In today’s edition, energized by the UN Climate Summit last week, Greens take their fight to the mid-terms. The pressure is on investors, too, as they are asked to reveal their climate change strategies. And with PM Narendra Modi in Washington last night, questions remain about India’s capacity to turn its economy green.
Quote of the day
“The gap between investor leaders and laggards on climate action is growing rapidly and the world needs to know how large investors are pricing portfolio risk.”
AODP chief executive Julian Poulter, in the BusinessGreen’s story Investors asked to reveal climate risk strategies
Investors asked to reveal climate risk strategies
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
More than 1,000 of the world’s leading asset owners, including pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds, will today be called on to reveal exactly how they are managing their exposure to climate-related risk.
Why India Isn’t So Keen to Fight Climate Change
Rebecca Leber, New Republic
When President Barack Obama said “nobody gets a pass” on fighting climate change in a speech last week, he might as well have been speaking directly to India.
***LB: Also in this story “Indian emissions are still low, per person, is that 400 million living there still lack power. Not surprisingly, India notes its “top priority” is expanding electricity to its population.”
Delhi Metro makes a profit by reducing its carbon footprint
Sumegha Gulati, The Indian Express
After earning carbon credits through regenerative braking, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is now making profits from its second project — Modal Shifts — by successfully reducing its carbon footprint and selling the credits thus earned in the international market.
Can Narendra Modi bring the solar power revolution to India?
Damian Carrington, The Guardian
From the observation tower in the Thar desert and as far as the eye can see, the dark blue arrays of a million solar panels can be seen sitting silently on the red dust.
***LB: Also in this story “SunEdison has provided about a 10th of the 221MW total in the 5,000-acre solar park.”
Was Climate Week successful?
David J. Unger, Jared Gilmour, The Christian Science Monitor
Tuesday’s Un climate summit might most be remembered for what didn’t happen and who never showed up.
Beyond Treaties: A New Way of Framing Global Climate Action
Fred Pearce, environment 360
The United Nations Climate Summit in New York last week passed with many promises, but no firm pledges.
Peru climate summit to draft global climate business plan for next thirty to fifty years, says UN climate chief
Felix von Geyer, The New Orator
Energized by over 300,000 climate demonstrators who marched through New York ahead of United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon’s climate summit last week, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) told a Montreal audience on Friday to expect a draft global agreement in Peru this year to address climate change.
MEPs demand reassurances EU green policies are not being downgraded
Arthur Neslen, theguardian.com
Members of European parliament have called on Jean-Claude Juncker to offer reassurances that EU environmental policy is not being downsized, before they consider approving Juncker’s Maltese environment commissioner-designate Karmenu Vella.
Greens take 2014 fight to states
Darren Goode and Andrew Restuccia, Politico
Seeing no end to gridlock in Congress, national environmental groups are trying a new strategy for winning battles on climate change and green power: pouring record amounts of money into legislative races in a handful of states.
Greens launch $1 million campaign against Ernst in Iowa
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Sierra Club Independent Action launched a $1 billion advertising campaign Tuesday as a final push to against Republican Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst.
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
US carbon emissions from energy use increase
Megan Darby, RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
US carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption rose 3% in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
China Sets Coal Consumption Standards For Power Plants
Mridul Chadha, Clean Technica
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is spearheading efforts to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants and has, in collaboration with the National Energy Administration and the Ministry of Environment Protection, issued coal consumption standards.
Greenhouse gases made hottest year on record ‘2,000 times more likely’
Oliver Milman, theguardian.com
Australia’s hottest year on record in 2013 would’ve been “virtually impossible” without human-driven climate change, with the record temperatures made 2,000 times more likely due to greenhouse gases, research has found.
United Biscuits soaks up waste vegetable oil to power lorries
McVitie’s biscuits, Jaffa Cakes and Twiglets can offer a greener snack after producer United Biscuits started powering its delivery trucks with used cooking oil.
***LB: Also in this story “United Biscuits revealed late last week that it has converted 12 of its lorry fleet to run on used cooking oil, promising to cut CO2 emissions for each truck by 97 per cent compared to diesel fuel.”
Ford revs up $25m global LED roll out
Ford Motor Company has this week announced one of the world’s largest LED lighting deployments, committing to invest more than $25m in installing 25,000 new energy efficient lights at its manufacturing facilities across the globe.
Natural gas / coal
Frac Sand Rush Threatens American Towns, Advocates Warn
Lynne Peeples, Huffington Post
Victoria Trinko hasn’t opened the windows of her Wisconsin home in two years — for fear of the dust clouds billowing from a frac sand mine a half-mile away.
European Coal Set for 10th Quarterly Decline as Demand Wanes
Alessandro Vitelli, Bloomberg News
Thermal coal for next-year delivery to northwest Europe is poised to extend an unprecedented run of quarterly slumps amid rising supply from the Atlantic Basin and weaker demand from power generators.
Will Whitehaven Coal Limited pay off for investors?
Claude Walker, The Motley Fool
Investors are on notice, and have been for quite some time, that further attempts to build economically marginal coal mines in ecologically endangered ecosystems will meet with opposition. Indeed, over 100 protestors spent the weekend disrupting the operations of Whitehaven Coal Limited.
Oil majors target King Coal in fight for climate high ground
Ed King, RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
Coal chief executives were thin on the ground in New York last week, perhaps fearing an onslaught from green groups at the UN’s one-day climate summit.
New rules to slash Indonesian coal exports in short term at least
Wilda Asmarini and Yayat Supriatna, Reuters
Indonesia’s coal exports are expected to fall by between 15 and 20 percent in October from September and could decline 5 percent this year as firms scramble to obtain government export permits to comply with new rules due to come into effect on Oct. 1.
