In today’s edition, some information on Greece’s new government going green. Also, a new report suggests that global renewable energy capacity will more than double over the next 10 years, while questions are raised by the Financial Times (in the Power section) on the breakneck growth of Chinese solar energy company Hanergy. Finally, some news on the never-ending Keystone saga. 

Quote of the day

“We cannot and must not reproduce the well-known business-as-usual developmental models because we missed the rest of Europe’s industrial development train a century ago. It is rational for Greece to go green.” 

Harris Konstantatos, a member of Syriza’s central committee, in the Guardian’s story Greece: Syriza juggles coal, pipelines and climate ambitions


Lead stories 

Greece: Syriza juggles coal, pipelines and climate ambitions
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Syriza’s election victory has kindled hopes of an environmental champion pushing for greater climate ambition on the European stage, but the party will need to balance its green credentials with a commitment to new coal plants, and ambivalence about a major gas pipeline. 
***LB: Also in this story “Syriza is in an alliance with a faction of the Greek Green party, which will have at least one MP in the new government, and it is seen by many as a tribune of European social movements, particularly environmental ones.”

Analysts predict global renewable energy capacity to double by 2025 
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
Frost & Sullivan has become the latest analyst firm to highlight the growing importance of the renewable energy industry, with the publication of a new report suggesting global renewable energy capacity will more than double over the next 10 years.

Prince Charles: global pact on climate change could be Magna Carta for Earth
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian 
A new global pact on climate change, due to be signed this year in Paris, should be a “Magna Carta for the Earth”, Prince Charles has urged.

Obama’s pivot on oil draws fire from left
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
President Obama unveiled plans Tuesday to open swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans to new oil and gas exploration, enraging Democrats and environmentalists who had cheered him just two days earlier for blocking drilling elsewhere.

Global warming could make blizzards worse
By Chris Mooney  – The Washington Post 
We’re on the verge of another historic blizzard, with as much as two or three feet of snow expected in parts of the Northeast.

Senate blocks measure to build Keystone XL pipeline; discussions will continue
By Sean Sullivan – The Washington Post 
Senate Democrats stalled the Republican-led push to construct the Keystone XL pipeline on Monday, dealing the first significant blow to the new GOP majority less than three weeks after it was sworn in.

McConnell asks Dems to cooperate on Keystone
By Alexander Bolton – The Hill
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday called on Democrats to let a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline move forward after they blocked it from reaching a final vote.

EPA chief heads to Vatican to talk climate
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Gina McCarthy is traveling to Vatican City this and next week to talk with senior Catholic officials about climate change.

“Yes, we can live well and avoid climate disaster, says UK government
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian 
The world can enjoy higher standards of living and more travel, while drastically cutting emissions to avoid dangerous climate change – but only with sweeping changes to our infrastructure, the natural world and agriculture, a new analysis has found.


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


What is carbon insetting?
By Sami Grover – Mother Nature Network  
A car manufacturer plants a mini-forest outside its new factory. A hotel chain funds the creation of olive groves and then buys back the olive oil. A restaurant deliberately buys from farmers who prioritize soil carbon sequestration.

Food and drink industry shows appetite for carbon saving
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
The UK’s food and drink industry has slashed emissions by more than a third since 1990, meeting its carbon saving target seven years ahead of schedule.

Portland Brewery Puts Low-Carbon Beer On Tap
By Cassandra Profita – OPB
Some people ride a bike instead of driving a car to reduce their contributions to climate change. Others shrink their carbon footprint by installing solar panels on their rooftops. Now, a Portland brewery has another suggestion: Drink low-carbon beer.

Study Shows Brazil’s Soy Moratorium Still Needed To Preserve Amazon
By Kelly April Tyrrell – Ecosystem Marketplace  
After eight years of supporting Brazil’s Soy Moratorium, a private agreement among big companies to stop using soy grown on cleared forestland, proponents have evidence that the Moratorium is crucial to reducing deforestation rates in the Amazon. 
***LB: Also in this story “In 2006, following a report from Greenpeace and under pressure from consumers, large companies like McDonald’s and Wal-­Mart decided to stop using soy grown on cleared forestland in the Brazilian Amazon. This put pressure on commodity traders, such as Cargill, who in turn agreed to no longer purchase soy from farmers who cleared rain forest to expand soy fields.”

Natural gas / coal 

Wyoming, Halliburton agree to greater fracking disclosure
By Benjamin Storrow – Casper Star-Tribune  
A legal settlement reached by environmental groups, Wyoming regulators and the oil services giant Halliburton will make it harder for companies to withhold information from the public about the chemicals used in fracking.

Vitol to develop $7bn oil and gas project in Ghana with ENI
By Neil Hume and Chris Adams  – Financial Times
Vitol, one of the world’s leading commodities traders, is to develop a $7bn offshore oil and gas project in Ghana with ENI, the Italian energy group.

NSW coal seam gas project suspended after dangerous chemicals detected
Australian Associated Press
The New South Wales government has ordered an internal investigation into a mid-north coast gas project after dangerous chemicals were detected in a water storage tank.


Breakneck growth of Hanergy raises questions
By Miles Johnson in London and Lucy Hornby – Financial Times  
It is a Chinese company that promises to revolutionise the way solar power is used and to become the Apple of green energy. 
***LB: Also in this story “Shares in its $18bn Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, have risen more than 300 per cent since the start of 2014.”

How these energy geeks are reimagining an old school utility
By Nichola Groom – Reuters
Welcome to the utility industry’s future – or at least that’s what Southern California Edison is hoping.

Why London is rubbish at solar
By Adam Vaughan – The Guardian 
In the end, it was a bit of an anticlimax. After years of wanting to stick solar panels on the roof of my London home, all I had to show for their installation earlier this month was a garden-full of scaffolding and a new box next to our fuse box.

Are carbon nanoballs the answer to renewables’ grid woes?
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
Scientists in Sweden may have made a major breakthrough in the pursuit of new technologies capable of slashing the levels of energy lost through transmission networks, and all thanks to microscopic carbon nanoballs.


Panama Canal Expansion Will Have Big Effect on Energy, Water, and Grain in U.S. and China 
By Keith Schneider – Circle of Blue
It was an elaborate, even theatrical display of national pride and elite engineering. On January 19, Panama’s four-quarter, red and blue star flag gleamed in bright morning sunlight as a 2,300-ton steel gate slid into place inside a colossal new lock of the Panama Canal.


Climate change will hit Australia harder than rest of world, study shows
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian 
Australia could be on track for a temperature rise of more than 5C by the end of the century, outstripping the rate of warming experienced by the rest of the world, unless drastic action is taken to slash greenhouse gas emissions, according to the most comprehensive analysis ever produced of the country’s future climate.

Bloomberg, Paulson and Steyer release bipartisan report on climate change risks to Midwest
By Benjamin Hulac, Niina Heikkinen and Daniel Cusick – E&E
On Friday, the three U.S. financial heavyweights behind the Risky Business Project — an effort to quantify the financial risks posed by global climate change — published the organization’s latest report to help people identify, understand and plan for the economic risks related to steadily increasing temperatures worldwide.

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