As the divestment movement is definitely taking hold, today’s edition focuses on the fact that 22 major business called on EU members to deliver a “low-carbon, resilient and affordable” energy system,  while emissions capped by Europe’s carbon market already fell 3.7 percent in 2014. Also, another initiative: Ben & Jerry’s launched its new campaign to stir up civil action on climate change. And last but not least: President Obama will sign an order cutting U.S. government greenhouse gas emissions.

Quote of the day

“These kind of initiatives are good, they keep us sharp. We are going to take a critical look at the influence our investments have on climate change and better communicate what we do.”

José Meijer, vice-chair of Dutch pension fund ABP, in The Guardian’s story More than 10,000 people call on Dutch pension fund to divest from fossil fuels 

Lead stories

Obama to sign order cutting U.S. government greenhouse gas emissions
By Eric Walsh – Reuters
President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Thursday that will cut the U.S. government’s greenhouse gas emissions, the White House said in a statement.

Eiffel Tower shrouded in smog as Paris pollution spikes
The Guardian 
The Eiffel Tower disappeared behind a brown smog on Wednesday as Paris and much of northern France suffered a spike in pollution.

Business leaders back low-carbon Energy Union
Alstom, EDF, GSK and Heathrow Airport are among 22 major business calling on EU members to deliver a “low-carbon, resilient and affordable” energy system.

EU carbon market emissions fell 3.7 percent in 2014: analysts 
Emissions capped by Europe’s carbon market fell 3.7 percent in 2014, driven by higher output from renewable power producers and lower electricity consumption, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said on Wednesday.

New global disaster plan sets targets to curb risk, losses
By Megan Rowling – Thomson Reuters Foundation
Governments set targets to substantially reduce deaths and economic losses from disasters at a U.N. conference in Japan on Wednesday, but critics were disappointed by the lack of a firm goal to ramp up financial support for poor countries.

FEMA to States: No Climate Planning, No Money
By Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News 
Beginning next year, governors that want the many millions in disaster preparedness funding from FEMA will have to sign off on plans acknowledging the climate change risks to their communities. 
***LB: Also in this story “The policy could put some Republicans governors who deny or question climate change, such as Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal (pictured), in a bind. Louisiana is the nation’s biggest recipient of FEMA funds, having received more than $1 billion between 2010 and 2014.”

While promoting climate policies in Washington, Jerry Brown weathers fire at home
By David Siders – Sacramento Bee  
One reason Gov. Jerry Brown flew to Washington last week was to promote California’s environmental policies in the run-up to international climate talks in Paris in December.

Ben & Jerry’s wants to scoop you up into its new climate campaign
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
It seems the traditional milk float wasn’t quite up to scratch for the new global campaign from Ben & Jerry’s, which aims to stir up civil action on climate change.

House passes EPA ‘secret science’ bill
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
‘Secret Science’ Bill Passes: The House easily passed its bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using “secret science” Wednesday, despite a veto threat from the Obama administration. 
***LB: Also in this story “The bill, similar to past versions, would require the EPA to make publicly available all the details of any scientific research it uses in regulating. If the science isn’t public, the rule can’t be promulgated.”

More than 10,000 people call on Dutch pension fund to divest from fossil fuels 
By Emma Howard – The Guardian
More than 10,000 people have called on the fifth largest pension fund in the world to divest from oil, coal and gas. Members of the Dutch pension fund ABP handed over a petition to the fund’s managers on Tuesday asking them to remove fossil fuel company holdings from its $360bn (£250bn) portfolio.

Italy’s Enel looks to emerging markets and renewables
By Stephen Jewkes and Sarah McFarlane – Reuters
Italy’s biggest utility Enel is banking on emerging markets, green energy and digital power grids to boost profits and dividends over the next five years, after joining rivals by cleaning up its finances with writedowns on ailing plants.


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 


Amazon rainforest soaking up less carbon as trees die young: study 
By Alister Doyle – Reuters
The Amazon rainforest’s ability to soak up greenhouse gases from the air has fallen sharply, possibly because climate change and droughts mean more trees are dying, an international team of scientists said on Wednesday. 

