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Pressure mounts on the world's biggest carbon emitters.

Even though most countries submitted new or updated climate plans this year ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the combined result still leaves the world on track for 2.7C of warming by century's end, according to the UN.

The 2015 Paris accord goal is to limit global warming to well below 2C since pre-industrial times, and ideally to no more than 1.5C. Global warming is estimated by scientists to be at 1.1C already. The UN's latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report said the Paris targets "will be beyond reach" by 2040 without immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Exports are also facing the prospect of carbon border adjustments, with the EU publishing its proposal in July, which is also gaining traction among Democrats in the US. This raises the possibility of the formation of a carbon-zero trade bubble, while countries lagging behind their emissions reduction targets may be penalised over the long term. Meanwhile, climate risk assessments for listed companies are looking increasingly likely to become mandatory over the medium-term. The EU, the UK, the US and China have all recently indicated their support for standardised climate disclosure measures.

Key Climate Pledges

China

China aims to peak CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. The country is also aiming to (by 2030):

  • Lower CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by over 65% from the 2005 level.
  • Increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25%.
  • Increase the forest stock volume by 6Bcm from the 2005 level.
  • Bring total installed capacity of wind and solar power to over 1.2bn KWh by 2030.
United States

The US has committed to reduce net GHG emissions by 50-52% by 2030 compared to 2005. The US has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

European Union

The EU and its Member States, acting jointly, commit to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

"If net-zero targets are to
be met, governments must
lead the way in planning
and stimulating the massive
investment required."

"Climate spending is back
in the US Budget, China set
a new road map and
Australia committed to net
zero by 2050."

"China wants 40% of new
vehicles to be powered by
clean energy by 2030. The
US, meanwhile, is aiming
for 50%."

CO2 Emissions by Sector, China, 1990-2019
Mt CO2
Feature Articles

Zinc December 2021
Zinc and a Greener, Cleaner, Sustainable Future

Global leaders have committed to making a concerted effort to end their reliance on fossil fuels by 2030 and solidified their commitments to carbon neutrality, with most nations aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and China by 2060.

READ MORE

LNG December 2021
Torches in the Dark

China’s consumption of LNG has only grown over the last several years, and Chinese import demand promises to overtake that of current world leader Japan within the decade. AME currently pegs China’s maximum regasification and receival capacity at 80Mtpa, though the nation only consumed 68Mt in 2020.

READ MORE

Gold December 2021
Gold and E-Waste

The value of gold in electronic waste (e-waste) could stand at around US$50bn by 2030. In 2016, it was estimated that around 16Moz of gold was thrown away in 44.7Mt of e-waste. In 2030, it is estimated that 74Mt of e-waste will be produced globally, which would translate to 26Moz of gold.

READ MORE

Oil Refineries November 2021
Refining Future in Chemicals not Fuels

Crude oil has been used to produce transportation fuel for many decades. However, market factors may now make it necessary for organisations to consider oil-to-chemical complexes to maintain a competitive edge in today’s global market.

READ MORE

Gold November 2021
Renewables in Gold Mining

With the intensifying global focus on greenhouse gas emissions and the existential risk posed by climate change, miners are coming under increasing pressure to decarbonise their operations.

READ MORE
Daily Briefing
Selection: All Industry; This Year (2022);Environment, Government policy;
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South Korea to Subsidise World's Largest Hydrogen Bus Order
25 Jan 2022
The South Korean government will subsidise the purchase of 624 hydrogen buses which will hit the roads in the Busan, Ulsan and Gyeongnam provinces by the end of 2025.

The Ministry of Environment and local authorities will each contribute KRW150m (US$125k) towards every KRW630m (US$527k) fuel-cell bus, with Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai offering a KRW10m (US$8k) bulk-purchase discount on each unit. 

The deal for the 624 buses will be the world's largest-ever order for hydrogen-powered buses. The subsidies for the project add up to KRW187.2bn ($157m).

South Korea currently has 112 hydrogen filling stations in operation across the country. In 2022, 38 more filling stations will be added, according to local media.

“Through this agreement, the Ministry of Environment is planning to gradually expand the target and scale to other regions by using it as a model example of leading city bus pollution-free leadership,” the ministry said in a statement.

Environment minister Han Jeong-ae added: “This business agreement is a promise to realise the future hydrogen economy in the present.”

South Korea is aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but because of its limited available land for renewables projects, it is planning for 33% of its energy to come from hydrogen by 2050—60% of which will be imported.

It also plans to have 5.3m fuel-cell electric vehicles on its roads by 2050, powered by at least 2,000 hydrogen filling stations.
Fortescue Buys Battery Arm of Williams F1 in Electrification Drive
25 Jan 2022
Fortescue Metals Group’s green investment unit has agreed to buy the battery and technology arm of the Williams Formula One racing team for GBP164m (US$221m). 

Fortescue, the world's fourth-largest iron ore miner, aims to use Williams Advanced Engineering Ltd's (WAE) battery systems and electrification technology to decarbonise its mining sites by 2030. 

Andrew Forrest, the billionaire founder and chair of Fortescue, said the deal represented the “first merger of heavy industry with hyper advanced electrical technology”.

The new systems will allow Fortescue to cut the use of diesel in its 3km-long freight trains, mobile haul fleet and heavy mining equipment, the company said.

The Australian miner said the first major project would be an electric “infinity train”, which it expected to become a major development in the green industrial transport sector.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines has defended the transaction's hefty price tag, saying it is common for technology deals to be priced on revenue rather than profits.

WAE, which employs 250 people, was founded to support the development of better engine technology for Williams, one of the most famous names in car racing. 

