Summary

In today’s edition, companies such as Apple and Disney are happy with their strategy to go green. And New York state governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration will ban fracking in the state because of concerns over health risks. 

Quote of the day

“With an evolving financing landscape, assets such as wind power generators need alternative ways to access secure long-term funding.”

Rory Quinlan, managing director of Capital Dynamics, in the Bloomberg News’ story Macquarie Provides Loan to Finance Seven U.K. Wind Farms 

Lead stories

Sea boundary talks between U.S., Mexico, Cuba to take years: Mexico
By Dave Graham – Reuters 
Joint talks among the United States, Cuba and Mexico to fix the maritime boundaries of the three countries in the Gulf of Mexico are likely to be complex and stretch beyond 2018, a senior Mexican official said on Wednesday. 
http://jlne.ws/1AKOAk2

Apple, Microsoft, Disney Show Low-Carbon Leadership, Commercial Success 
Environmental Leader
Apple, Diageo, Microsoft and Unilever are among the “low-carbon leaders” highlighted in Corporate Citizenship’s report the Low-Carbon Company, which makes the business case for decarbonization.
http://jlne.ws/1C3pNsQ

Macquarie Provides Loan to Finance Seven U.K. Wind Farms
By Louise Downing – Bloomberg News
Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions, a unit of Macquarie Group Ltd., provided a 60 million-pound ($94 million) loan to fund seven U.K. wind farms. 
http://jlne.ws/1C1Pfls

Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State
By Thomas Kaplan – The New York Times 
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of debate over a method of extracting natural gas. 
http://jlne.ws/1uVEoRr

Senate Dems hold hearing to promote EPA ozone rule
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Two Senate Democrats held a hearing Wednesday to promote the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ozone rule designed to reduce smog.
http://jlne.ws/1v3s5DB

McConnell: ‘Couldn’t be angrier’ about EPA climate rule
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pushing his plan to try to dismantle the administration’s climate change agenda next year within a day of the 113th Congress adjourning.
http://jlne.ws/1wHWNWZ

EU ministers urge Brussels to accelerate climate policies
BusinessGreen 
In a statement, the so-called Green Growth Group, which includes energy and environment representatives from Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway, says the new EU Commission must “start rapidly with work” on new and existing legislation related to the 2020 and the 2030 climate and energy framework. 
http://jlne.ws/1wlQ6tP

UK energy use falls, as renewable generation climbs to record levels
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
The UK’s low carbon transition is continuing to gather pace, according to a flurry of new government statistics, which show a sharp fall in energy demand, increased renewable energy generation, and reduced fossil fuel production. 
http://jlne.ws/1wHWxY8

Events 

Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium
ACCO
January 7-8, 2015
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC
jlne.ws/11QVx8i

2015 Climate Leadership Conference
ACCO, EPA, The Climate Registry, C2ES
February 23-25, 2015
Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (Arlington, VA)
jlne.ws/AAf4bu

Carbon

UN’s Clean Development Market Mechanism Future in Doubt, Largely Sidelined in Lima
By Eric J. Lyman – (blog) – Bloomberg News 
The United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism, a plan to use market forces to curb greenhouse gas emissions that once was hailed as among the most important and resilient parts of the UN process to confront climate change, is fighting to survive and remain relevant. 
http://jlne.ws/1r2KnZ9

Global linkage of carbon markets remains a challenge
By Annemarie Botzki – Interfax 
Although plans to link carbon-trading schemes internationally have suffered setbacks over the years, advocates of carbon trading hope the UN climate summit in Paris next year will produce new commitments. 
http://jlne.ws/1AusXol

Did anyone notice that Australia now has a carbon trading scheme? 
By Nathan Lim- REneweconomy 
Senator Nick Xenophon has brought back a carbon trading scheme to Australia and nobody seems to have noticed. 
http://jlne.ws/1GUxe6o

Brick masons facing new emissions standards
By Tim Devaney – The Hill
Homebuilders are among those who could be affected by new emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency that could cost industry millions of dollars to comply with. 
http://jlne.ws/1wkAs26

