In today’s edition, China means business when it promises to fine companies not meeting carbon targets. Carbon trading is indeed the way to go, according to an MIT study. It found that Obama’s power plant rules are more costly than putting a price on carbon. And finally, more worries about deep sea fishing and its nefarious effect on carbon.
Quote of the day
“Non-compliers will be asked to pay a fine of three times the market value (of each permit they fail to hand over to the government).”
Zhou Quanhong, head of the Shenzhen government carbon trading office, in the Reuters’ story China’s Shenzhen to punish firms if carbon targets not met-media
China’s Shenzhen to punish firms if carbon targets not met-media
China’s Shenzhen will impose sanctions on companies that fail to comply with targets under the city’s carbon trading scheme, an official said according to a local media outlet, despite criticism about the rules.
China’s Guangdong extends carbon deadline, plans new auction
Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev, Reuters
China’s Guangdong province has delayed a deadline for companies to hand over CO2 permits for 2013 emissions and plans an extra permit auction, the China Emissions Exchange said, after firms refused to buy permits in China’s centrepiece carbon trading scheme.
***LB: Also in this story “The deadline delay from June 20 to July 15 will allow the government to make some adjustments to individual company targets.”
China Lets Carbon Programs Blossom, But Will They Take Root?
Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Marketplace
China has in many ways become a beacon of hope for those who believe that carbon pricing can make a difference in forestalling catastrophic climate change.
***LB: Also in this story “Despite implementing six pilot trading programs at lightning speed, however, China must contend with several obstacles before its carbon pricing agenda spreads across the country.”
EU May Decide on Carbon Reform by Mid-2015, Delbeke Says
Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg
European Union policy makers may reach a decision in the first half of next year on a proposal to introduce automatic supply controls in the world’s biggest emissions market, according to a senior EU official.
Will a new climate fund unlock a global deal?
Matt McGrath, BBC News
As UN climate talks continue in Bonn, money is emerging as a critical element in getting the world to agree on a new deal by the end of next year.
***LB: Also in this story “If you look at the clean development mechanism (a scheme to encourage renewable projects in poorer countries) the main beneficiaries have been China, Brazil and a few other emerging economies.”
America’s dirty secret
Luiza Ch. Savage, Maclean’s
The centrepiece of Barack Obama’s climate policy, announced this month, limits greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants largely by cutting the country’s reliance on coal.
***LB: Also in this story “Environmentalists warn that emissions from that volume of coal would dwarf the savings from Obama’s new power plant rule. They won’t count toward America’s national tally, but they’ll enter the global atmosphere all the same.”
Climate change hits America in the gut
Marianne Lavelle, The Daily Climate
Climate change is creating significant new risks for the $65-billion-a-year U.S. corn industry, foundation for the nation’s favorite soft drink sweetener – corn syrup – says a report released today by Ceres, a coalition of investor and environmental groups.
***LB: Also in this story “Corn, the biggest U.S. agricultural crop by far, is at risk because its thirst for water is growing at a time when the threat of drought is increasing, the report says.”
John Kerry launches global effort to save world’s oceans ‘under siege’
Suzanne Goldenberg, the guardian.com
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, launched a new global effort on Wednesday to save oceans “under siege” from over-fishing, plastic pollution and climate change.
Deep Sea Fishing Threatens to Wipe Out a $150 Billion Carbon Sink
Stephen Leahy, Motherboard
Marine life in the high seas soak up an amount of carbon equivalent to 30 percent of the US’s annual emissions.
***LB: Also in this story “The dollar value of all the fish caught way out there is actually negative when costs of fishing like fuel and subsidies are subtracted.”
MIT study finds Obama’s power plant rule more costly than putting a price on carbon
Evan Lehmann, E&E
It turns out that cap and trade might not be so bad after all. New research shows that reducing carbon emissions through regulations like the administration’s recent rules on power plants cuts less carbon at a higher price than the embattled climate policy Congress failed to pass in 2010.
***LB: Also in this story “Put differently, an equivalent level of emissions reduction could be achieved under a cap-and-trade system for less than 5% of the cost of either regulatory policy,” said the researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.”
