The State of the Union address is hardly finished that we embark upon the World Economic Forum in Davos! In today’s edition, an analysis of what President Obama said and wants to do in the fight against climate change, and a first initiative coming from Davos. Also in this edition, Indian Prime Minister Modi calls for more efforts to reduce the cost of clean technologies, while more than 150 investors demand climate action from BP.

Quote of the day

“Instead of just having people perform, we literally are going to have humanity harmonise all at once.”

Singer Pharrell Williams, in the Guardian’s story Al Gore and Pharrell Williams announce major climate change event at Davos – live 

Lead stories 

Al Gore and Pharrell Williams announce major climate change event at Davos – live 
By Graeme Wearden and Angela Monaghan – The Guardian 
The unlikely combination of  Pharrell Williams and Al Gore have announced what they hope to be the largest campaign ever on the planet, in the form of a second round of Live Earth concerts to promote awareness of climate change, which will take place across all seven continents – including Antarctica – on June 18.

Obama: Climate change the greatest threat to future generations
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill 
President Obama declared climate change the greatest threat to the future during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

GOP chairman blasts Obama’s ‘war on fossil fuels’ 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee accused President Obama of taking credit in his State of the Union address for energy industry successes that his policies are trying to hurt.

SOTU: What Obama left out
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
President Obama avoided directly addressing several charged political topics in his State of the Union address, including the Keystone XL pipeline and gun control.

Obama leaves out gas tax in call for ‘bipartisan infrastructure plan’ 
By Keith Laing – The Hill 
President Obama called for Congress to pass a “bipartisan infrastructure plan” in his State of the Union address but stopped short of calling for an increase in the federal gas tax to help pay for it.  

Rare Moment of Consensus for Senate on Keystone Pipeline
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times  
The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill that is aimed at improving energy efficiency in buildings — a rare moment of bipartisan agreement in a tense debate that is nowhere near being settled.

India Prime Minister Modi demands ‘paradigm shift’ in climate debate
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Just days before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gwelcomes US President Barack Obama for a state visit, he has called for a “paradigm shift” in the global approach towards tackling climate change that redoubles efforts to reduce the cost of clean technologies.

More than 150 investors demand climate action from BP
By Jessica Shankleman  – BusinessGreen
A coalition of 151 BP shareholders, including the Church of England and the Environment Agency, have today called on the company to step up its response to escalating climate change risks. 

For States, $48 Million to Help Cut Emissions 
By Justin Gillis – The New York Times 
Two charitable groups will spend $48 million over the next three years to help states figure out how to reduce emissions from electricity production, an effort to seize the possibilities that are opening up as the cost of clean power falls.  
***LB: Also in this story “The plan is to be announced Wednesday morning in New York. Half the money will come from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable organization set up by Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, and half will come from Mark Heising and Elizabeth Simons, a California couple, who have taken a strong interest in reducing the risks of climate change. 


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


First ever social carbon project registered in India 
Mid January 2015, Emergent Ventures International issued the first Social Carbon & VCS credits in India. 
***LB: Also in this story “The project, co-developed with Carbon Clear, a UK based developer, has successfully finalized its verification process by the end of the 2014.”

UBC professors to vote on fossil-fuel divestment
By Mike Hager – The Globe and Mail  
Inspired by their students, professors at the University of British Columbia are set to begin voting next week on whether to ask the institution to divest its $1.2-billion endowment of any oil and gas stocks.


Amazon adds Indiana wind farm to basket
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to buy electricity from a 150MW wind farm in Benton Country, Indiana, to power its “current and future” data centres. 


Straus Medina Stream Mitigation Bank near San Antonio Awarded Initial Credit Release by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mitigation Solutions USA (MSUSA) announces U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval of Straus Medina Mitigation Banking Instrument (MBI) and initial release of stream credits.

Century Later, the ‘Chinatown’ Water Feud Ebbs
By Adam Nagourney – The New York Times  
For 24 years, traveling across the stark and dusty moonscape of what once was a glimmering 110-square-mile lake framed by snow-covered mountains, Ted Schade was a general in the Owens Valley water wars with Los Angeles.


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