Yesterday we had good news – and today too! In the current edition, a story on ecological assets outperforming traditional commodities, mirroring, in a certain way, another story, that of Norway’s rainy day fund. Its decision to divest from fossil fuels could have a significant impact, experts say, in triggering a wave of divestments. Finally, the European Commission moves to limit the coal lobby’s influence on pollution standards. The coal lobby’s influence may have been more discreet than on K. Street, but just as potent.  

Quote of the day

“With tighter rules, thousands of lives and billions in health and economic costs could still be saved in the EU every year.” 

Louise Hutchins, a campaigner at Greenpeace, in the Guardian’s story Brussels moves to limit coal lobby’s influence on pollution standards 

Lead stories 

Rivaling Gold: Ecological Assets Outperform Traditional Commodities 
By William G. Coleman – Ecosystem Marketplace (OpEd)
The market value of compensatory mitigation credits for wetland, stream and species conservation have risen consistently over the past decade, according to a recent review of publicly available mitigation credit price data undertaken by Eco-Asset Solutions Inc. (EASI) of Redwood City, California.

Norway fund could trigger wave of large fossil fuel divestments, say experts 
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian 
Norway’s decision to dump all coal-focused investments from its $900 bn sovereign wealth fund could unleash a wave of divestment from other large funds, according to investment experts. The fund, the largest in the world, is one of the top 10 investors in the global coal industry.

World Bank sets date, start price for $25 million U.N. CO2 credit auction 
By Susanna Twidale and Barbara Lewis – Reuters  
The World Bank will on July 15 hold a first of its kind auction worth $25 million for U.N.-backed carbon credits from projects designed to cut methane emissions, the bank said on Thursday.

Poor nations waiting for a deal on climate, says French minister 
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian 
Developing countries are “waiting to see” what rich nations will offer them in global warming talks, the French minister of environment has said, ahead of crunch negotiations to be hosted in Paris later this year.  

Brussels moves to limit coal lobby’s influence on pollution standards 
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian 
European countries must not allow industry experts in their national delegations to lobby for weaker coal standards, the European commission’s top environment official has said. 
***LB: Also in this story “The move follows revelations by the Guardian that big energy lobbyists included in British delegations to Brussels mounted a sustained and aggressive drive for weaker limits on toxic pollutants that are responsible for over 20,000 deaths a year in the UK alone.”

Walker: EPA carbon rule ‘unworkable’ for Wisconsin 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) told President Obama that his landmark carbon rule for power plants is “unworkable” for the Badger State. 
***LB: Also in this story “Walker, who is expected to announce a run for president next month, stopped short of saying that Wisconsin would not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate change regulation.” 

Clinton: Support and improve ethanol mandate 
By Devin Henry – The Hill
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reaffirmed her support for the federal ethanol mandate in an Iowa newspaper op-ed on Thursday and said the government needs to provide more stability for the renewable fuel industry in the future. 


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 


California and Quebec release results for third joint cap-and-trade auction 
Press Release – California Environmental Protection Agency
California and Quebec released the results of the May 21, 2015 joint cap-and-trade auction of carbon allowances. The final numbers include sales figures and settlement prices for 2013, 2015 and 2018 vintages.  

Japan signs carbon-offset deal with Chile 
Japan has signed a bilateral carbon-offset agreement with Chile, its first deal with any South American country, as part of its efforts to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 
***LB: Also in this story “This is the 14th bilateral carbon offset deal signed by Japan, which is aiming to utilise its green technology to help reduce GHG emissions overseas, particularly in developing countries in Asia and Africa. Japan has previously signed a bilateral carbon offset agreement with Central American countries Costa Rica and Mexico.” 

Kansas governor signs bill authorizing state plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill that would require legislators to sign off on any plan for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Democrats Resurrect $1.2 Billion Version of Inslee Climate-Pollution Tax 
By Ashley Stewart – Investigate West 
With Supreme Court sanctions and a possible shutdown of state government looming, Democrats in the Legislature have resurrected Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and added a tax rebate to appease critics in their own party and the GOP. 

Natural gas / coal 

LNG trade prepares to come out of oil’s shadow 
By David Sheppard and Anjli Raval – Financial Times
When the first US export shipment of liquefied natural gas leaves the US Gulf Coast later this year, gas trading will fulfil its long-held promise of going truly global. 

Deal to phase out rich-world coal export subsidies elusive 
By Barbara Lewis and Susanna Twidale – Reuters
The world’s richest nations are unlikely to reach a deal to phase out subsidies for coal exports at talks in June, reducing the chances of a new global climate change agreement at a U.N. conference in Paris, officials and campaigners say.


Hong Kong regulator confirms Hanergy probe after share price nearly halved 
By Jessica Shankleman  – BusinessGreen 
Hong Kong’s market regulator has confirmed it is investigating China’s largest solar power firm Hanergy, despite the company’s chairman telling Chinese media that the reports were only rumours.

Power Crunch From South Africa to Nigeria Curbs Outlook
By Daniel Magnowski and Olivier Monnier – Bloomberg News
Africa’s crippling shortage of electricity is among the biggest threats to the continent’s economic outlook, delegates and leaders at a key banking conference in Ivory Coast said.

Key Insights from a Solutions Forum on Driving Energy Efficiency with IT
By Jason Ye – C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions) 
Energy efficiency is a critical component of the proposed Clean Power Plan. It offers states a least-cost pathway for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. A C2ES Solutions Forum held May 18, 2015, brought together city, state, and business leaders to explore how intelligent efficiency can drive reduced energy usage and emissions under the rule. 

China energy: blowing in the wind 
Financial Times  
Governments have been trying to address this problem. Last year, China and the US struck a deal to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. China is investing heavily in renewable energy generating capacity, with nearly a third of 2014 net additions coming from wind and solar, according to CLSA. 



Stark Before-and-After Images Reveal Rapidly Changing World 
By Michele Berger, Edecio Martinez and Eric Zerkel – The Weather Channel
NASA’s series of stark, eye-opening satellite images, its “World of Change” project, reveals years of global change in just seconds, changes from weather, humans and natural phenomena that transform Earth’s landscape.


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