Good news in this edition: The world can afford to act against climate change, and the fight doesn’t mean we are condemned to lower standards of living. These are the findings of the latest UN report on climate change, published on Sunday. In any case, it is high time for carbon emitters to curb emissions, since, as EU climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard says: “There is no plan B”. Also in this edition, we follow Ukraine and the blame game after a chemical contaminated the water supply of 2.4 million people in China.
Quote of the day
“The energy sector is by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases and, therefore, is the key battleground of change. It is a super strong signal to investors: they can no longer say they did not know the risks.”
Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative, in The guardian’s story Averting climate change catastrophe is affordable, says IPCC report
Averting climate change catastrophe is affordable, says IPCC report
Damian Carrington, The Guardian
Catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards, according to a landmark UN report published on Sunday. It concludes the transformation required to a world of clean energy and the ditching of dirty fossil fuels is eminently affordable.
***LB: Also in this story “Diverting hundred of billions of dollars from fossil fuels into renewable energy and cutting energy waste would shave just 0.06 per cent off expected annual economic growth rates of 1.3-3 per cent, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concluded.”
“There is no plan B”: EU targets major carbon emitters to reduce emissions
European climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has thrown down the gauntlet to major carbon emitters after a UN panel pointed to options to brake surging greenhouse gases in line with global ambitions.
Germany sets a new tone on energy policy
Nick Butler’s Blog, The Financial Times
The subtle redesign of Germany energy policy agreed by the government in Berlin last week sends some important signals not for the German market but for the rest of Europe. Far from damaging the renewables business the move could be the salvation of the sector.
Slovakia, Ukraine to hold talks on reverse gas flow Tuesday
Slovakia and Ukraine will hold talks on April 15 on the possibility of reversing the flow of natural gas to Ukraine, the Slovak Economy Ministry said on April 14.
US imposes sanctions on Crimea gas group
Ed Crooks, The Financial Times
The US government has imposed sanctions against the Crimean subsidiary of Ukraine’s national gas company, which was seized by the region’s parliament in the run-up to its annexation by Russia.
CNPC Blamed for Contaminating China City’s Water, Xinhua Says
Chinese investigators traced the source of a chemical that contaminated the water supply of 2.4 million people to a leak from an oil pipeline run by a unit of China National Petroleum Corp., the Xinhua News Agency said.
China to probe Veolia unit over reporting of water pollution
A Chinese government team will probe a local unit of French firm Veolia Environment suspected of delaying reporting water contamination which affected supplies in a major northwestern city, state radio said on Monday.
Australian carbon price scrapping seen as ‘backwards step’, says IPCC author
Oliver Milman, The Guardian
The international community believes Australia is taking a “backwards step” by scrapping carbon pricing, which is seen as a key tool in cutting emissions, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author.
UK Poll: Public prefers wind to fracking as a next door neighbour
British people would rather live by a wind turbine than a shale gas fracking site, according to new research that highlights the continued popularity of the renewable energy technology, regardless of individual’s voting intentions.
Coal’s Best Hope Rising With Costliest U.S. Power Plant
Mark Drajem, Bloomberg News
It’s here in Kemper County, 90 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, that utility Southern Co. (SO:US) is building the first large-scale power plant in the U.S. designed to transform coal into gas, capture the carbon dioxide and pump it underground.
Israeli gas holds promise of better ties with neighbors
Israel’s drive to export its new-found natural gas could help to rebuild strained ties with old regional allies Egypt and Turkey, but could deprive Europe of a precious alternative to Russian gas.
***LB: Also in this story “Talks between the Leviathan consortium – Israel’s Delek Drilling, Ratio, and Avner Oil, and U.S.-headquartered Noble Energy – and Egyptian authorities are focusing on feeding Israeli gas into the country’s idled LNG export facilities.”
Post-Fukushima Japan Chooses Coal Over Renewable Energy
Chisaki Watanabe and Masumi Suga, Bloomberg
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing Japan’s coal industry to expand sales at home and abroad, undermining hopes among environmentalists that he’d use the Fukushima nuclear accident to switch the nation to renewables.
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Hits Snag After Losing Local Vote
Jeremy van Loon, Bloomberg
Enbridge Inc. (ENB)’s Northern Gateway, a pipeline proposed to link rising Canadian oil production with Asian markets, hit another snag after residents in the port of Kitimat voted against the $5.9 billion project.
Revolymer aims to deliver cleaner ships, in every sense of the word
James Murray, BusinessGreen
It is a problem as old as the maritime industry itself. Seafarers have always known a smooth hull requires less energy to be propelled through the water, but the marine environment has a habit of denying vessels the frictionless journey they desire as barnacles, seaweed, and other assorted debris attach themselves to the underside of the ship.
