In today’s edition, we ponder on today’s news, with a question: Will Merrick Garland save Obama’s climate legacy? Also, in the Natural gas / coal section, Peabody Energy Corp., the United States’s largest coal mining company, hinted Wednesday that it may need to file for bankruptcy protection. Finally, in the Clean tech section, the Federal government invests nearly $7M in small business to boost clean tech. 

Quote of the day

“No one would say Garland is a hardened environmentalist. We think we’ll get a straight shot from him. He doesn’t come with any inherent skepticism about the federal government overreaching [on environmental regulation]. In terms of looking for someone who would give a fair hearing [to the Clean Power Plan], he’s a big shift from Scalia.”

Richard Lazarus, an environmental law scholar at Harvard University, in the Mother Jones’ story Will Merrick Garland Save Obama’s Climate Legacy? 

Lead stories 

IEA confirms decoupling of emissions and economic growth 
By Madeleine Cuff  – BusinessGreen 
Carbon emissions stayed flat for the second year in a row in 2015, despite continued growth in the global economy, according to preliminary data released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA) which adds to the growing pile of evidence to suggest economic growth has decoupled from greenhouse gas emission levels. 

Will Merrick Garland Save Obama’s Climate Legacy? 
By Tim McDonnell – Mother Jones  
On Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama announced he will nominate Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last month, on the Supreme Court.

Fellow Honduran activist Nelson García murdered days after Berta Cáceres 
By Nina Lakhani – The Guardian
Another indigenous activist has been murdered in Honduras amid an escalating wave of repression against the relatives and colleagues of renowned campaigner Berta Cáceres, who was murdered less than two weeks ago.

Climate change a vote-changer at (Australia’s) federal election, says poll 
By Michael Slezak – The Guardian
Almost half of Australian voters say policies on climate change, renewable energy and the Great Barrier Reef will influence the way they vote at the next federal election, according to new polling shared exclusively with Guardian Australia.  

Australia a bad neighbour to Pacific islands on climate, says former Irish president 
By Michael Slezak – The Guardian  
Australia has not been a good neighbour to the Pacific islands vulnerable to climate change and needs to get out of fossil fuel-based growth faster, says Mary Robinson, the former Irish president turned climate change campaigner.

Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected 
By Tatiana Schlossberg – The New York Times 
The bend-don’t-break adaptability of trees extends to handling climate change, according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures and contribute less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought.


Northeast RECs Regional Thought Leader Round Table 
March 23, 2016 
Environmental Markets Association 
Office of Dentons, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2016 
Climate Action Reserve 
May 4-6, 2016 
San Diego, California

Global Carbon Market Fair and Conference 
May 25-27, 2016 

Cleantech Innovate Scotland 
June 9, 2016 


Surge in renewable energy stalls world greenhouse gas emissions 
By John Vidal – The Guardian
Falling coal use in China and the US and a worldwide shift towards renewable energy have kept greenhouse gas emissions level for a second year running, one of the world’s leading energy analysts has said.

The world’s carbon-dioxide emissions have stabilised 
The Economist
It could be a rare piece of good news in the battle against global warming. The International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s most prominent energy forecaster, said on March 16th that carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have remained flat for two years in a row.

Natural gas / coal

Natural gas likely to overtake coal for electricity 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
This is likely to be the first year in which natural gas has a higher market share for electricity generation than coal does, federal analysts predict.

Russia’s Rosneft to buy 49% stake in Essar Oil 
Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft today said it has reached a preliminary agreement to buy 49 per cent stake in Essar Oil and the deal is likely to be concluded by June.

Top US coal company might declare bankruptcy 
By Devin Henry – The Hill 
Peabody Energy Corp., the United States’s largest coal mining company, hinted Wednesday that it may need to file for bankruptcy protection.


Eon and RWE sue German government over nuclear shutdown 
By Guy Chazan – Financial Times  
A bruising confrontation between Germany’s utilities and the government over its contentious decision to pull the plug on nuclear power reached the country’s highest court on Tuesday, as the companies accused the state of expropriating their atomic plants without paying compensation.

Clean tech

Feds Invest Nearly $7M in Small Business To Boost Clean Tech 
By Susan Montoya Bryan – Sci-Tech Today  
The federal government is investing nearly $7 million in 33 small businesses across the country to build partnerships with national laboratories in hopes of speeding up development of clean energy technology, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday.


Drought and rising temperatures ‘leaves 36m people across Africa facing hunger’ 
By Lucy Lamble and Emma Graham-Harrison – The Guardian  
More than 36 million people face hunger across southern and eastern Africa, the United Nations has warned, as swaths of the continent grapple with the worst drought in decades at a time of record high temperatures.

Republicans reject adding Flint aid to budget resolution 
By Sarah Ferris – The Hill 
House Democrats on Wednesday forced a vote on expanding federal aid to Flint, Mich., during a day-long debate on the GOP’s budget proposal.

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