In today’s edition, lots of activities in carbon, so check out the Carbon section! Also, an interesting comparison by the International Energy Agency: Tax-breaks, subsidized fuel prices and other government support are worth $115 per metric ton of carbon-dioxide, compared with an average $7 cost to buy emission permits in carbon markets. In other words, governments give an incentive to pollute. Also, India courts foreign investors with a dollar contracts plan for solar and wind power. And finally, a few reactions on the Pope’s stand on climate. 

Quote of the day

“The scale-up will happen extremely rapidly. In order to do this scale of projects, we’re going to need foreign capital.”

Tejpreet Chopra, chief executive of Bharat Light & Power, which plans to quintuple its wind and solar output in India to 1,000 megawatts (1GW) in the next few years, in the Financial Times’ story India courts solar investors with dollar contracts plan 

Lead stories

How the Pope Got Religion on Climate Change
By Eric Roston – Bloomberg
Several dozen of the world’s most prominent scientists sprang from their seats and left the Vatican hall where they were holding a conference on the environment in May 2014. They were bound for a meet-and-greet with Pope Francis at the modest Vatican hotel where he lives, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Beware Casting Pope Francis as a Caped Climate Crusader 
By Andrew C. Revkin – The New York Times
All eyes are on the Vatican after an Italian news magazine leaked what is very likely the final text (the Italian translation) of Pope Francis’s forthcoming encyclical letter on humanity’s obligations to protect the environment, avoid dangerous climate change and overcome poverty and inequity.  

Jeb Bush: Pope Francis should steer clear of climate issue 
By Steve Holland and Amanda Becker – Reuters 
In his first official day on the presidential campaign trail on Tuesday, Republican Jeb Bush, a Catholic, had sharp words on Pope Francis’ decision to leap into the climate change debate, saying the pontiff should steer clear of political issues.

Every country is now pledging to tackle CO2 emissions. It’s still not enough. 
By Brad Plumer  – Vox 
This December, negotiators from around the world will meet in Paris to haggle over a new international treaty on climate change. And in the run-up to those talks, every single country is putting forward pledges to take at least some steps to address their greenhouse gas emissions. That includes Europe, the United States, even China and India.  

Subsidies at 16 Times Carbon Prices Stymie Pollution Curbs
By Mathew Carr – Bloomberg
Subsidies for fossil fuels are overwhelming efforts to curb pollution, the International Energy Agency said.
***LB: Also in this story “Tax-breaks, subsidized fuel prices and other government support amount to an incentive to pollute worth $115 per metric ton of carbon-dioxide. That compares with an average $7 cost to buy emission permits in carbon markets, according to the Paris-based group.”

Researcher discusses new ways to calculate ecosystem impacts on climate 
By Eric Beidel – 
For decades, scientists have relied on an established formula to measure the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on climate change.  

India courts solar investors with dollar contracts plan 
By Victor Mallet – Financial Times
The baking days before the arrival of the monsoon, when much of south Asia swelters in daytime temperatures above 45C, may not sound the best time to boast the merits of the Indian sun. 
***LB: Also in this story “Solar developers say the introduction of such contracts, which would protect investors from the expected depreciation of the rupee over the next 25 years, would overcome one of the last remaining obstacles to new investments and cement India’s position as the next big destination for renewable energy groups.”

GOP uses spending bills to move against EPA rules 
By Devin Henry – The Hill 
Slashing budgets, stopping rules: Republicans in both chambers moved bills Tuesday to cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget and block several of its new regulations.

House GOP Threatens to Subpoena State Department for Keystone Docs 
By Ben Geman – National Journal
A prominent House Republican says he’s ready to play hardball to obtain documents about the Keystone XL pipeline from the State Department.


Climate Strategies Forum 
Washington Marriott Hotel at Metro Center 
Washington, DC 
June 24-26, 2015

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


This Industry Is About to Get Regulated by The EPA. Why Isn’t Anyone Mad? 
By Jason Plautz – National Journal
Typically, when an industry is facing a fresh round of Environmental Protection Agency regulations, the conversation is about job losses, regulatory overreach, and how quickly a federal court can issue an injunction.  

(China’s) Carbon market may expand by next year 
By Si Huan – China Daily
A national carbon market will start in late 2016 or early 2017, a senior climate official said on Monday, adding that China’s post-2020 climate action plan will inject fresh impetus into this year’s climate change meeting in Paris.

