In today’s edition, results of a study could imply a huge shift in China, as city-dwellers find car ownership “not as cool as it was five years ago.” Still in China, another study advises the country to link all  Southern carbon markets together – ahead of a nationwide scheme. And finally, less than a week before the March 31 UN deadline to pledge actions against climate change, only the European Union and Switzerland have unveiled their plans.

Quote of the day

“We recommend focusing on small and medium size enterprises. The policies so far have tended to concentrate on large enterprises, but there are big gains to be made by smaller companies, which represent 40 per cent of China’s energy use.”

David Sawyer, associate at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, in the IISD’s press release Impact of China’s Carbon Policies on Business 

Lead stories

Chinese Urbanites Reconsidering Car Ownership, Study Finds
Wall Street Journal
In China, some drivers are saying that owning a car is a hassle they could do without.

China should link southern carbon markets ahead of nationwide scheme -study 
Academics that advise the government on carbon trading in China have proposed linking two emissions exchanges in the southern province of Guangdong as a first step towards integrating all seven of the country’s pilot markets.

Impact of China’s Carbon Policies on Business 
International Institute for Sustainable Development Press Release
Seismic policy shifts are underway in China as it transitions toward a lower-carbon, more resource efficient economy, according to a series of new reports by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). 
***LB: Also in this story “The research finds that 60 per cent of businesses in industrial development zones have systems to reduce the impact of their activities on the environment. Half of the surveyed companies have targets to reduce their energy use. A smaller percentage, 20 per cent, maintain inventories of their greenhouse gas emissions.”

Biggest Polluters to Miss Climate Deadline
By Alex Nussbaum and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
Less than a week before the United Nations deadline for countries to file greenhouse-gas pledges necessary to keep a global climate change deal on track, it looks like most of the world is missing in action. 
***LB: Also in this story “Ahead of the March 31 target, only the European Union and Switzerland have unveiled plans, representing about 10 percent of global emissions. The U.S. has promised to hit the deadline. The rest of the world’s major economies, including China, India, Australia and Japan, are unlikely to complete submissions in time, according to environmental groups tracking UN climate talks.”

Green Investment Bank to go global with £200m climate finance pilot
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
The government has given the UK Green Investment Bank an extra £200m to set up a dedicated team to invest in green energy projects in Africa and India.

UK green economy hit £122bn in 2013
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
The UK low carbon economy was worth £122bn in 2013 and has been growing at seven per cent a year, according to government figures. 
***LB: Also in this story “A low carbon investment report published today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says the sector supports over 460,000 jobs, which equates to around 1.5 of every 100 UK jobs.”

Disney Vanquishes Greenhouse Gas Emissions
By Gina-Marie Cheeseman – Triple pundit
The Walt Disney Co. is more than the company that provides a good time to families at at Disneyland and Disney World. 
***LB: Also in this story “Disney has reduced its net emissions by 31 percent from 2012 levels. Its goal is to reduce net emissions by 50 percent by 2020, and the company is on track to meet the target.”

GOP seeks state opt-out for EPA rule
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Opt-Out: The Senate could vote this week on an amendment to the budget resolution that would significantly weaken the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate rule for power plants.

Green ads hit vulnerable GOP senators for climate votes
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
A green group is running advertisements hitting two vulnerable Republican senators for votes that support a “big polluter agenda.”


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  


Bet big on trapping CO2 from industry, (UK’s) government told
By Will Nichols  – BusinessGreen
Spending on carbon capture and storage may need to rise significantly if the UK is to reduce emissions from heavy industry cost-effectively, a leading think tank will say today.

(Australia’s) Clean Energy Council suggests Coalition and Labor ‘split the difference’ over RET
By Lenore Taylor – The Guardian
The renewable energy industry is trying to broker a deal to end the standoff between the Abbott government and Labor over the renewable energy target by suggesting the parties “split the difference”.

