Quote of the Day

“The Americans have come out guns blazing. The risk, of course, is not necessarily that they would veto it (a super-UN Environment Program) but that they would pull out their funding for it. A big part of UNEP’s funding comes from the Americans, so it would be a major blow.”

Farooq Ullah, head of policy and advocacy at a London-based NGO called Stakeholder Forum, in AFP’s “Environment agency becomes crunch issue in Rio talks


Link
Lead Stories

Huhne Resigns as U.K. Energy Secretary After Charge He Lied About Ticket
Bloomberg
Chris Huhne resigned as U.K. energy secretary after becoming the first serving Cabinet minister to be charged with a serious criminal offense in modern times.
http://jlne.ws/wWURR6
**RKB – Business Minister Ed Davey to replace Huhne, maintaining count of five Liberal Democrats in the Cabinet. Another Lib Dem, Norman Lamb, replacing Davey.

Letters between Huhne and Clegg
FT Westminster Blog
Chris Huhne has written to both the prime minister and deputy prime minister offering his resignation. The exchange with Cameron is in a separate post. Here are the letters between the former energy secretary and Nick Clegg, the man he once challenged for the party leadership:
http://jlne.ws/yw5Lb0

Business minister Ed Davey replaces Huhne as energy secretary
Business Green
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today announced that Davey would take up the cabinet role, moving from his current position as minister for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
http://jlne.ws/zV5NIw

Republicans step up attacks on Obama’s green agenda

Guardian
US Republicans are deploying a $100m election spending machine to savage Barack Obama’s green agenda, with Karl Rove’s political action committee releasing a new advert attacking the administration for funding a collapsed solar panel company.
http://jlne.ws/yxTWFB

Carbon tax only a good start: report
The Age
A CARBON price alone will not be enough for Australia to meet its target of a dramatic cut in greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, an analysis by the Grattan Institute has found.
http://jlne.ws/w7f9D8
**RKB – The Grattan Institute found government was responsible for several barriers preventing the development of clean-energy technology. They could be removed by changing the rules governing the electricity network, improving mapping of solar and geological resources and giving potential investors greater certainty by releasing annual emissions limits for well into the future.

THE REPORT:
No easy choices: which way to Australia’s energy future?
Grattan Insitute
http://jlne.ws/zZwGsX

Environment agency becomes crunch issue in Rio talks

AFP
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is emerging as a hot issue in preparations for June’s Rio conference, styled as a once-in-a-generation chance to restore a sick planet to good health.
http://jlne.ws/zf1uH3

EU Climate Chief Seeks Doubling of Global Clean Energy at Rio

Bloomberg
European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said countries meeting at a conference in June should pledge to double the share of renewable energy they use by 2030 and give all citizens access to sustainable power.
http://jlne.ws/A1bh9z

Exclusive: How the Sierra Club Took Millions From the Natural Gas Industry—and Why They Stopped

Time
Mainstream environmental groups have struggled to find the right line on shale natural gas and the hydraulic fracturing or fracking process. Gas has a much smaller carbon footprint than coal—according to most scientists—and produces far fewer air pollutants. That was enough for many major green groups to give support to gas as a “bridge fuel” to a cleaner energy future—the next best domestic alternative to coal as an electricity source while alternatives like wind and solar scaled up. But for grassroots members of those groups—especially in parts of the country where fracking was already underway—the risk of local pollution wasn’t worth the national and global climate benefits of greater gas consumption, especially as media and scientific attention on the potential threats to water supplies grew.
http://jlne.ws/yaWHtu

Deforestation threatens Brazil’s wetland sanctuary

AFP
The Pantanal, a stunning biodiversity sanctuary in central-western Brazil, is threatened by intensive farming and deforestation, a leading environmental group warned as the world marked World Wetlands Day on Thursday.
http://jlne.ws/xNTEom
**repeats in Latin America

Europe sees surge in clean power
Financial Times
A record 71 per cent of all the new power generating capacity fitted in the Europe Union last year came from solar panels, wind turbines or other renewable energy sources, new figures show.
http://jlne.ws/wgApyf

India leads the world in cleantech investment growth

Business Green
India’s transformation into a cleantech powerhouse moved up a gear in 2011 when it racked up investments of $10.3bn in the sector, a growth rate of 52 per cent year on year that dwarfed the rest of the world’s significant economies.
http://jlne.ws/x0ikYU

Mining magnates eye Australia’s media
Financial Times
Media moguls are nothing new in Australia – think of Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer, and Kerry Stokes. But as natural resources have become the engine of Australia’s economy, there is a new and powerful force with the potential to shape the media landscape: mining magnates.
http://jlne.ws/x17Z2L

How to Strike It Big in the New Energy Boom
The Wall Street Journal
First there was the tech boom. Then the housing bubble. Now, new profits and investment opportunities are emerging from the surge in U.S. gas and oil production. Innovations in drilling techniques—such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling—have made it easier to extract oil and natural gas from shale and other rock formations. That has boosted production and led to billions of dollars of profits for some early pioneers and investors.
http://jlne.ws/w268zB

US

Trash-to-Ethanol Producer Backed by Valero Sets $125 Million IPO
Bloomberg
Enerkem Inc., a closely held Canadian biofuel company backed by Waste Management Inc. (WM) and Valero Energy Corp. (VLO), is seeking to raise $125 million through an initial share sale in the U.S. and Canada.
http://jlne.ws/xJhldN
**repeats in Canada