(UK) Consumer group Which? questions virtue of green energy subsidies
Terry Macalister, The Guardian
A leading consumer group has warned Ed Davey that his proposed subsidy scheme will encourage the construction of more higher-cost energy projects such as offshore wind farms that might not deliver value for money.
Researchers find the national and regional impacts of US regulatory policies for mitigating climate change
Vicki Ekstrom, Phys.org
When it comes to addressing climate change, market-based policies—such as a carbon tax and cap-and-trade system—have gained little traction in the United States. Instead, U.S. policies have focused on regulating specific technologies and sectors.
Across states, some companies are managing for climate change
Heesun Wee, CNBC
As the Obama administration pushes a plan to reduce carbon emissions, some S&P 500 companies in conservative states are already adapting their businesses, according to a new report released Tuesday.
***LB: Also in this story “Of the 11 Texas energy companies studied in the paper, nearly all reported they have incorporated natural gas, wind or solar power into their energy mix. Companies including Consol Energy and Spectra Energy have made big investments in renewable and alternative fuel sources.”
Australia will manage less than third of pledged carbon cuts -report
Australia will achieve less than a third of the carbon emission cuts it has pledged to make by the end of the decade, analysis firm Reputex said, stoking doubts over the government’s climate policy.
Siemens and Mitsubishi eye joint bid for Alstom assets
Jens Hack and Benjamin Mallet, Reuters
Siemens is in talks with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries over a joint bid for the energy assets of France’s Alstom, a move which could help the German firm overcome antitrust hurdles.
***LB: Also in this story “The Munich-based firm and its Japanese counterpart issued a joint statement saying they would decide on a possible bid by Monday.”
Hitachi says hopes to join Mitsubishi Heavy in bid for Alstom assets
Hitachi Ltd said it hopes to join Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Siemens AG in their joint bid for Alstom SA’s energy assets, which the Nikkei newspaper said would be worth 1 trillion yen ($9.80 billion).
EU Gas Traders Ignore Ukraine Rejection as Talks Continue
Isis Almeida, Bloomberg
Europe’s natural gas traders are betting the risk of supply cuts hasn’t increased after Ukraine rejected a Russian price proposal as the European Union says an agreement can be reached in the next few days.
Environmental Bonds 2014
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23 June 2014
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
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October 22 – 24, 2014
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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
Report: How continental interconnectors could cut UK decarbonisation costs
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Undersea electricity cables connecting the UK to continental Europe could save £1bn a year and help meet the country’s carbon reduction targets more cost effectively, think tank Policy Exchange will claim today.
Rwanda introduces greenhouse gas monitoring system
Rwanda’s Ministry of Natural Resources has unveiled a new monitoring system to cut greenhouse gas emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation.
Brazil’s World Cup also a test bed for climate change
Beyond the spectacle of 32 nations battling for the greatest prize in football, the World Cup is also a test bed for tackling climate-damaging carbon emissions from major events.
***LB: Also in this story “FIFA estimates the Brazil event will produce about 2.7 million tonnes of emissions as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) — roughly the total emissions of Iceland over a six-month period.”
Natural Gas / Coal
First House hearing set on EPA climate rule
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
A House panel on Wednesday confirmed the first hearing next week over the administration’s controversial climate rule limiting carbon pollution from power plants.
Coal is out, natural gas is in
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
The hip fuel: It’s pretty clear by now that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon rules for power plants will hit the coal industry hard. But the big winner, it seems, will be natural gas.
Coal company vows to fight EPA climate rule
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Coal mining giant Murray Energy Corp. had pledged to fight the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules to limit carbon emissions from power plants.
Rahall touts fight against EPA rule in new ad
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) is using his efforts against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon limits for power plants in a new campaign ad.
Insight-Canada builds LNG army for West Coast, may come up short
Julie Gordon, Reuters
The Canadian province of British Columbia is on the brink of a liquefied natural gas boom, but a shortfall of thousands of workers is imperiling billions in investment dollars.
Hargreaves Services pulls out of UK Coal closure plan
Coal mining group Hargreaves Services has pulled out of a plan to help wind down and close rival UK Coal. Hargreaves had proposed to lend £5m as part of a package of private sector help to shut two deep pits at Kellingley, North Yorkshire, and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.