Natural gas / coal

Low returns drag down US shale oil industry
By Ed Crooks – Financial Times
In the boom years of the US shale oil industry, profitability was something of an optional extra. Companies were focused on growth, it was easy to raise capital, and making a decent return on investment could be put off for another day.

The Real Cost of Coal
By David J. Hayes and James H. Stock – The New York Times
Congress long ago established a basic principle governing the extraction of coal from public lands by private companies: American taxpayers should be paid fair value for it. They own the coal, after all.

US coal sector in ‘terminal decline’, financial analysts say
By Karl Mathiesen – The Guardian
The US coal sector is in a “terminal decline” which has sent 26 companies bust in the last three years, according to financial analysts.

Lord Smith ‘hugely sceptical’ of fracking for shale oil in the UK
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian 
The former chief of the Environment Agency is “hugely sceptical” on the prospects of fracking for shale oil in the UK, saying it is far from clear that the process should be used to extract quantities of oil from downlands in the south-east of England.

Berlin fracking bill criticised ahead of UN climate talks 
EurActiv Germany
Sharp criticism has been directed at a government proposal for a law to permit exploitation of crude oil and natural gas using the controversial fracking technique. 
***LB: Also in this story “Not only do the proposed draft regulations neglect the protection of human beings, nature and water, warned environmental organisations such as BUND, NABU and the Allianz der öffentlichen Wasserwirtschaft (AÖW) at a meeting in Berlin.”


Power Companies Seek to End Losing Streak on EPA at Top U.S. Court
By Greg Stohr and Mark Drajem – Bloomberg
Think the U.S. Supreme Court is pro-business? Try telling that to the utility industry.

Clean tech

Tesla Says Buyers in China’s Shenzhen Can Get Special Licenses
Bloomberg News
Tesla Motors Inc. said its cars were approved for a program in Shenzhen, China, that sets aside license plates for new-energy vehicles, giving the automaker a boost in a market where sales have trailed expectations.

Tesla Motors Inc Batteries Face Threat From Buffett-Backed BYD
By Aman Jain – ValueWalk
Tesla will face new competition going forward as Build Your Dreams, popularly known as BYD, makes a push towards plug-in cars. 
***LB: Also in this story ” The Warren Buffett backed Chinese firm is already producing all-electric buses in America.”

Steve Wozniak wants Apple to challenge Tesla
By Jeff Byrnes – AppAdvice
Believe what you will about the recent rumors that Apple is building an electric car, but Steve Wozniak told, The Australian Financial Review that he is hopeful.

Why Are Tesla Cars So Expensive?
By Adam Hayes – Investopedia
Tesla Motors (TSLA), the brainchild of entrepreneur Elon Musk, has made waves by challenging the auto industry and producing its own all-electric car.


Why Denver Spends Water Fees On Trees
By Kelli Barrett and Tracy Stanton – Ecosystem Marketplace
The Colorado utility Denver Water delivers clean drinking water to 1.3 million people spread across more than 335 square miles, and most of that water comes from rivers and reservoirs that capture run-off from forest-covered hills in clearly-delineated watersheds.

Severe Droughts May Change Way Water is Priced
Circle of Blue
Increasingly severe droughts in the western United States could give utilities more power to set higher prices for water.

As Himalayan Glaciers Melt, Two Towns Face the Fallout 
By Daniel Grossman – Yale Environment 360
Recently, Buddhists at a nunnery in Zanskar Valley, a 30-mile-long alley of gray stone high in the Himalayas of northwest India, took the unprecedented step of planting an apricot tree.


Rolls-Royce engine company will pay $1.2 million for violating Clean Air Act
By Lydia Wheeler – The Hill
A Rolls-Royce engine manufacturing company will pay $1.2 million and audit emissions tests to settle claims with the Environmental Protection Agency that it violated the Clean Air Act. 
***LB: Also in this story “MTU America Inc., a Michigan-based subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, is accused of selling 895 nonroad heavy-duty diesel engines — used in mining, marine and power generation vehicles and equipment — without valid certificates of conformity.”


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