In today’s edition, more info on the ongoing UN Climate Summit, with a breakdown of national pledges for the Green Climate Fund, intended to help poor countries fight climate change and deal with its impacts: U.S.: $3 billion, Australia: Zero, China: Zero. Also pressure from various quarters to encourage Canada to cut emissions, and finally, analyses on oil price (dropping) and the urgency of a climate deal (climbing).  

Quote of the day

“Canada should, as a first step, at least match the U.S. commitment (on emissions).”

Dale Marshall, Canada’s national program manager for Environmental Defence, in The Star’s Clock ticking at climate summit in record hot year: Lima 

Lead stories

The Soft Path to a Climate Agreement, From Lima to Paris 
By Andrew C. Revkin – The New York Times  
Needless to say, there’s been a big and promising shift in tone and some substance in global warming diplomacy of late — led by the paired pledges of China and the United States to intensify efforts to curtail heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions.

Who’s pledged money and who hasn’t to the Green Climate Fund for poor countries
By Karl Ritter – Associated Press
Among the most significant achievements of the U.N. climate talks, the Green Climate Fund is intended to become a key channel of money to help poor countries take action to fight climate change and deal with its impacts. 
***LB: Also in this story “United States: $3 billion, Japan: $1.5 billion, Britain: $1.2 billion, France: $1 billion, Sweden: $550 million, Australia: Zero, South Korea: $100 million, China: Zero, Mongolia: $50,000.”

Brazil Says Developing Country Carbon Pledges Rely on Aid
By Alex Morales – Bloomberg News
Developing nations need aid from industrial nations to support efforts to cut greenhouse gases, Brazil’s lead climate envoy said at UN talks aimed at limiting fossil-fuel emissions worldwide.

8 countries join reforestation effort
By Marcelo Teixeira – Reuters
Eight Central and South American countries announced an initiative Sunday to restore nearly 50 million acres of degraded forest and farmland, seeking to use this land to store carbon in natural vegetation and cut emissions that cause global warming. 
***LB: Also in this story “The program will be started with $365 million from private investors, including Althelia Climate Fund, Moringa Fund, Permian Global, Terra Bella and Rare.”

Clock ticking at climate summit in record hot year: Lima 
By Raveena Aulakh  – The Star  
The timing was impeccable. Two days after delegates from more than 190 countries gathered in Lima, Peru, at the annual climate summit, the World Meteorological Organization released a report that said 2014 is currently tied for the hottest year on record, rejecting claims that global warming has paused.

Ban Ki-Moon says Canada must do more on climate change
CBC News
Ban Ki-moon, in an exclusive interview with CBC News, says Canada needs to stop stalling on setting climate change goals, and instead become “ambitious and visionary.”

Big oil must pay for climate change harm to world’s poorest
By Saleemul Huq and Julie-Anne Richards – RTCC (Responding To Climate Change)
The residents of the Philippines region of Tacloban know what loss and damage from climate change looks like.

Falling oil price stresses urgency of climate change agreement
By Pilita Clark – Financial Times
The tumbling price of oil underlines the urgency of agreeing an international global warming treaty, the minister presiding over this week’s UN climate negotiations in Lima has warned.

Long-term demand for renewables still positive despite Opec stance
By Sarah Diaa – Gulf News
Demand for renewable energy may drop in the short-term as a result of Opec’s decision on November 27 to maintain output levels despite tumbling prices.

UN climate talks call future of energy majors into question
By Pilita Clark – Financial Times
ExxonMobil and Shell would cease to exist in their current forms in 35 years under measures UN negotiators are considering for a legally binding global climate pact to be sealed in Paris next year.

‘Stranded assets’: Will efforts to counter warming render energy reserves worthless?
By Alex Morales – Bloomberg News
A major threat to fossil fuel companies has suddenly moved from the fringe to center stage with a dramatic announcement by Germany’s biggest power company and an intriguing letter from the Bank of England.

Why Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism is at a Crossroads
By Wambi Michael – IPS
The U.N. mechanism for supporting carbon emissions projects in developing countries – the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – is in crisis as a result of a dramatic slump in the prices being paid for carbon credits.

Christiana Figueres: Up Close And Personal On Carbon Markets
By Allie Goldstein – Ecosystem Marketplace
The first thing Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), did during her conversation with International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) President Dirk Forrister on Wednesday was rearrange the room.

Greens to Landrieu: Good riddance
By Andrew Restuccia – Politico 
Environmentalists won’t miss Mary Landrieu. The Louisiana Democrat, a long-time favorite of her state’s oil and gas industry, drew greens’ ire for her die-hard support for expanded offshore drilling, her opposition to EPA climate regulations and her crusade to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Anti-Keystone group sends pens to Obama to reject pipeline
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
An anti-Keystone group says it is has ordered 700 pens to be shipped one-by-one to the White House, urging President Obama to reject the controversial oil sands pipeline.

