Quote of the Day

“People haven’t had that serious discussion [about U.S. energy independence] since World War II. The only thing that’s dampening the enthusiasm in the energy industry is where the natural-gas price is.”

Statoil’s North America Head Bill Maloney, in The Wall Street Journal’s “Talking Energy’s Future”

Lead Stories

More pressure as carbon project goes up a gear
Financial Times
The Carbon Disclosure Project has been going for 10 years and is pleased with its progress so far. This year it has more than 650 signatories representing $78tn in assets, while more than 80 per cent of the world’s biggest companies report their carbon emissions, largely thanks to the CDP’s efforts. The information does not just sit there either. CDP founder and executive chairman Paul Dickinson says CDP data is downloaded via Bloomberg at a rate of a million times every six weeks.
http://jlne.ws/wwy0RV

**JK – CDP doing great work a decade into it.

IMO set to collide with EU over vessel CO2 emissions

Reuters
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is making little headway on market-based measures to curb carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping, putting it on a policy collision course with the European Union, observers said.
http://jlne.ws/yuuGTZ
**JK – Shipping and aviation need to do more than complain, IMO.

UN aviation body says emissions proposal by year-end

Reuters
The head of the United Nations body that oversees civil aviation said on Friday that his agency still plans to have a proposal on measures to address emissions from aviation by the end of 2012, even as critics push for faster change.
http://jlne.ws/AcW8QO

Talking Energy’s Future
Wall Street Journal
The globe’s energy elite is gearing up for its own version of Davos—sans the skiing. Starting Monday, some of the world’s top energy officials and executives will gather at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ annual CERA Week conference in Houston.
http://jlne.ws/xiTlRW

**JK – Interesting curtain raiser for this conference.

Climate Market Failure

CounterPunch.org (South Africa)
In 2007, former World Bank chief economist Nick Stern termed climate change the worst ‘market failure’ in history – since those who pollute greenhouse gases are not charged, and since they threaten future generations and vast swathes of natural life – and at that moment, even the 1991 ravings of another former Bank chief economist, Larry Summers, made sense.
http://jlne.ws/A0GYWu

IFC puts 150 mln euro carbon fund on ice
Point Carbon
A World Bank-backed institution has put plans to deploy investment from a post-2012 carbon fund on hold after carbon prices plummeted 75 percent in the second half of last year.
http://jlne.ws/zNSQvn

EU carbon price could double this year-Espirito
Reuters
The price of European Union emissions permits could rally to double their current value by the end of the year if a plan to withhold permits is passed, Portuguese Espirito Santo Investment Bank said on Friday.
http://jlne.ws/AqM7pv

Interview: Cheap carbon is least of EU’s green angst-wind head
Reuters
The European Union’s credibility as a global environmental leader is at risk unless it can mend its policies to meet green goals in reality and not just on paper, the head of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said.
http://jlne.ws/zyQkQ2

CLIMATE SPECTATOR: Economics of carbon self-interest
Business Spectator
Last week I was chatting with a consultant who advises a range of large energy consuming companies on how to reduce their carbon footprint. He related an interesting and very revealing conversation between himself and a financial analyst within a mining company:
http://jlne.ws/zyVJJa

Vontobel Puts Funds in Smart Grids as Solar Weighed Down by Glut

Bloomberg
Vontobel Asset Management, a unit of Swiss bank Vontobel Holding AG (VONN), is putting money into smart power grids and efficient electric motors as its traditional solar and wind-energy investments are hurt by surplus supply.
http://jlne.ws/w4tFvY

China: EUR 250 million loan for forestry projects
European Investment Bank press release
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 250 million loan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for forestry projects that contribute to climate change mitigation through carbon sinking and avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions. The China Forestry Framework Loan (CFFL) was signed by Mrs Magdalena Álvarez Arza, Vice-President of the EIB, and Mr Li Yong, Minister of Finance.
http://jlne.ws/zBDSvF

Insurers See Growing Risks and Costs from Climate Change

Ceres Press Release
Coming off a year of record-setting $1 billion-plus natural disasters, representatives of leading insurance companies said today that costs to taxpayers and businesses from extreme weather will continue to soar because of climate change.
http://jlne.ws/yE3Bmk

Oceans Acidifying Fastest in 300 Million Years
Bloomberg
The Earth’s oceans may be acidifying faster than at any point during the last 300 million years due to industrial emissions, endangering marine life from oysters and reefs to sea-going salmon, researchers said.
http://jlne.ws/yNp2jc

**JK – If you want a great primer on ocean acidity, check out Rob Dunbar: Discovering ancient climates in oceans and ice on TED.com. His work is vital in setting baselines for fixing our current climate — and in tracking the rise of deadly ocean acidification, TED says.

