In today’s edition, dismal news on the over-the-counter carbon market: for the first time in March, carbon brokers in London handled no United Nations certified emissions offsets. Good news on the emissions front: Carbon dioxide emissions will slip to the lowest since 1994 as U.S. utilities shift away from coal in favor of solar, wind and natural gas. Finally, room for progress in Europe’s carbon capture dream.

Quote of the day

“Gas will likely overtake coal as the world’s second fuel by the late 2020s.”

Jonathan Stern, head of the natural gas program at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, in the Bloomberg News’ story Shell’s Huge Gas Bet Underscores Big Oil’s Push to Replace Coal 

Lead stories

London Brokers Handle No UN Carbon Offsets for First Time 
By Alessandro Vitelli – Bloomberg News
Carbon brokers in London handled no United Nations certified emissions offsets in March, the first time volume in the over-the-counter market fell to zero, according to an industry group.

U.S. Carbon Emissions Falling to Two-Decade Low in Coal Shift
By Christopher Martin – Bloomberg News
Carbon dioxide emissions will slip to the lowest since 1994 as U.S. utilities shift away from coal in favor of solar, wind and natural gas.

Why 2015 could be a record year for the greening of U.S. energy 
By Chris Mooney – Washington Post 
In general, changes to our energy system come slowly. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Shell’s Huge Gas Bet Underscores Big Oil’s Push to Replace Coal
By Javier Blas and Rakteem Katakey – Bloomberg News
BP Plc coined the slogan “Beyond Petroleum.” The new industry mantra might be “Beyond Oil and Into Gas.” Oh, and while we’re at it, “Down With Coal.”

Obama pledges effort to fight energy cost in Caribbean
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
During a trip to Jamaica Thursday, President Obama announced various efforts to encourage the development of low-carbon energy sources in the Caribbean.  

Arizona program to fight climate-related health issues held out as model 
By Miranda Leo – Cronkite News 
An Arizona program aimed at curbing health problems that have come with higher temperatures was cited Tuesday as a model for other local governments coping with climate change.

Poor would benefit most from reducing air pollution, NRDC report says 
By Tom Johnson – NJ Spotlight
The Obama administration’s plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will also lower electric bills for customers, particularly low- and fixed-income households, as well as provide health benefits to those residents, according to a new study. 

Europe’s carbon capture dream beset by delays, fears and doubt 
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Brevik, a small coastal town two hours west of Oslo, has found itself on the front line of a global battle over a technology that is hailed in some quarters as the solution to climate change, but denigrated in others as a reckless and potentially fatal gamble.

Subsidies for Deforestation-driving Commodities Dwarf Conservation Finance – New Report 
By Allie Goldstein – Ecosystem Marketplace
The race against deforestation is being won or lost hectare by hectare in the tropical rainforest countries that also provide the majority of the world’s agricultural commodities.

China’s Coal Cap Could Save $11.4 Billion a Year, Study Says 
Bloomberg News
China’s proposal to curb coal consumption could save as many 89,000 lives and $11.4 billion a year by 2030, a study showed.


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


Scientists Question Environmental Impact of China’s Winter Olympics Bid
By Ian Johnson – The New York TimesA few times a year, rains sprinkle the dry mountains north of Beijing, feeding streams that trickle down to catchments like the Yunzhou Reservoir. 

Environmental groups take aim at Alberta oil sands emissions 
By Shawn McCarthy – The Globe and Mail
Rising greenhouse emissions from Alberta’s oil sands would swamp Ontario’s effort to fight climate change through a carbon-pricing plan, says a report issued in advance of the provincial climate summit to be held in Quebec City next week.

World Bank Approves $265m Argentinian renewables and forest protection push
The World Bank this week approved $265m of investment in Argentina’s emerging green economy, signing off on three projects designed to enhance forest protection and deliver renewable energy access to rural communities.

Interview: Jean-Pascal van Ypersele
By Roz Pidcock – The Carbon Brief
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is professor of climatology and environmental sciences at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium.  
***LB: Also in this story “He has held the position of vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for seven years and is now running for the role of chair, to succeed Dr Rajendra Pachauri who  stepped down in February. “

Permafrost ‘carbon bomb’ may be more of a slow burn, say scientists 
By Karl Mathiesen – The Guardian
The ‘carbon bomb’ stored in the thawing Arctic permafrost may be released in a slow leak as global warming takes hold, rather than an eruption, according to new research.

Natural gas / coal

California Orders Utility to Pay $ 1.6 Billion in Fatal Natural Gas Fire
California’s chief utility regulator on Thursday ordered Pacific Gas and Electric, the state’s largest power utility, to pay $1.6 billion in fines and other penalties stemming from a deadly natural gas pipeline rupture and fire near San Francisco in 2010. 

Ukraine opens gas sector to investors with anti-monopoly law
By Roman Olearchyk – Financial Times 
Ukraine’s parliament approved a law on Thursday intended to break monopolies and lure badly needed investment into the country’s lucrative but opaque natural gas sector.  


US green power sector poised for ‘watershed year’
The US power sector is poised to set a raft of green energy records this year, according to a major new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) that suggests emissions from the industry should reach their lowest level since 1994. 

How Conservative Texas Took The Lead in U.S. Wind Power 
By Roger Real Drouin – environment360
When the King Mountain Wind Ranch was built in 2001 south of Odessa, Texas, it was the largest wind project in the world, with 214 turbines capable of generating 278 megawatts of electricity. 

Norway’s development fund to double power investments in Africa  
Norway’s state-owned development fund, Norfund, plans to double or even triple its investments in Sub-Saharan Africa’s power sector by 2020, its managing director said on Wednesday.

Clean tech

Intelligent Energy completes $15m portable fuel cell acquisition
Fuel cell specialist Intelligent Energy has beefed up its push into the consumer electronics market with the purchase of portable fuel cell and disposable fuel cartridge assets from Société Bic (S.A.) in a deal worth up to $15m.


China Turns to the Sea for Fresh Water 
By Christina Larson – Bloomberg News  
On the shores of Bohai Bay near the industrial city of Tangshan, construction has begun on an engineering project ambitious even by Chinese standards. 

California regulators defend farmers’ access to water in drought 
By Sharon Bernstein – Reuters  
The administration of California Governor Jerry Brown hit back on Thursday against criticism that its drought conservation mandates apply to consumers but do not include the state’s $45 billion agriculture business.


If We Dig Out All Our Fossil Fuels, Here’s How Hot We Can Expect It to Get
By Michael Greenstone – The New York Times  
World leaders are once again racing to avert disastrous levels of global warming through limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

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