In this issue:
CEP welcomes new staff member
We start this week with another welcome, this time for Arlene du Toit, who has come on board full-time and will be easing some of the pressure we’ve been under with our admin. Please feel free to say Hi and introduce yourself to Arlene.
CEP Conference and Sponsor update
Our conference committee has had a busy week reviewing abstracts for June. We had a record number of submissions – twice as many as slots available. The competition was fierce and the programme will be outstanding. Thanks to everyone that sent in an abstract and we’ll be getting back to everyone soon with the committee’s decision or suggestions for tweaking. We can also announce our first Gold Sponsor is on Board – EECA. So, a shoutout to all at EECA. You’ll see below, we’ve started including some speaker profiles in the newsletter so please take a look and then get your registrations in to take advantage of cheaper fares and secure your accommodation.
Survey on carbon offsetting
We’ve been asked to lend a hand in circulating a survey on carbon offsetting and forestry from the Climate and Energy Finance Group at Otago University, on behalf of Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group. All a bit of a mouthful but the results will help understanding of emissions reduction strategies and the demand for carbon offsetting in New Zealand. Please take a look and help out if you can. It’s projects like this that build understanding and lead to innovations and improvements in practice.
Assurance over climate-related disclosures
A reminder as well that MBIE’s consultation on Assurance over Climate Related Disclosures closes next week. The conclusions and outcomes of this consultation and subsequent deliberations are crucial for the carbon reporting profession and if you are engaged in this area, or might be in the future, it is worth taking a look and having your say.
UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance
Money talks, and this week the Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance, which spans 84 large investment houses and US$11trn (NZ$17trn) of assets under management issued an update to its Target Setting Protocol. Crucially, the latest version emphasises a just transition and the use of offsetting, clearly steering signatories towards emissions reduction rather than offsetting. Obviously, you don’t need to be a member of the Alliance to adopt good practice and some of the protocols could be very helpful for any large organisation or clients.
Green and other labelled bonds held market share amidst fall
Despite some successful local launches, global Green Bond issuance stalled in 2022, according to Climate Bonds Initiative. Green, social and sustainability (GSS) linked bond issues were down around 14% compared with 2021. The decrease is attributed to lower overall debt issuance activity rather than a shift away from GSS, which maintained its share of the overall market. Green bonds account for over half of GSS. This is the first fall in issuance for a decade but issuance is expected to bounce back in 2023 with a bumper year predicted.
Exciting new innovations emerging in 2023
2023 has kicked off with some really exciting innovations emerging and we thought we’d highlight a couple. Metal-air batteries, such as zinc-air batteries used in hearing aids, go back to the 1870s. To date, they have not been rechargeable because they corrode quickly and they are relatively heavy when compared with Lithium-ion. The breakthrough has come from Form Energy (an MIT start-up) which has cracked the corrosion issue and, therefore the rechargeability. The new, iron-air batteries (iron was chosen for lower cost) are still much heavier than lithium and charge much more slowly, so are not suitable for many modern applications such as devices or EVs but at one tenth the cost, holding charge for longer and able to store at 3 megawatts per acre, they could be ideal for grid scale applications. Xcel Energy (US) is installing the technology in two retiring coal plants (100 hours, 10MW/1,000MWh, each) with expectations of being online in 2025.
New heat engine claiming to double efficiency and halve costs
Just as exciting is the launch of a new heat engine claiming to double efficiency and halve costs. The isothermal expansion engine can operate off any source of waste heat and promises low capex and opex, 70% round efficiency and up to 20 hours of renewables storage. The engine is expected to hit the market in 2 to 3 years.
Climate protesters halt work on new, all-electric, zero carbon operation prison
In an ironic twist, climate protesters have halted work on the new, all-electric, zero carbon operation prison being built in the UK. The protest is against the incarceration of fellow protesters.
CEP welcomes new student member
Finally this week, please join me in welcoming new student member Richard Cranston from the University of Canterbury. We’re always keen to hear from potential new members so please refer anyone you think may be interested to us. As most of you know, the membership discount on the conference alone is more than the membership subscription, so you’ll be doing them a favour.
Wishing you all a safe and great long weekend.