In today’s edition, as indicated yesterday, President Obama wants to slash methane emissions from industrial sources 45 percent by 2025 from 2012 levels, according to news reports. Also, the province of Ontario announced it would release plans to price greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, investors’ appetite for green bonds hit $36.6bn in 2014, a record.

Quote of the day

“We have given up that the national government will eventually introduce a price on carbon. Our prime minister Stephen Harper announced he’s never going to have a price on carbon so we have to look at that at sub national level.”

Ontario environment minister Glenn Murray, in the RTCC’s story Carbon pricing set to cover 80% of Canadian economy 

Lead stories

White House targets methane in climate push
By Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama – The Hill
White House Tackles Methane: President Obama has his sights set on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. 
***LB: Also in this story “Obama wants to slash methane emissions from industrial sources 45 percent by 2025 from 2012 levels.”

Drillers Say Obama Plan to Plug Methane Leaks Imperils Boom
By Mark Drajem – Bloomberg News
The Obama administration said it will issue rules to cut leaks of climate-warming methane, a step the oil and gas industry warned could choke the U.S. energy renaissance fueled by hydraulic fracturing.

Reducing Methane Emissions From Oil and Gas Sector 
C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pursuing regulatory and voluntary steps to reduce methane emissions from the oil and natural gas production system, the largest manmade source of this potent greenhouse gas.

U.S. Senate proposal may leave Canada with a Pyrrhic victory on Keystone XL
By Paul Koring – The Globe and Mail  
Canada’s Natural Resources Minster Greg Rickford was on Capitol Hill again Tuesday pitching Keystone XL, as Senate supporters of the controversial pipeline tried to round up sufficient votes to override U.S. President Barack Obama’s threatened veto of any Congressional attempt to force approval of the project to ship Alberta oil sands crude to the Texas Gulf coast.

Canada still expecting Keystone approval
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Canada’s government is still expecting the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, despite recent doubts about the project from President Obama.

Carbon pricing set to cover 80% of Canadian economy 
By Ed King – RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
Over 80% of Canada’s economy could be covered by a carbon tax by the end of 2015, after the province of Ontario announced it would release plans to price greenhouse gas emissions.

New South Korea Cap-And-Trade Market Becomes World’s Second-Largest
By Sandy Dechert – Clean Technica 
On Monday (January 12, 2015), a new South Korea cap-and-trade market opened on the Korea Exchange.

Warm Weather Sinking EU Emissions-Market Plans
By Mathew Carr – Bloomberg News 
Europe’s attempt to revive its carbon market is being thwarted by a lack of pollution. The region’s warmest year in three decades has cut demand for heating while utilities are generating a record amount of power from renewables and the ailing economy is crimping manufacturing.

Business leaders call for stability reserve in EU Emissions Trading Scheme
By Charlotte Malone – Blue & Green Tomorrow 
European business leaders are calling for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) to be reformed to include a Market Stability Reserve by 2017. 
***LB: Also in this story “They argue such a move is necessary to ensure the low-carbon economy and energy system remains on track.”

Conservatives accused of thwarting efforts to strengthen EU pollution and waste laws
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
The European Parliament is today expected to give the green light to controversial plans to delay new efforts to tackle air pollution and waste, after MEPs failed to come up with a cross-party resolution against the proposals.

Green bond market hits record $36.6bn in 2014
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
Green Bond issuances reached a record $36.6bn in 2014, more than triple the previous year, industry figures have revealed, fuelling predictions the market could hit $100bn this year. 

Ban wants India to lead climate change fight
By Meena Menon – AP 
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here on Tuesday that India should lead the campaign to arrive at a “universal and meaningful agreement” at the U.N. Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris during the year-end.

China and Kazakhstan compete for carbon neutral Olympics 
By Sophie Yeo – RTCC 
The Winter Olympics in 2022 will be carbon neutral if China wins its bid to host them in the snowy mountainous regions of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. 
***LB: Also in this story “Kazakhstan, Beijing’s only rival to the title of Olympic host, has also pledged to compensate for all emissions generated by the games.” 