US

A Primer on the U.S. Clean Energy Economy: What It Is, Why It Matters
InsideClimate News
Is steering large sums of federal money into America’s clean energy economy worth the risk? The question is now at the forefront of national debate, and the answer often divides along party lines.
http://jlne.ws/xJ1JkW

GE solar investments top $1.4bn in the last year

Business Green
A GE subsidiary has bought a $100m stake in a 127MW US solar project, taking the company’s investment in the sector to $1.4bn in the past year. GE Energy Financial Services’ latest investment is in LS Power’s $550m Arlington Valley Solar Energy II project in Arizona. Construction on the plant is now expected to start next month with a view to producing enough electricity to power 53,000 homes from 2013.
http://jlne.ws/Al9LY3

Numbers That Sway Markets and Voters

The New York Times
SOMETIMES a number is just a number. But on Tuesday, when the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 13,000, it was treated as much more than that. Many news accounts and market commentaries portrayed that clean, round string of digits as a milestone that signified the stock market had come a long way since the darkest days of the financial crisis. Oil and gas prices have also been rising, and are beginning to attract considerable attention, too.
http://jlne.ws/xZGOyH

Editorial: A welcome move forward on Keystone XL project
The Washington Post
THE PROPOSED KEYSTONE XL oil pipeline, which would cross the U.S.-Canada border and thus requires presidential approval, has been on hold since President Obama rejected it in January. But TransCanada, the pipeline’s would-be builder, announced Monday that it will build a segment, from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico, that does not need presidential approval. The company also said it will reapply for permission to complete the rest of the line.
http://jlne.ws/w6skPh
**repeats in Canada

Oilsands partnership must avoid conflict of interest: Environment Canada
PostMedia News
Environment Canada says it’s hoping a senior bureaucrat in charge of scientific water monitoring and research can “strengthen” government co-operation with major oil and gas companies through his new “assignment” with an oilsands industry partnership unveiled this week in Alberta.
http://jlne.ws/wKf6wd

**repeats in Canada

GOP: Fight high gas prices with more oil drilling, Keystone
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Republicans used their weekly address to slam President Obama on rising gas prices, part of what the GOP says is a “coordinated campaign” to push energy to the forefront of national politics.
http://jlne.ws/wmBuWb

Obama: Conservation boosts economy
The Hill’s E2 Wire
President Obama said Friday that wilderness conservation provides both an environmental and economic lift to the country. “We’re not just preserving our land and water for the next generation, we are also making more land available for hunting and fishing, and we are bolstering an outdoor economy that supports more than nine million jobs and brings in more than a trillion dollars a year,” Obama said Friday evening at a White House conservation conference held at the Interior Department.
http://jlne.ws/xLTzhq

Gingrich demands Obama fire Interior secretary

The Hill’s E2 Wire
Newt Gingrich turned his sights on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, calling for his replacement less than 24 hours after making a similar demand of President Obama to fire Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
http://jlne.ws/wD9d6E

Canada

Ontario has a big part in oil sands work – as middleman
Globe and Mail
Amid a deepening debate over the value of the oil sands to areas of the country outside Alberta, Canada’s energy companies have mounted an aggressive campaign to persuade provinces like Ontario that they, too, are profiting.
http://jlne.ws/zZ8ZRR

Oilsands partnership must avoid conflict of interest: Environment Canada
PostMedia News
Environment Canada says it’s hoping a senior bureaucrat in charge of scientific water monitoring and research can “strengthen” government co-operation with major oil and gas companies through his new “assignment” with an oilsands industry partnership unveiled this week in Alberta.
http://jlne.ws/wKf6wd
**repeats in US

Editorial: A welcome move forward on Keystone XL project

The Washington Post
THE PROPOSED KEYSTONE XL oil pipeline, which would cross the U.S.-Canada border and thus requires presidential approval, has been on hold since President Obama rejected it in January. But TransCanada, the pipeline’s would-be builder, announced Monday that it will build a segment, from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico, that does not need presidential approval. The company also said it will reapply for permission to complete the rest of the line.
http://jlne.ws/w6skPh
**repeats in US

Canadian oil sands majors form alliance

UPI
Major producers of Canada’s controversial oil sands have formed an alliance aimed at addressing environmental challenges.
http://jlne.ws/y0RFRe

