm how many biochar units were involved in the deal.

A Sierra Leone rewilding project run by Vancouver-based Klimat X had $2.5 million (C$3.3 million) of between 1.6 million–1.9 million yet-to-be generated carbon credits pre-purchased by a Fortune 100 company.

Japan has held the first meeting of senior of officials under the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) community, a technology-focused model to cut Asian emissions. Tokyo plans to let companies earn Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) carbon credits by investing in CCS, green hydrogen, and ammonia. The policy has seen a rush of Japanese CCS investments in the region, with JFE Steel, Mitsui, and Toshiba the latest to get involved in projects in Malaysia that aim to store carbon from power plants and industrial facilities.

The Australian government has prepared the required legislation to ratify the London Protocol, a necessary step for domestic companies to launch CCS projects eligible to store CO2 imported from other countries.

South Korean companies are increasingly looking to participate in the Article market, and Korea East-West Power and Sudokwon Landfill Site Management Co have signed an MoU to cooperate on developing landfill gas projects for the Paris market.

China has released new guidelines requiring cement producers to make major investments in low-carbon equipment over the next few years. The government expects 850-million tonnes worth of cement production capacity will be aligned with the new regulations by 2028.

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