In today’s edition, we focus on President Obama’s visit to India. While India, unlike China, didn’t want to commit to cutting its emissions, the trip yielded a deal on nuclear power. Also, the Mahindra Group, an Indian vehicle maker and industrial conglomerate, will treble its investments in solar energy this year, it announced. Next big trip: the pope, who will visit the US in the fall and will likely fuel the debate on the climate change. 

Quote of the day

“Ultimately it’s up to the companies to go forward, but the two governments came to an understanding.” 

President Barack Obama, referring to the nuclear deal that resolves differences over the liability of suppliers to India in the event of a nuclear accident and U.S. demands on tracking the whereabouts of material supplied to the country, in the Reuters’ story Obama reveals nuclear breakthrough on landmark India trip 


Lead stories

Obama touts ties with India on trade, climate change 
By Kyle Balluck – The Hill 
President Obama said on Sunday that there is a “new and unprecedented opportunity” to deepen U.S. ties with India.

“We have a deal” – insurance may unlock India-U.S. atomic trade
By Frank Jack Daniel and Douglas Busvine – Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a plan centred on insurance on Sunday that they hope will convince U.S. companies to build nuclear power stations in India, but stopped short of demands to soften a liability law.

Obama reveals nuclear breakthrough on landmark India trip
By Roberta Rampton and Sanjeev Miglani – Reuters 
In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled plans to unlock billions of dollars in nuclear trade and to deepen defense ties, steps they hope will establish an enduring strategic partnership.

U.S., Indian deepen cooperation in defence, clean energy
Business Standard
Invoking a reference to ‘Chalein saath saath’ or ‘Let’s walk together’, U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday announced enhanced cooperation between the two countries on key areas, including defence cooperation and promoting clean energy.

Obama-Modi climate deal: Unlike China, no emission target for India emission target for India
By Vishwa Mohan – The Times of India  
India and the US on Sunday stressed enhancing bilateral cooperation to deal with climate change but did not have a China-like bilateral deal where both Washington and Beijing last November set their respective emission cut goals.

Mahindra to treble investment in solar energy push
By Victor Mallet- Financial Times 
Mahindra Group, the Indian vehicle maker and industrial conglomerate, will treble its investments in solar energy this year and seek US or other foreign partners to boost its defence manufacturing business, according to its chairman Anand Mahindra.  
***LB: Also in this story “Mr Mahindra is among the business leaders seeking to capitalise on the drive by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, to revive the country’s manufacturing sector, liberalise its highly regulated economy, boost renewable energy output and improve strategic and commercial relations with the US.” 

India’s Economy Slows as Condition of Water, Land, and Cities Deteriorates 
Circle of Blue 
At the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Barack Obama arrives on Sunday in New Delhi, the first American president to honor Republic Day, the day that India’s Constitution took effect in 1950.

How Keystone Review Undercut Obama’s Climate Policies
By Brad Wieners – Bloomberg News 
Ranchers arrested for trespassing on their own property. Preachers moonlighting as land agents. Billionaire activists hiring former Navy SEALs to conduct mock terror attacks.  
***LB: Also in this story “Given the farcical turns the fight over Keystone XL has taken, it’s only fitting that the pipeline has reemerged as a top priority for the new Republican Congress when the issues it was supposed to fix—weak job creation, energy insecurity, pain at the pump—are far less pressing than when Keystone was proposed. “

Leaders in Davos Urge Quick Action to Alter the Effects of Climate Change
By David Gelles – The New York Times  
On the heels of data showing that last year was the hottest on earth since record keeping began, business leaders, politicians and scientists at the World Economic Forum redoubled their calls to combat climate change.

Pope’s visit to stoke climate fight 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
Pope Francis’s visit to the United States this fall will give him an important stage to push for climate change policies, in a year when global warming is shaping up to be a central issue both for the Vatican and Washington.  


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


Stanford scientists team with indigenous people to produce detailed carbon calculations of Amazon rainforest 
By Bjorn Carey – Stanford News  
When it comes to measuring the carbon storage potential of the Amazon forest, indigenous people might outperform sophisticated satellites.

MPs urged to beef up Zero Carbon Homes rules
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Fracking may have grabbed the headlines around the Infrastructure Bill, but trade bodies are pushing to ensure the debate also addresses new energy efficient building standards.

Natural gas / coal

Traders Delaying Russian Gas Imports Tap Declining EU Storages
By Isis Almeida and Elena Mazneva – Bloomberg News
Europe is accelerating withdrawals from natural gas inventories as traders delay imports of Russian fuel poised to fall with oil.

Obama proposes more protections against drilling in Alaska refuge
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
President Obama will ask Congress to enact further protection’s for the remote wilderness area in Alaska’s northern reaches in an effort to stop any potential oil or natural gas drilling there.

(UK’s) MPs demand moratorium on fracking 
By Jonathan Leake – Sunday Times 
A moratorium on fracking in Britain in the interests of combating climate change will be demanded by an influential committee of MPs tomorrow.

Why Labour opposes this fanatical faith in shale gas 
By Caroline Flint and Maria Eagle – The Guardian (Op-ed) 
There are two fundamental principles that have to underpin any debate about shale gas development in the UK. The first is that fracking cannot go ahead without proper environmental safeguards in place. 
***LB: Also in this story “The second is that the development of shale gas, cannot come at the expense of meeting our legally binding obligation to avoid dangerous climate change.”


More doubt is cast on Cape Wind plan 
By David Abel – The Boston Globe  
The developer of Cape Wind has terminated contracts to buy land and facilities in Falmouth and Rhode Island, the latest sign that the $2.5 billion effort to become the nation’s first offshore wind farm may never produce a kilowatt of energy.

Worry for Solar Projects After End of Tax Credits 
By Diane Cardwell – The New York Times 
For more than a year now, an enormous solar thermal power plant has been humming along in the Arizona desert, sending out power as needed, even well after sunset.

Solar panels fitted on 125,000 UK homes during 2014
Solar panels were fitted on the roofs of more than 125,000 homes last year, according to government figures.


Brazil Drought Spreads to Rio de Janeiro
Circle of Blue
Brazil’s severe drought is spreading throughout the country’s largest metropolitan regions, including Rio de Janeiro.

Dry January starts familiar feeling of dread among farm water leaders
By Mark Grossi – The Fresno Bee 
Facing a fourth drought year and maybe the driest January on record, farm water leaders hope storms are on the way, but they saw a dry January last year and got no water from the federal Central Valley Project.

U.N. moves toward ocean biodiversity treaty
U.N. member states Saturday agreed to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, a move heralded by environmental organizations.


TAM Ethical launches green ISA offer
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Savers wishing to place their money in a bank that will shield their investments from controversial industries such as fossil fuels and tobacco have a growing number of places to turn. 
***LB: Also in this story “This month TAM Ethical launched an offer to encourage attract more people to his ISA for customers with a minimum of £10,000.”

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