Again in today’s edition, public and private initiatives to combat climate change. While the Obama administration cracks down on HFCs, MSCI launches new low carbon indexes and a UK solar farm issues the first certified climate bonds in Europe. Finally, with the independence referendum in Scotland taking place tomorrow, a take on potential impacts on energy.
Quote of the day
“These low carbon indexes are a promising avenue that can bring about increased awareness among listed companies that carbon is a major issue for a large investor community, for environmental as well as financial risk reasons.”
Yves Chevalier and Olivier Rousseau, members of the (French) Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR) executive management board, in the BusinessGreen’s story MSCI launches new low carbon indexes
Scottish Independence Movement’s Wager on Energy Could Prove Risky
Stanley Reed, The New York Times
Scottish nationalists have long argued that being governed from London has deprived their country of its fair share of the wealth from Britain’s oil and natural gas fields, which mostly lie in North Sea waters off their shores.
Scottish independence: Energy firm EDF notes ‘uncertainty’
David Miller, BBC News
The firm which operates Scotland’s two nuclear power plants has said there is ongoing uncertainty about the impact of independence on the power sector. http://jlne.ws/1qL1u0u
What Happens To Clean Energy Investments If Scotland Votes “Yes”?
Roy L Hales, ECOreport
It is only a matter of hours before the Scots vote on whether to become an independent country.
Scotland independence referendum to impact renewables and sustainability
Climate Action (UNEP)
The Scottish independence referendum is scheduled for this week with energy, natural resources and sustainability becoming increasingly central to the debate. http://jlne.ws/1oZBx85
UK solar farm issues Europe’s first certified climate bonds
A UK solar farm has issued the first certified climate bonds in Europe, according to a group of institutional investors and leading environmental NGOs.
Lawmakers to test EU’s five billion euro carbon permit giveaway
Ben Garside, Reuters
European lawmakers will vote next week on whether to force Brussels officials to rethink giving billions of euros worth of carbon allowances away for free to heavy industries, after a senior Green member lodged an objection.
MSCI launches new low carbon indexes
MSCI has extended its portfolio of environmental indices, yesterday launching a number of new indexes focused on companies with significantly lower carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves than the wider market.
***LB: Also in this story “According to MSCI, its new Global Low Carbon Leaders Indexes were developed following a request from Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund AP4, (the French) Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR) and Amundi.”
Storing renewable energy in a thousand basements
David Ferris, E&E reporter
One new idea for storing energy, and helping the grid use more wind and solar power, is about as unflashy as it gets. It involves turning a lot of electric heaters on and off really fast.
***LB: Also in this story “A “fleet” of water or space heaters can act as a sort of fast-acting sponge that absorbs extra electricity on the grid, especially wind power.”
White House takes fresh steps to crack down on HFCs
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The Obama administration has unveiled fresh plans to work with businesses to phase out harmful greenhouse gases commonly found in refrigerators and air conditioners.
Obama makes climate moves ahead of UN summit
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
Lock and Load: The Obama administration readied its ammunition on Tuesday ahead of next week’s United Nations climate summit in New York.
Al Gore taps celebrity power to push climate action
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Former Vice President Al Gore kicked off an annual 24-hour broadcast on Tuesday dedicated to climate change action, and he’s bringing out the star power.
Mark Ruffalo calls on Obama to ban fracking ahead of UN climate summit
Amanda Holpuch, theguardian.com
Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo called on US president Barack Obama to ban fracking and make the US the renewable energy capital of the world on Tuesday.
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
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
Obama delays key power plant rule of signature climate change plan
Suzanne Goldenberg, the Guardian
Barack Obama applied the brakes to the most critical component of his climate change plan on Tuesday, slowing the process of setting new rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants, and casting a shadow over a landmark United Nations’ summit on global warming.
Businesses double down on carbon pricing while Capitol Hill idles
Mike Hower, GreenBiz.com
Putting a price on carbon is not at the top of Congress’s to-do list. The 113th Congress has made no secret of the fact that it is both unable and unwilling to reach a consensus on climate change action.
***LB: Also in this story “Of these 221 bills, only 13 deal specifically with the issue of putting a price on carbon — and more than half of this number aim to prevent that from ever happening.”