EEX acquires shares in Gaspoint Nordic
EEX Press Release
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) and the Danish Gas Transmission System Operator Energinet.dk have agreed on a comprehensive cooperation. In this context, EEX will acquire 50 percent of the shares in the Danish gas exchange Gaspoint Nordic A/S, subject to the approval of the respective authorities.
***LB: Also in this press release “With this cooperation, both companies force the further development of the Danish natural gas market and its alignment with continental European standards.”
Japan Domestic Solar Shipments More Than Doubled in Fiscal 2013
Masumi Suga and Chisaki Watanabe, Bloomberg Businessweek
Japan’s domestic shipments of solar modules more than doubled last fiscal year as solar panels spread from rooftops to land once used for golf courses.
DOE announces $10 million for grid reliability projects
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Department of Energy (DOE) said it is giving $10 million in grants six projects to help deploy advanced electric grid software. The software is meant to better detect quick changes in grid conditions and improve the grid’s reliability, DOE said Wednesday.
FERC to appeal ruling on energy saving incentives
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is appealing a ruling that last month struck down its program to incentivize electricity users to save energy during peak periods.
Google Said to Plan Energy Push With Tools for Utilities
Brian Womack and Mark Chediak, Bloomberg
Google Inc. plans a deeper push into the $363.7 billion U.S. power-sales market by working on tools that help utilities deliver electricity to homes and businesses more efficiently, people with knowledge of the matter said.
***LB: Also in this story “The operator is in the early stages of building software and hardware tools to manage power lines and other infrastructure”
Honeywell joins forces with Fort Bragg on networked microgrid
Heather Clancy, GreenBiz.com
Many military bases and a growing number of businesses rely on microgrids and generators for power resiliency.
Kenya shelves tax on solar power
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Solar power companies have welcomed a move by the Kenyan government to scrap VAT on their products, delivering a significant cost reduction on increasingly popular solar lights and phone chargers.
***LB: Also in this story “Last autumn, the Kenyan government introduced VAT of 16 per cent on all solar products. But the move prompted complaints from the UK-based charity SolarAid, which warned that the levy would make its solar products inaccessible to poorer families.”
Hyundai eyes mass market for fuel cell cars with California launch
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Hyundai has delivered its first hydrogen-powered Tucson SUV and tipped the vehicle to play a key role in expanding the market for zero-emission cars.
Nissan’s first all-electric van to go on sale
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The vision of zero-emission fleets of delivery vans slashing carbon emissions, air pollution and running costs has received a major boost today as Nissan officially launched its e-NV200 electric van in Europe.
Beer giant sets record for water, energy efficiency
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Beer brewer MillerCoors decreased its water and energy usage to record lows last year, the company said Wednesday.
***LB: Also in this story “In its 2014 sustainability report, MillerCoors said it using on average 3.48 barrels of water to brew one barrel of beer. That’s 9.1 percent decrease from 2012. Typically, U.S. breweries use over 6 barrels of water to produce a single barrel of beer.”
EPA’s water rule takes bipartisan beating
Benjamin Goad, The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to redefine the scope of its authority over the nation’s waters drew a barrage of criticism Wednesday from House lawmakers accusing the agency on trampling on the rights of states and landowners.
France’s faith groups unite to fast for political action on climate change
The French Catholic Church has joined local Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist religious leaders in supporting the “Fast for the Climate” interfaith campaign. Supporters commit themselves to fasting on the first day of each month until the next United Nations climate conference in Paris in December 2015.
Weighing the Risks of Investing in Energy Companies
Stanley Reed, New York Times
Norway’s economy is highly dependent on oil and gas production, yet the Nordic country’s largest private pension fund manager, Storebrand, worries about the risks of investing in companies that extract fossil fuels.
Drug Gangs Attacking With Tanks Block Mexican Shale Boom
Nacha Cattan and Adam Williams, Bloomberg Businessweek
Oil shale drillers in Texas have had to contend with environmental opposition and soaring costs. A few miles south of the border in Mexico, Angel Torrez and co-workers duck gunfire sprayed from drug traffickers.