In today’s edition, a Morgan Stanley’s  study shows that sustainable stocks outperform non-sustainable ones – so, why wait? And another study states that the cost of carbon should be 200% higher than it is, in order to have an impact on climate change. Finally, regulation still to come for the green bond market, worth half a trillion dollars.

Quote of the day

“We believe that sustainable investing is simply a smart way to invest, and our review shows preconceptions regarding sub-par performance are out of step with reality.” 

Audrey Choi, chief executive of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing, in the BusinessGreen’s story Sustainable stocks outperform the norm, says Morgan Stanley 

Lead stories

Sustainable stocks outperform the norm, says Morgan Stanley
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Investors who want to shift to sustainable funds but are worried they may lose out on returns may want to see new analysis from Morgan Stanley.

Cost of carbon ‘should be 200% higher’
By John Conroy – Climate Spectator 
The agreed level of carbon price needed to level out societal damage from climate change, $US36.70, is 200% below what is actually needed, according to a study reported in Carbon Brief.

Supreme Court Seems Split on What Is ‘Appropriate’ in Setting Clean Air Costs
By Adam Liptak – The New York Times
The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed closely divided over the fate of one of the Obama administration’s most ambitious environmental initiatives.

Half-trillion-dollar green bond market, led by China, looks for a regulator
By Benjamin Hulac – E&E
The global pool of issued green bonds, which are designed to fund environmentally friendly projects, tripled from $12 billion in 2013 to a little more than $36 billion last year.

Scotland targets bio-refinery growth as first plant opens
Scotland’s first bio-refinery has opened with ministers aiming to capitalise on what could be £900m industry by 2025. 
***LB: Also in this story “CelluComp’s new plant turns waste streams of root vegetables such as carrots and beets into sustainable materials. The powder produced by the process can be used as a high-valued additive into products, such as paints, packaging, composites, drilling fluids, cosmetics, concrete, food and pharmaceuticals.”

The World’s First Carbon-Negative Data Center Heats Up Swedish Homes In The Winter
Fast Company
Energy-guzzling data centers pump out an estimated 200 million tons of CO2 emissions every year around the world—more than 42 million cars create in the same amount of time.

Will Norway divest from giant Indian firm because of the Amazon? 
By David Hill – The Guardian
In 2010 the Council on Ethics for Norway’s “Government Pension Fund Global” (GPFG) recommended that the GPFG divest its holdings from giant Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, which last year The Economist magazine described as “India’s biggest private firm (measured by profits).” 
***LB: Also in this story “The justification was the threat that Reliance, as a minority partner in oil exploration in one of the remotest parts of Peru’s Amazon, was considered to pose to indigenous people who live so remotely they are sometimes described, misleadingly, as “uncontacted.””  

Ukraine Relying Less On Russian Natural Gas, Positioning To Become Bigger European Supplier 
By Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes
On the natural gas front, Ukraine is moving farther away from Russia despite a decline in domestic production last year. 


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  


Climate change: (Australia’s) farmers urge Coalition to restore emissions trading scheme 
By Gabrielle Chan – The Guardian
A delegation of farmers has called for the Abbott government to act on climate change by restoring an emissions trading scheme, maintaining the current renewable energy target and spending on rail infrastructure to improve inland transport and reduce carbon emissions. 

Jurisdictional REDD: Long Deferred, Soon Delivered
By Christopher Pollen and Steve Zwick – Ecosystem Marketplace
When the Tolo River People of Colombia wanted to save their forest, they used a financing mechanism known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) to fund their conservation by generating carbon offsets for the carbon sequestered in their trees.

Natural gas / coal

Undeterred by protests, Japan directs climate financing to coal plants in India, Bangladesh
By Karl Ritter and Aijaz Rahi – Associated Press
Despite mounting protests, Japan continues to finance the building of coal-fired power plants with money earmarked for fighting climate change, with two new projects underway in India and Bangladesh, The Associated Press has found. 
***LB: Also in this story “The AP reported in December that Japan had counted $1 billion in loans for coal plants in Indonesia as climate finance, angering critics who say such financing should be going to clean energy like solar and wind power.”

Water Use for Fracking Has Skyrocketed, USGS Data Show 
By Christina Nunez – National Geographic
As a concept, hydraulic fracturing has changed very little since the first wells were drilled in the late 1940s. In practice, however, what most people now know as fracking has undergone a transformation.

House panel passes GOP coal ash bill
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
A subpanel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a Republican-backed bill aimed at adding certainty to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) coal ash disposal rule.

Thermal coal retreats on fears over Japanese deal
By Neil Hume – Financial Times
Australian thermal coal prices — the benchmark for the giant Asian market — have surrendered recent gains as traders fret over the outcome of crucial contract talks with Japanese utility companies. 


Tallahassee prepares to add solar power to portfolio
By Byron Dobson – Tallahassee Democrat  
The city is seeking companies interested in building a solar-energy operation that will be one of the largest in North Florida.

Are Solar-Powered Homes Jacking Up Everyone Else’s Electric Bills?
By Tim McDonnell – Mother Jones
Solar power is having a major moment. It’s growing faster than any other energy source—in 2014, a new system was installed in the United States every three minutes—while the price of a typical panel has dropped 63 percent since 2010.  

Clean tech 

Connecticut’s Fuel Cell Industry Awaits a Game Changer
By Harriet Jones – WNPR  
Connecticut is one of just two or three places in the U.S. where stationary fuel cells are made on a large scale. 

China has created the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell streetcar
By Benjamin Zhang – Business Insider
This month, Chinese mass transit took a step toward alleviate the pollution problem. The world’s first hydrogen-powered streetcar rolled off a production line at Qingdao Sifang Co. 
***LB: Also in this story “The tram will be able to reach speeds as high as 43 mph. Range will be 62 miles, after which the tram will take 3 minutes to refuel.”

IKEA to install fuel cell system at the California store for clean power production 
Greentech Lead  
IKEA is planning to install a fuel cell system manufactured by Bloom Energy at its store in Emeryville, CA. It is expected that the fuel cell system will be installed, commissioned and activated by this summer, 2015. 


Water Systems in Middle East Conflict Areas Near A ‘Breaking Point’, Red Cross Says
Circle of Blue 
Water systems in places like Syria and Gaza are critically damaged and causing health risks, while militants continue to target water infrastructure in the Middle East, the Red Cross says.

India’s Food, Water, Energy Conundrum: Conclusions From a Two-Year Reporting Project 
By J. Carl Ganter – Circle of Blue
We chronicled the Pyrrhic agricultural victories in the breadbasket state of Punjab, where farmers are provided free water and energy that yield huge grain surpluses. This subsidy, though, also drains groundwater reserves with over a million powerful electricity-devouring water pumps. 


Researchers focus on heat-resistant crops 
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Amid incessant warnings that global warming will adversely impact agricultural production, researchers are hard at work developing crops resistant to heat.

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