We take a different tack to talk about climate change in today’s edition, with a story on ‘alternative protein’ (since cows in particular contribute to the present climate crisis) – Bill Gates is investing –  and two other stories on health: air pollution causes babies to be born smaller, according to a study of babies born just after the Beijing Olympics, while it costs Europe $1.6tn a year in early deaths and disease, say WHO. Finally, a new impact bond, on the rainforest.

Quote of the day

“There are very few things I’ve seen in my lifetime that could simultaneously solve so many problems: human health, climate change, water resources, and lastly, animal welfare.”

Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat, in the Civil Eats’ story ‘Alternative Protein’ Could Make Up One Third of the Market by 2050 

Lead stories

‘Alternative Protein’ Could Make Up One Third of the Market by 2050 
By Leilani Clark – Civil Eats 
Could the source of our protein be the most pressing environmental question of the day? Bill Gates seems to think so. The software tycoon has invested in two big plant-based protein start-ups: Hampton Creek and Beyond Meat, and has gone so far as to declare plant-based protein the future of food.

Innovative Rainforest Bond Structure Unveiled at Indonesia Tropical Landscapes Summit 
Market Wired 
ADM Capital today unveiled details of a suggested $1 billion bond programme to provide much needed finance for forest conservation and development. 

Air pollution causes low birth weight, Beijing study shows 
By Karl Mathiesen – The Guardian
Air pollution causes babies to be born smaller, according to a study of babies born just after the Beijing Olympics. 
***LB: Also in this story “The research surveyed the birth weights of 83,672 babies born in Beijing around the time of the 2008 Olympics, when the government closed down industry, raised vehicle emissions standards, stopped construction and introduced a license plate rotation to slash the number of vehicles on the road.” 

Air pollution costs Europe $1.6tn a year in early deaths and disease, say WHO 
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian
The financial cost of air pollution in Europe stands at more than $1.6tn (£1.5tn) a year, a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found, equating to about a tenth of the GDP of the continent.

Murkowski opens door to Obama energy plan 
By Devin Henry – The Hill 
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Tuesday said she is open to an Obama administration plan for energy infrastructure and suggested officials should work with lawmakers on drafting legislation.

A Vatican Declaration Seeks Equitable Clean-Energy Access in a Livable Climate 
By Andrew C. Revkin – The New York Times 
A daylong Vatican meeting on climate, energy, ecology and equity has produced a declaration that offers a promising vision for religious and secular leaders eager to foster a sustainable human journey.  

Hot chocolate: How will industry protect its key commodity from climate change? 
By Oliver Nieburg – Confectionary
Rising temperatures could seriously change where cocoa is grown in the next half-century and global output could be threatened if the chocolate industry does nothing to protect its key crop. 


World Green Economy Summit 2015 
22 April 2015 – 23 April 2015
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2015
North America’s premier conference on climate policy and carbon markets
Presented by the Climate Action Reserve
April 28-30, 2015
Los Angeles, California  

The National Fuel Cell Symposium 2015
Industry, government, and academia will convene to discuss the current state of the Stationary Fuel Cell development and deployment in the U.S.
May 7, 2015 
Sacramento, California 

Nearing the Finish Line: Perspectives and Updates on EPA’s Clean Power Plan (webinar)
April 23, 2015; 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT

Northeast RECs Regional Thought Leader Round Table
May 19, 2015; 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. EST
Dentons: 1221 Avenue of the Americas, NY

EMA Annual Meeting
October 28-30, 2015
Omni Parker House Hotel
Boston, MA


EU to take carbon market decision the size of Cambodia 
By Megan Darby – RTCC (Responding to Climate change) 
European Union decision makers are closing in on reforms to tackle a glut of pollution permits in the carbon market.
***LB: also in this story “Yet member states are still divided over the speed of reforms, a decision with significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.

Walmart Cuts 17.4M Metric Tons of GHGs from Global Supply Chain 
Environmental Leader 
Walmart is on track to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015. 

Natural gas / coal

Big Coal’s big scam: scar the land for profit, then let others pay to clean up 
By George Monbiot – The Guardian 
Wrapped up in this story is everything that’s wrong with the way our economy works. Corporations ream the land with giant holes, extract a stack of money, then clear out, leaving other people with the costs. 

Exclusive: U.S. examining coal cleanup program for shortfalls 
By Patrick Rucker – Reuters  
The federal government is examining whether struggling U.S. coal companies still qualify for an exemption that allows them to avoid having to fully insure against billion-dollar mine cleanup costs, the top regulator for the mining industry said on Monday.

Biggest Coal Exporter Says Climate Change Won’t Strand Assets
By Jesse Riseborough – Bloomberg News
Glencore Plc, the top exporter of coal used in power stations, expects efforts to curb climate change by keeping its fossil-fuel reserves in the ground to fail in the face of world energy demand.


State lawmaker part of effort to stop Ohio wind project
By Kathiann M. Kowalski – Midwestern Energy News  
An effort by opponents to stop a proposed Ohio wind farm, which includes a legally questionable maneuver to prevent property owners from granting variances, has the support of the state legislature’s most outspoken critic of renewable energy.

Like shale oil, solar power is shaking up global energy 
By Henning Gloystein and Aaron Sheldrick – Reuters
One by one, Japan is turning off the lights at the giant oil-fired power plants that propelled it to the ranks of the world’s top industrialised nations.

Djibouti Seeks to Tap Volcanic Energy to Reduce Power Costs
By Paul Richardson – Bloomberg News
Abdourahman Omar Haga moves his hand over a fissure in a lava lake on the edge of Djibouti’s Ghoubbet el Kharab sea, trying to detect hot vapors invisible to the naked eye in the searing midday sun.

Clean tech

Elon Musk Bulks Up Tesla Batteries in Leap Beyond Cars to Grid
By Mark Chediak and Dana Hull – Bloomberg News
Billionaire Elon Musk thinks he can pave the way to a better energy future by turning the mattress-shaped batteries in Tesla’s electric car into upright pillars so they can be used to power homes, businesses and even utilities.


Water ETF Investors Left Parched as California Suffers Drought
By David Wilson – Bloomberg News
Investors in U.S. exchange-traded funds focusing on water have something in common with residents of California and other regions experiencing droughts: they are suffering this year.

California: Water Wasters Could Be Fined $10,000
The Associated Press  
Gov. Jerry Brown of California on Tuesday called for $10,000 fines for residents and businesses that waste the most water as cities try to meet conservation mandates during the drought.  

Seaweed Might Have The Power To Make The Oceans Less Acidic
By Lynne Peeples – Huffington Post
The thick, slimy brown ribbons are notorious for tangling the ankles of beachgoers and rotting in pungent piles. But kelp, according to its growing fan base, could also prove potent in protecting the health of oceans — and us.

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