US army fires off $60m contracts for green energy

Business Green
Siemens and Johnson Controls Inc. have won energy performance contracts from the US Army totaling more than $60m for solar, wind and retrofit projects to improve efficiency.
http://jlne.ws/xyU1WR

Alpha Natural To Cut Coal Output Amid Weaker Demand

Wall Street Journal
Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) said it will scale back production at many of its central Appalachian coal mines, citing weakening demand from its electric utility customers.
http://jlne.ws/zUzl9M

On Keystone pipeline, GOP plays Buffett card to counter Dems’ Koch claims

The Hill’s E2 Wire
Senior Capitol Hill Democrats battling the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline are casting the project as a sop to the Koch Brothers, billionaire industrialists who pour money into conservative causes.
http://jlne.ws/yXQUex

White House gives up more Solyndra docs

The Hill’s E2 Wire
Amid threats by a top House Republican to pursue contempt charges, the White House on Friday sent lawmakers more internal documents related to the $535 million loan guarantee to failed solar firm Solyndra.
http://jlne.ws/xDNuLD

Canada

Trash-to-Ethanol Producer Backed by Valero Sets $125 Million IPO
Bloomberg
Enerkem Inc., a closely held Canadian biofuel company backed by Waste Management Inc. (WM) and Valero Energy Corp. (VLO), is seeking to raise $125 million through an initial share sale in the U.S. and Canada.
http://jlne.ws/xJhldN
**repeats in US

Oil on the agenda for Harper’s China trip
cTV News
Chinese investment in the Canadian energy sector is helping create jobs, but that doesn’t mean the country is willing to put its sovereignty up for sale, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says.
http://jlne.ws/zzAsYa

Canada, Alberta seek to assuage oil sands critics

Reuters
Canada will set up a new environmental monitoring system for the northern Alberta oil sands as it seeks to fend off harsh international criticism following revelations that oversight of the huge petroleum development has been insufficient.
http://jlne.ws/xSz2B4

Alberta, Ottawa announce $50M joint oilsands monitoring strategy

Calgary Herald
Alberta and Ottawa have announced a joint $50 million a year monitoring strategy for Alberta’s oilsands that will greatly increase the area and amount of testing of land, air and water as well as the substances tested, ministers from both governments said Friday.
http://jlne.ws/wLrIBo

Europe

Vestas Chairman Plans No Change of Management, Berlingske Says

Bloomberg
Vestas Wind System A/S (VWS) Chairman Bent Carlsen has no plans to step down or change the management at the wind-turbine maker, whose stock lost 65 percent last year, Berlingske quoted him as saying in an interview.
http://jlne.ws/wtT4Te

U.K.’s Climate Plan May Risk Heating-Cost Surge in Cold Snaps

Bloomberg
The U.K. faces an additional burden in energy costs from plans to switch to electricity in home heating from natural gas, according to National Grid Plc.
http://jlne.ws/zCVT93

Iberdrola Picked to Build 1.6 Billion-Zloty Polish Power Plant
Bloomberg
Spain’s Iberdrola SA (IBE) was picked to build a 400-megawatt heat and power plant for Poland’s Elektrocieplownia Stalowa Wola SA, a unit of Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (PGN) and Tauron Polska Energia SA (TPE), the subsidiary said on its website today.
http://jlne.ws/wTNqVk

German Ministers Discuss Solar Subsidies as April Cut Reported
Bloomberg
German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler, who disagreed on solar-power subsidies, are in talks to draw up a joint policy as a local newspaper said payments may be cut as early as April.
http://jlne.ws/ybopey

Asia

Australia unlikely to ban Chinese, Indian CERs: industry body

Point Carbon
Strong trading ties with Asia’s biggest emitters make it unlikely Australia will ban its companies from using offsets from China and India to meet domestic CO2 caps, an official with Australia’s Carbon Market Institute said Friday.
http://jlne.ws/x47H2E

China’s govt to punish provinces that miss energy targets

Point Carbon
Chinese provinces that fail to meet federal goals to cut energy consumption will be banned from building energy intensive projects, such as steel and cement plants, as the country strives to meet efficiency targets, state-owned media reported Friday.
http://jlne.ws/zbRk9b

Ministry asks NZ govt to curb U.N. offset use in ETS

Point Carbon
New Zealand’s Ministry of Environment has told the government it should limit access to international offset credits and focus less on Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, in a bid to restrict offshore cash flows and stimulate domestic emission cuts.
http://jlne.ws/ADA0yf

Africa/Middle East

Israeli prospector says natural gas found offshore
AP
American and Israeli gas prospectors say they have discovered a large amount of offshore natural gas in Israeli waters near the Lebanese border.
http://jlne.ws/wI239e

Latin America

Deforestation threatens Brazil’s wetland sanctuary
AFP
The Pantanal, a stunning biodiversity sanctuary in central-western Brazil, is threatened by intensive farming and deforestation, a leading environmental group warned as the world marked World Wetlands Day on Thursday.
http://jlne.ws/xNTEom
**repeats in Leads

Other

How to Make Electricity Using Plants and Sunshine

Scientific American
When plants engage in photosynthesis, sunlight breaks apart water and CO2 to release oxygen and build plant—and people—food. It’s cheap and ubiquitous but not much use for powering a home.
http://jlne.ws/waxu13

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