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


Low-energy urbanisation ‘can help climate goals’
By Mark Kinver – BBC News 
A study of 274 cities has helped shed light on energy consumption in urban areas and what can be done to make future urbanisation more efficient. 
***LB: Also in this story “Globally, cities are best placed to mitigate emissions as urban areas are much more energy intensive than rural areas, say researchers.” 

Natural gas / coal

CPAU Offers New Green E-Climate Certified Natural Gas Offset Program
EIN News
The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) has begun offering PaloAltoGreen Gas, a gas-offset program that combines Green-e Climate certified carbon offsets with customers’ natural gas use. 
***LB: Also in this story “Green-e Climate is a third-party certification program for high-quality retail carbon offsets sold on the voluntary market. Under the new program, both residential and commercial customers in Palo Alto will have the option to offset 100 percent of the emissions generated from their natural gas consumption”

Shale gas firms face (UK’s) legal requirement to reveal fracking chemical use
Fracking companies will have to reveal the chemicals used in each well and introduce better monitoring of pollution risks for groundwater, after the government accepted proposals put forward by the Labour Party.

New £2m fund targets ‘sustainable shale’
The government has taken the latest step in its efforts to reassure the public about the environmental impact of fracking, announcing the £2m of funding has been awarded to projects designed to improve the safety and sustainability of fracking operations.


Coalition of conservatives, liberals fight for more Florida solar power
By Ivan Penn –  Tampa Bay Times 
Imagine the Christian Coalition and the tea party joining hands with liberals and environmentalists. Add to the Kumbaya moment Libertarians and Florida’s retail business federation.

California Takes Lead In Developing Energy Storage 
By Bobby Magill – Climate Central  
The city of Tehachapi, near the crest of a mountain pass in southern California, is a bridge between the Mojave Desert and the San Joaquin Valley — a blustery area serving as an ideal site for a wind farm.

Germany breezes past 1GW offshore wind milestone
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
Germany’s renewables industry is celebrating another milestone this week, as an industry-backed report confirmed that the country’s offshore wind industry now boasts more than 1GW of capacity.

Report: EU power sector emissions drop a ‘staggering’ eight per cent
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
Emissions from the EU power sector fell eight per cent in 2014, as a direct result of reduced energy demand and increased renewables output.

EDF chief says German consumers subsidise French power users 
By Geert De Clercq – Reuters
EDF’s new chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said German power consumers are subsidising French power users via the export of cheap renewable energy to France. 
***LB: Also in this story “The weight of German subsidies for renewables, and coal, is such that the German end consumer pays, via his green taxes, a subsidy to the French consumer,” he said.”It is a transfer between the two countries,” he added.”

Brazil wants to stretch out loans to power firms, minister says 
Brazil wants a group of banks to lengthen the maturities on 17.8 billion reais ($6.8 billion) of emergency loans to electricity distributors to offset a potential surge in consumer rates, Mines and Energy Minister Eduardo Braga said on Wednesday.

Clean tech

How will lower gas prices affect the hybrid/electric vehicle market?
By Rebecca Williams – Michigan Radio 
Automakers are showing off everything from supercars to trucks to electrics at the North American International Auto Show this week. Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton is covering the show in Detroit.


New Research May Solve Puzzle in Sea Level’s Rise
By Justin Gillis – The New York Times 
A team of researchers reported Wednesday that the ocean did not rise quite as much as previously believed in the 20th century.

Scientists reveal which coral reefs can survive global warming
By Adam Vaughan – The Guardian 
Scientists have identified which parts of the Great Barrier Reef and other reefs are most capable of recovering from mass bleaching events which will become more frequent due to global warming.


Researchers say the social cost of carbon will be 6 times the Obama administration’s estimate
By Evan Lehmann – ClimateWire  
Climate change could have much larger impacts on the economy than the U.S. government is anticipating, according to an analysis released yesterday that suggests the social cost of carbon should be six times higher.


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