Quote of the Day

“2012 could possibly be the make-or-break year [for U.S. carbon trading]. California [could] keep it on life support, at least.”

Gary Hart, ICAP analyst and pollution-rights trader, in AOL Energy’s “Barclays Closes US Carbon Desk In Latest Cap And Trade Setback”

Lead Stories

Beijing makes rare concession on pollution measure
Washington Post
In a rare bow to public pressure, the Beijing local government has begun using a more stringent measure for air quality, and the first publicly announced readings Thursday showed the air was “hazardous” in at least two areas of the polluted capital city.
http://jlne.ws/zJs3zn

China climate change
ABC radio
China is currently the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, but a report by the Chinese government warns that the nation’s march to prosperity could be badly set back by climate change.
http://jlne.ws/w9kTij

Barclays Closes US Carbon Desk In Latest Cap And Trade Setback

AOL Energy
A major European bank closed its US carbon trading business this week in a sign that 2012 is a “make-or-break” year for cap-and-trade programs designed to fight climate change.
http://jlne.ws/xjC43J

EU draft reveals vast CO2 market surplus

Point Carbon
The world’s biggest carbon market could have up to four times as many excess permits by 2020 than some analysts currently estimate, according to an EU draft document, raising the prospect of further price write-downs.
http://jlne.ws/yP096X

Carbon Call Option Volumes Surge as 20-Euro Strike Demanded

Bloomberg
Trading volumes in European Union carbon call options surged to the most in more than a year last month, as futures prices sank to record lows. That trend is continuing into the new year as traders eye upside protection.
http://jlne.ws/wRnBJW

Writing the Rule That Will Rebuild the Bayou – With Carbon

Ecosystem Marketplace
When Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge – the highest in recorded history at 27.8 feet – hit New Orleans’ St. Bernard Parish in August, 2005, the floodwaters breached levies and poured in first from the north and the east. And then from the west. Homes filled with water up to their 10 foot ceilings in fifteen minutes. In a few hours, the once bustling New Orleans suburb was wholly inundated.
http://jlne.ws/yJFi8t

INTERVIEW: Airline alliances take cartel approach to carbon trading

Point Carbon
International airline partnership Star Alliance will likely tender for a broker this year to help its members buy CO2 permits, while Air France, a member of rival group SkyTeam, said its alliance partners would give first refusal to each other when selling allowances.
http://jlne.ws/zMhar1

Natural gas: hydrocarbon copies
Financial Times
Fungibility is underrated. Take a bunch of hydrogen and carbon atoms, link them together in certain ways, and they can become among the most useful and concentrated sources of energy on earth. But markets can be awfully fickle about what they are willing to pay for the same unit of energy.
http://jlne.ws/AcQBMO

Economy chiefs warn on growth, jobs and trade
Reuters
Economic growth, jobs and protectionism are the top three worries at the start of 2012, according to a “Call to Action” published by 11 leaders of international organizations on Friday in a bid to kick-start debate at next week’s Davos Forum.
http://jlne.ws/zGUZps
**RKB – From the Call to Action: “While the global economy faces severe challenges, it can regain momentum by supporting the economic transformation underway in the emerging world by meeting the infrastructure needs around the globe and by beginning to realize the promise of a greener economy,”

U.S. Wind-Farm Boom Set to Bust in 2013 as Obama Tax Breaks End
Bloomberg
A U.S. boom in wind farm projects is poised to bust in 2013 as tax breaks by President Barack Obama’s administration prompt developers to rush through construction of new sites this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
http://jlne.ws/wr3ZMA

US confirms it will investigate China and Vietnam wind tower firms

Business Green
The US Commerce Department confirmed yesterday it will launch a formal investigation into imports of wind turbine towers from China and Vietnam, further escalating tensions between the US and Asian economies over the level of subsidy offered to clean technologies.
http://jlne.ws/AE9Cik

China, South Korea Comment on U.S. Anti-Dumping Probes
Wall Street Journal
China’s Ministry of Commerce said Saturday that it’s “deeply concerned” over one U.S. anti-dumping investigation, while South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it will urge the U.S. to be fair in another.
http://jlne.ws/z9C9lK

China’s Goldwind Expanding in U.S. as Rival Vestas Plans Cuts

Bloomberg
Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., China’s second-largest wind-turbine maker, indicated it’s picking up market share in the U.S. as falling prices and expiring subsidies force rivals to pare back.
http://jlne.ws/z143dN

Acciona Says Wind Power Adds More GDP, Tax Than Natural Gas

Bloomberg
Acciona (ANA) Energia Chairwoman Carmen Becerril said wind power is a bigger boost to the economy and generates more tax revenue than electricity from natural gas- fired generators.
http://jlne.ws/xgl92u

Gas no good to bridge coal and renewables, says study

The Age
THE amount of greenhouse gases released by unconventional gas drilling ”exceeds that of oil or coal”, an American study says in contradiction of some claims made by Australia’s growing coal-seam gas industry.
http://jlne.ws/ApZQGT
**RKB – The credibility of the study, to be published in the peer-reviewed Climatic Change, has been questioned by some American researchers and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), the industry body for coal-seam gas companies.

