In today’s edition, the European Union is said to be nearing an agreement on a plan to revamp its ailing carbon market, while we highlight a specific proposal included in President Obama’s budget: a repeal of some $50 billion tax breaks for the oil, natural gas and coal industries. Finally, two stories on green investments and an update on India’s latest proposals on climate change. 

Quote of the day

“Let me tell you very clearly that ‘business as usual’ will not be there as far as our actions on climate change are concerned.”

India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, in the AFP’s story Minister says India ‘walking the talk’ on climate change 

Lead stories 

EU close to agreement on carbon market reform: EU energy chief  
The European Union is nearing an agreement on a plan to revamp its ailing carbon market, the EU’s energy chief Maros Sefcovic said on Wednesday.

Obama takes aim at billions in oil, gas, coal tax breaks
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
President Obama is taking aim at roughly $50 billion in tax breaks for the oil, natural gas and coal industries. 
***LB: Also in this story “In his 2016 budget proposal, Obama called for a repeal of the industry tax breaks over a decade, a move the president has long-supported despite continued opposition. ” 

Did EPA just give Obama ‘cover’ for Keystone decision?
By Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama – The Hill 
Not only did the House say it will vote on the Senate’s version of legislation to approve the $8 billion oil sands project, but the Environmental Protection Agency waded into the fray on Tuesday.

Kerry offers no timeline for Keystone decision
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Secretary of State John Kerry isn’t getting into specifics on when he might send his recommendation on the Keystone XL pipeline to the president.

(California’s) Developers, local lawmaker look to 50% clean energy goal
By Sammy Roth – The Desert Sun  
Long a leader in renewable energy, California is gearing up for the next big step in its clean power transformation.
***LB: Also in this story “In the weeks since Gov. Jerry Brown called for California to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, policymakers have been discussing a “clean energy standard” that would replace the state’s current Renewables Portfolio Standard”. ” 

The Environmental Mortgage: Connecting The Dots Between Microfinance And Ecosystem Services
By Kelli Barrett – Ecosystem Marketplace
While microfinance models have been hugely successful on a global scale in providing the means for people to escape extreme poverty, they aren’t often used to finance payments for ecosystem services projects that offer many poverty alleviating benefits.

Why the smart money is looking at clean energy in Asia 
By Jean Chua – Eco-Business
Driven by rising urbanisation and a growing middle class, demand for energy in Southeast Asia is set to increase by a staggering 80 per cent between 2013 and 2035 – a rise equivalent to the current demand in Japan, estimates the International Energy Agency.

India offers two options for UN climate deal
By Joydeep Gupta- The Third Pole
The Indian government is considering submitting two options to the UN on how it plans to tackle climate change – what it can do with its own resources, and what it can do if it gets finances and cheap technology transfers from developed countries.

Minister says India ‘walking the talk’ on climate change 
India’s government on Tuesday defended its efforts to combat climate change after US President Barack Obama urged the country to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

Health sector should divest from fossil fuels, medical groups say
By Damian Carrington -The Guardian 
The health sector should get rid of its fossil fuel investments on moral grounds, as it previously did with its tobacco investments, according to a report by a coalition of medical organisations.


2015 Climate Leadership Conference
ACCO, EPA, The Climate Registry, C2ES
February 23-25, 2015
Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (Arlington, VA)

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2015
North America’s premier conference on climate policy and carbon markets
Presented by the Climate Action Reserve
April 28-30, 2015
Los Angeles, California


Farmers Edge signs deal for carbon offsets with Alberta company
By Martin Cash – Winnipeg Free Press
The Winnipeg big-data farm-management company, Farmers Edge, has signed a multi-million dollar agreement with an Alberta power company that will allow Alberta farmers to sell carbon offsets, at the same time getting more productivity out of their farming operations.

Large emissions offset swap likely for compliance year 2014 but quota set to remain 
A significant number of international emissions offsets could be swapped for standard European carbon permits for compliance year 2014, but some of the quota is likely to remain for use in coming years, according to analysts.

Minnesota Appeals Ruling Against Carbon Offset Provision 
By Jan Lee – Triple Pundit
Should states be able to set their own parameters for how energy is purchased and produced within their borders? 
***LB: Also in this story “That question is at the heart of a judicial appeal that was filed by the state of Minnesota recently, concerning the outcome of the state of North Dakota’s challenge to its Next Generation Energy Act (Energy Act).” 

Natural gas/coal

Oregon lawmakers introduce bill to ban electricity from coal-fired power plants 
By Ted Sickinger – The Oregonian
Two Oregon lawmakers have introduced a bill that would upend Oregon’s energy supply, eliminating electricity from coal-fired power plants in the next decade and replacing it with primarily wind and solar energy.


RenewableUK fears onshore wind industry’s future at risk
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
The UK’s onshore wind industry could grind to a halt from this summer if the Conservatives win May’s election outright, trade body RenewableUK has today warned.

EDF Energy warms to smart thermostat vision
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
EDF Energy has today become the latest energy company to debut a new smart thermostat device, with the unveiling of its new HeatSmart system.


Can Sun and Wind Make More Salt Water Drinkable? 
By Marianne Lavelle – National Geographic
Records dating to A.D. 200 show that sailors boiled seawater and used sponges to absorb fresh water from the steam.

World has not woken up to water crisis caused by climate change: IPCC head
By Nita Bhalla – Thomson Reuters Foundation
Water scarcity could lead to conflict between communities and nations as the world is still not fully aware of the water crisis many countries face as a result of climate change, the head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists warned on Tuesday.


Senators sponsor bill to extend conservation fund 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
A bipartisan trio of senators introduced a bill Tuesday to indefinitely reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

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