Optimism pervades today’s edition: G7 energy ministers think rich nations could clinch a climate deal, while EU corporations are reportedly ready to accept a hefty carbon charge to help change the way they produce goods and services. And even El Niño, whose reappearance has been diagnosed, could catalyze the decision-making process at the COP21 in Paris later on this year.

Quote of the day

“I’ve never experienced so much agreement when it comes to the targets of G7 countries.” 

German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel,  in the Reuters’ story G7 energy ministers upbeat on Paris climate deal 

Lead stories 

G7 energy ministers upbeat on Paris climate deal 
Energy ministers from the Group of Seven industrial nations said on Tuesday there was unprecedented consensus among them on the urgency of limiting climate change, markedly improving prospects for a U.N. climate deal in Paris later this year. 

Veolia CEO says EU companies could agree on robust carbon charge 

Alaska’s Tricky Intersection of Obama’s Energy and Climate Legacies 
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times  
President Obama’s move to open up vast, untouched Arctic waters to oil and gas drilling as he pursues an ambitious plan to fight climate change illustrates the inherent tensions in his environmental and energy agenda. 

El Niño confirmation puts farmers and climate specialists on alert 
By Emiko Terazono and Pilita Clark – Financial Times
Farmers, commodity investors and climate specialists are braced for extreme weather this year after Australia’s meteorology agency warned of the emergence of El Niño for the first time since March 2010. 

Pope’s aide scolds climate skeptics
By Timothy Cama and Devin Henry – The Hill
What Would Jesus Do?: Pope Francis’ closest adviser sharply criticized perceived “movements” trying to undermine a forthcoming climate change encyclical before it’s even out. 

US taxpayers subsidising world’s biggest fossil fuel companies 
By Damian Carrington and Harry Davies – The Guardian  
The world’s biggest and most profitable fossil fuel companies are receiving huge and rising subsidies from US taxpayers, a practice slammed as absurd by a presidential candidate given the threat of climate change. 

Brazilian beef industry moves to reduce its destruction of rain forests 
By Kelly April Tyrrell – University of Wisconsin/Madison News 
Expansion of cattle pastures has driven deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, where these pastures cover about two-thirds of all the deforested land. 
***LB: Also in this story “A new study shows “zero deforestation agreements” have dramatically influenced the behavior of ranchers and the slaughterhouses to which they sell.” 

Why the University of Edinburgh will not divest from all fossil fuels 
By Charlie Jeffery (University of Edinburgh) – The Guardian  
How universities invest their endowment funds is not normally headline news. But universities have found themselves in an unaccustomed spotlight over the last few months as student campaigners have called on them to withdraw their investments from companies involved in the extraction of fossil fuels. 


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


Amundi Starts Three Low-Carbon Funds in Europe
By Louise Downing – Bloomberg News
Amundi, an asset manager majority owned by Credit Agricole SA, started three European funds offering institutional investors a way to manage financial risks from climate change and carbon emissions.

Joule raises $40m for clean biofuels technology
Joule has raised $40m to accelerate its efforts to develop liquid fuels from recycled CO2, taking the company’s total private investment to $200m since it was founded in 2007. 

Motoring costs society six times more than cycling, says study 
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
New cycling infrastructure represents one of the most cost effective investments available for city-planners, according to a new study by Danish and Australian researchers.
***LB: Also in this story “The study considers a wide range of environmental and societal impacts of both modes of transport in Copenhagen, a city that is famous for its expansive cycle network.” 

Gas tax hike safe politically, analysis says 
By Keith Laing – The Hill 
Almost all state lawmakers who have voted to raise gas taxes in states that increased their own fuel levies in recent years have been re-elected, according to an analysis that was released Tuesday by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

Natural gas / coal 

Major coal company files for bankruptcy
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
Coal mining company Patriot Coal Corp. said Tuesday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of “active negotiations” to sell its assets.


Senate bill would create national renewable electricity standard 
By Lydia Wheeler – The Hill  
Senate Democrats want to create a national renewable electricity standard to create jobs, save consumers money and reduce pollution. 

How Can We Use Intelligent Efficiency To Reduce Power Sector Emissions? 
By Bob Perciasepe – C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions) 
Nobody likes waste. And yet when we produce, distribute and use electricity, we’re wasting up to two-thirds of the energy.

Clean tech

Tesla is modifying its cars to meet China’s charging standards 
By Lucy England – Business Insider
Tesla Motors wants to increase the number of electric cars sold in China. So does the Chinese government. But so far, their efforts to build a better charging infrastructure haven’t overlapped. Until now.


House passes bill to stop EPA water rule 
By Timothy Cama and Cristina Marcos – The Hill 
The House voted Tuesday to overturn an Obama administration rule aimed at redefining which streams, ponds, wetlands and other waterways are under its jurisdiction. 

Thinning Antarctic ice shelf could contribute to sea level rise, says study 
By Karl Mathiesen – The Guardian
The largest ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula is thinning because of warmer ocean and air temperatures that are driving it towards a collapse that could contribute significantly to sea level rise, a new study has found. 

Here’s what celebrities’ lawns look like during California’s drought 
By Linda Massarella – New York Post  
“Let them drink dust!”As these aerial photos from The Post prove, Hollywood celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Lopez continue to suck up water to keep their gardens fresh and lawns green, while Southern California withers from a devastating drought.  


F.B.I. Says It Broke Its Rules in Inquiry of Keystone Pipeline Opponents 
By Michael S. Schmidt – The New York Times  
The Federal Bureau of Investigation violated its own guidelines in 2013 when it investigated environmental advocates who opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, the F.B.I. acknowledged on Tuesday. 

Weather centers to arm Central Africa’s farmers against climate shifts – TRFN 
By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame – Thomson Reuters Foundation
For many of the past five years, Marthe Efoulan, a 42-year-old farmer in Meyomessala, in southern Cameroon, has been fooled into planting her crops too soon.

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