In this edition, announced plans from RGGI to cut emissions limits and follow-up coverage from Bloomberg and The New York Times. In Europe, EU Lawmaker Groote Offers Compromise Changes to Carbon Fix. Carbon price spirals downwards and overall market value plummets, says a new report from Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.

Quote of the Day:

“I have been meeting with a lot of parliamentarians these last days and I think that more and more in the European Parliament realize what is at stake. I also know that Mr. Groote is working extremely hard to get the votes that he needs on board and to make Parliament do the right thing. So I’m pretty confident.”

–EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard in Bloomberg’s “EU Lawmaker Groote Offers Compromise Changes to Carbon Fix”

Lead Stories

RGGI States Propose Lowering Regional CO2 Emissions Cap 45%, Implementing a More Flexible Cost-Control Mechanism
RGGI Press Release
After a comprehensive two-year program review, the nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, today released an updated RGGI Model Rule and Program Review Recommendations Summary. The Updated Model Rule will guide the RGGI states as they follow state-specific statutory and regulatory processes to propose updates to their CO2 Budget Trading Programs.
**RKB — Additional coverage below; including commentary from pleased members.

U.S. Northeast Cap-and-Trade Group Plans Permit Reduction
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc., the nonprofit that administers the U.S. Northeast’s carbon-dioxide emissions program, proposed reducing the number of available permits by 45 percent to drive up prices.

States’ Group Calls for 45% Cut in Amount of Carbon Emissions Allowed
The New York Times
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the country’s first regional system for capping carbon emissions and creating a market in carbon allowances, proposed a fundamental change on Thursday to increase electrical utilities’ incentive to cut emissions from fossil-fuel plants by raising the cost of compliance.

Success of Northeast Regional Cap-and-Trade System Shows Market-Based Climate Policy Is Well Within Reach
Center for American Progress
The success of a regional cap-and-trade program in reducing carbon pollution in the U.S. Northeast over the past few years has scarcely been mentioned in the debate over how to reduce carbon pollution.

Carbon price spirals downwards and overall market value plummets
Press Release – Thomson Reuters Point Carbon
Global carbon markets continued to grow last year in volume terms despite the market value witnessing the most dramatic and enduring drop in value since global carbon markets were launched, according to analysis published today by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, the leading provider of market intelligence, news, analysis, forecasting and advisory services for the energy and environmental markets. Some 10.7 Gt CO2e changed hands in the world’s carbon markets in 2012, up 28% compared to 8.4 Gt in 2011 and 7 Gt in 2010. The markets’ overall value was down, for the first time since the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) launched in 2005. Global markets were valued at euro 62bn in 2012, down from euro 96bn the year before, equivalent to a drop of 35%. “In Europe, prices plunged as it became clear that the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is over-allocated all the way to 2020, mainly due to the impact of Europe’s economic troubles on emissions”, explained Anders Nordeng, Senior Carbon Analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon and co-editor of the report. The meltdown of prices in the EU ETS, the largest carbon market, with 70% of global carbon market volume and 88% of the value, resulted in the estimated average global carbon price dropping by 49% to euro 5.82/t in 2012, down from  euro 11.45/t in 2011 and  euro 13.09/t in 2010.
**Link not available

Carbon price suffers ‘dramatic and enduring’ slump
Business Green
“Dramatic”, “enduring”, “meltdown” – the words used by leading analyst firm Thomson Reuters Point Carbon to describe the continued slump in global carbon prices could not be starker. And according to analysts the chances of prices recovering in the near future remain extremely thin.
**RKB – Similar findings by Bloomberg New Energy Finance last month:

Keystone pipeline on agenda as Kerry, Canadian minister to meet
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Friday with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, a chat that will be Kerry’s first bilateral meeting and one slated to include discussion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Exelon CEO Expects U.S. Natural Gas, Power Prices to Rise
The Wall Street Journal
Exelon Corp. Chief Executive Christopher M. Crane said he expects U.S. natural-gas prices to rise to between $4 and $6 a million British thermal units and he expects a similar increase in power prices by 2015.
**RKB — Remains opposed to the production tax credit for wind power–even though Exelon owns wind farms–because wind farms currently operating in the Midwest are artificially depressing power prices, which is hurting Exelon’s nuclear fleet.

Chevron, EDF Chat About Fracking, Cap & Trade
Triple Pundit blog
Monday evening, two energy business and environmental policy heavyweights duked it out at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco’s presentation of Climate One, sparring over several economic and environmental issues involving the future of energy in California and beyond. In one corner stood Rhonda Zygocki, Executive Vice President of Policy and Planning at Chevron – in the other, Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund.


RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) Program Review Webinar
February 11, 2013
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET


State of Green Business 2013 Webcast
GreenBiz Group
February 12, 2013
1 p.m. ET

Aviation Carbon 2013
February 19-20, 2012

2013 Climate Leadership Conference
Washington D.C.
February 27-March 1, 2013

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2013
San Francisco April 16-18


EU Lawmaker Groote Offers Compromise Changes to Carbon Fix
The European Union could temporarily curb the supply of carbon permits once in the period up to 2020 provided the intervention wouldn’t undermine the global competitiveness of EU manufacturers, under a compromise proposal by a leading lawmaker.

Poll: Majority prefers climate change regulations over taxes
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The majority of people in the United States would prefer that climate change be addressed through regulations instead of taxes, according to a new survey. Sixty-four percent of respondents in a Duke University survey said the are “strongly or somewhat” in favor of the government “regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, factories and cars and requiring utilities to generate more power from ‘clean’ low-carbon sources.”

Natural Gas/Coal/Fuels

China to Raise Fuel Standards to Combat Pollution
The Wall Street Journal
China will increase fuel standards for diesel and gasoline over the next four years as leaders grapple with intensifying public pressure to solve the nation’s mounting pollution problems.

U.S. Coal Finds Warm Embrace Overseas
The Wall Street Journal
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—On 67 acres here along the James River, almost 800,000 tons of coal tower in two-story-high stacks, ready to go overseas. The shipping terminal is so busy that this past Christmas Day, workers volunteered for lucrative overtime to load a bulk carrier.

Brazil Prepares to Surprise Drillers This Time With Gas
As Brazil prepares for its first-ever auction of shale-gas acreage, it has a message for global prospectors: The country that discovered the world’s biggest offshore oil finds this century may have almost twice as much natural gas onshore as is currently estimated.

India Approves Set Up of Company for Trans-Afghan Gas Pipeline
The Wall Street Journal
NEW DELHI–India’s federal cabinet approved the formation of a company that will build a multibillion-dollar trans-Afghanistan pipeline project to bring in natural gas from Turkmenistan.

Wyden: ‘fracking’ rule must include public safeguards
The Hill’s E2 Wire
A hydraulic fracturing rule being revised by the Obama administration should include measures to protect public health and the environment, Sen. Ron Wyden said Thursday.


Minister unveils new solar power standards
Business Green
Solar panel installers will be required to adhere to stringent new standards over the coming months, designed to ensure they are up to date with the latest technology developments.

Deadly Pollution Breathes New Life Into Solar Debt
China’s pledge to reduce pollution after air-quality in Beijing hit hazardous levels on 20 days last month has cut financing costs for the world’s biggest maker of solar wafers to a four-month low.

Akuo Starts Building 13-Megawatt Biomass Power Plant in France
Akuo Energy SAS started building a 13-megawatt wood-pellet power plant in France, raising its biomass investment in the country to 150 million euros ($203 million).

Australian wind farms undercut fossil fuel power prices
Business Green
New research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has this week provided further evidence that renewable energy can increasingly compete on cost with fossil fuels, revealing that unsubsidised wind farms can undercut electricity sold by new coal or gas-fired power plants.


Cleantech innovation high in Asia, patent counts show
Given the decline in cleantech investments in recent years — and other pressures such as competition from natural gas development — some pundits say that cleantech has entered the trough of disillusionment in the Gartner Hype Cycle. But a glance at patent trends paints a picture of some very high inventiveness in the cleantech sector, especially in Asia.


Private Equity Purifies Pacific to Boost California Water
After a decade of struggles to assuage environmentalists, raise almost $1 billion and win permits, Poseidon Resources Group will finally answer a critical question: Is converting seawater to drinking water a profitable venture in the U.S. when there are cheaper options?


Can the US Get There from Here? (Posted February 6, 2013)

The Billion Euro Aviation Bonanza – Aviation’s Participation in the EU ETS (Posted January 22, 2013)

Power Forward: Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy (Posted Dec. 11, 2012)

Stock Exchange Benchmark On Non-Financial Reporting Rules (Posted Dec. 6, 2012)

Regional Investment of RGGI CO2 Allowance Proceeds, 2011 (Posted Nov. 27, 2012)

2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the US (Posted Nov. 27, 2012)
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century (Posted Nov. 19, 2012)
World Bank

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012 (Posted Oct. 21, 2012)
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

View all reports >

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