A part from the suspense on on-going gas talks between Russia and Ukraine, today’s edition focuses on longer-term issues, such as an accord on climate change at the Paris summit in 2015. From the UN to the IMF, nations are under much pressure to commit themselves. However, Australia is reluctant and even eager to derail efforts towards this goal.  

Quote of the day 

“They’re not doing it for fun or because of a moral imperative. They’re doing it because they want to be competitive. And the governors of both states said to me that they came out of recession sooner than other US states as a result.”

Mark Kenber, chief executive of non-profit organization the Climate Group, referring to Connecticut and Massachusetts, two states reducing their carbon emissions levels,  in the Irish Times’ story Bonn climate talks hear messages of hope

Lead stories 

Russia-Ukraine Gas Talks Resume as Putin and Merkel Speak
Ewa Krukowska and Elena Mazneva, Bloomberg
Russia gave Ukraine an extra six days to begin payments in a gas-supply deal with the European Union as the parties prepare to resume talks today in Brussels.

Ukraine holds out for bigger gas price cut from Russia
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday his country had rejected a proposal by Moscow for what would amount to a $100 reduction in the price Kiev pays for Russian natural gas.

IMF head says world must come to grips with climate change costs 
CBC News
While Stephen Harper was congratulating Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday for ending a carbon tax, the head of the IMF was in Montreal urging energy powerhouses like Canada to come to grips with the economics of climate change.

Bonn climate talks hear messages of hope
Frank McDonald, The Irish Times 
Messages of hope about how major cities, regions and even some countries are forging ahead in the battle against global warming were delivered here yesterday to delegates attending the latest UN round of talks on climate change in Bonn, Germany.

Chinese hints, U.S. emission cuts fall far short of climate cure
Alister Doyle and Ben Garside, Reuters
China’s hints that it will cap its soaring greenhouse gas emissions and a U.S. plan to cut emissions in the power sector, while representing a shift, do not add up to a strong cure for global warming by the world’s top two emitters.

UN chief: EU has ‘great interest’ in public climate funds
Achim Steiner was speaking shortly before a meeting of the inter-sessional committee of the UNFCCC in Bonn yesterday (10 June), at which developing countries reportedly demanded an initial tranche of $15 billion to be provided from richer governments, by November.

U.K. Says CO2-Capture Cash May Spur October Climate Deal
Mathew Carr, Bloomberg 
Europe-backed finance for carbon capture and storage may help seal a European Union climate-protection deal by October, according to Ed Davey, the U.K. energy and climate secretary of state.

Obama: ‘We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground’ 
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
US President Barack Obama has given his strongest warning yet that the battle against climate change cannot be won unless fossil fuels remain in the ground. 
***LB: Also in this story “In an interview on Showtime which aired in the US this week, Obama also warned that the impacts of climate change could have a devastating effect on countries around the world, including the US.”

(Australia’s PM) Tony Abbott seeks alliance to thwart President Obama on climate change policy 
Mark Kenny, The Sydney Morning Herald 
Tony Abbott is seeking a conservative alliance among “like-minded” countries, aiming to dismantle global moves to introduce carbon pricing, and undermine a push by US President Barack Obama to push the case for action through forums such as the G20. 
***LB: Also in this story “Abbott flagged intentions to build a new centre-right alliance led by Canada, Britain and Australia along with India and New Zealand”

Climate change gulf looms between Barack Obama and (Australia’s PM) Tony Abbott 
Lenore Taylor,
Climate change may be the most significant long-term challenge facing the planet, Barack Obama has said in a newly aired TV interview, emphasising the growing differences with Tony Abbott who insists it is certainly not the most important issue facing the world.

Any climate change deal now too late for Kiribati – President Tong 
Radio New Zealand International
Kiribati President Anote Tong, speaking to CNN during negotiations in Bonn on a new climate change treaty, says total annihilation is now inevitable for Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives.

Indian Legislators Wake Up to Climate Change
Sujoy Dhar, Inter Press Service 
Ramanjareyulu, a 55-year-old farmer from the southern India state of Andhra Pradesh, has been struggling to find his feet ever since inadequate rainfall dealt a blow to his harvest of groundnut and red gram (a pulse crop that grows primarily in India). 
***LB: Also in this story “the “worst is yet to come”, according to a report by the IPCC, which found that the highly fertile Indo-Gangetic plains are under threat of a significant reduction in wheat yields.”

China’s Environment Goes From Bad to Worse
Christina Larson, Bloomberg Businessweek
Each year, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) releases a “state of the environment” report (PDF); it’s a rather grim annual ritual. 
***LB: Also in this story “Last May, the provincial government of Guangzhou revealed that 44 percent of rice samples it tested in local restaurants contained elevated levels of cadmium, which has been linked to the bone-weakening itai-itai disease in Japan.”

Japan to open residential power market to competition
Aaron Sheldrick and James Topham, Reuters
Japanese lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to open up the residential electricity market to full competition, the latest step in a radical shakeup of the power industry in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


Environmental Bonds 2014 
Now in its 4th year, Environmental Finance’s Environmental Bonds conference will examine the challenges facing the environmental bond market as it matures and the opportunities available for investors, issuers, bankers, corporates and others. 
23 June 2014 
London, UK

EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting 
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts. 
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA

FT European Gas Summit 
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times. 
23 October 2014 
London, UK


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Issued in First Agricultural Offsets Transaction
News release – Electric Power Research Institute 
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced today the first agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) offsets transaction based on validation and verification methodology developed by EPRI and Michigan State University (MSU).

