In today’s edition, to do away with the glut that depresses carbon market prices, the European Union has decided to start its  reserve in 2021 – not sooner. Also, the Green Climate Fund has named seven intermediaries to channel cash to projects in poor countries, including  social impact investment fund Acumen. And finally, yesterday, 30 European cities, including Paris, Rome and Madrid pledged to cut by 40 percent their emissions by 2030. 

Quote of the day

“The consensus was that a 2C danger level seemed utterly inadequate given the already observed impacts on ecosystems, food, livelihoods, and sustainable development.”

Petra Tschakert, a coordinating lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment of climate change impacts, and associate professor at Pennsylvania State University, in the Responding to Climate Change’s story 2C climate change target ‘utterly inadequate’ 

Lead stories

EU Nations Reach Deal to Start Carbon-Market Reserve in 2021
By Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
European Union member states agreed on a compromise to seek the start of automatic supply cuts in the world’s biggest carbon market in 2021, giving up plans to push for an accelerated introduction of the fix. 

Earth Hour lights-out seeks to illuminate climate plight
AFP Relaxnews  
Hundreds of landmarks from Paris’ Eiffel Tower to the Seattle Space Needle will dim their lights on Saturday, as people around the world go briefly off-grid to mark Earth Hour with candlelight and barbecues. 
***LB: Also in this story “The 60-minute annual campaign organised by the conservation group WWF encourages citizens, communities, businesses and organisations to switch the lights off for an hour from 8:30 pm to highlight the plight of planet Earth.”

2C climate change target ‘utterly inadequate’ 
By Megan Darby – RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
The internationally agreed target for preventing dangerous climate change is “utterly inadequate”, a leading scientist has warned.

Green Climate Fund names 7 investment partners 
By Megan Darby – RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
The UN’s flagship climate finance initiative has named seven intermediaries to channel cash to projects in poor countries. 
***LB: Also in this story “Social impact investment fund Acumen, the Asian Development Bank, UN Development Programme and German development bank KfW also got accreditation.” 

Thirty European cities pledge to slash emissions
Thirty European cities pledged Thursday to slash their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent as French President Francois Hollande called on them to back historic UN climate talks. 
***LB: Also in this story “The 30 towns — including Paris, Rome and Madrid — vowed in a declaration to cut by 40 percent their emissions by 2030, which is the target laid out by the European Union.”

McConnell amendment slows EPA regulations
By Jordain Carney – The Hill
The Senate passed an amendment Thursday night that makes it harder for the White House to enforce environmental regulations.

Skeptical judges question industry assault on EPA’s carbon capture rule
By Jeremy P. Jacobs – E&E
Federal judges were skeptical today of an industry challenge to U.S. EPA’s determination that carbon captured from power plant emissions and injected underground qualifies as a “solid waste.”

GOP senators object to climate planning directive for federal agencies
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Six Senate Republicans blasted the Obama administration’s proposal to change how federal agencies consider climate change in environmental impact reviews.

Dem measure seeks to protect officials who mention climate change 
By Ben Kamisar – The Hill
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is using the budget process to hit home-state Gov. Rick Scott (R) for allegedly prohibiting state workers from using the term “global warming.”


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  


Cars beating efficiency goals
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Cars sold in 2013 were more fuel efficient and less polluting than federal standards required, the second year in a row in which the fleet has beat the rules, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday.

Large fall in UK greenhouse gas emissions of over 8% last year
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian
The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions plunged by 8.4% last year, as household energy consumption slumped, the use of coal for electricity generation fell, and policies on climate change took effect, according to government statistics released on Thursday. 

How viable are payment schemes for ‘blue carbon’? 
By Jacob Phelps and Dan Friess – Forests News  
Much is made about the loss of such “charismatic” ecosystems as tropical rain forests and coral reefs.

