In today’s edition, trade news: Chevron lobbied the EU to give foreign investors the legal right to challenge government decisions in a major US-EU trade deal because it would act as a deterrent against laws such as fracking bans. Also Warren Buffett faces pressure to invest for the climate, not just for profit. Finally, in the Carbon section, Australia’s Labor would introduce carbon market, pledge deeper carbon cuts if elected. So let’s hope!  

Quote of the day

“Pressure on public budgets means the mere threat of a multi-million dollar international arbitration lawsuit can make governments reluctant to implement social or environmental protection measures that could affect the interests of foreign investors.” 

Cecilia Olivet, a researcher at the Transnational Institute and member of the presidential commission auditing Ecuador’s bilateral investment treaties, in the Guardian’s story TTIP: Chevron lobbied for controversial legal right as ‘environmental deterrent’  

Lead stories

Paris climate deal: Countries with about half of global emissions to join this year 
By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian 
The White House has said countries accounting for about half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions would join the Paris climate agreement this year, bringing the agreement “within striking distance” of entering into force. 
***LB: Also in this story “At least 34 countries representing 49 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions formally joined the agreement, bringing it ‘within striking distance’ of entering into force” 

TTIP: Chevron lobbied for controversial legal right as ‘environmental deterrent’ 
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian  
Chevron lobbied the EU to give foreign investors the legal right to challenge government decisions in a major US-EU trade deal because it would act as a deterrent against laws such as fracking bans, the Guardian can reveal.

Warren Buffett Faces Pressure to Invest for the Climate, Not Just for Profit
By Nicholas Kusnetz  – InsideClimate News  
Thousands of bankers, investors, business journalists and just plain fans will flock to Omaha, Neb., on Saturday in a yearly pilgrimage to glean insight from the world’s most famous investor: Warren Buffett.  
***LB: Also in this story “His holdings in Kinder Morgan, Suncor, Phillips 66 and BNSF, and his cavalier comments about climate change, have aroused the ire of activists.” 

Billionaire Environmentalist to Spend $25 Million to Turn Out Young Voters 
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times  
The billionaire environmentalist Thomas F. Steyer and his political advocacy group, NextGen Climate, will spend at least $25 million on a get-out-the-vote campaign targeting young voters this year in seven mostly battleground states, the group announced on Monday.

Southeast Asian countries must act to tackle climate change: Experts 
By Liza Yosephine – The Djakarta Post  
Southeast Asian countries need to implement the mechanisms stipulated in the Paris Agreement to mitigate the impact of disasters caused by climate change, as the region is one of the most vulnerable to such impacts, experts said on Monday.

(UK’s) Government ‘phenomenally complacent’ over VW scandal, say MPs 
By Gwyn Topham – The Guardian 
Consumer groups and MPs have criticised the government’s response to the VW scandal, as a minister refused to state if the vehicle manufacturer had done anything illegal and whether British drivers should be compensated. 

Climate scientists are now grading climate journalism 
Daniel Nethery and Emmanuel Vincent – The Guardian
The internet represents an extraordinary opportunity for democracy. Never before has it been possible for people from all over the world to access the latest information and collectively seek solutions to the challenges which face our planet, and not a moment too soon: the year 2015 was the hottest in human history, and the Great Barrier Reef is suffering the consequences of warming oceans right now. 
***LB: Also in this story “Climate Feedback provides a venue for climate scientists to evaluate the accuracy of climate news stories.”


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  


(Australia’s) Labor would introduce carbon market, pledge deeper carbon cuts if elected   
By Peter Hannam  – The Sydney Morning Herald   
A Shorten Labor government would slash carbon emissions by about 50 per cent more than the Turnbull-led Coalition by 2030, introduce a broad-based emissions trading scheme, and block states like NSW and Queensland from expanding land clearing.

Natural gas / coal 

China Curbs Plans for More Coal-Fired Power Plants 
By Michael Forsyth – The New York Times   
Coal-fired power plants have propelled much of China’s economic rise for decades, helping make the nation the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Even with economic growth slackening, and other energy sources taking hold, new coal plants have been added. 

NY regulators rule against a natural gas pipeline for the state 
By Ben Thompson – The Christian Science Monitor  
New York regulators announced Friday that they will not issue a water-quality permit needed for the proposed Constitution Pipeline running through the Northeastern United States.


Powervault incorporates smart tariffs into new home energy storage units  
By Jocelyn Timperley – BusinessGreen
British clean tech start-up Powervault has today unveiled the second generation of its home energy storage unit.

IKEA wants to power your home with solar panels 
By Sarah Whitten – 
The next time you step into an IKEA, you may see solar panels next to the table lamps. 

Your Old Cell-Phone Batteries Could Power Solar Lamps For 3 Years 
By Charlie Sorrel – co.Exist  
Reuse is always better than recycling, because it uses way fewer resources. And if the reusable item is an environmentally filthy cell-phone battery, all the better. 
***LB: Also in this story “Researchers at the University of Seoul want to take the batteries from discarded cell phones and use them as storage for solar-powered LED lamps in rural areas.” 

Giant wave-riding platform design puts solar power out to sea 
By David Szondy  – Gizmag 
Sea-based wind farms are becoming a common sight in many parts of the world, but why not floating solar power stations?  
***LB: Also in this story “Engineers at the Vienna University of Technology foresee a future where platforms 100 m (330 ft) long and covered with solar panels float on even heavy seas thanks to a new floatation system called Heliofloat.”

Clean tech

(China’s) Value of cleantech investment drops 8%
By Song Yingge – Shanghai
The combined value of private equity and venture capital deals in China’s renewable and cleantech industry in 2015 fell 8 percent year on year to US$1.1 billion, despite a 49 percent rise in the number of transactions, professional services firm PwC said in a report released yesterday. 

Clean tech gains influence but struggles for profit 
By Louis Hansen – The Mercury News 
Clean energy companies added employees and market cap last year. But four of the five sector companies in the SV150 failed to notch a profit in 2015.


Stop Flushing Water Down the Drain 
By Michael Webber – Yale University Press  
One of the approaches to saving water and energy is to put the waste streams from water and energy systems to good use. 

Egypt looks to avert water crisis driven by demand, waste 
By Brian Rohan –  
“For a thousand years,” Abdullah Sheikh’s family has been working the land the same way—flooding fields in Egypt’s Nile Delta and planting seeds by hand.

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