In today’s edition, cautionary words on a national carbon trading scheme in China, before the launch of its seventh and final pilot carbon market in Chongqing on Thursday – and on shale gas and investing in companies active in this field. And finally, more cautionary words, from Martin Wolf (Financial Times): it is risky to invest in oil companies, even if these companies take from granted that not much will be done to curb emissions and fight climate change. You’ve been warned!
Quote of the day
“How to unify these markets is an extremely complex issue, I wouldn’t doubt the ambition of the authorities, especially the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), to create a unified market in three years, but I’m more concerned about its integrity and quality.”
Shawn He, a lawyer with the Huamao & Guigu Law Firm in Beijing who specialises in carbon trading, in the Reuters’ story China to launch final CO2 exchange, national scheme uncertain
China to launch final CO2 exchange, national scheme uncertain
David Stanway and Kathy Chen, Reuters
China launches its seventh and final pilot carbon market in the sprawling city of Chongqing on Thursday, but plans to set up a national trading scheme within three years remain shrouded in uncertainty in the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases.
We can turn the tide of climate change by working with China
Ed Davey, theguardian.com
Much has been written about the nuclear agreements signed at the UK-China summit. Given the boost to low-carbon electricity, to energy security and to jobs, the Chinese interest in taking forward investment at Hinkley Point C, the UK’s first nuclear station in a generation – is hugely welcome.
UK and China to “redouble” joint climate efforts
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
The UK and China have pledged to cooperate on the development of low carbon policies, technologies, and financing mechanisms while pushing for “a global framework for ambitious climate change action”.
Analysis -Wall Street’s latest fad is built on sand
Anna Driver, Reuters
Super-sized hydraulic fracturing jobs, which use vast amounts of sand to coax more oil and gas from shale, have led to astronomical returns for investors in companies that mine the tiny particles. The question is whether those super-sized gains can continue.
A climate fix would ruin investors
Martin Wolf, Financial Times
How much of the world’s fossil fuel reserves will eventually be burnt? This is not just a question for those concerned with climate policy. It is also a question for investors even if they believe (absurdly, in my view) that the science of climate change is a hoax.
***LB: Also in this story “The oil companies are well aware of this issue. In its response to critics, ExxonMobil says that it does not envisage a low-carbon scenario of the kind many climate researchers advocate.”
Money key to unlocking new U.N. climate deal, activists say
Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Rich nations must come up with substantial pledges of fresh climate finance in the next six months to build the trust needed for U.N. negotiations to reach a new global climate deal in Paris next year, officials and activists said after the latest round of talks ended in Bonn at the weekend.
US, Canadian officials predict Keystone approval by April
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer agreed that the Keystone XL pipeline would attain its presidential permit by April 2015, whether President Obama does it himself or Congress forces his hand.
Canada approves Enbridge pipeline to West Coast
Julie Gordon and Randall Palmer, Reuters
The Canadian government approved the construction of Enbridge Inc’s Northern Gateway pipeline on Tuesday, setting the stage for a barrage of lawsuits and demonstrations by environmental and aboriginal groups opposed to the project.
Minimum CO2 price of $US32 needed: study
A global carbon price of at least $US32 ($A34.60) per tonne is needed by 2015 to apply an effective brake on global warming – almost five times today’s European market rate, a study says.
*** LB: Also in this story “Within two decades, the carbon price should rise in real terms to $US82-260/tCO2”
Carbon Market Participants: We Must Raise Awareness, Spark Private-Sector Demand
Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace
Ed Hanrahan last week praised the German Development Bank’s commitment to finance forest carbon emissions reductions in the Brazilian state of Acre, but he cautioned project developers against getting too excited about such public sector per-tonne “payments for performance” – which varies slightly from traditional carbon offsetting but achieves the same end result.
EPA carbon regulations will not destroy the electrical grid
Jonathan Thompson, High Country News (The Goat Blog)
Just days after the Obama administration announced it would implement rules to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak., bemoaned the collateral damage the so-called war on coal would have on the electrical grid.
Fate of Obama centerpiece rule might be in his successor’s hands
Jean Chemnick, E&E
Reining in U.S. power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions may be one of President Obama’s top priorities, but it’ll be his successor who’ll have to finish the job — or try to undo it.
Germany officially backs calls for new EU energy-efficiency target
Germany has backed calls for a binding target to reduce EU energy consumption, as Europe looks for ways to reduce its reliance on energy imports from Russia.
***LB: Also in this story “In documents submitted to the EU, the German government said a robust energy-efficiency goal should be incorporated into the 2030 energy and climate package, which is set to be finalised in October.”
Siemens Joins Mitsubishi to Pledge Guarantees for Alstom
Francois de Beaupuy and Alex Webb, Bloomberg Businessweek
Siemens AG and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. chief executives officers argued their case for a joint purchase of Alstom SA’s energy operations, saying their bid trumps an offer from General Electric Co. as they push to secure backing for their proposal from the French government.
