Today’s Stories

Thomson Reuters Point Carbon crunches the numbers on the North American offset market and provides analysis on China’s draft climate change law. Full reports are by subscription. The World Bank tell us that over the past 20 years, economic growth has lifted more than 660 million people out of poverty and raised the income levels of millions more, but growth has often come at the expense of the environment. The organization lays out some pro-environment suggestions in its report called Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathways to Sustainable Development.

Quote of the Day

“It took a while for the [Obama] administration to realize the role [natural gas] could play. What we’ve seen is an evolution in thinking.”

Michael Walls, vice president of the American Chemistry Council, in Bloomberg’s “Obama Warms to Energy Industry by Supporting Natural Gas”

Lead Stories


Value of North American offset market grew by 70% last year
Thomson Reuters Point Carbon
Press Release
The North American offset market was worth $168 million in 2011, up from $99 in 2010, driven mainly by an increase in the volume traded of 33% compared to 2010, according to Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, the leading provider of market intelligence, news, analysis, forecasting and advisory services for the energy and environmental markets. In terms of volume, 21 million tons (Mt) of off-sets changed hands last year, up from 16 Mt in 2010, due mainly to new derivatives contracts for offsets eligible within the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and increased offset use on the part of Alberta’s compliance entities. “Since the new offset contracts and Alberta credits are those that fetched the highest prices, the value increase was larger than the volume increase: both units were valued above $11/t on average,” said Olga Chistyakova, Senior Analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon and author of the analysis. Nearly all offset trading occurred over-the-counter in 2011. “We expect exchanges to begin offering offset contracts soon, so 2012 may see a rapid increase in the share of offsets transacted on exchanges. We also expect an overall increase in traded volume over the coming months, as regulators add more protocols to the list of credit types eligible in the WCI”, Chistyakova said. In contrast to 2010, when few new projects entered the pipeline due to policy uncertainty, 2011 saw 220 new projects come online, nearly half of which were small-scale livestock methane reduction projects on swine and dairy farms. “As the agricultural biodigester protocol is one of the few offset sources eligible to supply WCI emitters, the fact that new projects are ramping up in precisely this area could bode well for future offset supply in the WCI. With offset supply in turn being one of the main price drivers, these new projects could have a significant impact on the fate of the new market”, Chistyakova said. Point Carbon Thomson Reuters’ previous report, WCI price forecast – show me the offsets!, details how influential North American offset supply will be for carbon prices in the program. Chistyakova concluded: “Regulators in Quebec hold the key to the North American offset market’s next big development – the province is the only WCI member outside California and has not yet declared which offset protocols it considers eligible. Once it does, project developers will have more protocol types to pursue and emitters will have a larger source of offset supply. California regulators are also set to approve additional offset protocols, possibly including rice growing, fertilizer management, and fugitive emissions, by July”.
**No link.

China’s draft Climate Change Law backs continuation of Clean Development Mechanism projects
Thomson Reuters Point CarbonPress Release
The recently-published draft Climate Change Law of China, the first single law specifically designed to fight climate change in China, suggests that the Chinese government will continue to back Chinese domestic companies in their development of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. However, whilst appearing to back continued cooperation with the EU on the CDM, the draft also warns of possible “retaliatory approaches” to dealing with the EU’s inclusion of aviation within its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), according to analysis by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, the leading provider of market intelligence, news, analysis, forecasting and advisory services for the energy and environmental markets.“Both these articles within the draft law are potentially significant in the long-term for the EU ETS”, said Hongliang Chai, Analyst, Emerging Carbon Markets, Thomson Reuters Point Carbon and author of the analysis, “China has been the main CDM host country so far and has to date supplied nearly 60% of all issued certified emission reductions (CERs), most of which go to the EU ETS”. However, Chai stresses that the draft also explicitly mentions possible “retaliatory approaches” to dealing with the EU’s inclusion of aviation within its ETS. Without providing details, the draft states that “China objects to other countries and areas using climate change as an excuse to conduct protectionism in trade, or unilaterally levying carbon taxes or similar taxes on Chinese airlines, ships, etc”. “This article reiterates the views previously expressed by the Chinese authorities and appears to be consistent with recent reports that China is to delay a $3 billion order for 15 Airbus A330 aircraft announced last October”, said Chai.
**No Link

Ways to develop low-carbon economy in China
People’s Daily
On February 16, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Program and the Asian Development Bank jointly reported that economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region has been increasing for 20 years, but resource consumption of the region is the highest in the world. Since mid-1990s, resource consumption of the region has accounted for more than half of the global total, and the resources needed to produce $1 of gross national product is three times that of other regions.
http://jlne.ws/JgJGjK 