TransAlta Falls After Quarterly Profit Drops: Calgary Mover

Bloomberg
TransAlta Corp. (TA), Canada’s largest publicly traded electricity producer, fell the most in more than a month after reporting a 74 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit.
http://jlne.ws/AkIFBe

REPORT:
The High Price of Low Emissions: Benefits and Costs of GHG Abatement in the Transportation Sector
Macdonald-Laurier Institute Publication
http://jlne.ws/wCrIBB

Europe

Davey promises steady hand and aggressive growth for green sector
Business Green
Ed Davey has stressed there will be no major shifts in the government’s green policy plans, reiterating that the coalition is fully committed to meeting its renewable energy targets and driving rapid growth across the low-carbon economy.
http://jlne.ws/yVXctm

CBI: Members are ‘on-board’ with green growth
Business Green
Dr Matthew Brown is not your typical business lobbyist. For a start, he has a PhD in theoretical physics from Cambridge, making him that rarest of people: a scientist working in the world of business.
http://jlne.ws/yHmQTS

Europe’s Biggest Union Asks Germany to Soften Solar Subsidy Cuts

Bloomberg
IG Metall, Europe’s biggest trade union, asked the German government to soften planned cuts to solar subsidies to avoid an increase risk of bankruptcies.
http://jlne.ws/yuDINC

Guinness Starts Fund for U.K. Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency

Bloomberg
Guinness Asset Management Ltd., a London-based investor, started a 10 million pound ($15.9 million) fund to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency companies in the U.K.
http://jlne.ws/zywmxK

Agaoglu of Turkey Plans to Sell 147 MW of Wind Power Plants
Bloomberg
Turkey’s Agaoglu Group, which has interests in construction, tourism and energy, is in final stages of talks with eight energy and private equity investors to sell 147 megawatts of wind plants this month, chairman Ali Agaoglu said.
http://jlne.ws/yKWxBh

Iberdrola Invests 0.4% of Sales in R&D as Spain’s GDP Lags

Bloomberg
Iberdrola SA (IBE), Spain’s biggest power company, spent 0.4 percent of its revenue on research, development and innovation last year as it urged the government to cut clean energy subsidies and ease costs to utilities.
http://jlne.ws/A4lBt0

Areva Accelerates Disposals
The Wall Street Journal
French state-controlled nuclear energy company Areva SA announced two asset disposals as part of a plan to boost competitiveness and better position it to face a slowing civil atomic industry, one year after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.
http://jlne.ws/yEj10T

SAED: Well placed to make a power play
Financial Times
Sophia Antipolis Energie Développement (SAED), a solar energy specialist, signed up its first client in January. The company began trading in summer 2011, after its owners completed a design and development programme aimed at mastering a new process to harness the power of the sun.
http://jlne.ws/wkrI0v

Asia

ONGC Holds Talks to Spend at Least $1 Billion on U.S. Shale Deal

Bloomberg
Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), India’s biggest energy explorer, is close to an agreement to buy its first shale gas asset in the U.S. and plans to spend at least $1 billion on purchases.
http://jlne.ws/wTgwp8

Japan Without Nuclear a ‘Disaster,’ Says Former IEA Chief Tanaka

Bloomberg
Japan’s failure to resume its atomic plants would be a “disaster” for the country because of its limited alternatives, said Nobuo Tanaka, the International Energy Agency’s former executive director.
http://jlne.ws/AwTF8o

Singapore Exploring New Energy Options, Fuel Types, Iswaran Says
Bloomberg
Singapore is exploring new energy options and fuel types, Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said today. The government is a “long way away” from a decision on nuclear energy.
http://jlne.ws/AaSGFa

Power generators top list of carbon emitters to pay tax
The Age
NSW’S biggest power generator could pay nearly half a billion dollars a year under the carbon tax, according to government figures released yesterday – a payment that is likely to flow through to electricity costs.
http://jlne.ws/Aq2K6s


Virgin lifts fares to cover carbon tax The Age

Virgin Australia will charge passengers as much as $6 extra for domestic flights to cover the cost of the federal government’s carbon tax.
http://jlne.ws/ziA0a0

Carbon tax fallout will hit power bills
The Age
HOUSEHOLD electricity prices will become exposed to world oil prices following the introduction of a carbon tax, which will result in more electricity being generated from gas.
http://jlne.ws/zzfHLv


Africa/Middle East

Plugging the world into desert sun
The Age
German firms hope projects in North Africa are just the start of a solar power network that will help wean Europe off fossil fuels. Leo Hickman reports.
http://jlne.ws/xaoVQE

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