Barclays says energy E&P spending to rise 6 pct this year
Oil and gas companies will increase exploration and production (E&P) spending by 6 percent to $712 billion this year, despite a slight pullback in spending by industry majors, Barclays said.
France unveils energy bill boosting renewables, no nuclear reactor closure
A new French energy bill aims to cap nuclear power production at current level and leave any reactor closures to be decreed later in five-year programming plans, according to measures unveiled by Energy Minister Ségolène Royal on Wednesday.
Environmental Bonds 2014
Now in its 4th year, Environmental Finance’s Environmental Bonds conference will examine the challenges facing the environmental bond market as it matures and the opportunities available for investors, issuers, bankers, corporates and others.
23 June 2014
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
Shenzhen May Add Cars To Its Carbon Trading Pilot Program Next Year
Michael Standaert, Bloomberg
Car buyers in the southern city of Shenzhen could be required to purchase carbon quotas along with their vehicles as early as next year if the city’s pilot carbon trading program is expanded, a city official said.
***LB: Also in this story “The city is exploring the idea of requiring vehicle owners to purchase carbon quotas when they buy a car to cover future emissions”
Brazil World Cup team flying high on sustainable jet fuel
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Brazil have got off to a flying start at the World Cup fuelled by Neymar, Oscar, and used cooking oil.
***LB: Also in this story “GOL Airlines, which is transporting the Seleção, is using Honeywell Green Jet Fuel made from inedible corn oil and used cooking oil blended with 50 per cent petroleum-based jet fuel to power 200 commercial flights during the competition including those carrying the team to games across Brazil.”
Tech innovations bring Cornell closer to its zero-carbon goals
Heather Clancy, Greenbiz.com
In its quest for carbon neutrality, Cornell University has made some substantial and risky investments: $58 million just for the lake-source cooling project that usurps the job of eight traditional chillers.
AC-DC Power switchover cuts marine fuel costs by a quarter
Danny Bradbury, BusinessGreen
Switching the type of power generation used on seafaring vessels can reduce fuel usage by more than a quarter, according to new in-field testing completed by engineering giant ABB.
***LB: Also in this story “The Swiss company announced this week that it has completed trials of its DC energy distribution system, called the OnBoard DC Grid, on the Dina Star, a 93-metre long, 5,000-tonne multipurpose supply and construction ship.”
Natural gas / coal
Myanmar gas exports seen rising on ramping up of new China pipeline
Aung Hla Tun, Reuters
Myanmar’s earnings from natural gas exports fell in the last fiscal year as more of the resource was consumed domestically but shipments of greater volumes to China as a new pipeline comes up to speed are expected to boost earnings this year.
Elon Musk Takes on Carbon with Solar, Battery Bets
Jonathan Fahey, AP
The energy world is not keeping up with Elon Musk, so he’s trying to take matters into his own hands. Musk, chairman of the solar installer SolarCity, announced Tuesday that the company would acquire a solar panel maker and build factories “an order of magnitude” bigger than the plants that currently churn out panels.
SolarCity to build plant in NY state
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
SolarCity, the fast-growing rooftop solar power company backed by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, has announced plans to build one of the world’s largest solar panel plants in New York state – defying the recent trend for manufacturing to be based in Asia.
SolarCity Is Acquiring a Start-Up, Silevo, to Build Panels
Diane Cardwell, New York Times
SolarCity, the fast-growing provider of rooftop solar electricity systems, is moving into the panel manufacturing business, acquiring a start-up and planning to build one of the world’s largest module factories in Buffalo, executives said on Tuesday.
Caribbean needs $30 bln to overhaul ageing infrastructure -bank
The Caribbean needs $30 billion of investment over the next 10 years to modernise its power and other infrastructure, a top regional banker said on Tuesday, in a pitch for funds supposed to be available to help developing nations curb carbon emissions.
Cable TV boxes become 2nd biggest energy users in many homes
Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
In the middle of the night, when most Americans are sound asleep, their lights and appliances off, a power hog is wide awake and running at nearly full throttle: the boxes that operate their cable or satellite television service.
Obama unveils plan to protect more of Pacific
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
The Deep Blue: President Obama on Tuesday announced plans to expand a sanctuary of the Pacific Ocean, marking it as off limits to fishing and energy exploration.
How Australia’s Perth is battling a water crisis
Phil Mercer, BBC News
Perth is Australia’s driest major city, yet in its central areas at least, does not feel like a place that has confronted a water crisis.
Mexico City roof gardens take root to combat smog
In one of the world’s biggest and most polluted cities, rooftop gardens are springing up in an effort to battle the smog, part of an initiative driven by the city’s government.
Canada’s most pressing health issue is climate change: public-health experts
Kat Sieniuc, The Globe and Mail
Climate change is the most pressing health issue facing Canadians but there hasn’t been enough dialogue within health circles and among decision-makers on how to deal with it, public-health officers say.