Today’s edition is a classic case of the half-full or half-empty glass. First, the International Energy Agency released a report stating that countries’ current pledges for greenhouse gas cuts would not achieve the goal of stopping temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Second, as Pope Francis is about to release a much-anticipated letter to bishops about faith and climate change, such an initiative could turn U.S. climate politics upside down – for the best. Finally, a breakthrough in thinking: separate economic growth from fossil fuels, says Fatih Birol of the International Energy Agency, and you won’t get this greenhouse gases “inevitability.”
Quote of the day
“If we do not get a strong signal from Paris, this [reform of the energy sector] will take a very, very long time to put right.”
Fatih Birol, incoming executive director of the International Energy Agency, in the Guardian’s story Divorce growth from greenhouse gases to aid climate goals, says energy chief
Weak climate plans mean world set to overshoot temperature goal – IEA
By Nina Chestney – Reuters
Countries’ current pledges for greenhouse gas cuts will fail to achieve a peak in energy-related emissions by 2030 and likely result in a temperature rise of 2.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the International Energy Agency said on Monday.
Divorce growth from greenhouse gases to aid climate goals, says energy chief
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian
The world needs a “peaceful divorce” between economic growth and the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, one of the world’s leading energy economists has said – but this will only happen if a crunch climate conference in December sends a strong signal that governments are serious about tackling global warming.
***LB: Also in this story “Until now, more energy availability has been linked to rising prosperity but also increasing emissions. That link must be broken.”
In Trade Debate, Climate Concerns Roar Back to House Floor
By Jason Plautz – National Journal
Global warming has returned to Washington. An issue that Congress largely ignored since the death of climate and energy legislation five years ago has come back in a most unlikely place: the trade debate.
How the Pope Could Turn U.S. Climate Politics Upside Down
By Eric Roston – Bloomberg News
Pope Francis is about to release a much-anticipated letter to bishops about faith and climate change.
Pope Francis to Explore Climate’s Effect on World’s Poor
By Jim Yardley – The New York Times
Ban Ki-moon arrived at the Vatican with his own college of cardinals. Mr. Ban, the United Nations secretary general, had brought the leaders of all his major agencies to see Pope Francis, a show of organizational muscle and respect for a meeting between two global institutions that had sometimes shared a bumpy past but now had a mutual interest.
Stop using China as an excuse for inaction on climate change
By George Monbiot (blog) – The Guardian
China is the world’s excuse for cruelty and barbarism. If we don’t behave atrociously, politicians and columnists assure us, China will, so we had better do it first, before we are outcompeted.
China reaffirms 2030 climate commitments: State Council
China’s Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed the government’s commitment to achieve peak carbon emissions by “around 2030”, the State Council said in a statement issued late on Friday.
Women must be at the forefront of climate change solutions
Susi Newborn breaks down the issues relating to climate change, something which affects women far more than men, and issues a challenge as planet Earth must fight for its survival.
Environmental Activism in the US Is Popping Up in a Surprising Place
By Darren Ankrom – Vice News
A showdown between oil and gas companies, pro-drilling politicians, and a newly formed grassroots environmental group is brewing in South Carolina.
Climate Strategies Forum
Washington Marriott Hotel at Metro Center
June 24-26, 2015
EMA Annual Meeting
October 28-30, 2015
Omni Parker House Hotel
Congress, Pay Attention to This Carbon Tax Bill
(Editorial) Bloomberg Views
The challenge to prevent climate change is daunting for its scale. How can society change human behavior widely enough to stop the accumulation of atmosphere-warming gases — without swelling the government or ruining the economy?
Scientists Are Coming Up With ‘Last Ditch’ Remedies for Climate Change
By Louise Downing – Bloomberg News
As talks aimed at slowing global warming drag on, researchers are pushing new ideas that some are calling last-ditch attempts to avert the worst effects of climate change.