Former MF Global Carbon Head MacGiffin Joins ClimateCare
Bloomberg
Grattan MacGiffin, a former head of voluntary and new carbon at MF Global Holdings Ltd., has joined ClimateCare, an emissions offsetter in Oxford, England.
http://jlne.ws/IK2doa

Carbon market will be announced in Rio de Janeiro Rio +20
Instituto Carbono Brasil
The state government of Rio de Janeiro is preparing several announcements related to sustainable development to mark the completion of the Rio +20 in June and among them is the creation of the first mandatory carbon market in Brazil.
http://jlne.ws/ILJGwO

Getting to Inclusive Green Growth
World Bank press release
Over the past 20 years, economic growth has lifted more than 660 million people out of poverty and raised the income levels of millions more, but growth has often come at the expense of the environment. A variety of market, policy and institutional failures mean that the Earth’s natural capital tends to be used in ways that are economically inefficient and wasteful, without sufficient reckoning of the true social costs of resource depletion, and without adequate reinvestment in other forms of wealth
http://jlne.ws/KnwbS7

THE REPORT
World Bank
Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathways to Sustainable Development
http://jlne.ws/IJXP8B

World Bank Political-Risk Insurer Underused 30% in Climate Fight
Bloomberg
A World Bank Group agency providing insurance, including political-risk cover, in developing nations is being underutilized by 30 percent because of a lack of demand as the United Nations fights to protect the climate.
http://jlne.ws/KRqM2B 

Oil-Sands Emissions Low Enough for Europe, Alberta Says
Bloomberg
Carbon-dioxide emissions from Canada’s oil sands are low enough to allow the crude to be sold in Europe, the government of Alberta said, challenging a European Union study on the issue.
http://jlne.ws/IDIhEw
**more coverage in Canada

Obama Warms to Energy Industry by Supporting Natural Gas
Bloomberg
Huddled around the West Wing table were an unlikely group of co-conspirators with the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.
http://jlne.ws/ILCO2r

Romney Says Obama Takes Undue Credit for Oil-Output Gains
Bloomberg
Mitt Romney, campaigning amid oil rigs dotting the landscape in Colorado, said President Barack Obama’s policies have hurt U.S. energy output and that regulation of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas should be left to states.
http://jlne.ws/JuGAfn

U.K. to Pursue Electricity-Market Law to Boost Low-Carbon Plants
Bloomberg
The U.K. plans to overhaul its electricity market as the government seeks to prevent spikes in natural-gas prices and spur investment in lower-emitting technologies.
http://jlne.ws/J1W3iD

WWF leading corporate giants to epic carbon cuts
Business Green
Around 30 of the world’s largest companies have saved more than double the annual CO2 output of Switzerland through WWF’s corporate carbon cutting scheme since it began in 1999.
http://jlne.ws/Jg9iz5

Microsoft just a click away from becoming “carbon neutral”
Business Green
Microsoft has revealed it will achieve “carbon neutral” status from July, in a move that will include putting a price on the CO2 emissions created by every business unit.
http://jlne.ws/KnuYu3

US


Westinghouse Solar Drops on Purchase by Australia’s CBD
Bloomberg
Westinghouse Solar Inc. (WEST), a U.S. solar company, fell the most in more than four months after agreeing to be acquired by the Australian developer CBD Energy Ltd. (CBD).
http://jlne.ws/K3wT54
**repeats in Asia

WSJ Best on the Street: Alternative Energy
Wall Street Journal
In the year of Solyndra, what’s a solar analyst to do? Sell, sell, sell.
http://jlne.ws/Kbw8um

Exclusive: Chesapeake CEO arranged new $450 million loan from financier
Reuters
In the weeks before Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon was stripped of his chairmanship over his personal financial dealings, he arranged an additional $450 million loan from a longtime backer, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
http://jlne.ws/LheSBG

Enbridge CEO to Tap Canadian Oil-Sands Support for Gateway Pipe
Bloomberg
Enbridge Inc. (ENB) Chief Executive Officer Pat Daniel is counting on Canadians’ support for ending the nation’s reliance on U.S. markets to boost the company’s chances of building its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
http://jlne.ws/JgMWfb
**repeats in Canada

Canada


Enbridge CEO to Tap Canadian Oil-Sands Support for Gateway Pipe
Bloomberg
Enbridge Inc. (ENB) Chief Executive Officer Pat Daniel is counting on Canadians’ support for ending the nation’s reliance on U.S. markets to boost the company’s chances of building its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
http://jlne.ws/JgMWfb
**repeats in US