Carbon Credits Transaction is First in West Africa 
By Emily Jarvis – Africa Outlook 
ecosur afrique, the leading carbon finance group in Africa, has announced the first ever carbon credits transaction involving a seller and buyer from West Africa; in close collaboration with Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), an impact investment fund dedicated to small and medium size enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa and Volta cars Rental Services (VRS), a car leasing company operating in West Africa. 

Establishment of carbon markets on anvil 
By Nokhaitz Sahi – The Nation 
The ministry of climate change has initiated efforts to chalk out an ambitious plan of mitigating country’s carbon emissions from different sectors, particularly energy and transport, The Nation has learnt. 

Himachal sells first carbon credits through plantations 
By Pratibha Chauhan – Tribune News Service 
The benefits of greening the degraded land in 10 districts of the state under the World Bank-funded climate change mitigation project under Kyoto Protocol have yielding results with Himachal selling its carbon credits for the first time for Rs 1.93 crore to Spain, with an assured amount to all land owners.  

Natural gas/coal

Virginia, Coal Country for Centuries, Now Embraces Carbon Regulations 
By Katherine Bagley – InsideClimate News 
Nestled on the eastern edge of Appalachian coal country, with a 267-year history of mining its reserves, Virginia seems an unlikely candidate to become one of the country’s biggest success stories in adapting to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.   

Green groups to protest Ex-Im over coal project 
By Kevin Cirilli – The Hill 
A coalition of green groups will protest the Export-Import Bank on Wednesday, urging its officials not to finance a project at a coal-powered Australian power plant.


How Do You Bring Electricity to 620 Million People?  
By Tom Jackson  – ensia
In South Africa, major cities are subject to regular power outages as electric utility Eskom periodically shuts down parts of its distribution system to take the pressure off the aging national grid. 

Greece’s power utility offers repayment scheme for overdue bills 
Greece’s dominant power utility PPC on Tuesday offered households and businesses a repayment scheme for 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of overdue bills accumulated over years as recession and record unemployment squeeze incomes and industry.

Clean tech

This Plane Runs on Sun and Is About to Smash Some Records 
By Tom Randall – Bloomberg News
The flight into Chongqing, China, happened at night. No moon. Pilot Bertrand Piccard nosed his plane into strong headwinds, and the turbulence was bad—not knock-you-up-and-down bad, but blow-you-off-the-runway bad.  

GM uses old Volt batteries to power office building 
General Motors Co said on Tuesday it is using old batteries from its first-generation Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car for secondary purposes including powering an office building. 

Tesla Sees ‘Huge’ Battery Market in Blackout-Ridden South Africa
By Lynn Doan and Paul Burkhardt – Bloomberg News 
Tesla Motors Inc.’s chief technology officer said South Africa could be a “huge market” for battery storage as rolling blackouts cut power in the continent’s most-industrialized economy. 


Groundwater Depletion Stresses Majority of World’s Largest Aquifers 
By Brett Walton – Circle of Blue
Population growth and agriculture are putting unsustainable demands on the world’s largest aquifer systems, particularly those in the planet’s dry midsection, according to the broadest assessment to date of global groundwater storage trends.  

End of the Miracle Machines 
By Abrahm Lustgarten – ProPublica 
A couple of miles outside the town of Page, three 775-foot-tall caramel-colored smokestacks tower like sentries on the edge of northern Arizona’s sprawling red sandstone wilderness.  

Water thieves are on the rise in drought-stricken California 
By Amy Graff – SFGate 
As California drought conditions worsen, water thieves are on the rise. One drove off with a 500-gallon water tanker in the Oakland Hills in March.


Need to assess renewable energy potential? There’s an app for that 
By James Phillips – BusinessGreen 
Businesses and individuals can now make use of a free smartphone app to calculate the renewable energy generation potential of a given location.  
***LB: Also in this story “The Global Atlas pocket has been launched today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and is designed to allow renewable energy “prospectors” and investors to comprehensively research projects’ before making early investment decisions.” 

Stop eating Nutella and save the forests, urges French ecology minister 
Agence France-Presse 
France’s ecology minister, Ségolène Royal, has rankled the company that makes Nutella by urging the public to stop eating its chocolate hazelnut spread, saying it contributes to deforestation.

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