Quote of the Day

“Taking shortcuts is not the pathway to achieving sustainable competitive advantage, nor is it an avenue toward satisfying customers. A company must invest in the key ingredients of profitability: its people, communities and the environment.”

Warren Buffett, in a report published today on the website of Berkshire’s Johns Manville building products subsidiary, reported in Bloomberg’s “Buffett Says Shortcuts on Environment Can Risk Profits”

Lead Stories

General Motors pulls funding from climate skeptic think tank Heartland
Guardian
General Motors, the world’s largest carmaker, has confirmed that it is pulling funding from the Heartland Institute, an ultra-conservative thinktank known for its scepticism about climate change.
http://jlne.ws/HPtpSN

Republicans for Environmental Protection rebrands
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Republicans for Environmental Protection is launching an image makeover aimed at emphasizing conservation. The group, which was founded in 1995, said Monday it is changing its name to ConservAmerica “to draw more recognition to the inherent connection between conservation and conservatism.”
http://jlne.ws/HCdCuP

Canada PM Harper: US Can’t Be Only Market For Canadian Energy
Dow Jones Newswires
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday said that the U.S. can’t be the only market for his country’s energy, including crude from the oil sands of Alberta. Harper said the decision to delay construction of TransCanada Corp.’s (TRP, TRP.T) proposed Keystone XL pipeline shows the need for Canada to find other markets for energy exports.
http://jlne.ws/HDylNJ
**repeats in Canada

Amazon conservation agreement reached
Latin America Press
Environment ministers from the eight countries whose territory includes part of the Amazon River basin — Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela — signed an agreement in Lima on March 21 to protect Amazon forest, its biodiversity and the land rights of indigenous peoples living there.
http://jlne.ws/HQ1tQn

EU ETS emissions down 2.4 pct in 2011: preliminary data
Point Carbon
Emissions from installations covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme fell 2.4 percent in 2011, preliminary like-for-like EU data showed on Monday, confounding most analysts, who expected a small increase and sending CO2 prices crashing to record lows.
http://jlne.ws/HiwWqR

EcoSecurities cuts staff by 25 pct due to market conditions: sources

Point Carbon
Emission reduction project developer EcoSecurities has shed 25 percent of its workforce due to low carbon prices amid weak demand for carbon credits, sources close to the company said Monday.
http://jlne.ws/H4W1rh

Macquarie fined by ICE over CER delivery

Press Release
ICE Futures Europe has fined a subsidiary of Australian investment bank Macquarie Group 19,000 euros ($25,500) for failing to have a registry account to take delivery of certified emissions reduction (CERs) the bank had bought, ICE said Monday.
http://jlne.ws/Hg0hWD

Russia Foments Carbon Credit Glut
The Moscow Times
Russia could issue all 300 million Emission Reduction Units it was granted under a United Nations carbon offset program this year, adding to an oversupply that helped push prices down by 70 percent in the last year.
http://jlne.ws/HHjuwL

Reserves untapped in India’s ‘land of coal’
Financial Times
“Welcome to the land of coal,” says a billboard greeting passengers arriving at the airport in Ranchi, the capital of India’s eastern state of Jharkhand.
http://jlne.ws/HPFBVg

End of downward spiral for thermal coal
Financial Times
Thermal coal, the commodity used to fire power stations, has found a price floor. Coal is often overlooked in the commodities world, but it is critical for the profits of companies from blue-chip miners such as Anglo American to commodities trader Glencore. Its $800bn a year export market is crucial for the energy-security of nations including Japan and China.
http://jlne.ws/HgI7zN

Xstrata cuts benchmark thermal coal price
Financial Times
Miners will cut benchmark thermal coal contract prices by more than 10 per cent from last year, as a glut in the US natural gas market weighs on coal.
http://jlne.ws/HfSl7J

Buffett Says Shortcuts on Environment Can Risk Profits
Bloomberg
Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said companies won’t last if they fail to consider the impact of their businesses on the environment.
http://jlne.ws/HPqQQF
**RKB — The sustainability report: http://jlne.ws/Hg38iX

Commentary: Clean tech partnerships and the changing face of capitalism
Business Green
When academics come to write the corporate history of the start of the 21st century they will almost certainly devote a chapter or two to the remarkable way in which the capitalist model of unfettered competition gave way to something much more nuanced, something based less on dog-eat-dog competition and more on mutually beneficial co-operation. If we’re lucky they might also come up with a theory as to why those paid to comment on corporate trends singularly failed to notice that the system of capitalism that had held sway for the best part of two centuries was changing before their eyes.
http://jlne.ws/HC7X8i

World Bank: An exercise of influence

Financial Times
Conventional wisdom about the World Bank goes something like this: dominated by the US – which by convention nominates its president – the bank has spent decades financing huge dams and power plants in developing countries, and demanding privatisation and deregulation from their governments in return for loans. These days, that role has been challenged by the growth of private capital markets and the rising power and wealth of borrowers such as India and China, leaving the institution casting about for a strong purpose.
http://jlne.ws/H8amXs

