In today’s edition, more info on president Obama’s visit next month to India and the promises it holds for climate, and also (in the Power section), as the trade dispute over green energy products deepens, Washington will impose large import duties on solar energy equipment from China and Taiwan.

Quote of the day

“I am expecting a useful meeting but we don’t have anything in the works of the kind that we were involved with in China. We have a substantial desire to work in a constructive and ramped up way with India on climate change and clean energy.” 

US envoy for climate change Todd Stern, in the Economic Times’ story India-US climate talks to focus on clean energy, tech R&D

Lead stories 

India-US climate talks to focus on clean energy, tech R&D
By Urmi Goswami – The Economic Times 
India and the United States are expected to announce a joint effort to tackle climate change with focus on clean energy and technology R&D during President Barack Obama’s visit to the country in January.

Obama shields Alaska bay from oil, gas leasing
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
President Obama on Tuesday moved to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from oil and gas exploration without making any mention of a contentious copper and gold mine project in the area.

Keystone first item on GOP Senate agenda
By Alexander Bolton – The Hill 
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) announced Tuesday that he will move the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the first order of business in the GOP-controlled Senate next year.

Diageo toasts new sustainability goals
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
Diageo has pledged to tackle water consumption and carbon emissions across its supply chain as part of 20 new sustainability targets for 2020 the drinks manufacturer unveiled this week. 

Procter & Gamble hails global waste reduction progress
Procter & Gamble (P&G) yesterday published its latest annual sustainability report, confirming it has met two of its key environmental targets ahead of schedule. 

Carbon Markets Link In $500 Million Clean Energy Investment 
By Silvio Marcacci – Clean Technica 
North America’s carbon markets have raised over $500 million for clean energy projects and successfully completed the first linked international auction in the past month, highlighting the potential for expansion and international system linkages to fight climate change.

Growth of forests may not be keeping pace with rising CO2 levels
By Rhett A. Butler – 
Plants rely on three critical elements for growth: carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight.

The Lima Deal: Differentiation Ends, Negotiations Begin For Sharing The Global Carbon Budget
By Mukal Sanwal – Ecosystem Marketplace 
Lima witnessed the end game of a 20 year old negotiation around doing away with differentiation between countries at different levels of development and the beginning of negotiations on a global pact for sharing the carbon budget.

It’s Time to Deploy This Special Weapon on Climate Change
By Christiana Figueres and Luis Neves – HuffPost 
We are here to tell you a secret that we feel needs to be told: there is a special weapon in the fight against climate change.

Italy says it will oppose EU plans to scrap environment law
Plans by European policymakers to scrap a draft EU law on air quality and waste send a “negative signal” about Europe’s ambition to curb climate change and governments will challenge them, the Italian environment minister said on Wednesday.


Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium
January 7-8, 2015
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC

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


LEAP Enters Voluntary Carbon Market 
A Charlottesville non-profit is offering businesses and homeowners a deal to off-set their carbon footprint, and reduce the amount of dangerous greenhouse gas that escapes into our air.

Yurok tribe hopes California’s cap-and-trade can save a way of life 
By Tony Barboza – Los Angeles Times 
This winter, Yurok tribe forestry crews will be four-wheeling down muddy fire roads, hiking through steep, slippery brush and trekking across more than 20,000 acres of forest to count and measure trees.

MPs call on government to drive development of small nuclear power stations
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
You might have thought former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was being unrealistic when he called for mini nuclear power stations to be dotted around the country earlier this year, but a new report from MPs today suggests the technology could be more than a pipe dream.

Natural gas / coal

Feds: US households to spend hundreds less on gas in 2015
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
The average U.S. household is expected to spend hundreds less filling up at the pump next year, according to a federal stat shop. 
***LB: Also in this story “The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday that the average household is expected to spend roughly $550 less on gasoline in 2015 than in 2014.”

Coal company: EPA climate rule is ‘expressly prohibited’ by law
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
One of the nation’s top coal producers is asking a federal court to overturn the Obama administration’s climate rule, calling it “double regulation” that is “contrary to law.”

Top Democrat’s plan: Divest in coal to fight global warming
By Carla Marinucci – The Chronicle 
With Republicans threatening to shove climate change to the back seat as they take control of the U.S. Senate, state officials including Gov. Jerry Brown huddled with one of the nation’s leading Democratic donors Monday to talk up ways to keep it on California’s agenda — including legislation that could send a shiver through the coal industry.

Industry’s mercury challenge could undermine attack on EPA climate rule
By Jeremy P. Jacobs – E&E  
If coal companies get their way when the Supreme Court reviews U.S. EPA’s air standards for mercury and other hazardous emissions, they could undermine their primary legal challenge to another landmark pollution rule: President Obama’s greenhouse gas limits for power plants.


US to impose solar tariffs on China and Taiwan
By Charles Clover – Financial Times 
The US is to impose large import duties on solar energy equipment from China and Taiwan, as a trade dispute over green energy products deepens.

China Criticizes Steep U.S. Tariffs on Solar Panels
By Keith Bradsher – The New York Times
China’s Commerce Ministry strongly criticized on Wednesday afternoon the United States’ decision to impose broader antidumping and antisubsidy tariffs on solar panels from China, but stopped short of threatening specific retaliation.


No More Faking It: Companies Ditch Green Credits, Clean Up Instead
By Ben Elgin – Bloomberg 
It has been a near-magical tool allowing corporations to claim massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for very little cost. 
***LB: Also in this story “For years, thousands of companies have purchased renewable energy credits, known as RECs, to say they use green power and to shrink their carbon footprints. Now, as skepticism mounts about whether RECs achieve their claimed environmental benefits, the market for these credits is slowing—and a number of companies, fromWhole Foods Market to McDonald’s, are quietly scaling back their involvement.”

Clean tech

Batteries That Will Save the Planet
By Tom Parrett – Newsweek 
Just three years ago, science journalist Farhad Manjoo wrote an article for Slate called “Better Batteries Will Save the World.”


California’s water deficit: 11 trillion gallons
By Kurtis Alexander  – SFGate  
NASA satellites that have been tracking California’s troubled water supplies from space generated a first-ever estimate of how much water the state needs to recover from the drought — an astonishing 11 trillion gallons. In other words, a whole lot. 


Christmas decorations filled with toxic chemicals, study finds
By Tim Devaney – The Hill
What could be worse that getting a bag of coal for Christmas? A bag full of toxic chemicals, health groups say.

(Canada’s) Feds leave $321-million unspent for green programs, overspend on oil and gas research, ads 
By Tim Naumetz – The Hill times online 
The federal government failed to spend a total of $321-million Parliament approved for “environmentally responsible” programs last year—nearly one-third of the money that was available for that purpose—while spending more than the $438-million that had been set aside to fund programs that primarily supported the oil and gas sector through scientific research, market development and government advertising. 
***LB: Also in this story “Details of a spending report Natural Resources Canada submitted to Parliament through Treasury Board show the department did not spend, or “lapsed” in government accounting terms, a total of $298.6-million on programs for renewable energy development, alternative transportation fuels, energy efficiency and technology innovation.”


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