Japan, Cambodia sign carbon market deal
Japan and Cambodia have signed a deal for Japanese companies to earn carbon credits by paying for greenhouse gas emission cuts in Cambodia, in Japan’s eleventh two-way programme of this type.
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May 16, 2014
China Finds Nearly 2,000 Firms in Breach of Anti-pollution Rules
Nearly 2,000 Chinese enterprises were found to be in violation of state pollution guidelines following a nationwide inspection campaign covering 25,000 industrial firms, the environment ministry said.
$40 per ton: Well below the true cost of carbon
Gernot Wagner, GreenBiz.com
Economics is largely just organized common sense, and it doesn’t get much more common sense than benefit-cost analysis.
How Clean Energy and Waste Management turn trash into green fuel
Timothy O’Connor and Chloe Looker, GreenBiz.com
Modern society makes a lot of garbage. The decomposition of organic material from garbage in landfills releases methane gas, a potent global warming pollutant. At the same time, the modern transportation system is powered mostly by fossil fuels and also releases global warming and toxic air pollution.
Court: Carbon monoxide standards not needed to stop global warming
Timothy Cama, The Hill
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not required to adopt carbon monoxide standards to mitigate global warming, and that its current standards are sufficient to protect public health.
Los Angeles, Washington and Atlanta top Energy Star ratings
Elsa Wenzel, GreenBiz.com
Commercial buildings are notorious energy hogs, making up 17 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s according to the EPA, which just released its latest list of the cities with the most Energy Star-certified buildings.
Encana unit to sell US LNG assets to Stabilis Energy
LNG supplier Stabilis Energy said on Monday it would buy most of the U.S. assets of Encana Natural Gas Inc, a unit of Encana Corp.
Energy Company Plans $2 Billion Natural Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania
Circle of Blue
The American shale gas boom is more than drilling pads and fracking fluids. New pipelines are sprouting as well.
Coal will be a main energy source for ‘decades and decades’, says Greg Hunt
Lenore Taylor, The Guardian
Coal will be a predominant energy source for “decades and decades” to come, but with “drastically” reduced greenhouse emissions owing to technological advancement, the environment minister, Greg Hunt, has predicted as he responds to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Peabody Energy pitches coal as the cure for Third World poverty
Daniel Cusick, E&E
Faced with uncertain domestic markets and mounting regulatory pressures over pollution at home, the U.S. coal industry is shifting its focus to some of the poorest nations of the world, where it argues coal should be a primary antidote to global energy poverty.
China Takes On Big Risks in Its Push for Shale Gas
Keith Bradsher, The New York Times
Residents of this isolated mountain valley of terraced cornfields were just going to sleep last April when they were jolted by an enormous roar, followed by a tower of flames. A shock wave rolled across the valley, rattling windows in farmhouses and village shops, and a mysterious, pungent gas swiftly pervaded homes.
***LB: Also in this story “In China, companies must drill two to three times as deep as in the United States, making the process significantly more expensive, noisier and potentially more dangerous.”
Ohio: Geologists Link Earthquakes to Gas Drilling
The Associated Press
State geologists have linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to gas drilling, leading Ohio to issue new permit conditions on Friday in certain areas.
Aussies to dig at the heart of Borneo as coal projects threaten nature
Jenny Denton, The Sydney Morning Herald
Australian companies are pushing ahead with plans to construct open-cut coalmines in a conservation area of Borneo described by the World Wildlife Fund as “one of the planet’s richest treasure troves”.
China Power-Station Coal Price Rebounding From Five-Year Low
China’s power-station coal prices rebounded from the lowest level in more than five years as the nation’s largest railway for transporting the fuel curtailed shipments because of maintenance.
Deal for 2,300 turbines to supply UK energy by 2020 called off
Peter Smyth, The Irish Times
A negotiated agreement to facilitate green energy exports from the midlands by a 2020 EU timeframe has not been reached, Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte has said, meaning the midlands energy export project will not proceed.
Channel Islands and France join forces in bid to boost marine power
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Plans to install wave and tidal power devices around the coast of the Channel Islands and northern France have taken a step forward after Guernsey, Sark, Alderney and Jersey signed an agreement with the Basse-Normandie region to collaborate on the development of emerging marine energy technologies.
Malaysia’s 1MDB wins solar power plant project
Tenaga Nasional Bhd , Malaysia’s largest electricity utility, said on Monday it had signed a power purchase pact with 1Malaysia Development Bhd on the construction a solar power plant.
Wind, solar power
Renewable energy continues to grow in the U.S., especially solar; but it’s drawing fewer investments as the cost of its technology falls and natural gas stays cheap.