Natural gas / coal

Is Natural Gas Pricing Out Renewables?
(Video) Wall Street Journal 
How is cheap natural gas affecting the viability of other fuels? Nicholas Akins, CEO of American Electric Power and Anthony Earley Jr., CEO of PG&E Corporation speak with WSJ’s John Bussey at the ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Beijing Shuts Down Coal Power Plants as Air Pollution Costs Economy
By Conor Gaffey – Newsweek  
Beijing is closing its last major coal power station next year in an attempt to tackle air pollution which is costing the economy more than 10% of its GDP. 

China’s coal use falling faster than expected
By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and David Stanway – Reuters
China is reducing coal use for power generation faster than expected as the use of cleaner-burning fuels and slowing economic growth drags thermal utilisation rates to a potential record low, implying imports and prices will fall further.

In New York state, fracking ban fuels secession talk 
By Tina Susman – Los Angeles Times
From this village of dairy farms and friendly diners, Carolyn Price can see across the border into Pennsylvania, and it is a bittersweet view.

UK faces European court over coal plant emissions
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Brussels will haul the UK into court for breaching emissions limits of the toxic pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NOx) at its coal-fired Aberthaw power plant in Wales, the bloc announced on Thursday.

Japan Uses Climate Cash for Coal Plants
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 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.

The hidden benefits of cutting coal pollution, and why they matter
By Puneet Kollipara – Washington Post
A key Environmental Protection Agency effort to cut power plant emissions of toxic metals and gases is up in the air, so to speak.


UK to tap Norwegian hydropower through world’s longest interconnector
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen 
The UK and Norway have agreed to link the two countries’ electricity grids through the longest subsea interconnector of its kind in the world. 

Power matters in Nigeria’s presidential race
By Julia Payne – Reuters
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan’s election campaign has trumpeted his reform of the power sector as a crowning achievement. But electricity shortages persist and the underperformance is a major political issue.

Clean tech

Tesla Sued in U.K. in Fight Over Charging Stations Rollout
By Andrea Gerlin – Bloomberg
Tesla Motors Inc., the carmaker led by billionaire Elon Musk, was sued in London in a dispute over whether the company interfered with a competitor’s plan to rollout electric-car chargers at U.K. highway rest stops.

New technique demystifies the behavior of catalysts in fuel cells
In autumn 2014 Toyota Motor Corporation announced the start of the commercial sales of the ‘Toyota Mirai’—the world’s first commercially available hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.


Water’s Major Role in Disasters Not Matched in New Framework to Reduce Risk 
By  Codi Kozacek – Circle of Blue
International negotiators in Japan last week signed a new agreement to protect communities from natural disasters like floods, droughts, cyclones, and tsunamis. 
***LB: Also in this story “he agreement, negotiated in Sendai, a northern Japanese city near the Pacific, aims to reduce mortality and economic losses from disasters and guides actions by governments, aid organizations, and researchers to prevent and respond to disasters over the next 15 years.”

California drought: Most say neighbors could do more to conserve
By Melody Gutierrez – SF Gate
Two-thirds of Californians say their neighbors aren’t doing enough in response to the drought, and they are fearful that their regional water supply will be inadequate in 10 years, according to a Public Policy Institute of California survey released Wednesday.

Drought Draught: it’s the taste of climate change 
By Tim Martin – Fairfax Media
Australia is facing a crisis, headed towards a future where beer will be decidedly average and climate change will literally leave us with a bad taste in our mouths. A time when artificial supplements are the norm and water restrictions a way of life.

A New Irish Rebellion, This Time Against Water Fees
By Suzanne Daley – The New York Times
Miranda Lumsden, 43, a single mother of four, had never protested against anything before the Irish government introduced new water fees last summer.


Climate change could make your food taste worse 
By Michael Casey – CBS News
Climate change could have an impact so real you can literally taste it. A report from Australia suggests increased temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions could change the way foods taste and make some vegetables, fruits and seafood varieties harder to find.


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