Natural gas /coal
The reign of coal is over, but the reign of fossil fools is not
Giles Parkinson, REneweconomy
The headlines this morning were impressive. “China dumps our dirty coal,” trumpeted the Sydney Morning Herald, in response to news that China was looking to impose import rules that could disqualify much of Australia’s coal because it was of such lousy quality.
Sri Lanka cuts energy price after start of Chinese-funded coal power plant
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa cut energy prices across the board on Tuesday after officially opening a completed $1.35 billion Chinese-financed 900 MW coal power plant project.
Vanguard Natural to buy oil and gas assets from Bill Barret
Vanguard Natural Resources LLC said it would buy oil and gas producing properties in the Piceance Basin in Colorado from Bill Barrett Corp for $525 million.
Markey to seek halt on federal coal leases
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said he will introduce a bill soon to stop the government from leasing coal rights on federal land until the program is reformed.
Gas production blamed for rise in Colorado, New Mexico quakes
Daniel Wallis, Reuters
The deep injection of wastewater underground by energy companies during methane gas extraction has caused a dramatic rise in the number of earthquakes in Colorado and New Mexico since 2001.
Meet the Biggest Polluter in China’s Most Polluted City
Wayne Ma, The Wall Street Journal
It’s the heaviest polluter in the dirtiest city in China. Jizhong Energy Resources Co. operates six large coal mines and dozens of related facilities in this gray industrial center, which government data show has the worst air quality of any Chinese town.
Atlantic Power abandons plans to sell itself; shares slump
Shubhankar Chakravorty, Reuters
Shares of Atlantic Power Corp fell by about a third on Tuesday after the struggling utility removed its chief executive and decided against selling itself.
SmartestEnergy inks 10-year deal for MeyGen tidal power
The high-profile MeyGen tidal energy project has reached another important milestone today, confirming it has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SmartestEnergy to provide clean electricity from the pioneering tidal stream project in Scotland’s Pentland Firth.
Germany charges forward with opening of Europe’s largest grid battery plant
The missing piece of the puzzle required to deliver reliable, low-cost, low-carbon power grids may have just been delivered in northern Germany.
Consumers Energy to upgrade five power plants in federal settlement
David Shepardson, The Detroit News
Consumers Energy, the second-largest utility in Michigan, will spend $1 billion to upgrade pollution controls at five coal-fired powered plants in the state under a settlement reached with the Justice Department on Tuesday.
Autonomous and connected car technologies may progressively curb emissions
Julia Pyper, E&E reporter
Excitement around connected and autonomous vehicles has been building for years with consumers interested in the convenience of never having to touch the steering wheel and governments anticipating significant improvements in road safety.
Tesla Breaks the Auto Dealer Cartel
John Kerr, The Wall Street Journal
It was not entirely surprising that Nevada last week ponied up $1.3 billion in tax breaks to win the business of Tesla Motors.
California Governor Comes Full Circle on Groundwater Reform
Circle of Blue
Drought in California today did what drought a generation ago could not – secure the passage of legislation that requires tighter controls on groundwater use in one of the few states without such measures.
Climate Report Details Flood Risk to Sites in Washington
Emmarie Huettemans, The New York Times
The nation’s capital is likely to see record flooding by 2050, putting about $7 billion worth of property, three military bases and parts of the National Mall at risk as a result of climate change that is raising sea levels all over the world.
Rising sea levels a ‘sleeping giant’ that could cost $226bn, report says
Oliver Milman, theguardian.com
Rising sea levels are a “sleeping giant” issue that will put at risk coastal infrastructure worth up to $226bn, a new report has found.
***LB: Also in this story “Analysis by the Climate Council found Australia was likely to experience a sea level rise of 0.4m to 1m by the end of the century, with a “high end” scenario of 1.1m possible if the world warmed by about 4C compared with pre-industrial temperatures.”
Texas proposes rewriting school text books to deny manmade climate change
Suzanne Goldenberg, theguardian.com
Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.
Climate smart farmers get tech savvy to save India’s bread basket
Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Erratic weather, rising temperatures, declining water resources and labour shortages are threatening India’s bread basket state of Haryana, forcing farmers to abandon age-old practices and adopt technology to ensure food supplies for millions.