Sumitomo’s US shale oil foray turns sour
Ben McLannahan, Financial Times
Sumitomo Corp of Japan has drawn a line under its disastrous two-year foray into shale oil in the US, with writedowns connected to the project almost completely erasing its full-year earnings.
Chemical Makers, Energy Companies Tell EPA Not to Mandate Fracking Fluid Disclosure
Pat Rizzuto, Bloomberg
Chemical makers and energy companies have told the Environmental Protection Agency there is no need for it to require them to report information about the chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing fluids.
Saskpower Unveils First Commercial-Scale, Coal-fired Power Plant to Capture Carbon
Doug Vine, C2ES
For the first time ever, a large-scale, coal-fired power plant is capturing carbon dioxide to keep it from being released into the atmosphere – a milestone for a technology critical to addressing climate change.
***LB: Also in this story “Following a $1.2 billion retrofit, the 46-year-old, 110-megawatt coal unit is now on course toward capturing 90 percent of its carbon emissions. Other upgrades reduce nitrous oxide emissions and capture 100 percent of the unit’s sulfur dioxide emissions.”
Senate Dems: Keep oil, gas exports out of trade talks
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Two Senate Democrats are urging negotiators to keep a legally binding commitment on U.S. crude oil and natural gas exports out of trade talks with the European Union.
Russian oil chief: Sanctions won’t stop Arctic drilling
Timothy Cama, The Hill
New sanctions that prevent American companies from working with Russia on offshore oil and gas development won’t stop the country’s state oil company from drilling, its chief said.
***LB: Also in this story “State-owned Rosneft is working on an Arctic well with ExxonMobil Corp. and announced last week that it struck oil in Russia’s part of the Arctic Ocean.”
Property Tycoon Revealing $20 Billion Solar-Led Portfolio
Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg News
The Hong Kong property tycoon who gathered almost $20 billion in Chinese solar manufacturing assets is expanding his reach in other green energy technologies and may seek Wall Street money to do it.
Evergrande to Invest $14.7 Billion in Solar Power, Daily Says
Evergrande Group, a Chinese company specializing in real estate, dairy and sports, plans to invest about 90 billion yuan ($14.7 billion) to enter the solar-power business, the National Business Daily newspaper reported.
***LB: Also in this story “The Guangzhou-based company plans to build 9.2 gigawatts of photovoltaic projects in China’s northern city of Zhangjiakou, according to yesterday’s report, which cited Chairman Hui Ka Yan. The period of construction wasn’t disclosed.”
IEA: Solar could be largest power source by 2050
RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
By 2050 the sun could become the world’s largest source of electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
UK hails first floating solar farm
A farm in Berkshire has become the first in the UK to install a floating solar array, with the owners now targeting water utilities and reservoirs for further development.
How to tap the medium-scale clean energy market
Michael Puckett, GreenBiz.com
Recent attention and growth in clean energy development largely has been focused on either the household scale or the utility scale, leaving the medium-scale market to languish.
***LB: Also in this story “Village Power Finance, based in Palo Alto, Calif., uses a model that engages community organizations, small businesses and investors to streamline the development and financing of solar and energy efficiency projects.”
Clean Transportation Is Driving Us Toward a Low-Carbon Future
Mindy Lubber, Huffington Post
Some snapshots from across this legendarily car-loving nation: American car buyers can get more miles per gallon than ever before.
Assessing the Electric Vehicle Charging Network in Washington State
Nick Nigro, Jason Ye, and Matt Frades, C2ES
The Washington State Legislature is interested in exploring government’s role in fostering new business models that will expand the private sector commercialization of electric vehicle (EV) charging services.
National Trust and Panasonic team up for green technology “showcase”
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Having already committed to running some of the UK’s most famous historic properties on renewable energy, National Trust has today turned its attention to cutting its energy use as part of a new strategic partnership with Panasonic.
Electric motorbikes need ‘level playing field’ with cars
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Electric motorbikes and scooters should have similar subsidies to those enjoyed by zero-emission cars and vans, an industry body will this week argue.
Climate change makes it harder to save Lake Erie
Tom Henry, Blade
Although not the primary source of Great Lakes algae, climate change is exacerbating the problem and making it harder to reduce phosphorus and other nutrients that help algae grow, experts say.
Auditors fault EPA for lax chemical safeguards
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t do enough to stop hundreds of hazardous chemicals from getting into waterways via sewage plants, a watchdog report found.
Matt Black’s California Drought Photographs Featured in New Yorker
Circle of Blue
Matt Black, the California photographer who documented the deepening drought in his home state earlier this year for Circle of Blue’s award-winning multimedia Choke Point: Index project, was featured this week in “The Dry Land” photo spread published by the New Yorker magazine, and in the “California: Paradise Burning” video on its website, www.newyorker.com.
Senegal looks to desalination to prevent new water shortages
Geert De Clercq, Reuters
Senegal water company Sénégalaise des Eaux (SDE) will look to desalination to keep supplies flowing in the rapidly growing capital city of Dakar and try to avoid a repeat of last year’s shortages, the firm’s chief executive said.
Earth lost 50% of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF
Damian Carrington, The Guardian
The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis.
How a fishery that was once ‘a marvel of the world’ died
Peter Behr, E&E
This old fishing port is a welcoming refuge for Atlantic sailors to tuck into on Newfoundland’s rocky, fog-draped south coast — except that it is empty of people today as if a plague had swept through it.