Quote of the Day

“Slowly but surely, like it or not, the world is moving forward on climate change, with business now able to seriously calculate the implications of a low- carbon economy. The meeting in Durban was its usual roller coaster ride, ending with a surprise commitment to continue the Kyoto Protocol, along with a raft of other climate change agreements. While the outcome has signaled a breakthrough for a political consensus on climate change, the outcome for business is only just becoming clear.”

Yvo de Boer, former U.N. climate chief, in The Guardian’s “Ex-UN climate chief says business should get ready for low-carbon world”
Lead Stories

China to levy carbon tax before 2015 – report
China’s biggest energy-consuming companies are likely to face a direct tax on carbon dioxide emissions by 2015, the Xinhua-backed Economic Information Daily reported on Thursday, citing government sources.

EU Carbon May Rise to 7.45 Euros on Doji Star, OTC Europe Says

European Union carbon permits for December may rise to 7.45 euros ($9.54) a metric ton after technical charts showed a so-called doji star reversal pattern yesterday, according to OTC Europe LLP.

Commentary: Emissions trading is the right approach, despite what Civitas says
Damien Morris – Guardian
A report released by the thinktank Civitas on Tuesday paints a damning portrait of Europe’s flagship climate policy, the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). The scheme, which polices roughly half the carbon emissions in Europe, was designed to help governments meet their climate goals by devolving responsibility to large polluters in the private sector. At the start of each year governments distribute a limited number of tradeable carbon certificates, and at the end of the year compliant factories and power stations are required to surrender certificates equivalent to the amount of CO2 they have emitted.

Emissions Trading System shrinks economy but not Britain’s carbon footprint
The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is siphoning billions from industry and consumers to plump up finance and energy fat cats, according a new Civitas report. The report reveals that, via the EU ETS, each EU citizen is effectively subsidising the power industry by £30 a year. [p. 13] In addition, the Government is adding more costs to UK families and businesses via the carbon price floor which sets a minimum price for carbon credits. This carbon price floor is expected to push another 110,000 British households into fuel poverty by 2016.

Ex-UN climate chief says business should get ready for low-carbon world
Businesses should be putting plans in place this year to prepare for a low-carbon economy, having been given a strong signal from the latest climate change negotiations that governments are serious about tackling global warming, according to the former United Nations climate chief.

Report says global climate deal hinges on Obama reelection
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Prospects for striking a binding global climate deal by 2015 are probably toast if President Obama loses in November.


HSBC: Climate Investment Update
2012: search for ‘emerald linings’; watch out for wild cards

Still Searching for Republicans With Climate Concerns
The New York Times’ Dot Earth blog
The Climate Desk, a collaborative journalism project of Mother Jones and several other publications, has produced a video searching in vain for a Republican presidential candidate willing to make any science-based statements on climate.

RGGI Request for Proposals
RGGI, Inc. has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for market monitoring services. The market monitor provides independent expert monitoring of the competitive performance and efficiency of the RGGI CO2 allowance market. RGGI, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created to support development and implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Mailed proposals must be received by RGGI, Inc. no later than 5:00 PM Eastern on February 9, 2012. Complete submission instructions are specified in the RFP.

Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz

The New York Times
If Iran were to follow through with its threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit route for almost one-fifth of the oil traded globally, the impact would be immediate: Energy analysts say the price of oil would start to soar and could rise 50 percent or more within days.

Oil price approaches eight-month high as EU threatens Iranian embargo

Business Green
Oil prices neared an eight-month high yesterday, after European diplomats confirmed the EU had agreed in principle to an embargo on Iranian oil imports.

Five Rare Earths Crucial for Clean Energy Seen in Short Supply

Limited supplies of five rare-earth minerals pose a threat to increasing use of clean-energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels, a U.S. Energy Department report found.

China denounces EU’s airline emissions law, seeks talks
China voiced its deep concern and opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to counter airline emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after China’s major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.

Delta, Lufthansa among first airlines raising fares to cover new European emissions rules
Within days of new European rules on carbon emissions produced by passenger jets, two major airlines say they will raise fares.

Higher Education Can Make a Significant Impact in Combatting Climate Change

American Public University System Sustainability blog
As this year’s 17th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa, resulted in yet another stand-off among today’s leading nations, there are plenty of reasons to share in the embitterment and despair shadowing the climate change community. And while the Durban discussions did lead to a few positive outcomes –the Green Climate Fund and a sustained forum for discussing the issue, for example—the conference, unsurprisingly, was another failure of the global community to come to an agreement of how to slow the heating of the planet. The conference did, however, heed a rather constructive lesson: the climate change issue exceeds the realms of the climate community. This isn’t necessarily a newsflash, of course, but it brings into focus a new question: who is equipped to handle the climate crisis?


