We already knew that smartphones were built out of minerals extracted through an environmentally risky process and with a high human cost. In today’s edition, we learn that nearly 13 tons of water are also required to produce just one smartphone, according to a new report. Also, in the Carbon section, a coalition of Midwest power stakeholders asks the federal government to assist in creating a voluntary carbon market.

Quote of the day

“Choices made today can lock in emissions trajectories for years to come and leave communities vulnerable to climate impacts. We will help support robust decisions when we can.”

Rachel Kyte, the World Bank Group’s special envoy for climate change, in the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s story Start now for cheaper carbon-free growth – World Bank  

Lead stories  

How your smartphone needs 13 tonnes of water 
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen 
Nearly 13 tonnes of water and 18 square meters of land are required to produce just one smartphone according to a new report that aims to help businesses calculate their demand for natural resources. 
***LB: Also in this story “Entitled Mind Your Step, the study examines the water “footprints” of a range of products, including coffee, ready meals, t-shirts and chocolate. It also shows how water use can decline or fall depending on how much environmental regulation countries have and enforce.”  

Climate change: we must look to international agencies to save the world 
The Observer
In the Observer Tech Monthly  climate change special, people were asked: “Which of the following should take the most responsibility for tackling global warming?” Surely, both the 45% who answered “governments” and the 13% who answered “households/individuals” are simply wrong.  

World Bank sets out three-step plan to help countries decarbonise 
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
The cost of decarbonisation could grow by 50 per cent if governments delay action to 2030, according to a new World Bank report published today that aims to help countries tackle climate change. 

Start now for cheaper carbon-free growth – World Bank  
By Megan Rowling – Thomson Reuters Foundation
Countries around the world can move their economies onto a path that cuts net emissions of climate-changing gases to zero at an affordable cost but they should start now, the World Bank said.

Huckabee: Lift oil export ban, use renewables 
By Devin Henry – The Hill 
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says the United States needs to lift its ban on crude oil exports, encourage more energy production on federal lands and embrace renewable energy in order to “completely transform the balance of world power.”  

A Climate-Modeling Strategy That Won’t Hurt the Climate 
By John Markoff – The New York Times 
It is perhaps the most daunting challenge facing experts in both the fields of climate and computer science — creating a supercomputer that can accurately model the future of the planet in a set of equations and how the forces of climate change will affect it. 

Two Guys In Paris Aim To Charm The World Into Climate Action 
By Nell Greenfield – Boyce – NPR (Audio) 
Here’s a job that sounds perfect for either a superhero or a glutton for punishment: Get nearly 200 countries to finally agree to take serious action on climate change. 


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


Midwest coalition asks EPA to help it develop voluntary carbon market 
By Robert Walton – Utility Dive 
A coalition of Midwest power stakeholders has asked the federal government to assist in creating a voluntary carbon market they believe would be the most cost-effective way to meet pollution mandates included in the Clean Power Plan (CPP). 

Is the clean energy sector facing a subsidy budget crisis? 
By James Murray – BusinessGreen 
Influential think tank Policy Exchange is preparing to publish a major new report detailing how the new government’s clean energy plans are at serious risk of being derailed by a lack of funding.

Natural gas / coal

Noble Energy to buy Rosetta Resources in $3.7bn shale deal 
By Ed Crooks – Financial Times 
Noble Energy, the US oil and gas group, is to buy Rosetta Resources for about $3.7bn including debt, in the first acquisition of a significant US shale oil producer since the fall in crude prices in the second half of last year. 

Billionaire coal executive launches bid for West Virginia governor 
By Kara Van Pelt – Reuters 
Billionaire coal mining executive Jim Justice, owner of West Virginia’s famed Greenbrier luxury resort, announced on Monday he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year in his first bid for public office. 

U.S. offers over $35 million for hard-hit coal communities 
By Valerie Volcovici – Reuters 
The United States has released $35.5 million to help communities hit hard by the decline in coal mining to diversify their economies and retrain displaced miners, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said on Monday. 

China’s state firms cool on new derivatives power 
Chastened by several high-profile calamities in the recent past, many of the state companies China has freed to trade overseas derivatives will be sitting on their hands, put off by the risks or a lack of expertise.
***LB: Also in this story “Last week China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) said roughly 100 more companies could trade in overseas futures, swaps and options markets without prior approval, on top of the 31 state-owned firms previously authorised. That will allow such companies to be more efficient by hedging their exposure to changing commodity prices and will also give China more clout in global markets, particularly in oil, gas, coal and metals. 


Schneider Electric launches Android smart meter app in response to ‘booming market’ 
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen 
Schneider Electric’s Wiser Home Control system that allows users to switch off lights, heating, and other electric devices remotely, has been launched to Android users.

Forget Desert Solar Farms: We Can Get More Than Enough Solar Energy From Cities 
Fast Company
Solar plants keep getting bigger: The new Topaz Solar Farm, in a remote part of southern California, sprawls over an area about a third of the size of Manhattan.

Clean tech

How Tesla Can Create Model 3 Quickly  
By Patrick Roth – Huffington Post (blog) 
On a recent investor call, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced that the company is tentatively planning to show their much anticipated and less expensive Model 3 in March of 2016, with production starting by late 2017.


Drought-busting car wash cleans with less than 1 cup of water 
By Benny Evangelista – San Francisco Chronicle 
Even during a severe drought, Don Nathe keeps his Tesla sparkling clean by washing it every other week.

Chesapeake Bay Algae Blooms Become More Common 
Circle of Blue 
Blooms of harmful algae in Chesapeake Bay increased significantly over the past two decades, researchers found. 

Sea level rise accelerating faster than thought 
By Julia Rosen – Science 
If you’re still thinking about buying that beach house, think again. A new study suggests that sea levels aren’t just rising; they’re gaining ground faster than ever. 


El Niño on its way to Australia, says Bureau of Meteorology 
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian 
Australia will be hit by a “substantial” El Niño event for the first time in five years, heightening the chances of widespread drought and warmer temperatures, the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed.

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