Some household names in today’s edition. Google and Microsoft joined President Obama’s initiatives to address health woes connected to climate change, while an Australian report suggests that carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels could be captured and used to produce the fizz in Coca Cola’s soft drinks. Talking about fossil fuels, Nobel prize winners have joined the global call to divest from fossil fuels. 

Quote of the day

“It is clear that while some coal producers may be in denial, the large oil companies understand exactly what is happening with anthropogenic climate change. It is also clear that the rush to find more oil and dig more coal continues unabated.”

Professor Peter Doherty, a scientist at the University of Melbourne who won the Nobel prize for his work on the immune system, in the Guardian’s story Nobel prize winners join call for charities to divest from fossil fuels

Lead stories

Tom Steyer challenges Koch brothers to climate debate
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer has challenged conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch to a debate on climate change.

Google, Microsoft Join Obama to Fight Climate Health Woes
By Justin Sink – Bloomberg News
President Barack Obama is warning that climate change will start affecting Americans’ health in the near future and he’s recruiting top technology companies to help prepare the nation’s health systems. 
***LB: Also in this story “Microsoft, the software maker based in Redmond, Washington, is developing drones that would collect mosquitoes and conduct gene-sequencing and pathogen detection, the administration said in its statement.”

Nobel prize winners join call for charities to divest from fossil fuels
By Ian Sample – The Guardian
Nobel prize winners in the US and Australia have joined calls for the world’s two largest health charities to sell their stocks in leading fossil fuel companies.

Top development banks agree definition for climate finance
By Ed King – RTCC (Responding to Climate change)
Leading development banks have agreed on a set of definitions for climate finance, in what officials say is an important step ahead of a proposed UN climate change pact in Paris later this year.

France backs India’s stand on climate in pre-2020 period 
By Urmi Goswami – Economic Times
India’s demand for a global agreement that will address intensified efforts to tackle climate change between 2015 and 2020 has not gone unheard.


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


Los Angeles mayor proposes suite of green initiatives
By Timothy Cama – The Hill  
The mayor of Los Angeles released a sweeping set of sustainability initiatives Wednesday to summarize his environmental positions. 
***LB: Also in this story “All city-owned cars would be electric by 2035 under the plan, and a quarter of the entire city’s cars would be as well.”

Ethanol industry pressures Cruz to back federal mandate 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The ethanol industry is pressuring presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to support the federal ethanol blending mandate.

Natural gas / coal

Michigan State University president announces coal phase-out
By Brian Bienkowski – The Daily Climate
Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon announced Wednesday that the school intends to stop burning coal by the end of 2016.

Michael Bloomberg targets Big Coal again with $30m donation to Sierra Club
By Jana Kasperkevic – The Guardian
Bloomberg Philanthropies will invest an additional $30m to help reduce US reliance on coal, Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday.

Shell Makes a Promising Move
Editorial – Bloomberg News
Royal Dutch Shell has put down a big bet on the future market for liquefied natural gas in bidding to purchase the U.K.-based BG Group for 47 billion pounds ($70 billion). Given the challenges facing the LNG industry, it’s not obvious that Shell’s gamble will pay off. But for the sake of the climate and world energy security, let’s hope it does.


New Energy storage plant could ‘revolutionise’ renewable sector
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Foundations for an energy storage plant in Ireland that could “revolutionise” the integration of renewable power into electricity supplies will be laid within weeks.

Abu Dhabi Said to Join Bidding Group for Australian Power Assets
By James Paton and Brett Foley – Bloomberg News
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority joined a group including Hastings Funds Management Ltd. and Spark Infrastructure Group that is planning a bid for Australian electricity assets, people with knowledge of the matter said.

South Africa Power Crisis Paralyzes Investment, Risks Rating
By Rene Vollgraaff – Bloomberg News 
South Africa’s economy could have been 10 percent larger if power shortages hadn’t stifled growth and investment and put the nation’s debt at risk of being cut to junk, economists’ estimates show.

Clean tech

Cheapest Tesla Gets More Range, Higher Price in Lineup Shift
By Jamie Butters and Jing Cao – Bloomberg News 
Buyers seeking the least-expensive Model S from Tesla Motors Inc. will have to purchase an all-wheel-drive car with a higher price and more range. The luxury-car maker is dropping its Model S 60 and replacing it with a version called the 70D.


Among the California water officials who were left reeling on Wednesday by the magnitude of the drought-related cutbacks they will have to make was Tom Gray, the general manager of the Fair Oaks Water District, outside Sacramento. 

California’s Brown Asks Water Rivals to Collaborate on Drought
By Alison Vekshin – Bloomberg News
California Governor Jerry Brown urged agricultural and environmental groups and city water agencies to lay aside differences and work together to address the state’s record drought.


For Some Wisconsin State Workers, ‘Climate Change’ Isn’t Something You Can Talk About
By Eric Roston – Bloomberg News
Discussing climate change is out of bounds for workers at a state agency in Wisconsin. So is any work related to climate change—even responding to e-mails about the topic.

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