Today’s edition focuses on pledges and goals. To wit, China. If it is to fulfill a pledge made last year to bring emissions to a peak by around 2030, Beijing needs to impose a nationwide carbon cap, says a legislator. Same thing with Massachusetts. It set aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions but won’t meet them. Consequently, some advocate a carbon tax. It would be a first in the U.S.. Finally, another possible breakthrough: wind power could account for 35% of total energy supply by 2050 in the U.S., a report states. 

Quote of the day

“Now, coffee’s a temperature-sensitive crop. Climate change puts the world’s coffee-growing regions at risk.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, in The Hill’s story Hold on to your coffee cup 

Lead stories

China needs CO2 cap to meet climate pledges: legislator 
China needs to impose a nationwide carbon cap if it is to fulfill a pledge made last year to bring emissions to a peak by around 2030, a legislator said in a proposal submitted to parliament this week.

China’s push to cut coal use may be bad news for U.S. exporters
By Stuart Leavenworth – McClatchy
As its national legislature adjourns this week, China has signaled it intends to further lower coal consumption, reducing pollution but also rocking coal-export industries from Australia to the Pacific Northwest.

With Mass. Off Track On Emissions Goal, Advocates Seek 1st State Carbon Tax 
By Fred Thys – NPR Boston Radio
Boston, Massachusetts has aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 
***LB: Also in this story “Under a law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick, the state’s economy is, by 2050, supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels. At the present rate, Massachusetts won’t meet that goal.”

Report: Wind power could be 35% of supply by 2050
By David Jackson – USA TODAY  
The Obama administration is setting higher goals for wind power, saying it could supply 35% of the nation’s electricity by the year 2050.

GOP highlights state objections to EPA climate rule
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Senate Republicans used a Wednesday hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) landmark climate rule to highlight the objections from states that oppose the rule.

EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan Faces Continued Opposition – Including in Wisconsin 
By Susan Bence – WUWM  
A panel in Milwaukee this week largely criticized the rule that would reduce Wisconsin’s coal-burning power plant emissions 34 percent by 2030. Only one renewable energy advocate expressed support.

Sens. Portman, Shaheen renew energy efficiency push
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Two senators are putting a renewed effort into their years-long push to establish a cohesive, national energy efficiency policy through legislation.

Hold on to your coffee cup 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The most important meal of the day: The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that your morning cup of coffee is now at risk in the fight against climate change.

Could (UK’s) new pension freedoms spark renewables investment surge?
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Changes to the pension rules next month that will allow retirees to drawdown a lump sum, could spark a rush of investment in renewables, such as new solar rooftop schemes, the Prime Minister’s envoy on climate change Greg Barker has suggested.  

Chile Gets Cleaner at a Profit With Pacheco Renewable Push
By Matthew Craze, Matthew A. Winkler and Javiera Quiroga – Bloomberg 
Policies favoring clean energy and increased competition would normally dim prospects for existing producers. Not in Chile, where foreign investors are driving a renewable boom at a time of surging returns by local utilities.


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 


Plan to Verify Delhi Pollution Data Raises Suspicions
By Gardiner Harris – The New York Times
This megacity’s modest effort to warn residents about unhealthy spikes in air pollution levels in real time may soon end, after a decision to first send the data to be authenticated by the central government. 

Natural gas / coal

Palestinian power firm cancels natural gas deal with Israel
By Tova Cohen – Reuters
The Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC) has cancelled a deal to buy about $1.2 billion of natural gas from the Leviathan field off Israel citing delays in development of the giant project. 
***LB: Also in this story “Cancellation may take effect in 30 days.”

Shale should be the centrepiece of next (UK’s) government’s energy policy – Tim Yeo
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian
Shale gas exploration can be environmentally sound, and should be the centrepiece of the next government’s energy policy, the Conservative’s most senior green-leaning MP has urged. 

Budget 2015 should set 10 year deadline for coal, IPPR says
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
George Osborne should freeze the UK’s carbon tax and pledge to phase out coal by 2025 in next week’s Budget, moves that would cut bills, tackle pollution and drive investment, according to think tank IPPR.


Time ripe for Atlantic wind, advocates say
By Daniel J. Graeber – UPI
One of the main barriers to a diverse energy economy in the United States is an investment scenario that benefits oil and gas, an ocean advocacy group said.

2014 Was the Biggest Year For Solar Power Ever
By Tim McDonnell- Mother Jones
We’ve noted here before the many ways in which solar power is blowing up in the United States: Adding tons of jobs, driving progressive policies, and attracting millions of dollars in investment from major corporations.

Siemens unveils 7MW turbine in offshore wind cost cutting drive
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
German engineering giant Siemens yesterday unveiled its most efficient offshore wind turbine model to date, which it claims will be able to produce 10 per cent more power than the 6MW wind turbine that is due to be produced in Hull.

UK energy system ‘sailing close to the wind’, Peers warn
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
Keeping the lights on over the winter has proved costly both financially and environmentally, peers will say today. 


Climate one of “top risks” facing insurance industry – Mark Carney 
By Ed King – RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
The Governor of the Bank of England has defended plans to investigate the risks posed by climate change, telling UK lawmakers it is one of the “top risks” facing the financial services industry.

Obama names new head of White House environmental council 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
President Obama has tapped Christy Goldfuss, a former top official at the National Park Service, to lead his committee of environmental advisers.

Coalition Britain: has the ‘greenest ever’ government lived up to its promise?
By Anne Perkins – The Guardian
It was on a broiling summer’s day last August that Hoovergate broke. Brussels bureaucrats were about to ban high-powered vacuum cleaners, and every Tory criticism of the green agenda collided in one nightmarish Daily Mail headline.


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