Carbon majors and climate justice
Naderev (Yeb) Saño and Julie-Anne Richards,  Eco-Business (Opinion)
A groundbreaking study published last November revealed that the activities of a mere 90 producers of coal, oil and gas, and cement – dubbed the “carbon majors” – have led to 63 per cent of all CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution.

Natural gas / Coal 

BHP Billiton may cut coal output at big Australian mine
BHP Billiton may cut production at one of its biggest metallurgical coal mines in Australia, after the Anglo-Australian miner said on Wednesday it had terminated a mining service contract to cut costs amid a sharp drop in coal prices.

China’s Baosteel faces possible rival for Aquila Resources
China’s Baosteel Resources may have to raise its bid for Aquila Resources Ltd after a new stakeholder bought into the iron ore and coal developer at a price 10 percent higher than Baosteel has offered.

Consol to showcase coal-to-gas move after new U.S. EPA rules
Ernest Scheyder, Reuters
As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rolls out tough new rules designed to slash power plant emissions, Consol Energy Inc is showcasing its transformation from a coal miner to a producer of cleaner-burning natural gas.

Energy Department: US gas exports unlikely to help cut emissions
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The argument that the US fracking boom could curb global greenhouse gas emissions, by first replacing American coal power with gas and then repeating the trick by exporting shale gas to other coal-rich nations has long been heralded as one of the primary reasons to support fracking development. But does it stack up? 
***LB: Also in this story “the Washington Post revealed that the US Energy Department expects gas exports to deliver modest climate change gains at best”

Bankers will blink first in LNG buyer vs supplier showdown: Clyde Russell 
Cyde Russell, Reuters (Comment)
“Who blinks first?” was the question asked by the International Energy Agency (IEA) of the price showdown between Asian buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and their global suppliers.


Innovative wind turbine foundation trial aims to sink offshore energy costs
An innovative offshore wind turbine foundation that could cut the cost of clean electricity is set for a £6.5m industry trial at three planned wind farms in the North Sea. 
***LB: Also in this story “Statoil, Statkraft, EON, and DONG Energy are joining forces with Aalborg University and the Carbon Trust to install the Universal Foundation ‘suction bucket’ at four test sites within zones earmarked for the Dogger Bank, Hornsea and Dudgeon wind farms”

Chile pulls plug on $9bn hydroelectric project
Benedict Mander, Financial Times
Chile’s new centre-left government cancelled the environmental permit for a controversial $9bn hydroelectric project in the Patagonian wilderness on Tuesday, in a major victory for green activists in the energy-starved country.

Electricity suppliers struggle to quench business thirst for power
Andrew Bounds, Financial Times
William Beckett has a problem he never expected in 42 years in business. He cannot find anywhere in Britain’s Steel City to build a furnace.

Tata Power crosses 500 MW mark in renewable energy 
Alka Kshirsagar, The Hindu
Tata Power has crossed the 500 MW mark in renewable energy capacity with the commissioning of a solar plant at Palaswadi, Maharashtra. This is in line with the company’s commitment to have 20-25 per cent contribution in clean energy generated from hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, and waste gas. 
***LB: Also in this story “Currently, Tata Power has a total operating capacity of 460.6 MW from wind farms and 54 MW from solar energy. In addition, the company has 447 MW of hydro power and 202.5 MW from waste gas-based generation.”

Alsons Sets Power Expansion in Mindanao Facing Blackout
Cecilia Yap, Bloomberg
Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc., the oldest electricity generator on the Philippine island of Mindanao, will more than double capacity within five years as the region suffers from blackouts of as long as eight hours a day.

Clean Tech

Heinz hurls tomatoes at Ford’s latest green car project
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
In what could be one of the most innovative examples of the circular economy to date, Heinz and Ford hope to have found a new use for the leftover tomato skins that emerge from ketchup factories.  
***LB: Also in this story “the company has been working with Ford as part of a coalition of firms that also includes Coca-Cola, Nike and Proctor & Gamble to develop 100 per cent plant-based plastics that eliminates the use of oil”

Transition to electric cars meets roadblocks 
Timothy Cama, The Hill
In August 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama set a lofty goal: get 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. 
***LB: Also in this story “Nearly six years later, the country still has a long way to go, with about 198,000 electric vehicles sold in the United States as of April, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA).”

Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel-cell car makes U.S. debut
Steve Gorman, Reuters
A Southern California motorist drove off the lot of a Hyundai Motor Co dealership on Tuesday in a zero-emissions car touted by the automaker as marking the commercial debut of mass-produced hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the United States.


Government Blamed for Dredging Problems in Brazil 
The Maritime Executive
Brazil is struggling to keep the ship channel running through Latin America’s largest port deep enough. 
***LB: Also in this story “The stakes are high. About a quarter of Brazil’s exports move through Santos and Sao Paulo, the country’s most industrialized state, depends on the port for raw materials.”



Future Fossils: Plastic Stone
Rachel Nuwer, New York Times
Plastic first became widespread in the mid-20th century. Since then, about six billion tons have been manufactured. Much of that has ended up as trash, and nobody knows what will become of it.

How Environmental Disaster Is Making Boko Haram Violence Worse
Erika Eichelberger, Mother Jones
Blessing sits on the floor, knees into chest, in an empty room in Bukakotto village in eastern Nigeria. She’s “40 something,” but looks 25, and her face is scarred with tribal markings razor cut into her face as a baby.

Clinton: Canada trip showed dangers of climate change
Timothy Cama, The Hill
A 2005 Senate trip to Canada opened Hillary Clinton’s eyes to the dangers of climate change and inspired her to push for aggressive actions to fight it, the former secretary of state wrote in her book released Tuesday.

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