House Republican Plans to Introduce Pro-Climate-Science Bill
By Ben Geman – National Journal
A Republican House member is battling the skepticism toward climate-change science that’s common in GOP ranks. And he wants to put lawmakers on record in the process.

Conservatives urge states to ‘fiercely resist’ EPA’s climate rule
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
A coalition of conservative groups is pressing states to “fiercely resist” the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon pollution rule for existing power plants.

Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General
By Eric Lipton – The New York Times
The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state.

(UK) Government to re-launch Green Deal grant scheme with £30m fund
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
The government will today announce it is to re-launch the popular Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) this Wednesday, offering households up to £5,600 off selected energy-efficiency improvements as part of a £30m extension of the scheme.


U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference
The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference presents data, analysis and expert forecasting on the state of the solar market in the U.S.
Dec. 8 – 10, 2014
San Diego, CA

The Importance and Impact of Including Fuels and Natural Gas in California’s Cap-and-Trade Program
Climate Action Reserve
December 11, 2014 – 10:00am – 11:00am PST
Type of Event: Webinar

Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium
January 7-8, 2015
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC

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


GOP gains put nuclear power back on the table
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Republicans and the nuclear power sector are hopeful that GOP control of the Senate will improve the political landscape for an industry that hasn’t opened a new generator in nearly two decades.

Natural gas / coal

Fracking chemicals could pose risks to reproductive health, say researchers 
By Ian Sample – The Guardian
Currently, little is known about the levels of chemicals that people are exposed to from fracking operations, making it impossible to assess the real risk.
***LB: Also in this story “People who live near fracking operations should be monitored for chemical contaminants and health problems, according to researchers who surveyed the risks posed by substances used in the process.”

More municipal bans on fracking pose setback to domestic energy boom
The surge in domestic-energy production that has created millions of new jobs and abundant natural gas and oil is now facing a potential setback, cities across the country imposing bans on the widely-used deep-drilling process known as fracking.

Coal country pondering a future without it
By Allen G. Breed – The Associated Press
The rest of the house is just waking as Scottie Sizemore plops down in a rocking chair on his front porch with a cup of coffee. It’s midmorning, but the sun has yet to crest the ridge above, where mist clings like clouds that couldn’t quite make it over.


Smooth operators 
The Economist
On October 28th a battery factory opened in Concord, North Carolina. That was good for an area which has seen dark economic times, but the event made few headlines.

Wind turbines don’t make you sick, says MIT study – just annoyed 
By Sophie Vorrath – REneweconomy
Yet another scientific study has undermined one of the shoutiest claims of the anti-wind movement – that inaudible sound waves (or infrasound) emitted by operating wind turbines causes people living close by to wind farms to get sick, with a litany of symptoms ranging from anxiety, to nausea to migraine, heart disease, sleep deprivation and tinnitus.

Power Savings of Smart Meters Prove Slow to Materialize 
By Matthew L. Wald – The New York Times
The end is in sight for the meter reader, who each month faithfully tramps through the flower beds or into the basement, flashlight and clipboard in hand, to record electricity use.

Clean tech

Why Elon Musk’s Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company
By Mark Chediak – Bloomberg News
At a sagebrush-strewn industrial park outside of Reno, Nevada, bulldozers are clearing dirt for Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)’s battery factory, projected to be the world’s largest.

Clean Energy Banks Could Foster Private Investments in Charging Stations 
By Matt Frades – C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
The electric vehicle (EV) market got a jolt of good news this fall with the announcement that dozens of non-profits, schools, and utilities are purchasing electric fleets and installing workplace charging stations.


With Sea Ice Melting, Coast Guard Proposing New Shipping Lanes To The Arctic 
With global warming leading to increased traffic to a vulnerable Arctic, the U.S. Coast Guard is proposing a 4.6-mile wide shipping route through the Bering Strait to try to protect the region.

Chinese tests find quarter of drinking water ‘substandard’ 
The Malaysian Insider
Almost a quarter of purified drinking water tested by China’s top safety watchdog was substandard, with many products found to contain excessive levels of bacteria, the official Shanghai Daily newspaper said on Monday.


Exhausted by a House That Saves Energy 
By Sandy Keenan – The New York Times
Dotty Kyle and Eric Brattstrom had an ambitious vision for the home they would build when they sold their bed-and-breakfast here seven years ago and retired.

Steyer group raises $68M
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Billionaire climate change activist Tom Steyer fell short of raising the $100 million goal he set for raising money to help environmentalist candidates get elected this year.

Obama’s law professor blasts EPA climate rule
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
A law professor who taught President Obama is criticizing his landmark climate rule for power plants, calling it an overreach of power that threatens energy supplies.

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