In today’s edition, a heavyweight championship. In one corner, the IMF and other public authorities, calling for more efforts to fight climate change, and in the other, some private companies (not all, fortunately) claiming efforts will cost too much money, not to mention jobs. And finally, how a disruptive business model like Airbnb’s has an interesting side effect: environmental savings.
Quote of the day
“We need to go well beyond the elimination of direct cash subsidies, and make sure that energy tax systems around the world properly reflect environmental side effects.”
Christine Lagarde, IMF chief, in the Reuters’ story IMF urges higher energy taxes to fight climate change
Airbnb celebrates environmental savings
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The growing trend for holiday makers to rely on the hospitality of strangers, rather than booking into expensive hotels, certainly has financial benefits, but a new report by Cleantech Group has highlighted how online services such as Airbnb or Couchsurfing are delivering environmental benefits as well.
IMF urges higher energy taxes to fight climate change
Energy taxes in much of the world are far below what they should be to reflect the harmful environmental and health impact of fossil fuels use, the International Monetary Fund said in a new book on Thursday.
***LB: Also in this story “For the first time, the IMF laid out exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuels’ overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents.”
Manufacturers: Ozone standard could be most costly regulation ever
Benjamin Goad, The Hill
A looming Obama administration rule aimed at updating the federal ozone standard could be the single most expensive federal regulation in U.S. history, according to a new study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
***LB: Also in this story “The proposal, expected to be unveiled by year’s end, could lead to millions of lost jobs, $2.2 trillion in compliance costs and a $3.4 trillion blow to gross domestic product between 2017 and 2040, according to the 142-page study.”
Greens say new developments should sink Keystone
Timothy Cama, The Hill
New developments since the State Department’s environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline show that it should not be approved, 12 environmental groups said.
China regulator approves fresh supply for carbon market
The Chinese carbon market regulator has approved 33 new projects that could yield up to 6 million offset credits per year, equivalent to around half the number of permits traded so far and piling pressure on already shaky carbon prices.
European court rules Russia must pay Yukos shareholders 1.9 billion euros
Megan Davies, Vladimir Soldatkin and Gilbert Reilhac, Reuters
Europe’s top human rights court awarded shareholders in Yukos 1.9 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in damages on Thursday, a new blow to Russia days after some of the former oil company’s shareholders won $50 billion in The Hague.
Ukraine Supply Concern Sets EU Gas for First Monthly Gain in ’14
Isis Almeida, Bloomberg
Natural gas prices in Europe are headed for the first monthly gain this year amid mounting concerns that winter gas supplies may be disrupted due to the worsening crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
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
Controversy over carbon controls
Don Hopey, Stephanie Ritenbaugh and Madeline Conway, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The first day of hearings in Pittsburgh on proposed federal carbon controls for coal-burning power plants spawned a march by thousands of coal miners and a rally by hundreds of environmentalists and succeeded in demonstrating that a major change in the nation’s energy policy will not be easy.
EPA pushes renewable fuel compliance deadline
Timothy Cama, The Hill
For the third time this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has pushed back the deadline for gasoline and diesel refiners to blend renewable fuels into their products.
Iowa Senate: Ethanol fuels a clash in corn country
Erica Martinson, Politico
Rep. Bruce Braley is betting the farm on corn — and Democrats’ hold on the Senate may be in danger if he’s wrong.
Cargill to cut off suppliers who don’t provide deforestation-free palm oil
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
Agricultural giant Cargill, America’s largest palm oil importer, will no longer buy palm oil from sources associated with deforestation, conversion of peatlands, and social conflict.
(UK) Government outlines plans for heavy industry green levy compensation scheme
The government has this week set out proposals on how to work out which energy intensive industries (EIIs) will be given compensation to help them cope with costs of renewables policies.
UK slashes climate change diplomacy budget
Megan Darby, RTCC (Response to Climate Change)
The UK is slashing its climate change diplomacy budget even as global efforts intensify to reach a deal.
***LB: Also in this story “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) cut spending on its core climate change activities by 39% over the past three years, figures show.”
Natural gas / coal
Feds move on natural gas exports
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Exports: It was a “good week” for liquefied natural gas exports, as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) put it, after the administration gave the thumbs up to two export facilities in a 24 hour time span.
Amid Ukraine crisis, will Europe frack?
Lucas Schoeppner, The Christian Science Monitor
Relations with Russia, the Continent’s primary supplier of natural gas and oil, are at a low over a Ukraine crisis that shows little sign of easing.
US wants to link power pacts with climate change agreement
Nitin Sethi, Business Standard
A visiting US team has told Indian negotiators it would link pacts on the power sector to the agreement the two countries draw on climate change and one would not happen without the other.
‘India is fifth largest producer of wind energy’
India is the fifth largest producer of wind energy with the sector alone constituting 68 per cent of the total renewable energy produced in the country, India’s ambassador to the UAE T P Seetharam has said.
Tesla plans massive China expansion
Richard Waters, Financial Times
Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors has laid out plans for a massive expansion in China, with as many as a third of the US electric carmaker’s global network of service centres located in the country by the end of next year.
Panasonic, Tesla to Build Big US Battery Plant
Yuri Kageyama, AP
American electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. is teaming up with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.
Stanford researchers claim major breakthrough in lithium battery design
Henry Gass, E&E
A team of Stanford University researchers, including former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, believes it has achieved the “holy grail” of lithium battery design: an anode of pure lithium that could boost the range of an electric car to 300 miles.
EPA’s Proposed Veto of Alaska’s Pebble Mine in Line with Past Uses of Clean Water Act
Codi Kozacek, Circle of Blue
Restrictions proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this month would ban the development of the proposed Pebble Mine in the headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay Watershed.
Failure to deal with ethics will make climate engineering ‘unviable’
Graham Readfearn, theguardian.com
Research into ways to engineer the Earth’s climate as a last-ditch response to global warming will be rendered “unviable” if the associated ethical issues are not tackled first, a leading environmental philosopher has warned.
How much illegal timber gets into the UK?
Karl Mathiesen, theguardian.com
Government efforts to stop illicit rainforest timbers entering the UK market are being undermined by other EU countries, according to the European commission.