French Corn Farmers Plant Earlier, Lift Yields as Climate Warms

Bloomberg
Corn farmers in France, the European Union’s largest producer, are planting their crop earlier compared with a decade ago as climate change causes higher temperatures, boosting yields, researchers and growers said.
http://jlne.ws/yK3BvL

Five things we’ve learnt at the World Future Energy Summit 2012
Business Green
Around 26,000 people have passed through the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre during the past week, attracted by the presence of some of the largest and most innovative green (and not so green) companies on the planet exhibiting at the annual World Future Energy Summit.
http://jlne.ws/xj3wYv

US

Buffett Energy Firm to Buy Invenergy Project in Illinois Wind Bet
Bloomberg
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A)’s energy business agreed to buy an 81-megawatt wind-power project from Invenergy Wind LLC to expand production in Illinois.
http://jlne.ws/xVLXbA

A Smart Power Grid Begins With a Promise for the Future
The New York Times
Substation No. 505 in Oak Park, with its nondescript cluster of bulky transformers and web of power lines, seems an unlikely place for Commonwealth Edison to start the $2.6 billion smart grid it says will prepare the region’s antiquated power system for the digital age.
http://jlne.ws/xS13bc

As Price of Oil Soars, Users Shiver and Cross Their Fingers

The New York Times
NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. — When David Harris built his 2,000-square-foot hilltop home nine years ago, he wanted to put in natural gas, but the utility wouldn’t run a line to his house. Like many people here, he was stuck using heating oil.
http://jlne.ws/z9xonU

Navistar Running Out Of Pollution Credits – California Board

Dow Jones Newswires
Truck maker Navistar International Corp. (NAV) is quickly running out of the pollution credits that have allowed the company to sell heavy-duty truck engines that don’t meet the latest U.S. standards for diesel engine exhaust, according to California’s Air Resources Board.
http://jlne.ws/zehFfn

Seaweed in the tank? Company turns to aquaculture for ethanol
McClatchy Newspapers
Imagine driving up to a gas station for ethanol made not from corn farms in the heartland but from seaweed farms on the coasts.
http://jlne.ws/xKdFBa

Rich U.S. groups that funded environmentalists also gave to Canadian government

Canadian Press
Rich American foundations are not only footing the bill for opposition to Canada’s oilsands. Tax returns show the Canadian government has also been the beneficiary of millions of dollars in largesse from some of the wealthiest private organizations in the United States.
http://jlne.ws/yZseif
**repeats in Canada

With Pipeline Stopped for Now, Tar Sands Battle Continues in California Courts
Inside Climate
A high-stakes legal battle is underway in California over whether the state’s clean air agency can enforce a first-ever rule to slash carbon emissions in transportation fuels. The fight is being closely watched because the rule could choke global market demand for Alberta’s carbon-intensive oil sands at a very precarious time for the industry.
http://jlne.ws/zspaVW
**repeats in Canada

Canada

Shell Targets Offshore Nova Scotia
Wall Street Journal
Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Friday it will spend nearly $1 billion on deep-water oil exploration off the coast of Nova Scotia.
http://jlne.ws/Axh3YH

Rich U.S. groups that funded environmentalists also gave to Canadian government

Canadian Press
Rich American foundations are not only footing the bill for opposition to Canada’s oilsands. Tax returns show the Canadian government has also been the beneficiary of millions of dollars in largesse from some of the wealthiest private organizations in the United States.
http://jlne.ws/yZseif
**repeats in US

Editorial: How U.S. charities fund Greens
Financial Post
Americans should be able to influence Canada’s environmental debates. They should not be able to do so under the radar.
http://jlne.ws/zUWHQ6