The team was founded in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams and won 16 drivers’ and constructors’ championships in the 20 years to 1997. In recent years, however, the team has struggled as better-funded competition from Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz came into play. Williams was sold in 2020 to US fund Dorilton Capital for EUR152m (US$172m). It also sold a stake in WAE to private equity firm EMK Capital in 2019.

WAE has also worked on saving energy for companies outside racing. It has worked with Unilever to strip energy usage out of the company's soap manufacturing processes and slashed the amount of power used by supermarket refrigerators by adapting the aerodynamic models used for the rear wings of its cars.

WAE will be managed by Fortescue Future Industries when the transaction, which will be funded by existing liquidity, is completed by the end of March.
Davao Oriental Province Governor Calls for Closure of Nickel Mines
25 Jan 2022
The governor of Davao Oriental province in the Philippines is seeking the permanent closure of nickel mining operations near Banaybanay town following a massive siltation last week in the Mapagpa and Pintatagan Rivers, which flow into the Davao Gulf. In a letter addressed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the governor cited the violation by Riverbend Consolidated Mining Corporation, which is operated by Arc Nickel Resources, which left the rivers stained orange from nickel laterite following a heavy downpour. Riverbend's Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) cover 6,363ha across the towns of Banaybanay and Pantukan in Davao de Oro province.

Photos of the rivers’ discoloration and siltation circulated on social media and have caused public outcry and concern regarding the adverse impact of the siltation on the environment and livelihoods. Villagers in the area also fear the event will have an adverse impact on nearby coastal communities, since the rivers drain into the Davao Gulf. The governor issued the letter after an aerial inspection with the Mindanao Development Authority. While acknowledging the contribution of the mining industry to the country’s economy, the governor pointed out that, in this case, its environmental impacts outweigh any benefit.
TotalEnergies and Chevron to Exit Myanmar, Citing Investor Pressure
25 Jan 2022
Energy majors TotalEnergies and Chevron, partners in a major gas project in Myanmar, said on Friday that they are withdrawing from the country amid investor pressure to stop cooperating with the country’s ruling military junta.

TotalEnergies said it was responding to a deterioration of the human rights situation and the “rule of law” in Myanmar since the military coup last February. The situation had reached a point, the company said, where it could no longer “make a sufficiently positive contribution in the country”.

TotalEnergies operates Myanmar's largest offshore gas field, Yadana, in which it holds a 33.2% stake. The project, which is a critical source of energy for both Myanmar and neighboring Thailand, is also owned by Chevron (28.3%) and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production (25.5%), along with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, known as MOGE (15%). 

Located in the Gulf of Martaban, the Yadana field produces around 6Bcmpa of gas, about 30% of which is supplied to MOGE for domestic use, with the remaining 70% exported to Thailand.

TotalEnergies has said that its stake in Yadana accounts for less than 1% of its total production, and that the project “is not material in terms of revenues or profits.”

Chevron and TotalEnergies previously argued that shutting off the flow of gas would increase hardship to the people in Myanmar. Gas from Yadana generates electrical power for roughly half the population of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, according to Chevron. 

Total said it would withdraw after six months without compensation. Chevron said it was reviewing its interest to “enable a planned and orderly transition that will lead to an exit from the country.”

Shell, an equity holder in offshore Block A7 with partners Woodside Energy and Myanmar Petroleum Exploration and Production Co, said it had relinquished its exploration licences in Myanmar last year.

Neither the US nor European governments have sanctioned Myanmar’s energy sector, but they have been under pressure from lawmakers and human-rights groups to do so.
Meta Inks Wind PPA with Apex Clean Energy in Iowa
25 Jan 2022
Facebook parent Meta has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Apex Clean Energy to procure wind energy in the US state of Iowa. 

The social media giant will purchase the full 225MW capacity of the Great Pathfinder Wind project, located in the Boone and Hamilton counties, which is expected to being operations this year.

“Leveraging Iowa’s tremendous wind resources will accelerate the deployment of clean energy, create local jobs, and generate significant local and state economic investment—a trifecta of benefits only possible through trusted collaboration," Mark Goodwin, Apex CEO, said.

In December, Meta announced a seventh expansion that will take its Iowa campus to a dozen buildings spanning more than 5m sq ft (464,500 sqm). The latest expansion, expected to be completed in 2025, will push the campus's total cost to US$2.5bn. 

The PPA represents Apex’s fifth transaction with Meta, following a 61.6MW PPA for its Altavista Solar project in Virginia; a 200MW PPA for the Aviator Wind East in Texas; a 175MW PPA with the Lincoln Land Wind farm in Illinois; and, most recently in March 2021, a 197MW PPA with the Jayhawk Wind project in Kansas.

Facebook, which said it has been 100% powered by renewable energy since 2020, has contracts in place for more than 6GW of wind and solar energy across 18 US states and five countries.

Apex said the new wind farm will generate US$32m in local tax revenue, US$74m in payments to landowners, 270 full-time jobs during construction, and nine long-term positions.
Alba Signs MoU with MHI for Potential Carbon Capture Opportunities
24 Jan 2022
Continuing its ESG transformation after completion of its SPL treatment plant, Aluminium Bahrain, which operates the 1.5Mtpa Alba smelter, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mitubishi Heavy Industries EMEA (MHI) to collaborate on strategies to reduce Alba’s carbon footprint. The MoU—the first of its kind signed by an aluminium producer—will lay the foundations to conduct a feasibility study on the utilisation of technologies to capture CO2 from flue gas, developed by MHI Group in collaboration with Kansai Electric Power, to reduce Alba’s plant emissions.

As it is one of the largest industrial companies in Bahrain, Alba’s decarbonisation efforts will play an important role in achieving the Kingdom’s net zero and renewable energy targets, which were recently announced by the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain.
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