Summary

In today’s edition, the divest (from fossil fuels) movement is indeed gaining momentum, with a new campaign in the UK. Banks, but also pension funds, such as the Members of Parliament’s fund, are targeted. Also, consolidation in the U.S. solar sector is expected, as players prepare for the expiration of a tax credit. And again in the U.K., an ambitious plan is crafted to import solar energy generated in North Africa. 

Quote of the day

“There’s a strong economic reason [to divest] … That these pension funds might not be performing as well as they might appear, once you factor in the fact that the investment in fossil fuels could well be unrealisable if we take seriously the fact we need to be weaning ourselves off fossil fuels and stay below 2C warming.”

Caroline Lucas, Green Party’s Member of U.K. Parliament, in theguardian.com’s story Divest MPs’ pension fund from fossil fuels, says Caroline Lucas

Lead stories

Divestment campaign urges customers to boycott banks which support fracking and fossil-fuel industry 
Tom Bawden, The Independent
Customers of Britain’s biggest banks are threatening to close their accounts unless the institutions cut all ties with coal, tar sands, fracking and other fossil-fuel industries as part of a new campaign launched today.
http://jlne.ws/ZMfwnc

HSBC, Barclays and RBS come under pressure to ditch fossil fuel investments
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The UK’s five biggest banks have come under pressure to scale back investment in the fossil fuel industry, over concerns that oil and coal assets could become devalued in the event of a global deal to tackle climate change.
http://jlne.ws/10gAuez

Divest MPs’ pension fund from fossil fuels, says Caroline Lucas
Adam Vaughan, theguardian.com
MPs should follow in the footsteps of the Rockefeller family, Glasgow University and churches around the world by pulling their pension fund investments out of fossil fuels, according to Caroline Lucas.
http://jlne.ws/1whgT8X

Solar Consolidation Expected as Tax Credit Drives Deals
Christopher Martin, Bloomberg News
Acquisitions in the solar industry will take off as manufacturers and developers prepare for the expiration of a tax credit that’s helping drive a U.S. installation boom. 
http://jlne.ws/1ws8jFo

UN climate talks to test New York summit gains
Ed King, RTCC (Responding to Climate change)
The impact of Ban Ki-moon’s New York summit on UN efforts to curb climate change faces its first test in Bonn, where envoys from over 190 countries meet for a week of negotiations. 
http://jlne.ws/1pw3e94

(Australia’s) Climate Change Authority to conduct second renewable energy target review 
Lenore Taylor, theguardian.com
The Climate Change Authority (CCA) will conduct another review of the renewable energy target (RET) before December, as the government struggles to win Senate support to wind back the scheme. 
http://jlne.ws/1sJpxM2

Eastern Europe attacks planned EU emissions curbs
Henry Foy and Christian Oliver, Financial Times
The EU’s plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has come under heavy assault as an increasing number of eastern European nations rally behind Poland’s threat to scupper a landmark climate deal this week.
http://jlne.ws/1nxuYOZ

Cheap African solar energy could power UK homes in 2018 
Matt McGrath, BBC News
Investors are seeking funding from the UK government for an ambitious plan to import solar energy generated in North Africa. 
http://jlne.ws/1roPnBd  
***LB: Also in this story “Under the scheme, up to 2.5 million UK homes could be powered by Tunisian sunshine by 2018.”

Five Lessons for Canada from Germany’s Clean Energy Revolution
Geoff Dembicki, Today, TheTyee.ca
When Dr. David Jacobs comes to North America from Europe, he hears the same myths repeated over and over about Germany’s state-led shift to a zero-carbon society. 
http://jlne.ws/1x3c2an

Events 

EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting 
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts. 
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
http://jlne.ws/1qaR5eE

FT European Gas Summit 
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times. 
23 October 2014 
London, UK 
http://jlne.ws/1n34Gif 

Carbon 

Gov. Brown wants tougher carbon standards 
KCRA
Gov. Jerry Brown said that he will push next year to set even higher greenhouse gas emission targets for California, where the nation’s toughest carbon standards already are causing anxiety among businesses and consumers.
http://jlne.ws/1ws6Z5a

IKEA may tighten carbon rules to protect environment
Alister Doyle, Reuters
IKEA Group, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, may introduce an internal carbon emissions price to help its drive to protect the environment and create a “new and better” company, chief executive Peter Agnefjall said.
http://jlne.ws/1w0nbfx

Luring forest communities away from ‘slash-and-burn’ farming
Coco Liu, E&E
Living as a tribesman of this hill-dwelling community, Zenas Daring has spent much of his time in the forest. He goes there to collect honey, gather fruits and hunt animals with his blowpipe. Now, Daring has another duty.
http://jlne.ws/1tH3CbM

