Today’s edition focuses on the divestment movement taking shape in the U.S. and now in Europe. Its impact won’t be felt overnight, but in the long run, it will also advance carbon pricing, militants say. Better be proactive in any case – and bet on energy efficiency, too, as other stories in today’s edition are pretty grim, like the cost of ocean acidification, the fact that rainforest fragmentation increases the greenhouse effect or that Canada will not meet its 2020 carbon emissions target.
Quote of the day
“When we divested our resources, Exxon didn’t fold overnight with the news. And I divested my little personal pension fund, and they still didn’t.”
Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a Christian social justice advocacy organization that joined the Divest-Invest pledge, in the Grist’s story The divestment movement is gaining steam. What can it achieve?
The divestment movement is gaining steam. What can it achieve?
Ben Adler, Grist
The most attention-grabbing event during the week of the U.N. Climate Summit was the People’s Climate March, of course.
***LB: Also in this story “Investors (who) collectively control more than $50 billion have promised to make no new investments in the largest 200 oil, gas, and coal companies, sell their existing fossil fuel assets within five years, and invest in clean energy.”
Glasgow becomes first university in Europe to divest from fossil fuels
Libby Brooks, The Guardian
Glasgow University has become the first academic institution in Europe to divest from the fossil fuel industry, in a turning point for the British arm of the student-led global divestment movement.
***LB: Also in this story “After 12 months of campaigning, led by the Glasgow University Climate Action Society and involving over 1,300 students, the university court on Wednesday voted to begin divesting £18m from the fossil fuel industry and freeze new investments across its entire endowment of £128m.”
Global energy efficiency market worth $310bn and growing, IEA says
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
The global energy efficiency market has topped $310bn a year and is set for further growth, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today.
***LB: Also in this story “For investors, the IEA puts the financial market for energy efficiency in the range of $120bn, with the launch of new products, such as green bonds, corporate green bonds, energy performance contracts, and expanded sources of finance likely to expand that figure.”
Scathing report details Canada’s environmental shortfalls
Josh Wingrove, The Globe and Mail
The Globe and MailPrime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions, fight climate change and regulate oil and gas emissions, a series of audits from a federal watchdog have found.
Ocean acidification to cost global economy $1tr by 2100
Danny Bradbury, BusinessGreen
Ocean acidification will cost the world economy over $1tr annually by 2100, according to a UN report released this week. Changing the composition of the world’s oceans will undermine a variety of commercial operations, it said.
***LB: Also in this story “Published by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the report warns that various services to the economy provided by the ocean’s ecosystem will be compromised by increased acidity due to increased carbon production.”
Rainforest Fragmentation Boosts Greenhouse Effect: Adds 200 Million Tonnes of Atmospheric Carbon Yearly
Jayalakshmi K, International Business Times
Degradation and fragmentation along the edges of tropical forests worldwide results in an increased 0.2 billion tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere every year, says a new study.
Former oil mogul confirmed as EU climate and energy commissioner
Arthur Neslen, theguardian.com
The Spanish conservative Miguel Arias Cañete was confirmed as the EU’s new climate and energy commissioner on Wednesday after a deal between centre-left and right parties in the European Parliament, despite protests from environmentalists.
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
Lawsuit puts China biodiesel policy in spotlight
Lucy Hornby, Financial Times
A lawsuit accusing China’s largest oil refiner of muscling a start-up out of the market has turned a spotlight on the country’s biodiesel policy, once trumpeted as a way to cut dependence on imported crude oil.
EPA sends ozone regulation for White House review
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent potential changes to the standard for ground-level ozone to the White House Office of Management and Budget onn Wednesday.
Updated: Hinkley nuclear plant gets EU state aid approval
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The European Commission has approved plans for the UK to finance a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, after the government agreed to tweak support levels in order to deliver a fairer deal to taxpayers.
