The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore will also launch 12 key initiatives, including a levy on sustainable aviation fuel and low-carbon electricity imports.

By Paul A. Davies, Farhana Sharmeen, Michael D. Green, James Bee, and Kevin Mak

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has launched the Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint (Blueprint) as part of its efforts to decarbonise Singapore’s aviation sector while enabling sustainable growth.

Background

The Blueprint aims to reduce domestic aviation emissions[i] from airport operations by 20% from 2019 levels (404ktCO2) in 2030 and achieve net zero domestic and international aviation emissions by 2050. This net zero goal aligns with both Singapore’s national climate target and the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s target for the global aviation industry. Alongside the Blueprint, CAAS will introduce 12 initiatives to decarbonise Singapore’s aviation sector and five enablers for the effective implementation of these decarbonisation initiatives. The initiatives will be implemented across three domains: airport, airline, and air traffic management.

Proposed regulations clarify FEOC restrictions and clean vehicle tax credit compliance for manufacturers aiming to produce eligible EVs.

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Jim Cole, Eli M. Katz, Qingyi Pan, Rob Thompson, J. Dylan White, and Sam Wong

As countries around the world accelerate the transition to clean energy, the race to gain shares in the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing market is intensifying, with global sales of EVs rising 31% in 2023.[1]

To facilitate increased

New report raises social cost of carbon estimates, surpassing previous estimates by more than 250%.

By Joshua Bledsoe, Kevin Homrighausen, and John Detrich

On December 2, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final report that substantially increases estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases (GHG), including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (collectively, SC-GHG). The report describes SC-GHG as “the monetary value of the net harm to society from emitting one metric ton of that GHG into the atmosphere in a given year.”[1] The new estimates are intended to serve as a tool for decision-makers, aiding in the cost-benefit analysis of actions that would reduce or increase GHG emissions. Indeed, federal agencies are expected to use the estimates in future rule-makings and in the environmental review of forthcoming projects.

Goods imported into the UK from countries with a lower or no carbon price will face a levy by 2027.

By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, and James Bee

On 18 December 2023, the UK government announced a proposal for a new carbon border adjustment mechanism (UK CBAM). The announcement follows extensive consultation earlier this year on possible measures to mitigate carbon leakage risks and aims to support the UK’s decarbonisation efforts.

The UK has made a number of decarbonisation commitments including reaching net zero by 2050. These commitments to decarbonise can be undermined by “carbon leakage”, in which production of goods and associated emissions move from a jurisdiction with more ambitious climate policies (which add costs to carbon-intensive processes) to another jurisdiction with less ambitious policies, resulting in an overall negative impact on the carbon intensity of the processes/goods themselves. The UK CBAM (or other form of carbon tax) seeks to address this issue by aiming to put a fair price on the carbon emitted during the production of certain carbon-intensive goods entering the UK.

The agency’s two recent actions introduce enhanced restrictions on hydrofluorocarbons and provide a series of compliance dates for industry stakeholders.

By Stacey VanBelleghem and Jennifer Garlock

On October 5, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two rules, one final and one proposed, to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020 (AIM Act). The agency’s recent actions represent major steps in the Biden administration’s goal to significantly reduce HFCs over the next decade.

HFCs are a group of chemical refrigerants and potent greenhouse gasses (GHGs), commonly used in foam products, cooling systems, aerosols, and fire suppressants. International focus on managing these compounds sharpened in the 1980s, when countries agreed in the Montreal Protocol to shift global markets away from the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) — the then dominant strain of refrigerant and aerosol chemicals — toward HFCs. Although HFCs are less damaging to the ozone layer than CFCs, they have global warming potential (GWP) values (a figure that allows comparison of relative climate impact of a GHG) hundreds or thousands times higher than carbon dioxide (CO2), which has a GWP equal to 1. In 2016, nearly 200 countries adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol agreeing to a global phasedown of production and use of HFCs. The US ratified that amendment on October 31, 2022.