Top U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern, in a sit-down with EurActiv, takes on many questions about global efforts on climate at the Lima talks, and eventually, Paris. Those questions included some of the touchy political noise that may color the talks, including a change of personnel in the U.S. Congress that could shift climate focus, and the possibility that Russia leverages the climate negotiations for political capital over Ukraine. Also, technical bugs foil the first California-Quebec joint carbon auction. Participants seem pretty forgiving, saying there’s been little system problems up to this point. No re-do has been scheduled.

Quote of the day

“When it comes to financial contributions,  we absolutely do need Congress because Congress controls the purse strings. So we will need congressional support. I think we have had a pretty good record of getting significant financial contributions so far in the last several years. Even before this election, climate change has not been the most popular issue in Congress, but we have managed to get funding. But certainly there will be challenges there.”

–Todd Stern, United States Special Envoy for Climate Change and the US’s leading negotiator on climate in international talks, in an interview with EurActiv.

Lead stories

First California-Quebec Joint Carbon Sale Canceled
California and the Canadian province of Quebec, which run North America’s biggest carbon market, cut short their first joint sale of greenhouse-gas allowances, citing “technical difficulties.”

California postpones greenhouse-gas credits auction
The Sacramento Bee
Hoping to inaugurate a historic link with a Canadian province in the fight against global warming, California officials were forced instead to call off a scheduled auction of carbon-emissions allowances Wednesday due to technical problems.

US climate negotiator: We’ll only know how Russia will behave when we walk into the room
The joint announcement of US and Chinese post-2020 climate targets last week has put valuable momentum behind UN talks to secure a legally binding global target for CO2 emissions, says Todd Stern. But there is no guarantee that Russia will not use the negotiations for political leverage in the Ukraine conflict, he warns.

Brazil carbon emissions rise for the first time since 2004 -report
Brazil’s annual greenhouse gas emissions increased last year for the first time since 2004 after years of reductions as deforestation and the use of thermal power plants rose, a new study found.

French and Australian leaders discuss climate
Rod McGuirk – AP
The French president told Australia’s prime minister Wednesday that countries should make their own decisions on how to achieve any binding greenhouse gas reduction targets that emerge from a United Nations climate change conference in Paris next year.

Australia stands firm against G20 pack on climate change
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday warned that next year’s landmark climate change summit in Paris will fail if world leaders decide to put cutting carbon emissions ahead of economic growth.

This Week In V-Carbon: China-US Climate Deal Sets Stage For COP 20
Ecosystem Marketplace
The world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) reached a surprise deal to reduce their impact on climate change, which could send a strong signal ahead of the upcoming United Nations (UN) climate negotiations.

The Emissions Gap Roadmap
Dr. Andrew Steer, CEO Word Resources Institute, on Huffington Post
Momentum on climate action is building: the major joint announcement from the United States and China last week, nearly $7.5 billion in pledges to the Green Climate Fund and commitments made at the UN Climate Summit in September in New York City, where more than 70 countries and 1,000 companies supported putting a price on carbon to encourage investment in a low-carbon future.

Republicans: Keystone Pipeline Down, But Not Out
Dina Cappiello – AP
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.

TransCanada Won’t Say Uncle in Battle Over Keystone XL
TransCanada Corp. (TRP) is redoubling efforts to show why the U.S. needs its Keystone XL pipeline after the project’s latest defeat in Congress.

Cheap-Oil Era Tilts Geopolitical Power to U.S.
A new age of abundant and cheap energy supplies is redrawing the world’s geopolitical landscape, weakening and potentially threatening the legitimacy of some governments while enhancing the power of others.

Rich countries pledge $9.3bn to help poorer nations cope with climate change
More than 20 rich countries, including the UK, US, Japan, and Germany, have pledged a total of $9.3bn to a United Nations fund that will be used to help the most vulnerable nations cope with the worst impacts of climate change and transition to a low carbon economy. 


Regional Thought Leader Round Table: Northeast RECs 
Environmental Markets Association
November 20, 2014
New York, NY

U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference 
The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference presents data, analysis and expert forecasting on the state of the solar market in the U.S.
Dec. 8 – 10, 2014
San Diego, CA 


California and the Nation – Cap-and-Trade Market Quakes the First Time California Enforces Rules – Ca
Stakeholders in California’s cap-and-trade program, which compels local companies that pollute the air to invest in enterprises worldwide that reduce pollution, expressed distress and fretted about the future of the innovative marketplace after state officials voided some carbon offset credits for the first time.

Carbon tax? Or cap-and-trade? State report gives advantages to both
Phuong Le – AP
A panel convened by Gov. Jay Inslee to study how to put a price on carbon pollution says there are advantages to two approaches – a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program – but did not recommend a specific approach in a report presented to the governor on Monday.

Lawmakers push for delay in EPA furnace rules
Timothy Cama – TheHill
Dozens of members of Congress asked the Environmental Protection Agency to delay the proposed timeline to enforce new emissions rules for residential wood furnaces.

Greens say EPA can cut methane emissions in half
Top environmental groups said it’s feasible for federal regulations to cut pollution from Earth-warming methane in half.

Natural Gas/Coal

Oil at $75 Means Patches of Texas Shale Turn Unprofitable
With crude at $75 a barrel, the price Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says will be the average in the first three months of next year, 19 U.S. shale regions are no longer profitable, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Clinton pressed to take stand on Keystone
Progressive advocacy group is pressuring Hillary Clinton to take a position against the Keystone XL pipeline.


Tata Power Renewable Energy to invest in wind energy firms
Times of India
The Tata group’s renewable energy arm is in talks to invest in a wind energy firm, revving up deal activity in a sector that has lured General Electric, Goldman Sachs and the Asian Development Bank, as the company seeks to achieve its goal of adding as much as 300 MW to its portfolio annually.

Grassley: Don’t ‘pull the rug out’ from wind energy
Ramsey Cox – TheHill
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded that any tax extender package include the wind energy tax credit.

Portugal switching to greener energy with more than 50 per cent from renewable sources
Portugal has a population of just 11 million people but it is punching above its weight in renewable energy industries.

Clean Tech

Why Google halted its research into renewable energy
Back in 2007, Google had a very simple idea for addressing global warming — we just need to take existing renewable-energy technologies and keep improving them until they were as cheap as fossil fuels. And, voila! Problem solved.

Amazon to Run Cloud on Renewable Energy
Stephanie Mlot –
Amazon is dipping its toe into renewable energy, revealing a “long-term commitment” to make its cloud-based Amazon Web Services 100 percent green.


Talks on drought bill underway on Capitol Hill
Michael Doyle and Mark Grossi – McClatchy
California’s water future is boiling below the surface this week. Only the chosen few have a clue about details. Bill documents, currently about 50 pages, are stamped “confidential draft language, do not distribute.” Capitol Hill doors are shut, congressional timetables are opaque and negotiators are strictly mum.

Recycled Water Facility in Australia Offers Lessons for Global Drought Planning
Brett Walton – Circle of Blue
The blueprint for meeting Australia’s future water demand is taking physical shape in Craigie, a northern suburb of Perth, the largest city in Western Australia.


Nasa animation shows stunning year in the life of carbon emissions
ClimateCentral/The Guardian
This is what your atmosphere looks like in carbon dioxide (CO2). And it’s not a pretty sight. Nasa provides a stark and stunning view of a year in the life of our planet as humans continue to emit greenhouse gases that warm the planet. The animation comes courtesy of one of the highest-resolution computer models in existence.

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