In today’s edition, we focus on one strategy to combat climate change: carbon markets. While trading is slow in the newly-launched South Korean market, China is leading the way, with a national market that should be in place in 2016. Also, Australia’s decision to do away with its carbon pricing scheme seems out of step, in view of other countries’ initiatives, say critics of Prime Minister Abbott.  

Quote of the day 

“We hope to kick off the national market in summer of 2016, starting with a three-year trading phase before the market becomes fully functional in 2019.”

Jiang Zhaoli, a senior official within the National Development and Reform Commission’s climate change department, in the Guardian’ story (Australia’s) Tony Abbott denies China’s carbon trading plan shows he is out of step

Lead stories

The Keystone crescendo
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Fever Pitch: Next week the House will vote to pass Keystone, the State Department will be sift through the final comments submitted by agencies on the project, and President Obama will ready his veto pen.

No Keystone, No Problem for Canadian Oil Seeking Ports
By Aaron Clark, Lynn Doan and Daniel Murtaugh – Bloomberg
While the debate intensifies over whether TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline should be approved, traders are quietly setting up alternative routes to ship Canadian oil from U.S. ports.

Trading dries up in South Korea’s new carbon market
By Meeyoung Cho – Reuters
Trading in South Korea’s carbon market, touted as the world’s second-biggest, has got off to a slow start, with volumes drying up soon after its launch in mid-January.

(Australia’s) Tony Abbott denies China’s carbon trading plan shows he is out of step
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian 
Tony Abbott has denied that China’s plan to launch a national carbon trading market shows he is out of step internationally on climate change, claiming his Direct Action policy is getting “more and more support” in Australia and abroad. 
***LB: Also in this story “In September, China put its name to a list of 73 countries that signaled support for putting a price on carbon. This list includes Germany, France, Britain, South Africa and New Zealand. It also includes US states such as California and Massachusetts, as well as more than 1,000 businesses.”

RMI enlists eBay, GM, HP to help double corporate renewables by 2025
By Heather Clancy –
Two-thirds of the Fortune 100 want to buy electricity generated by off-site renewable energy sources this year – or at least that’s what they’re saying publicly.
***LB: Also in this story “The problem: the procurement process is complicated, and only a half-dozen big businesses actually have signed purchase orders, including Google, IKEA, Mars, Microsoft and Walmart.”


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

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


Which car makers are best prepared for stricter emissions rules?
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Japanese automakers, such as Nissan and Toyota, are leading the world in developing low emissions models and are consequently the manufacturers least likely to be hit by penalties for failing to meet tightening government auto emissions targets.

China to target aviation next year in national carbon trading scheme
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
China is reportedly planning to target energy and aviation emissions among six industrial sectors when it launches its carbon trading scheme early next year.

World Bank’s forest carbon program falls short on indigenous peoples’ rights, argues report
Countries poised to receive World Bank funds for achieving reductions in deforestation have insufficient safeguards for ensuring that local communities don’t lose out in the rush to score money from the forest carbon market, argues a new report published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).

Natural gas/ coal 

Egypt’s energy reforms spark rush of oil and gas deals
By Oleg Vukmanovic and Shadi Bushra – Reuters
Energy-hungry Egypt’s willingness to push fuel market reforms and stick to debt repayment plans has led to an unexpected resurgence in oil and gas exploration and supply deals previously delayed by political upheaval.


Report: Wind and solar energy have tripled since 2008
By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post
We worry a lot about the problem of climate change. And we try to fix it — again, again and again — by changing how the country uses energy. 
***LB: Also in this story “What we don’t stop and ponder enough, though, is that the country is changing how it uses energy. It’s certainly not enough to silence all environmental concerns. But nonetheless, the progress, when you sample it, is really impressive.”

Japan aims to restart nuclear reactor in June -sources 
By Aaron Sheldrick – Reuters
Japan’s government is aiming to restart a nuclear reactor by around June following a lengthy and politically-sensitive approval process in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, sources familiar with the plans said.

Clean tech

Washington lawmakers pushing electric car ownership
By Derrick Nunnally – Associated Press
Even with gas prices hovering around $2 per gallon, Washington state lawmakers are considering a raft of bills to encourage more drivers to turn to electric cars in the name of reducing pollution.

UK led Europe’s electric car surge in 2014
By Alexandra Popescu – ENDS Europe
Europe’s electric vehicle market surged by 37% last year but electric cars still make up just 0.6% of overall new car registrations, industry figures published on Thursday show.


Cheap drones could revolutionize forest monitoring, but turbulence ahead
By Kate Evans – Forests News
Sending small unmanned drones to fly over tropical forests has great potential for enhancing community-based forest monitoring—and in measuring carbon for climate change mitigation efforts, experts said at an event on the sidelines of the recent UN climate conference.

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