In today’s edition, good news: according to the World Resources Institute, the US could meet its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions without needing to introduce any new policies – in other words, even if President Barack Obama faces opposition to action on climate change from the Republican Party. Meanwhile, other experts say that finance to protect forests must meet local needs – in other words, spending a lot of money to protect the environment is great, but spending money to help populations find something to eat and therefore avoid deforestation, is better. And finally, the debate on carbon tax vs. trade is fading. Why? Because people now embrace both. 

Quote of the day

“We think American citizens have a right to know where the candidates stand on what is one of the key issues facing us.”

Tom Steyer, founder of the NextGen Climate PAC, in the Hill’s story Tom Steyer aims to get GOP candidates ‘on the record’ on climate 

Lead stories

Political mood good for climate deal: France’s Fabius 
By Richard Ingham and Julie Chabanas – AFP 
Despite “extremely complex” issues, the political mood for reaching a global climate deal this year is stronger than ever, says French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. 

Carbon tax or trade? Debate loses steam as world embraces both 
By Barbara Lewis and Susanna Twidale  – Reuters
Tax versus trade is an issue that has stalked the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) over its 10 years of existence, but is fading in importance as the world moves towards increased use of both methods of cutting greenhouse gas pollution.

Finance to protect forests must meet local needs: experts
Thomson Reuters Foundation 
Madagascar has 7 million hectares of rainforest under protection as of this month, but stopping the poor people who live near those areas from illegally cutting down rosewood trees remains a challenge. 
***LB: Also in this story “Under such deals, a price is put on every ton of carbon stored in protected trees, and those avoided emissions are sold to companies or other buyers in lieu of them reducing their own emissions.”

World has no choice but to decarbonise – UN climate chief 
By Megan Rowling – Thomson Reuters Foundation
Responding to climate change in the next 15 years is the world’s “mega development project”, given the need to invest trillions of dollars in infrastructure, creating jobs and economic stability, the United Nations’ top climate change official said. 

US can meet carbon targets without Congress, says report 
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
The US could meet its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions without needing to introduce any new policies, according to new research by the World Resources Institute (WRI).   

Tom Steyer aims to get GOP candidates ‘on the record’ on climate 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer said he does not support any of the Republican candidates for president but that it’s still important to get involved in the primary campaign. 


Climate Strategies Forum 
Washington Marriott Hotel at Metro Center 
Washington, DC 
June 24-26, 2015

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


Exxon shareholders vote on climate change, fracking 
By David Koenig – AP  
Exxon Mobil shareholders overwhelmingly rejected several environmental resolutions including proposals to put a climate-change expert on the board and set goals for greenhouse-gas emissions. 

Japan nuclear plant obtains permits needed to restart reactors 
By Devin Henry – The Hill 
A nuclear power plant in Japan has secured the final permit it needs to restart its reactors, setting it up to be the country’s first nuclear plant to reopen since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. 

Brazil sees expanded private role in nuclear power – minister 
Brazil is considering an expanded role for private companies in nuclear power generation, as it looks to meet rising electricity demand and provide backup for a hydro system pushed to its limits, Energy Minister Eduardo Braga said on Wednesday. 

Germany emits more of most potent greenhouse gas in 2014 
German emissions of sulfur hexafluoride, the most potent of all greenhouse gases, rose 13 percent last year compared with 2013 levels, according to data from the federal statistics office published on Wednesday.

Natural gas / coal 

China coal production falls in first 4 months of year 
Coal production in China, the world’s biggest coal-consuming nation, fell by 6 percent in the first four months of this year as the economy slows and the government makes a concerted push to reduce carbon emissions 

Japan Coal Revival Ducks Scrutiny With Small Plants, Critics Say
By Chisaki Watanabe – Bloomberg News 
As Japan burns more coal following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, power producers are able to duck pollution standards by building coal-fired projects small enough to avoid national regulator scrutiny, critics say.

Norway’s $900bn sovereign wealth fund told to reduce coal assets 
Norway’s $900bn sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, should cut its exposure to the global coal industry and sell stakes in firms that focus on the sector, a key parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.  


Low Carbon raises £106m in solar refinancing round 
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Renewable energy investor Low Carbon has refinanced 12 of its UK solar farms in a £106m deal with Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS) as part of its plans to grow the business. 

New York’s New Solar-Powered Food Carts Are Cool—But Wait Until They Run On Food Waste 
Fast Company
Waiting in line for a giant pretzel or falafel at a New York City food cart usually involves listening to the roar of a generator, smelling a whiff of diesel or gas, or—for the more neurotic among us—idly wondering if the propane tanks near the hot grill might someday explode. 

IKEA powers Nordic operations with 100 per cent green energy 
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen 
IKEA’s Nordic operations are now completely energy independent after opening its third wind farm in Sweden yesterday. 


Obama Announces New Rule Limiting Water Pollution 

EPA chief: We made ‘substantial changes’ to water regulations 
By Devin Henry – The Hill
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy said officials made “substantial changes” to the clean water rule it finalized Wednesday after sorting through public comments on the proposal.  

How federal dollars are financing the water crisis in the West 
State Route 87, the thin band of pavement that approaches the mostly shuttered town of Coolidge, Ariz., cuts through some of the least hospitable land in the country.  


Scientists Warn to Expect More Weather Extremes 
By John Schwartz – The New York Times 
Torrential rains and widespread flooding in Texas have brought relief from a year’s long drought to many parts of the state.

Climate change could shrink Mount Everest’s glaciers by 70 percent, study finds
By Chris Mooney – Washington Post
The iconic Mount Everest could see a major loss of its glaciers over the course of this century, according to a new scientific study that its chief author calls the “the first detailed modelling study of all glaciers in the Dudh Koshi basin in the Everest region of Nepal.”


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