Oil-Sands Emissions Low Enough for Europe, Alberta Says
Bloomberg
Carbon-dioxide emissions from Canada’s oil sands are low enough to allow the crude to be sold in Europe, the government of Alberta said, challenging a European Union study on the issue.
http://jlne.ws/IDIhEw
**repeats in Leads

Alberta fires back at proposed EU fuel rules
Globe and Mail
The Alberta government has gone on the offensive against Europe’s proposed fuel-quality directive with a new study that shows the oil sands production is only slightly more greenhouse-gas intensive than crudes already used in Europe.
http://jlne.ws/IDIrMc

Alberta oilsands study contradicts EU fuel standard
Calgary Herald
The Alberta government’s long-standing protest against a proposed European Union climate policy just got refuelled by a new study on the greenhouse-gas emissions of oilsands crude that the province says throws into question key assumptions in the European directive labelling bitumen about one-fifth dirtier than conventional crudes entering the continent.
http://jlne.ws/KbATEq
**repeats in Europe

Europe


U.K. Plans Water Law to Spur Competition, Investment
Bloomberg
Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration promised draft legislation this year that would spur competition in the water industry and encourage investment needed to keep supplies flowing as the U.K. climate becomes drier.
http://jlne.ws/JggBGX 

Pressure builds for full Water Bill as government announces draft legislation
Business Green
The government’s decision not to bring a full Water Bill forward this year has come under fire, after critics accused ministers of dragging their feet on reforms needed to tackle drought conditions.
http://jlne.ws/KG8vvp

The Energy Bill is coming
Business Green blog
So the rumour mill was wrong. The Energy Bill and its promised electricity market reforms made it into the Queen’s Speech, and right near the top, alongside the commitment to introduce a Green Investment Bank, to boot.
http://jlne.ws/IZ2EAS

Enel GP core earnings hit by lower hydro output
Reuters
Italy’s biggest renewable energy company Enel Green Power said on Wednesday its core earnings in the first quarter fell 3.6 percent as lower hydroelectric production took its toll.
http://jlne.ws/KG6QG0

SAP reveals plan for bigger and greener Latin American labs
Business Green
SAP has confirmed plans to double the size of its 17m euro green research centre in Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, as it seeks to grow its presence in Latin America.
http://jlne.ws/IJVQBd
**repeats in Latin America

EasyJet completes 2012 CO2 purchases for 7 mln stg
Point Carbon
EasyJet, one of Europe’s largest airlines, said Wednesday it has bought all the carbon units its needs for 2012 at a cost of 7 million pounds (8.68 million euros).
http://jlne.ws/KnvVTh

Alberta oilsands study contradicts EU fuel standard
Calgary Herald
The Alberta government’s long-standing protest against a proposed European Union climate policy just got refuelled by a new study on the greenhouse-gas emissions of oilsands crude that the province says throws into question key assumptions in the European directive labelling bitumen about one-fifth dirtier than conventional crudes entering the continent.
http://jlne.ws/KbATEq
**repeats in Canada

Asia

Westinghouse Solar Drops on Purchase by Australia’s CBD
Bloomberg
Westinghouse Solar Inc. (WEST), a U.S. solar company, fell the most in more than four months after agreeing to be acquired by the Australian developer CBD Energy Ltd. (CBD).
http://jlne.ws/K3wT54
**repeats in US

OPINION: Australia’s rivers traded into trouble
Australian Geographic
IF YOU LIVE IN PERTH you’re still in the midst of one of the longest dry periods in recorded history. If, on the other hand, you live in Brisbane you may have already forgotten about the long dry that characterised most of the first decade of this century.
http://jlne.ws/IRksvD

Latin America

To Keep Their Water Flowing, Peruvians Put Money Into Mountains
Ecosystem Marketplace
The Peruvian Andes have long supplied the country’s cities with clean mountain water, but climate change and rural encroachment are disrupting this once-reliable supply. Indeed, the US State Department has identified impending water shortages here as a security threat with implications far beyond Latin America.
http://jlne.ws/Jbeg0N

Argentina slows down climate actions amid energy supply crisis
Point Carbon
While its Latin American neighbors move forward with national climate laws, Argentina is backsliding on actions to tackle its greenhouse gas emissions as the country struggles to meet energy demand from a fast-growing middle class.
http://jlne.ws/LhniJn

SAP reveals plan for bigger and greener Latin American labs
Business Green
SAP has confirmed plans to double the size of its 17m euro green research centre in Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, as it seeks to grow its presence in Latin America.
http://jlne.ws/IJVQBd
**repeats in Europe

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