Cuomo plans ‘energy highway’
Times Union
Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s State of the State speech Wednesday included a plan to upgrade the state’s high-voltage electric transmission system so that power generated in upstate New York power plants and wind farms can be moved downstate.

Iowa Caucuses Show Ethanol No Longer Sacred to Rural Voters
Allegiance to ethanol, once required for political success in rural states, has faded in importance as some candidates skeptical about biofuel subsidies fared better than supporters in the Iowa caucuses.

Public Health Effects of Fracking Need Study, CDC Scientist Says
The U.S. should study whether hydraulic fracturing used to free natural gas from wells is a hazard to people or food sources, a top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

LDK Solar Gets $64 Million in China Funding for U.S. Projects

LDK Solar Co. (LDK), China’s second-largest solar-panel maker, got $64 million in construction financing facilities from the country’s state-owned China Development Bank (SDBZ) for projects in New Jersey and California.

Power regulator heads to prominent law and lobbying shop

The Hill’s E2 Wire
Marc Spitzer, who stepped down from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in December after five years, has landed at the prominent law and lobbying firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Spitzer will remain in Washington as a partner in the firm’s Electric Power Group.


Alstom wins contract to modernise Canada’s largest hydroelectric generating site, Centrale Robert-Bourassa
Press Release
Alstom has been awarded a contract worth approximately €50 million by utility Hydro-Québec to modernise the Robert-Bourassa generating facility in Canada, bringing a substantial increase to the plant’s efficiency. Consisting of 16 units with a total power generation capacity of 5,616 MW, Centrale Robert-Bourassa is the world’s largest underground generating station. The dam is located on the La Grande River in northern Quebec and one of the facilities of Hydro-Quebec’s James Bay project. Together with the La Grande 2-A generating station, the two plants account for over 20% of Hydro-Quebec’s installed capacity.


Barker warns feed-in tariff scheme is already in the red

Business Green
Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has defended the government’s decision to appeal a High Court ruling that declared the coalition’s plan to cut incentives for solar installations unlawful, warning the feed-in tariff scheme has already exceeded its budget for the current financial year.

Cameron challenged by solar boss over job losses

Business Green
The prime minister was today given a personal insight into frustration over the coalition’s handling of cuts to solar incentives, after the boss of one solar firm blamed “chaotic” changes to solar policy for 30 job losses at her company.

French firms to buy carbon offsets from Tunisian wind project

Point Carbon
CDC Climat, a unit of French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots, has agreed to buy carbon credits from a Tunisian wind power project in a deal which will see half the offsets go to project developer Orbeo, the companies said Thursday.

Solar Millennium Sale Process Starts as Company Seeks Investors

Solar Millennium AG (S2M)’s insolvency administrator is seeking to sell parts or all of the German developer of sun-powered plants


China Gas Flares Up
The Wall Street Journal
A Chinese state giant trying to buy a Hong Kong-listed firm whose biggest shareholder is under arrest sounds like a shoo-in. But a $2.15 billion offer from state-owned oil giant Sinopec and ENN Energy Holdings for China Gas Holdings is turning into quite the snarl up.

Coal India Eyes Stakes in South Africa Mines

The Wall Street Journal
Coal India Ltd. is considering acquiring stakes in mines in South Africa in a joint venture with the provincial government of Limpopo, the company’s chairman Nirmal Chandra Jha said Thursday.

Pakistan to sue U.N. over India CDM project: report
Point Carbon
Pakistan is to ask an international court to block a hydro project in neighbouring India from earning carbon credits amid claims that the scheme is in breach of U.N. rules relating to offset projects in border areas.
**repeats in Africa/Middle East

ANALYSIS: Australian fee proposal could thwart CER buying
Point Carbon
An Australian government proposal to charge companies for using cheap foreign offsets could cut near-term demand for the credits as well as increase costs for Australian emitters and limit investment in carbon projects abroad.

Africa/Middle East

Pakistan to sue U.N. over India CDM project: report
Point Carbon
Pakistan is to ask an international court to block a hydro project in neighbouring India from earning carbon credits amid claims that the scheme is in breach of U.N. rules relating to offset projects in border areas.
**repeats in Asia

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