Natural gas / coal

Modi’s Gas Gambit Faces Hurdle of Coddled Indian Consumer
Debjit Chakraborty and Rajesh Kumar Singh, Bloomberg News
India’s first increase in natural gas prices since 2010 to reverse sliding production leaves a key weakness unresolved: consumers who don’t pay enough for power. 
http://jlne.ws/1yTYORR

Pa. studies on shale-site air emissions incomplete, according to court documents 
Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Three widely cited state studies of air emissions at Marcellus Shale gas development sites in Pennsylvania omit measurements of key air toxics and calculate the health risks of just two of more than two dozen pollutants.
http://jlne.ws/1r5GD3w

Power

Solar panels powering classrooms for 2.7 million US students
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Nearly 2.7 million US students are enrolled at schools boasting solar installations, according to a major new report exploring how the education sector is embracing clean energy technologies.
http://jlne.ws/1COnHff

Geothermal power industry lost steam but may be poised for comeback 
Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Geothermal power was once king of California’s renewable energy. So many companies were clamoring to transform steam into electricity that they sucked the world’s largest geyser field dry.
http://jlne.ws/121SGJG

Polish Railway Traders to Buy German Power as Gap Widens
Marek Strzelecki, Bloomberg News
The power unit of Poland’s state railway will start trading German electricity to boost profits and benefit from cheaper prices in Europe’s biggest market. 
http://jlne.ws/10gOuFj

UK wind industry sets new generation record as it nears 25 per cent power share
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The UK’s wind industry is celebrating today as it emerged that the sector yesterday set a new electricity share record of 24 per cent. 
http://jlne.ws/1pw1aOn
***LB: Also in this story “According to official figures, wind accounted for 24 per cent of the UK’s power share over the course of the entire day, beating the previous generation share record of 22 per cent, which was set in August.”

(UK’s) Defra delivers fresh blow to solar industry through farmer subsidy crackdown
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The government has delivered a fresh blow to the UK’s burgeoning solar farm industry, announcing plans to end farming subsidies to landowners who install photovoltaic arrays from the start of next year.
http://jlne.ws/1t7gUw4

Clean tech

UK hails best ever quarter for electric car sales as demand revs up
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
UK electric car sales are moving into the fast lane, after almost 5,000 vehicles were accredited under a government grant scheme between July and September this year. 
http://jlne.ws/1FuFsEu

Tesla Motors Inc Opens Up Shop On TMall of Alibaba
Bret Urgamy, Capital OTC
Tesla CEO had long advocated of targeting China as an important market. Tesla is not alone to have this belief and other car makers like Tesla Motors Inc Opens Up Shop On TMall of Alibaba and Ford also advocate the same sentiments.
http://jlne.ws/1COCUgq

Water

EPA Plans to Regulate New Drinking Water Contaminant
Circle of Blue 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to regulate drinking water supplies for strontium, a naturally occurring metal that affects bone development. 
http://jlne.ws/ZDXUt5

Australia eyes ambitious dam building plans to boost agriculture
Colin Packham, Reuters
Australia’s government is looking at investing in nearly 30 irrigation schemes and reigniting a long-stalled programme of dam building to combat growing water shortages constraining agricultural production.
http://jlne.ws/1nxuqZq

Alpine lifelines on the brink 
Press Release, WWF
Only one in ten Alpine rivers are healthy enough to maintain water supply and to cope with climate impacts according to a report by WWF. 
http://jlne.ws/1ydJIU8 
***LB: Also in this story “The landmark WWF study, Save the Alpine Rivers, found that only 340 kilometers of large Alpine water systems remain ecologically intact compared to 2,300 kilometers of heavily modified or artificial stretches of river.”

Miscellaneous

Powering up the poor shouldn’t hurt the climate 
Fred Pearce, New Scientist
More than a billion people worldwide – one in six people – don’t yet have access to electricity. Getting them plugged in to power will send carbon emissions soaring in developing countries, right? Well, no, according to a new study.
http://jlne.ws/1roO44Z

Warmer Days a Catastrophe in the Making for Kenya’s Pastoralists
Miriam Gathigah, IPS
Seif Hassan is a pastoralist from Garissa, Northern Kenya, some 380 kilometres outside of the capital, Nairobi. He sells his animals at the Garissa livestock market where, during a good season, pastoralists can sell up to 5,000 animals per week and “it is a cash-making business.”
http://jlne.ws/1x3bEIY 
***LB: Also in this story “When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report was released last month, it emerged that temperatures on the African continent, particularly in the more arid regions, are likely to rise more quickly than in other land areas.”

 

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