In today’s edition, further analyses on the climate deal achieved in Lima, and hopes to keep the momentum alive with a commitment by India next month. Also, business reasserts itself, with decisions and transactions in gas and electricity (in the Natural Gas / coal and Power sections), while cleaner nuclear energy is in demand (in the Carbon section) and investors want more support for green bonds.

Quote of the day

“Dealing with this is a little bit like saving for retirement. All delay is costly, but it helps whenever you start.”

Richard B. Alley, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, in the New York Times’ story 3.6 Degrees of Uncertainty 

Lead stories

US and India to announce joint climate change action during Obama visit
By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian 
America and India will unveil joint efforts to fight climate change when Barack Obama visits New Delhi next month, as the US tries to keep up the momentum of international negotiations.

China climate negotiator says Lima deal ‘balanced’
By Jennifer Duggan – The Guardian 
Chinese media coverage of the Lima climate change talks included comments by the country’s top climate negotiator who described the deal reached as “balanced”.

In Climate Talks, Soft is the New Hard – and That’s a Good Thing
By Andrew C. Revkin – The New York Times
This piece takes the long view in gauging efforts to stem global warming and its impacts using the tools of diplomacy.

3.6 Degrees of Uncertainty 
By Justin Gillis – The New York Times
After two weeks of grinding meetings in Lima, Peru, the world’s climate negotiators emerged this weekend with a deal. They settled on preliminary language, to be finalized a year from now in Paris, meant to help keep the long-term warming of the planet below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

UN climate change deal in Peru attacked by environmental activists as ‘weak’ and ‘ineffectual’ 
By Steve Connor – The Independent
The UN climate deal agreed between nearly 200 countries in the early hours of Sunday morning was welcomed by politicians – but environmentalists and climate activists denounced it as both weak and ineffectual.

Investors call on governments to fire up green bond market
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
Aviva, Zurich, and BNP Paribas are among a group of investors with a combined $2.24tr of assets under management calling on governments and corporates to help accelerate the growth of the green bond market.

Green crowd-funding rush continues to gather pace, as Solarcentury launches investment offer
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
The nascent green crowd-funding market has taken another notable step forward, as leading solar developer Solarcentury today announces it has teamed up with ethical investment platform Abundance Generation.

The renewable energy sector needs to commit to getting off subsidies
By Jessica Lennard – The Guardian
The energy debate has left the territory of the rational. Graphs, logic, or claims to the moral high ground hold scant weight now.

Keystone builder tells landowners it is still committed to pipeline
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The company developing the Keystone XL oil pipeline told Nebraska residents in its path that it is still confident the pipeline is necessary. 

House Passes Bill that Prohibits Expert Scientific Advice to the EPA
By Beverley Mitchell –
While everyone’s attention was focused on the Senate and the Keystone XL decision on Tuesday, some pretty shocking stuff was quietly going on in the House of Representatives. 
***LB: Also in this story “The GOP-dominated House passed a bill that effectively prevents scientists who are peer-reviewed experts in their field from providing advice — directly or indirectly — to the EPA, while at the same time allowing industry representatives with financial interests in fossil fuels to have their say. Perversely, all this is being done in the name of “transparency.”


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)


Betting on the Need, Scientists Work on Lighter, Cleaner Nuclear Energy
By Matthew L. Wald – The New York Times
Filled with pits, seams and fissures, the images that Darin J. Tallman examined in a secure laboratory here looked like the surface of Mars.

A Plan to Limit Cars in Paris Collides With French Politics
By Dan Bilefsky – The New York Times
When the mayor here detailed plans to ban diesel and other vehicles from the center of Paris by 2020, she framed the measures as a public health imperative in a country that has grown increasingly worried about the quality of its air.

Natural gas / coal

Chevron pulls out of shale gas project in Ukraine
By Roman Olearchyk – Financial Times
US energy giant Chevron has told Ukraine that it will pull out of a $10bn shale gas exploration project agreed last year, officials said, in a further blow to the country’s war-torn economy and its hopes for an alternative to Russian gas imports.

Woodside to Pay $2.75 Billion for Apache Project Stakes
By David Stringer and Bradley Olson – Bloomberg Businessweek
Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) agreed to pay Apache Corp. (APA:US) $2.75 billion for stakes in two liquefied natural gas projects, while delaying approval for its own $35 billion-development off the nation’s northwest coast.

Global coal growth ‘unsustainable’, IEA warns
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
The growth rate of global coal consumption is “unsustainable” and the deployment of carbon capture technology must be accelerated if the world is to successfully tackle climate change. 


EDF stands to rake in £3.3bn windfall from existing power plants
By Terry Macalister – The Guardian 
EDF, one of the UK’s big six energy suppliers, could be in line for a £1bn windfall each year for three years from its existing coal and nuclear power stations under a controversial government-designed auction which starts on Tuesday.

EDF sells wind farm stakes to China’s CNG
EDF has sold a majority stake in three of its UK onshore wind farms to state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and plans to re-invest the funds in other renewables projects. 

Europe’s ‘biggest battery’ sparks into life
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
A £19m battery storage project thought to be Europe’s largest has gone live, as part of a two-year trial exploring the potential benefits of electricity storage for local networks and the UK grid.

Guy Hands eyes Infinis exit for Terra Firma 
By Andrew Critchlow – The Telegraph
Private equity tycoon Guy Hands has fired the starting gun on the potential sale of his stake in wind power company Infinis.

U.K. Set for 2.5 Billion-Pound Power Bill to Keep Plants Open
By Rachel Morison – Bloomberg Buysinessweek
U.K. utilities will today for the first time bid for government payments to keep their power plants open and avoid blackouts. 
***LB: Also in this story “Companies from EON SE to Electricité de France SA will compete to secure contracts to deliver power from the winter of 2018, with 25 percent more capacity on offer than is being sought. While payments may be as high as 3.65 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) under the terms of the auction, Timera Energy, a London-based consultant, expects the bill to be 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion pounds.”

High Court throws out RWE’s wind farm battle against Eric Pickles
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
A High Court judge has rejected RWE Innogy’s attempts to overturn a decision by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to block a wind farm that had been given the green light by planning officials.


A History of EPA Veto Actions to Protect Water
Circle of Blue
The EPA has issued 13 vetoes since the passing of the Clean Water Act. Section 404(c) of the federal Clean Water Act gives the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to veto permits for the discharge of waste and fill material into lakes, streams and wetlands.

Water Plays Little Role in Sub-Sahara Africa Conflicts
By Codi Kozacek – Circle of Blue  
As forecasts for global climate change become increasingly dire, a growing body of research is focused on untangling the links between human violence and events like heatwaves, droughts, and floods.

Belo Monte, Brazil: The tribes living in the shadow of a megadam
By Jonathan Watts – The Guardian
Next year the Belo Monte dam will flood vast swathes of Amazon rainforest. Indian tribes living on the river have lost their fight to halt the project – now they await the floods that threaten their entire way of life.


Gas prices have little effect on car travel, feds say
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Cheap gas prices may have less impact on consumer travel than previously thought, according to a federal stat shop. 

The greenest goodbye: Seattle group wants to compost the dead
By Victoria Cavaliere – Reuters
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust – and corpses to crops? In Seattle, a local nonprofit group wants to become the world’s first organization to offer as a service human composting, in which the departed are turned into nutrient-rich soil that can be used to grow flowers, trees or food.

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