US: First mine methane capture credits sold to American company 
A Canadian company who received the first mine methane capture credits completed a sale of its 80,766 offsets to an American company for under $9.00/tCO2e on Tuesday, according to a company spokeswoman.

Fossil fuels are way more expensive than you think
By Dana Nuccitelli – The Guardian
A new paper published in Climatic Change estimates that when we account for the pollution costs associated with our energy sources, gasoline costs an extra $3.80 per gallon, diesel an additional $4.80 per gallon, coal a further 24 cents per kilowatt-hour, and natural gas another 11 cents per kilowatt-hour that we don’t see in our fuel or energy bills.

CO2 cuts claim sees ministers challenged by experts 
By Roger Harrabin – BBC News
The UK government’s claim to lead the world in cuts of carbon emissions has been challenged by researchers. 
***LB: Also in this story “UK emissions are rising overall because current calculations omit pollution from goods imported from countries like China, Leeds University experts say.”

Natural gas / coal

Canada regulator probing TransCanada over safety allegations 
By Mike De Souza – Reuters
Canada’s energy regulator is investigating up to a dozen new allegations of natural gas pipeline safety-code violations at TransCanada Corp, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Australia urged to shut coal-fired power plants urgently as analysis reveals huge emissions
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian
The Australian government has been urged to place US-style regulations on coal-fired power plants to ensure they shut down, as a new analysis highlights the vast scale of emissions pumped out by the largest carbon dioxide polluters in the country.


Eclipse Tests European Power Grid Flooded by Solar Farms
By Stefan Nicola, Weixin Zha and Rachel Morison – Bloomberg News
The eclipse due to bring most of Europe into deep shadow on Friday morning will put an unprecedented strain on the electricity grid, which takes power from the world’s biggest concentration of solar panels.

Singapore introduces commercial solar tariff to reduce fossil fuel reliance 
By Jane Xie – Reuters
Singapore is taking steps to reduce its almost total reliance on fossil fuels in power generation by offering commercial customers the city-state’s first dual solar and conventional electricity contract.

Japan’s Kyushu hopes to restart reactor in July -company official 
Kyushu Electric Power Co hopes to restart a nuclear reactor in southwestern Japan in July, a company official said, marking what would be the nation’s first resumption in about two years following stringent safety checks that were imposed after the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

Clean tech

Tesla Ban To Sell In New Jersey Reversed
By Shaurya Arya – Technology  
Tesla Motors Inc. will now be able to sell cars to New Jersey residents after the ban on selling vehicles outside of company-owned showrooms was lifted.


San Lorenzo: Environmentally friendly levee could protect against sea level rise
By Rebecca Parr – ContraCostaTimes
What are now seedlings will play a key role in an experiment that could be an environmental triple win — improving water quality and protecting against sea level rise while providing wildlife habitat.

Brown, lawmakers to unveil $1-billion emergency drought relief plan
By Melanie Mason and Chris Megerian – Los Angeles Times
As California braces for a fourth consecutive year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday will unveil a $1-billion relief plan, two sources told The Times late Wednesday.

Caribbean Community Climate-Smarting Fisheries, But Slowly
By Zadie Neufville – IPS
Caribbean nations have begun work on a plan to ‘climate smart’ the region’s fisheries as part of overall efforts to secure food supplies.

Taiwan Further Restricts Water Amid Record Drought
By Chinmei Sung and Cindy Wang – Bloomberg
Taiwan further restricted water supply for some industrial users, as well as households in two cities, as it struggles against a record drought.


Vietnam Ripe for Green Investment
Vietnam Briefing
Vietnam is a pioneer among developing countries, taking a leadership role in green growth.

Property investors demanding sustainable buildings
Property owners must improve the sustainability of their buildings if they want to attract investors and maintain value, a new survey reveals.

U.S. Catholics lead in concern about climate change: Yale study 
Pope Francis might be preaching to the choir on climate change when he releases his environmental- and sustainability-focused encyclical later this year.

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