In today’s edition, the art of persuasion, with efforts to mainstream climate change issues in foreign policy and a coalition of environmental groups and investors trying to persuade coal, oil and gas companies to turn away from carbon-polluting sources of energy and invest in low-carbon alternatives. Indeed, the carbon locked up in coal, oil and gas reserves owned by the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies has swollen by 10% in the last five years (in the Carbon section). 

Quote of the day

“Investors need to know which fossil fuel companies face the greatest risks in a climate-constrained world.”  

Shanna Cleveland, a Ceres senior manager who works on the Carbon Asset Risk Initiative, in the Guardian’s story Campaign aims to turn oil companies into climate allies 

Lead stories

G7 agrees greater role for climate change in foreign policy 
Last week’s meeting of foreign ministers from the leading group of countries ended with a pledge for a strong joint commitment to addressing climate risks, as recommended by a report presented to the meeting. 

Campaign aims to turn oil companies into climate allies 
By Marc Gunther – The Guardian  
Can fossil fuel companies be transformed into allies in the fight against climate change? As unlikely as it might seem, a coalition of environmental groups and investors is trying to persuade coal, oil and gas companies to turn away from carbon-polluting sources of energy and invest in low-carbon alternatives.  

Obama climate plan comes under fire in Capitol Hill hearing 
By Alex Pashley – RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
In a sign of the stiff opposition the White House will face in the lead up to a proposed UN global warming pact this December, critics lined up on Capitol Hill to brand its policies unworkable.

Jeb Bush Came So Close to Acknowledging Climate Change 
By Rebecca Leber – New Republic 
At an event in New Hampshire on Friday, presidential hopeful Jeb Bush did something exceedingly rare for a Republican to do these days: openly acknowledge carbon pollution. 

Canada far from meeting commitments on greenhouse gas: Environment Canada 
By Matt Robinson – Vancouver Sun
Environment Canada quietly released greenhouse gas figures late Friday that show the country is far from meeting its international commitments and getting further every year. 
***LB: Also in this story “The country pumped out 726 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2013, according to Canada’s National Inventory Report 1990-2013. It’s a 10 Mt bump over 2012 and the latest of four straight year-over-year increases.”

Australia’s Direct Action climate policy challenged by US, China and Brazil at the UN  
By Shalailah Medhora and Oliver Milman – The Guardian
Australia has been been asked to defend the credibility of its Direct Action climate change policy at the UN after several countries submitted questions to the Abbott government querying how the policy would reduce carbon emissions. 


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  

The National Fuel Cell Symposium 2015
Industry, government, and academia will convene to discuss the current state of the Stationary Fuel Cell development and deployment in the U.S.
May 7, 2015 
Sacramento, California 

Nearing the Finish Line: Perspectives and Updates on EPA’s Clean Power Plan (webinar)
April 23, 2015; 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT

Northeast RECs Regional Thought Leader Round Table
May 19, 2015; 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. EST
Dentons: 1221 Avenue of the Americas, NY

EMA Annual Meeting
October 28-30, 2015
Omni Parker House Hotel
Boston, MA


Carbon reserves held by top fossil fuel companies soar
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian
The carbon locked up in coal, oil and gas reserves owned by the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies has swollen by 10% in the last five years, despite warnings from the World Bank and others that most existing reserves cannot safely be burned. 
***LB: Also in this story “Top 200 firms including Gazprom, ExxonMobil, BP and Anglo American hold four to five times more fossil fuels in existing reserves than can be safely burned.” 

Can Peru stop ‘ethical chocolate’ from destroying the Amazon? 
By David Hill – The Guardian
Cattle-ranching, logging, mining, highways, hydroelectric dam projects, oil and gas, soy, oil palm. These are what first come to mind to many people when thinking about how the Amazon is being destroyed, but what about chocolate too? 
***LB: Also in this story “The report, Deforestation by Definition, focuses on the Romero Group, Peru’s “largest economic actor”, and what it calls the “Melka Group”, a network of 25 companies recently established in Peru and controlled by businessman Dennis Melka, a major player in the destructive oil palm industry in Malaysia.”

Natural gas / coal

Fracking: Texas bill limiting bans on energy companies moves forward 
By Joanna Walters – The Guardian 
A bill supported by energy companies that prevents cities and counties from banning the practice of fracking on their land has been passed by the first tier of state legislators in Texas and is on course to become law. 

The Marriage Of Natural Gas And Microgrids Is Greening Manufacturing 
By Ken Silverstein – Forbes
The surge in production in natural gas, which not long ago was thought in short supply, has transformed electric generation, allowing it to be cleaner and more efficient.

Here’s What China Closing Coal-Power Plants Means for Emissions
Bloomberg News
China’s recent scrapping of small coal plants will avoid the release of as much as 11.4 million metric tons annually of climate-warming carbon dioxide, helping the country cut emissions for the first time in more than a decade.


Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes
By Diane Cardwell – The New York Times 
Allan Akamine has looked all around the winding, palm tree-lined cul-de-sacs of his suburban neighborhood in Mililani here on Oahu and, with an equal mix of frustration and bemusement, seen roof after roof bearing solar panels. 
***LB: Also in this story “In Hawaii, where 12 percent of the homes have solar panels, handling the surplus power is putting pressure on the state’s biggest utility, which is fighting to reduce what it pays for the energy.” 

Clean tech 

Fuel-cell car makers must step up – Amplats 
By Andre Janse van Vuuren and Lutho Mtongana – Bloomberg News 
Vehicle makers must expand their offerings of fuel-cell vehicles or risk being pushed out of the burgeoning electric-car market, according to the world’s biggest producer of platinum, a component in the technology. 

Tesla struggling to electrify car market in China 
Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has launched spacecraft into orbit, but popularising his Tesla electric cars in China is proving to be tougher than rocket science.


California Releases Revised Water Consumption Rules
By Adam Nagourney – The New York Times
In case there was ever any doubt, forcing a 25 percent cut in urban water use by Californians in the fourth year of a searing drought is not going to be easy.  

California drought spurs protest over ‘unconscionable’ bottled water business 
By Andrew Gumbel – The Guardian 
Californians facing the prospect of endless drought, mandated cuts in water use and the browning of their summer lawns are mounting a revolt against the bottled water industry, following revelations that Nestlé and other big companies are taking advantage of poor government oversight to deplete mountain streams and watersheds at vast profit.


East African Erin Brockovich’ wins prize for closing polluting lead smelter 
By Fred Pearce – The Guardian  
Call her the Erin Brockovich of East Africa. They haven’t made the movie yet, but Phyllis Omido has a heroic tale to tell of forcing the closure of a lead smelting plant that was poisoning the inhabitants of a Kenyan slum – including her own baby. 

World’s mountain of electrical waste reaches new peak of 42m tonnes  
Agence France-Presse  
A record amount of electrical and electronic waste was discarded around the world in 2014, with the biggest per-capita tallies in countries that pride themselves on environmental consciousness, a report said.

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