In today’s edition, climate expert Lord Stern warns that economic models are underestimating climate risks and clean tech opportunities. Also, New York state’s comptroller and four other Exxon Mobil  shareholders asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week to force the oil producer to include a climate change resolution in its annual shareholder proxy. Finally, scientists calculate our debt to the Earth. Guess what? It is huge.  

Quote of the day

“The business-as-usual baseline, against which costs of action are measured, conveys a profoundly misleading message to policymakers that there is an alternative option in which fossil fuels are consumed in ever greater quantities without any negative consequences to growth itself.” 

Climate change expert Lord Stern, in the BusinessGreen’s story Lord Stern warns economic models are underestimating climate risks and clean tech opportunities 

Lead stories

Lord Stern warns economic models are underestimating climate risks and clean tech opportunities 
By Jocelyn Timperley – BusinessGreen 
The economic models currently used to calculate the risks and costs associated with climate change adaptation and mitigation are “grossly misleading”, Lord Stern has said. 

Clean Power Plan Opponents Lean on Scalia in Briefs 
By Andrew Childers – Bloomberg News  
Justice Antonin Scalia died before the U.S. Supreme Court had a chance to hear legal arguments against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, but the rule’s opponents leaned heavily on the late jurist’s words when crafting arguments against the rule.  

Exclusive: New York asks SEC to force climate vote onto Exxon proxy 
By Ernest Scheyder  – Reuters 
New York state’s comptroller and four other Exxon Mobil  shareholders asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week to force the oil producer to include a climate change resolution in its annual shareholder proxy, according to a filing seen by Reuters. 

More aggressive climate policies could save us $1 trillion each year 
By Scott K. Johnson – ArsTechnica
One of the obstacles to making the case for environmental policies is that the financial cost of an action can be easy to calculate, while the benefits can be much more difficult to fully quantify.

Scientists calculate our debt to the Earth 
By Tim Radford – climate news network 
Perhaps for the first time, scientists have put a direct cash value on the metaphor that conservationists call “natural capital”. 
***LB: Also in this story “This is, in effect, the money humans don’t have to spend on services that nature supplies for free – such as crop pollination, water purification, and coastal protection by wetlands, sandbanks and reefs.” 

Who’s in line to be the next UN climate change chief? 
By Ed King – Climate Home (part of the Guardian Environment Network)
There’s a well-paid vacancy at the United Nations going at the moment.

The Link Between Zika and Climate Change
The Atlantic  
Last year, a team of researchers made a surprising discovery: Aedis aegypti mosquitoes—the species that spreads West Nile Virus, dengue, chickungunya and, most recently, Zika—were living year-round in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. 

Adjusting the EU’s climate targets to meet the Paris Agreement 
By Dr Bert Metz – 
The successful outcome of the COP 21 in Paris was the result of an unprecedented international effort to address the challenge of holding global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels – a target that had already been agreed in Cancun in 2010. 

What determines whether people accept climate science? Politics, politics, politics 
By Heather Smith – Grist  
What kind of person doesn’t believe that climate change is a problem? What kind of person does? 

Climate Change: Study Connects Climate Change And Wealth 
By Tyler MacDonald –  HNGN
As climate change continues to warm the Earth and fish and other important resources move toward the Earth’s poles, so are the world’s wealthiest people, according to a new study from Rutgers University.


CERAWeek 2016 Energy Conference 
Energy Transition: Strategies for a New World 
February 22-26, 2016 
Houston, Texas

The Wall Street Green Trading Summit  
Columbia University Club, New York 
March 14, 2016

Northeast RECs Regional Thought Leader Round Table 
March 23, 2016 
Environmental Markets Association 
Office of Dentons, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2016 
Climate Action Reserve 
May 4-6, 2016 
San Diego, California

Global Carbon Market Fair and Conference 
May 25-27, 2016 

Cleantech Innovate Scotland 
June 9, 2016


Heathrow 13 avoid prison time with six-week suspended sentence 
By Madeleine Cuff – BusinessGreen 
The 13 activists who chained themselves to a runway at Heathrow in August 2015 have narrowly avoided jail time today, after being handed a six-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, plus community service.

Natural gas / coal 

Natural Gas Prices Near 16-Year Low 
By Nicole Friedman – The Wall Street Journal 
Natural gas slid to a new two-month low Wednesday as traders watched the growing oversupply of the fuel. 

Greenhouse gas emissions from synthetic natural gas production 
By Sheng Li and Lin Gao – Nature  
China is developing technology to process coal into synthetic natural gas (SNG). This process would both attain energy security and implement clean coal technology. 

Israel’s natural gas potential triple what was thought 
By Amir Ben David – 
The Energy Ministry has tripled its estimate of the volume of still-undiscovered natural gas in Israeli waters.


Where the Sun Doesn’t Set on Solar 
By Alan Neuhauser  – US News and World Report 
Green energy advocates and utility companies for years have struggled to clear one of the last great hurdles facing solar and wind power: how to provide electricity even when the sun’s not shining and the wind’s not blowing.  

(NY) City and State Must do More to Embrace Wind Power 
By Heather Leibowitz –  
On Thursday, more than 100 New Yorkers joined community groups, environmental justice leaders, national environmental organizations, and local officials on the steps of City Hall to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for his commitment to power 100 percent of city operations with renewable energy and urge him to ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in achieving that goal.

ScottishPower Renewables gives green light to ‘best value offshore wind farm in the world’ 
By James Murray – BusinessGreen 
ScottishPower Renewables has today confirmed it is to start work on the 714MW East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm, hailing it as the “best value offshore wind farm in the world”. 

Tata Power gets forest clearance for wind power project in Karnataka 
A state green panel has given forest clearance to Tata PowerBSE -0.43 % Company for setting up of a 52.50 MW wind power project in Koppal district, Karnataka.

Clean tech

Cuomo touts Troy startup in clean tech announcement, with more money on the way 
By Chelsea Diana – Albany Business Review 
New York has invested $14 million in 141 clean technology companies in the last few years, including Bess Technologies, a Troy, New York startup aiming to make better batteries. 

Tesla Underestimates How Much It Costs To Charge A Model S 
By Chuck Jones – Forbes 
Tesla’s website has a calculator to determine how much it costs to charge a Model S.  

Tesla Will Now Tow Cars For Free For 500 Miles 
By Katie Fehrenbacher – Fortune  
Tesla boosts its customer service game, again. 

Tesla, Faraday, Elio: Start-Up Automakers Aim to Carve Out a Niche 
By Paul A. Eisentein – NBC News  
A few months from now, a new automotive assembly plant will begin to rise from the sands just outside of Las Vegas.


Senators reach deal to help state water programs after Flint 
U.S. Senators unveiled legislation on Wednesday providing federal aid to help states fix water infrastructure in the wake of Flint, Michigan’s crisis over lead-tainted drinking water.

(Zimbabwe) Groundwater Crisis Worsens Food Insecurity  
By Ignatius Banda – IPS  
Sijabuliso Nleya has been kept busy in the past few weeks digging up sand. He is not a sand poacher like scores of people who local district councils across the country say are digging along dry river beds for sand used in the construction of houses. 

How Evolution’s Innovations Can Help Scientists Yank Water Out of the Air 
By Ed Yong – The Atlantic  
If you learned that scientists have blended a darkling beetle, a cactus, and a carnivorous pitcher plant, you might imagine some unholy creation that’s all spines and scuttling legs and digestive enzymes.

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