Natural gas / coal
Growing U.S. Natural Gas Output Spurs Exports to Mexico
Naureen S. Malik, Bloomberg News
Natural gas production expanding at the fastest pace in three years will spur exports to Mexico, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
China to resume levying coal import tariffs after nearly a decade
Fayen Wong, Reuters
China, the world’s top coal importer, will levy import tariffs on the commodity after nearly a decade in its latest attempt to support ailing domestic miners.
India’s GVK wins environmental permit for huge Australian coal mine
India’s GVK and Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart have secured an environmental permit to build their Alpha Coal project in Australia, moving it a step closer to signing off on a long-delayed $10 billion mine, rail and port project.
Chief Scientist CSG report leaves health concerns unanswered
Melissa Haswell and David Shearman, The Conversation
The long-awaited independent review of coal seam gas (CSG) in New South Wales, released last week by the NSW Chief Scientist, highlighted many risks and uncertainties around human health from exposure to toxic CSG chemicals.
Ukraine Snubs Russia: Seals Reverse Gas Deal With Norway’s Statoil
Kalyan Kumar, International Business Times
Even as Russia is trying to corner Ukraine with the demand for a higher price for its gas, Ukraine chose to stump the former, by stitching a deal with Norway for gas supply.
More fracking pollution woes in California
Bob Berwyn, Summit Voice
All those warm-n-fuzzy fossil fuel industry ads showing clean-cut techs in lab coats with clipboards may play well on your plasma screen, but reality is a little different.
Why Solar Power Is Taking Off At Airports Across The Country
Emily Atkin, Climate Progress
The biggest solar power project in the entire state of Minnesota is going to be at an airport.
SolarCity Joins Rivals in Lending Solar Panels to Clients
Diane Cardwell, The New York Times
Over the last few years, SolarCity has helped solar panels spread across residential rooftops by lending customers the energy equipment in exchange for monthly electricity payments that were lower than their normal bills, often with no money down.
Australia’s Solar and Wind Power Investments Down By 70%: Slips In Top Global Ranking For Clean Energy Investments
Kalyan Kumar, International Business Times
One year had past that Australia’s investment in clean energy projects fell by 70 percent.
***LB: Also in this story “According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, this drastic fall of 70 percent since 2013 is the result of Australian governments policy deviations.”
Energy for a Rainy Day, or a Windless One
Mark Scott, The New York Times
With new energy supplies and demand growing rapidly worldwide, companies in the United States, Europe and across the developing world are spending billions of dollars each year on new power plants, wind turbines and solar panels.
Kingspan touts £5bn solar power savings for UK businesses
Businesses could save more than £31,000 on their annual energy bills, amounting to a total of £5bn for the entire UK corporate community, by installing solar power panels on their roofs, a new study from insulation company Kingspan has claimed.
Tesla Motors Expected To Reveal All-Wheel Drive Model S, Crash Avoidance Tech, And Maybe Even A Surprise
Angelo Young, International Business Times
If the buzz that’s been emanating for the past week from electric car fans, tech bloggers, analysts and news outlets is correct, we already know some of what Tesla Motors will reveal Thursday.
Californians make big cuts in water usage, report says
Matt Stevens, Los Angeles Times
After months of appeals to conserve water, Californians appear to be finally getting the message, making substantial cuts in water consumption in the face of the state’s drought.
As Energy Boom Ends, a Political Identity Crisis in Alaska
Kirk Johnson, The New York Times
A gleaming $23 million complex of office buildings, dormitories and workshops has risen from the boreal forest just outside town over the last decade, aimed at training workers for a natural gas pipeline that was supposed to snake from the Arctic to serve energy markets around the world and make Alaska rich all over again.
US fuel economy reaches all-time high
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. hit a record high last year, rising 0.5 miles per gallon over 2012, federal officials announced on Wednesday.
Green Energy Falters in Ohio (Op-Ed)
Seth Shulman, Life Science
While most U.S. states are experiencing a surge in renewable energy that exceeds even the rosiest predictions, one state — Ohio — has chosen this moment to backtrack.