US

Obama edges forward with plans for Great Lakes wind farms
Business Green
The Obama administration has taken a major step towards establishing the first offshore wind farms on the Great Lakes, after five states signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the federal government late last week designed to streamline the regulatory regime faced by developers.
http://jlne.ws/HgRS0V

Obama campaign ad: Mitt Romney stands with ‘Big Oil’

The Hill’s E2 Wire
The Obama campaign is running a new television advertisement in key swing states that paints Mitt Romney as a shill for “Big Oil.”
http://jlne.ws/HPv5Mb

Elizabeth Warren touts fight against ‘big oil’ as Sierra Club endorses
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Democrats were never close to the Senate votes needed last week to nix billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks, but passage was far from the only — or even the primary — goal.
http://jlne.ws/Hbowbq

Solar Millennium’s U.S. Units File for Bankruptcy Protection
Bloomberg
U.S. units of Solar Millennium AG (S2M), the maker of solar thermal power plants undergoing insolvency proceedings in Germany, filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors and plan to sell some businesses.
http://jlne.ws/HRbtWC

GE Purchases 51 Percent Stake in $375 Million Oklahoma Wind Farm
Bloomberg
General Electric Co. (GE), the largest U.S. turbine maker, agreed to pay about $191 million for 51 percent of a wind farm under construction in northern Oklahoma that will cost about $375 million.
http://jlne.ws/HKRg9C

Canada

Petronas Plans Canadian Acquisition Topping $5 Billion

Bloomberg
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PET)., the Malaysian state-owned oil company, is studying a Canadian acquisition exceeding $5 billion as part of the company’s drive to supply natural gas to Asia.
http://jlne.ws/HPsMZt
**repeats in Asia

Progress Energy shares surge as Petronas studies Canada gas acquisition

Globe and Mail
Shares in Progress Energy Resources Corp. (PRQ-T10.790.797.90%) rose as much as 13 per cent on Monday after a news story said that its Malaysian joint-venture partner Petronas was mulling a $5-billion (U.S.) acquisition of a Canadian natural-gas producer, though Progress said it was not engaged in any talks.
http://jlne.ws/Hh8c1F

Canada PM Harper: US Can’t Be Only Market For Canadian Energy
Dow Jones Newswires
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday said that the U.S. can’t be the only market for his country’s energy, including crude from the oil sands of Alberta. Harper said the decision to delay construction of TransCanada Corp.’s (TRP, TRP.T) proposed Keystone XL pipeline shows the need for Canada to find other markets for energy exports.
http://jlne.ws/HDylNJ
**repeats in Leads

Europe


Q-Cells fails to stave off insolvency

Financial Times
Germany’s foundering solar power sector suffered its most high-profile victim on Monday when equipment maker Q-Cells said it would file for insolvency after failing to agree a financial restructuring with all creditors.
http://jlne.ws/HKI5pL

SSE forms joint venture to develop 300m sterling waste-to-energy plant
Business Green
SSE has created a joint venture to deliver a 300m sterling energy-from-waste plant at its Ferrybridge power station in West Yorkshire.
http://jlne.ws/HaRBUa

Asia

Petronas Plans Canadian Acquisition Topping $5 Billion

Bloomberg
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PET)., the Malaysian state-owned oil company, is studying a Canadian acquisition exceeding $5 billion as part of the company’s drive to supply natural gas to Asia.
http://jlne.ws/HPsMZt
**repeats in Canada

China’s youth reveal ‘startling’ demand for low carbon goods

Business Green
Businesses have been urged to accelerate their environmental footprinting strategies to include emerging economies, after new research by the Carbon Trust revealed young people in China could hold the key to unlocking mass demand for greener products.
http://jlne.ws/H9vXd6

Climate Commission finds growing support for action

The Age
PEOPLE feel starved of solid information about climate change and are unsure about what practical measures are being taken to deal with it, data gathered over the past year by the federal government’s Climate Commission shows.
http://jlne.ws/HblcZF

New doubts on Murray plan
The Age
THE South Australian government has stepped up its attacks on the effort to rescue the Murray-Darling river system after an expert report found the plan would fail on environmental goals such as flushing salt out of the Murray Mouth.
http://jlne.ws/HL05Ak

Confusion of the carbon farming initiative
ABC
The Federal Government’s carbong farming initiative is causing confusion amongst Victorian farmers. The voluntary scheme could help farmers earn money by reducing methane emissions or storing carbon and selling it to emitters such as electricity companies.
http://jlne.ws/HJ2qKX

Commentary: It’s not a tax. It’s an emissions trading scheme

Australia news.com
THE Government today is attempting to re-brand its carbon pricing scheme to start in three months by insisting it will not be a tax.
http://jlne.ws/HPx1nW


Africa/Middle East

World Bank Considers Renewable-Energy Loans for Morocco, Jordan

Bloomberg
The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. unit is studying renewable-energy project funding for Morocco and Jordan this year as their governments seek to reduce imports of fossil fuels.
http://jlne.ws/HRchuN

Latin America


Maple Rises Most in a Month as Ethanol Plant Starts

Bloomberg
Maple Energy Plc (MPLE), a crude and natural-gas producer with operations in Peru, rose the most in a month as operations start at its $245 million ethanol plant.
http://jlne.ws/HfWw3m

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