FirstFT: US plans to sell carbon credits to companies

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The US is working on a plan to harness cash from the world’s largest companies to help developing countries cut their use of fossil fuels, an idea it aims to unveil at the UN climate summit this week.

US president Joe Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry is trying to marshal support from other governments, companies and climate experts to develop a framework for carbon credits to be sold to business. The proceeds could then fund new clean energy projects.

Under the plans, regional governments or state bodies would earn carbon credits by reducing their power sector’s emissions as fossil fuel infrastructure, such as coal-fired plants, were cut and renewable energy increased.

The credits would be certified by an independent, as-yet unspecified, accreditation body. Companies would then be able to buy the credits to offset their own carbon emissions.

Kerry and the US administration want to unveil the idea at the COP27 climate summit, according to people familiar with the matter. The event began in Egypt yesterday and runs through next week.

Starting today, FT Live will host a series of in-person, virtual and hybrid discussions with leading thinkers on sustainability and senior FT journalists. Each one will complement the themes set out in the presidency programme that day. Register your interest here.

1. Bonuses boost FTSE 100 chiefs’ pay by nearly a quarter Chief executives’ pay soared to £3.9mn — an average rise of 23 per cent this year — driven by record bonus payouts that were partly the effect of lower targets set during the pandemic, according to research from PwC. But FTSE chairs have warned that relations with their institutional investors have deteriorated markedly, risking company growth.

2. Warmest eight years on record and rising sea levels The past eight years were on track to be the warmest on record, the World Meteorological Organisation said in its latest report, a planetary “distress signal” as leaders gather in Egypt for the COP27 climate summit, which has also shone a spotlight on the host country’s dire human rights record.

3. Democrats pin election hopes on turnout US Democrats rallied their voters yesterday in a bid to avoid defeats in tomorrow’s midterms, with Republicans holding a slim advantage in polling which should be sufficient for them to regain control of the House of Representatives after four years.

4. Italy blocks rescued migrants from landing The country’s new rightwing government is attempting to stop European charities from landing migrants rescued from the Mediterranean at the country’s ports, leaving passengers stuck for up to 14 days on board four ships.

A photo taken by German charity SOS Humanity shows rescued migrants aboard its vessel Humanity 1 © Max Cavallari/SOS Humanity/AFP/Getty Images

5. UK aluminium sector faces threat of wipeout Manufacturers warn that a proposed post-Brexit anti-dumping tariff of 10.1 per cent on Chinese aluminium extrusions is too low and threatens to cause a flood of imports, factory closures and job losses.

“It’s not just a few percentage points difference, it’s half of the EU level. The duties will be so low it will simply be absorbed by the Chinese exporters” — Roger Ablett, managing director of extrusions at Hydro Aluminium UK

The day ahead

COP27 gathering More than 110 heads of state and government meet to discuss energy security, green technology, how to cut emissions more quickly and protect nature, and how best to support the most vulnerable.

EU finance meeting Finance ministers meet to discuss economic developments for the eurozone, as well as ways to mitigate the impact of high energy prices ahead of tomorrow’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council gathering. The process for electing the group’s head will also be announced; Ireland plans to nominate Paschal Donohoe to a second term.

Corporate earnings Capacity limits at major airports, notably London Heathrow, may be reflected in low-cost Irish airline Ryanair’s report for the first half of the year. US ride-hailing app Lyft publishes earnings following its announcement of job cuts last week. Drugmaker BioNTech has third-quarter results after raising the price of its Covid-19 jabs amid concerns about falling demand in 2023. View the full list of companies reports here.

US Supreme Court America’s highest court will hear oral arguments in two important cases for regulators: Axon Enterprise vs Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission vs Cochran. Should the court side against the FTC and SEC, it will become easier for parties to challenge enforcement actions in federal court before regulators conclude internal proceedings.

Join leaders including Singapore’s minister of trade and industry, the deputy chair, CEO and executive director of Mewah International and more on November 23 at The Westin in Singapore and online to speak about the future of the commodities industry. Register here for your in-person or digital pass today.

What else we’re reading

How the pandemic transformed Britain’s commuter towns Hybrid work and recouped travel time after the coronavirus hit have changed the habits of commuters, who now spend only two or three days in the office, giving a lasting boon to the economies, ambitions and even infrastructure of satellite communities.

How Elon Musk’s ‘war room’ of advisers are transforming Twitter In his first week as owner, the billionaire operated with a cast of trusted lieutenants from a secretive “war room” in the company’s San Francisco headquarters to axe management, begin job cuts and launch products.

Economists see recession coming, so maybe it’s not For the first time, economists not only expect a recession in the US in the next year, but give it a high probability of more than 60 per cent. Given their record of missing big turns in the story, it’s worth asking whether the consensus is, in fact, unlikely. Sometimes the inevitable never happens, writes Ruchir Sharma.

HSBC strains reach breaking point As a financial expression of globalisation, the bank’s long history of financing China’s business activities around the world looked smarter than ever. That was until President Xi Jinping turned increasingly authoritarian at home and hostile towards the west, writes Patrick Jenkins.

Wanjira Mathai: West must win back the trust of developing countries As the COP27 climate talks begin, the Kenyan environmentalist, whose mother won the Nobel peace prize, speaks to Henry Mance about extreme weather across the world and diverging priorities among western leaders.

“We’re only at a 1.2C world. Can you imagine how much worse it will get?” — Wanjira Mathai

Television

Series 5 of The Crown is a long-awaited salacious portrayal of divorce, tell-all interviews and, er, toe-sucking. For many viewers it’s the crescendo that the show has been building to, but it has already sparked backlash, leading Netflix to add a disclaimer the series is a “fictional dramatisation”.

Imelda Staunton, centre, brings a quiet dignity to her role as the Queen
Imelda Staunton, centre, brings a quiet dignity to her role as the Queen

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