North Sea CO2 storage vision gets £2.5m boost
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
The UK has earmarked £2.5m to encourage the development of CO2 storage in the North Sea, helping companies to identify sites to store emissions trapped from power plants and heavy industry. 
http://jlne.ws/1wHo8c4

Washington: Pollution Swaps Proposed
The Associated Press
Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday proposed a cap-and-trade plan that would require industrial polluters to pay for every ton of carbon they release.
http://jlne.ws/1r217zX

Natural gas / coal

NY unlikely to face lawsuits over fracking ban, experts say
By Daniel Wiessner – Reuters 
When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on fracking in New York on Wednesday, he predicted “a ton of lawsuits” against the state. But that is unlikely as the end of a drilling boom has left the industry in no mood for a fight, industry experts and lawyers said.
http://jlne.ws/1z0deLw

China’s largest coal power plant violating air pollution levels every week
By Jennifer Duggan – The Guardian
China’s largest coal-fired power plant has been violating national emission standards for chemicals that cause dangerous fine particulate matter pollution, official figures show. 
http://jlne.ws/1wHp6VH

EPA punts decision on methane regs
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency is punting a decision on whether to pursue regulations on methane emissions from industrial sources until after the holidays. 
http://jlne.ws/1r20whB

Power

Supporters decry short tax break extension for wind industry
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
A $41.6 billion package of tax breaks passed by the Senate Tuesday night extends controversial credits for the wind power industry, but only through the end of the year. 
http://jlne.ws/1AiOm5R

Northern California Power Surges on Transmission Failure
By Jonathan N. Crawford – Bloomberg News
Average on-peak wholesale power in California’s northern hub, which serves San Francisco, is on track to reach the highest level of the year after a transmission failure limited the amount of electricity that could be brought into the region. 
http://jlne.ws/1wPefYB

Can Japan Recapture Its Solar Power? 
By Peter Fairley – MIT Technology Review  
The fate of solar power in Japan, which lost 30 percent of its electricity production after the Fukushima disaster, will be an important test of renewable technologies. 
http://jlne.ws/1DQ7b4c

Kenya to Develop Africa’s Largest Wind Project 
By Nick Cunningham – Oilprice.com 
Danish wind company Vestas won a contract to provide 365 turbines for a 310 megawatt wind power project in Kenya. 
http://jlne.ws/1w1HbZp 
***LB: Also in this story “The Lake Turkana Wind Power project will be the largest of its kind in Africa, and is expected to generate 15-20 percent of Kenya’s electricity needs when completed.”

Clean tech

The World’s Biggest Car Company Wants to Get Rid of Gasoline
By Brian Bremner, Craig Trudell, and Yuki Hagiwara December – Bloomberg News 
The first thing you notice about the Mirai, Toyota’s new $62,000, four-door family sedan, is that it’s no Camry, an international symbol of bland conformity. 
http://jlne.ws/1wHpRxU 
***LB: Also in this story “Just as the Prius has established itself as the first true mass-market hybrid, Toyota hopes the Mirai will one day become the first mass-market hydrogen car.”

Water

Front Yards Turn to Wetlands as Climate Change Takes Toll
By Heather Perlberg – Bloomberg News 
Amanda Armstrong schedules her life around the tides. For the past year and a half, she’s had to navigate rising waters that saturate the lawn of her red brick house in Norfolk, Virginia, and sometimes fill a puddle out front with crabs and fish. 
http://jlne.ws/13eUSgZ

Volume of world’s oldest water estimated 
BBC News
The world’s oldest water, which is locked deep within the Earth’s crust, is present at a far greater volume than was thought, scientists report. The liquid, some of which is billions of years old, is found many kilometres beneath the ground. 
http://jlne.ws/1zxYNSS 
***LB: Also in this story “Researchers estimate there is about 11m cubic kilometres (2.5m cu miles) of it – more water than all the world’s rivers, swamps and lakes put together.”

Miscellaneous

EU will not label tar sands as ‘dirty’
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
MEPs have passed rules to rank dirty Canadian tar sands alongside standard petrol and diesel fuels. 
http://jlne.ws/1v2opC2

 

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