Editorial: Anti-oilsands groups threaten our jobs
Vancouver Sun
The “radical” foreign-funded environmental groups first exposed by North Vancouver researcher Vivian Krause are finally on the defensive and don’t much like how the tables have turned. They are trying to win back the high ground claiming many of the oil companies developing the oilsands are wholly or partly owned by foreign entities, as if there was some sort of parallel between their source of financing and foreign direct investment in Canada. But there isn’t.
http://jlne.ws/zbe0up

With Pipeline Stopped for Now, Tar Sands Battle Continues in California Courts
Inside Climate
A high-stakes legal battle is underway in California over whether the state’s clean air agency can enforce a first-ever rule to slash carbon emissions in transportation fuels. The fight is being closely watched because the rule could choke global market demand for Alberta’s carbon-intensive oil sands at a very precarious time for the industry.
http://jlne.ws/zspaVW
**repeats in US

Europe

Sir Mervyn King urged to tackle ‘carbon bubble’ risk
Business Green
A group containing some of the UK’s most influential green business leaders and campaigners has written to Bank of England governor Mervyn King, calling on him to address the “systemic” risk to financial systems presented by the potential over-valuation of high carbon companies.
http://jlne.ws/ACDgey

Chart of the Day: a new sub-prime ‘bubble’ threat

Citywire
Up to 80% of the assets held by energy companies could turn out to be useless, knock-down sub-prime junk. Here’s why: If we are to keep global warming below 2°C – a goal reaffirmed by politicians at December’s Durban climate meeting – then between 2000 and 2050 we can get away with emitting 886 gigatons of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) between us. Now, we’ve used a lot since 2000, leaving a ‘Carbon Budget’ of 565 GtCO2 for the remaining years to 2050. But the world’s biggest oil and gas companies have fossil fuel reserves representing potential emissions of 745 GtCO2.
http://jlne.ws/y3CuRE

Barker addresses uncertainty over solar feed-in tariffs with March cut-off date
Business Green
The government has today set out how it will respond to the imminent court decision on when proposed cuts to feed-in tariff incentives can come into effect.
http://jlne.ws/wrQtC9

Vestas May Supply Turbines at Vattenfall Offshore U.K. Wind Farm

Bloomberg
Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the biggest turbine maker, may supply turbines at a wind-farm extension project planned by Vattenfall AB off southern England.
http://jlne.ws/x9hlow

Mabey Bridge secures giant wind turbine tower order

Business Green
One of the UK’s leading developers of wind turbine technology has secured a major multi-million pound order to provide turbine towers to two projects in Scotland and Wales.
http://jlne.ws/yae3di

Solar Stocks Plunge as Germany Vows to Quicken Subsidy Cuts

Bloomberg
Solar stocks plunged around the world after Germany, the largest market for panels, said it will make quicker cuts to subsidized rates and phase out support for the industry by 2017.
http://jlne.ws/ArvcNI

Legal challenge threatens UK’s new nuclear plans
Business Green
The European Commission could prevent new nuclear plants being built in the UK if it upholds a complaint over alleged unfair subsidies submitted to Brussels by a pro-renewables campaign group.
http://jlne.ws/xwQxSr

Solid solutions
Financial Times
In the early 1900s, inventor Thomas Edison had a flash of inspiration: concrete homes, cast in one piece. Concrete bathtubs and beds would be integral to the design. Occupants could even play concrete pianos. Unsurprisingly, such homes weren’t as successful as Edison’s light bulbs. Few were made – pouring concrete into a mould the size of a house proved tricky – but some still stand in New Jersey.
http://jlne.ws/y353Nu

Asia

India Misses Solar Target With 20-Fold Jump in Capacity in Year
Bloomberg
Indian solar power capacity expanded 20-fold in the past year to at least 356 megawatts, a third of the targeted level, after infrastructure, financing and weather- related delays, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
http://jlne.ws/z372Bo

Petrol switch to leave 750,000 motorists out of pocket

The Age
UP TO 750,000 drivers in NSW will be forced to pay at least $150 more for petrol each year when the government bans regular unleaded petrol in July.
http://jlne.ws/zmxQWv

Africa/Middle East

Top SA miner gives carbon a bit of a boot
Business Live
In a result reflecting the significance of sustainability issues in the mining sector, Gold Fields was ranked first in the JSE Top 100 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index by the global Carbon Disclosure Project 2011.
http://jlne.ws/zWI8UW

Latin America

Chevron Appeals Ecuadorean Ruling
Wall Street Journal
QUITO, Ecuador—Chevron Corp. has filed an appeal seeking the review of a judgment issued against it in an Ecuadorean court this month.
http://jlne.ws/x0I2O2

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