In today’s edition, though the Keystone pipeline’s saga continues, there are also stories on President Obama’s trip to India, next week, and what kind of commitment in the fight against climate change he could get from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And one new figure to ponder : the ‘social cost’ of carbon emissions, which has been significantly underestimated so far. 

Quote of the day

“We estimate that the social cost of carbon is not $37 per ton, as previously estimated, but $220 per ton.”

Frances Moore, a postdoc researcher at the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources in Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences, in the UPI’s story ‘Social cost’ of carbon emissions significantly underestimated

Lead stories

Solar, nuclear, climate progress possible on Obama India visit
By Arshad Mohammed – Reuters 
There could be progress on U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation, solar power and climate change when U.S. President Barack Obama visits India in two weeks, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

Obama visit to India unlikely to deliver US-China climate pact repeat 
By Ed King – RTCC 
The US leader’s meeting with prime minister Narendra Modi is expected to cover a wide range of issues including security, economic growth and civil nuclear cooperation.

Kerry: India is ‘committed’ to climate action
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Secretary of State John Kerry said the world’s third greatest emitter of fossil fuels is committed to fighting climate change. 

EU Nations to Discuss Latvia Bid to Strengthen Carbon Fix
By Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
European Union nations will discuss today a proposal by the bloc’s presidency to strengthen a planned overhaul of its emissions-trading system by preventing the return to the market of permits delayed at auctions in 2014-2016.

‘Social cost’ of carbon emissions significantly underestimated
By Brooks Hays – UPI 
Economists trained in a wide range of traditions, from both ends of the political spectrum, agree that markets have failed to properly price carbon emissions. 

Democrats plan tough votes for GOP on Keystone pipeline bill 
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill 
Democrats are poised to make Republicans cast a series of tough votes on legislation approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which the GOP hopes to send to President Obama’s desk soon.

Keystone clears hurdle in Senate
By Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama – The Hill
The Senate’s Keystone XL pipeline bill passed a key procedural hurdle Monday when senators voted 63-32 to formally start floor debate on the measure.

Return the Keystone XL issue to reality
(Editorial) – Washington Post  
You might have guessed that the first major policy effort from a new Republican Congress promising adult leadership would address an issue of high national importance neglected during years of party bickering on a divided Capitol Hill. If so, you guessed wrong.

Clearing the air about the Western Climate Initiative 
By Peter Hadekel – Montréal Gazette 
The Western Climate Initiative is a non-profit organization set up to help various U.S. states and provinces meet their objectives on climate change. 


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


IEA Details Post-Lima Energy Decarbonization Routes 
By Sandy Dechert – Clean Technica 
With a new report on energy decarbonization, the International Energy Agency has just made a major contribution toward implementing the greenhouse gas reduction agreements outlined at the recent UN climate negotiations in Lima (COP20).

Forest Carbon in 2015: Market Experts Make Their New Year’s Predictions 
Ecosystem Marketplace 
For those of us who stocked our cabinets with canned food and pored over Y2K personal survival guides in 1999, it’s hard to believe we made it this far.

Scientists try to assess global health, climate impacts of unregulated trash burning
By Bob Berwyn – Summit County Citizen Voice 
As much as 1 billion metric tons of waste, including discarded plastics and electronics, is burned each year in unregulated fires, according to atmospheric scientists who set out last year to assess the impacts of trash burning. 
***LB: Also in this story “Air pollution across much of the globe is significantly underestimated because no one is tracking open-fire burning of trash”

In ‘charcoal landscape,’ data on deforestation, emissions hidden in the ashes
By Chris McCall – Forests News 
In terms of its value to daily lives and livelihoods across Africa, charcoal is black gold. 
***LB: Also in this story “As crucial as it is for cooking for millions of rural Africans, charcoal comes at a cost: the wood burned to create it comes from forests, generating substantial carbon emissions. Data on exactly how much has been hard to come by, but now there are hopes to change that.”

Indonesian indigenous groups look to tourists to protect forests 
By Alister Doyle – Planetark 
Indonesian indigenous communities launched a project on Friday to encourage foreign tourism in ancestral forests to slow the advance of logging operations and palm oil plantations.

Natural gas / coal

Saudi Arabia: Oil and gas “will be part of climate solution” 
By Sophie Yeo – RTCC 
Efforts to tackle climate change will fail if they try to eliminate oil and gas from energy production, according to the UN’s Saudi Arabian climate envoy.

Poland’s shale gas revolution evaporates in face of environmental protests
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Fear and loathing stalk Poland’s shale fields, where a 400-day site occupation stopped a Chevron drill earlier this year.

Allianz Sees Polish Utility Bond-Cost Bump on Coal Rescue
By Piotr Bujnicki – Bloomberg
Poland’s plan to rescue the European Union’s biggest coal producer with the help of its state-run utilities risks boosting borrowing costs for the power companies.


EDF Energy inks power purchase deal with Tamar Energy anaerobic digestion plants
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Anaerobic digestion specialist Tamar Energy has confirmed a major boost to its investment strategy yesterday, after the company revealed it has agreed to sell the power from its portfolio of waste-to-energy plants to EDF Energy.

Mexico sees $14 bln in wind energy investment by 2018 
Mexico expects some $14 billion of investment in wind farms between 2015 and 2018, which will more than triple installed capacity in the country, the energy ministry said on Monday.

Chinese investors to back Peterborough’s green city vision
Peterborough is set to become the first British local authority to ink a strategic investment partnership with a Chinese firm, in a bid to access fresh funding for a wave of clean technology projects.

Clean tech

GM’s Bolt sparks electric car rivalry
By Robert Wright and Andy Sharman- Financial Times 
General Motors has made an audacious attempt for leadership of the electric vehicle market, with a “game-changer” concept car that boasts a 200-mile battery range but only a $30,000 price tag.


Des Moines Sues Surrounding Counties Over Agricultural Water Pollution
Circle of Blue  
Iowa’s largest city is suing over agricultural nitrate pollution in its drinking water sources, while the U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal of regulations that keep more water in the Sacramento Delta.


Haitian Women Make Gains by Going Green 
By Koren Helbig – Solutions in Action 
One unlikely principle has emerged in the effort to recreate a sustainable economy in Haiti since the earthquake struck five years ago: going green.


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