Summary

In today’s edition, a decision that could change the way carbon markets have worked (and failed) until now: Europe’s highest court ruled that the European Commission’s calculation for handing out free carbon permits to industries was flawed, raising the prospect of higher costs for big energy users (in the Carbon section). And in the Clean tech section, learn how VW and Shell try to block the EU push for electric cars. Finally,  meet these Republican lawmakers who are turning to climate action to help keep their seats. 

Quote of the day

“A Republican in any tight reelection bid could embrace climate action as a means of swaying undecided, moderate voters who may think the position that climate change is not occurring is too far fetched. By acknowledging climate change, a candidate could appeal to voters who think it is ridiculous that a candidate does not agree with the overwhelming consensus of peer-reviewed scientific research that documents climate change is happening.”

Michelle Pautz, an associate professor of political science at the University of Dayton, in the Think Progress’ story These Republican Lawmakers Are Turning To Climate Action To Help Keep Their Seats 

Lead stories 

Investors set out climate risks utility sector must tackle 
By James Murray – BusinessGreen  
Power utilities are today facing fresh calls from investors to deliver business strategies that are in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global temperature increases below 2C. 
http://bit.ly/24oioCO

Shell chairman joins new climate group involving NGOs 
By Pilita Clark – Financial Times  
The chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, Charles Holliday, has joined executives from BHP Billiton and other big energy companies on a new body exploring whether some of the fossil fuels that businesses such as theirs produce should stay in the ground. 
http://on.ft.com/1rmGAaE

These Republican Lawmakers Are Turning To Climate Action To Help Keep Their Seats 
By Natasha Geiling – Think Progress
For most Senate Republicans, climate change is an anathema: 70 percent of Republicans in the Senate deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and humans are the main cause. 
http://bit.ly/1VWi8tF

Dems block energy spending bill for second day 
By Timothy Cama and Devin Henry – The Hill  
Second verse, same as the first: For the second straight day, Senate Democrats blocked consideration of an energy and water spending package due to a proposed amendment dealing with the Iran nuclear agreement. 
http://bit.ly/1r0OeqD

Stanford board votes not to divest from fossil fuels despite protests 
By Sam Levin – The Guardian  
Stanford University’s board of trustees has voted not to divest from fossil fuels in a move that has drawn widespread criticisms from students and environmental groups as other colleges across the US have pledged to end oil and gas investments in response to campus protests. 
http://bit.ly/1rmFwDM

Events

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2016 
Climate Action Reserve 
May 4-6, 2016 
San Diego, California 
http://goo.gl/Ah5s1I   

CARBON EXPO 2016 
Global Carbon Market Fair and Conference 
May 25-27, 2016 
Cologne 
http://jlne.ws/1mg8bqR

Cleantech Innovate Scotland 
June 9, 2016 
http://jlne.ws/1mg6nOG  

Carbon

EU court overturns carbon market free quotas in blow for big polluters 
EurActiv 
Europe’s highest court on Thursday (28 April) ruled that the European Commission’s calculation for handing out free carbon permits to industries was flawed, raising the prospect of higher costs for big energy users. 
http://bit.ly/1XXG1OQ 
***LB: Also in this story “The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice gave the European Commission ten months to draw up a new calculation method for handing out free carbon permits.”

What the government can learn from the private-sector about carbon pricing 
By Alison Cassady and Gwynne Taraska – Market Watch  
As the global community comes together to fight climate change, more and more countries are putting a price on carbon in order to encourage the deployment of cleaner energy and limit greenhouse gas pollution. 
http://on.mktw.net/1WWr69a

8 ways humans were recording the climate before it was hot 
By Kate Yoder – Grist  
We like to think of climate science as extremely high-tech — satellites! recording conditions on Earth in extreme detail! from SPACE!!! But in fact, observing the climate is sometimes as easy as paying attention to what’s going on outside. 
http://bit.ly/1NEXbAv

Natural gas / coal 

Gazprom profit gain raises spectre of dispute over dividend 
By Jack Farchy – Financial Times 
Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, reported a fivefold increase in net profit to Rbs787bn ($12.2bn) for 2015, setting the stage for a tussle with the government over its dividend payment. 
http://on.ft.com/1SCIFGh

Mayors push Obama to write methane regulations 
By Devin Henry – The Hill 
A group of American mayors are asking the Obama administration to issue strong rules on methane leaks and emissions at oil and gas drilling sites. 
http://bit.ly/1XXEIzu

8 Real Reasons Natural Gas Could Skyrocket Over the Next Year 
By Lee Jackson – 24/7 Wall Street 
Wall Street usually is a very rear-view mirror kind of place, where decisions are made after a dramatic market move already has happened. 
http://bit.ly/1VXfSBY

Power

World’s Biggest Windmills Now Make Jumbo Jets Look Tiny 
By Jessica Shankleman  – Bloomberg News  
Often derided as a blot on rural landscapes, wind turbines got bigger and stronger than ever anyway. The next generation are even larger and designed to withstand an Arctic battering. 
http://bloom.bg/1SCJkY1

New peer-to-peer solar power platform allows households to use each other’s solar power 
By Susan Edmunds – Stuff.co.nz  
If you’ve always wanted to use solar power but do not want to go through the expense of installing a system on your house – or you’re renting and can’t – a new power company may be the answer. 
http://bit.ly/1rE50gm

Clean tech

VW and Shell try to block EU push for electric cars 
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
VW and Shell have united to try to block Europe’s push for electric cars and more efficient cars, saying biofuels should be at heart of efforts to green the industry instead. 
http://bit.ly/1SCJgrl

Water

Obama declares disaster as Marshall Islands suffers worst-ever drought 
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian 
Barack Obama has declared the severe drought in the Marshall Islands a disaster, opening the way for emergency US funding for the Pacific island nation. 
http://bit.ly/1NEVsed

New water purification system could help slake the world’s thirst 
By Robert Service – Science
More than 1 billion people around the world lack access to fresh water, and the problem is growing: By 2025 a whopping two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. 
http://bit.ly/1T9dvW6

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