Veolia Signs $505 Million Wood-Chip Power Plant Deal in Ireland
By Louise Downing – Bloomberg News
Veolia Environnement SA’s Irish unit won a 450 million-euro ($505 million) deal to operate a wood-fueled biomass power plant in the country’s west.
Europe’s cities push back at big energy
By Kalina Oroschakoff – Politico
Europe’s cities are pushing back at big energy, which has been eager to enter the global warming debate, warning that traditional fuels won’t help solve the world’s climate challenges.
***LB: Also in this story “Natural gas won’t be the solution, while de-centralized local energy schemes could make the difference, write five big international city networks in an open letter, adding: “Although we support the idea of a well-functioning carbon market, we believe the world’s energy would be best used if we stopped focusing on one supposedly salutary source of power.”
Renewable power will overtake coal if climate pledges are kept
By Pilita Clark – Financial Times
Wind, solar and other types of renewable power will overtake coal to become the world’s top source of electricity in just 15 years if the pledges countries are making for a global climate change deal this year are met.
(UK’s) Environment Agency accused of seeking to water down fracking rules
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Green groups have slammed government plans to quietly make it easier for fracking firms to test for shale gas and oil by removing the need for local residents to be consulted before drilling goes ahead.
Financial Dominoes Fall for Coal as Divestment Trends Gather Steam
By Mary Anne Hitt – GreenRoots
Again and again, we see young people convincing their colleges to divest, activists convincing banks to divest, and shareholders convincing companies to divest.
Rich nations in stalemate over coal subsidy phase-out
By Barbara Lewis – Reuters
Talks on phasing out a form of coal subsidies ended in stalemate as Japan, the biggest user of the aid, led calls for more time in defiance of this week’s G7 pledge on fossil fuel subsidies, sources said.
U.K. May Get Negative Power Prices by 2020 on Wind, Solar Jump
By Rachel Morison – Bloomberg News
Power prices in the U.K. may fall below zero during some hours before the end of the decade as intermittent renewable energy output is poised to soar, according to National Grid Plc.
Swansea Bay tidal lagoon: doubts cast on engineering contract with China
By Terry Macalister – The Guardian
A £300m contract with a Chinese company to build a sea wall for the government’s flagship renewable energy project at Swansea Bay has been called into question amid allegations that it may have been awarded improperly.
World’s First All-Electric Battery-Powered Ferry
By Cynthia Shahan – Clean Technica
A Norwegian emission-free ferry called the Ampere was granted the esteemed “Ship of the Year” award as the SMM trade show in September 2014.
The Real Solyndra Scandal
By Daniel Gross – Slate
On Thursday, Peter Davidson, the official who took over the controversial, much-mocked Energy Department Loan Programs Office in 2013, announced he’s stepping down.
***LB: Also in this story “Created during the Bush administration, the program received a huge influx of funds as a result of the 2009 stimulus bill, which it lent to a range of companies in the energy and transportation industries.”
California’s Water Czar, Part Empathetic Confessor and Part Friendly Scold
By Adam Nagourney – The New York Times
Felicia Marcus peered over her desk the other day as the State Water Resources Control Board came to order in a hearing room here, bracing for another day of bad drought news.
California moves to restrict water pumping by pre-1914 rights holders
By Bettina Boxall – Los Angeles Times
For the first time in nearly 40 years, state regulators are telling more than 100 growers and irrigation districts with some of the oldest water rights in California that they have to stop drawing supplies from drought-starved rivers and streams in the Central Valley.
Oprah and Kanye Get #DroughtShamed as Water Cops Roam California
By Alison Vekshin – Bloomberg News
Paul Brown sets out before sunrise to patrol Sacramento for circumstantial evidence that someone is wasting California’s scarcest resource. It may be a moist sidewalk, or a flooded curb gutter, or a suspiciously damp driveway.
Scientists say climate change hastened demise of Latin America’s oldest civilization
Fox News Latino
Caral, the Americas’ oldest civilization, located north of present day Lima, Peru, faced a grave crisis as a result of climate change some 4,000 years ago, archaeologists said.