Today’s issue features stories on Obama’s energy focus with stories from the Associated Press on Obama to confront oil pipeline, climate change and the Wall Street Journal’s piece on the Keystone XL deal, as well as stories on the German impact on the EU cap-and-trade system.

Quote of the Day:

“Clean energy is the new foundation of development, and both Arab and South American countries represent some of the world’s most promising markets for new and enhanced energy technologies, especially renewable energy. “

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy of Energy and Climate Change and chief executive officer of Masdar in Gulf Today’s article “Making Case for Diversified Power Portfolios.”

Lead Stories

Obama to confront oil pipeline, climate change
Keystone XL pipeline, climate change among second-term energy challenges for Obama
Matthew Daly – Associated Press
President Barack Obama’s second-term energy agenda is taking shape and, despite the departure of key Cabinet officials, it looks a lot like the first: more reliance on renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and expanded production of oil and natural gas. Obama also is promising to address climate change, an issue he has acknowledged was sometimes overlooked during his first term.

Keystone XL: No Longer on the Back Burner?
Paul Vieira – Wall Street Journal
Days before his second inauguration, U.S. President, Barack Obama is facing renewed pressure from some quarters to finally approve TransCanada Corp.’s TRP.T +0.75% Keystone XL pipeline project.

Watershed Payments Topped $8.17 Billion In 2011
Ecosystem Marketplace
The report counts at least 205 programs—up from 103 in 2008—that in 2011 collectively generated US $8.17 billion in investments, an increase of nearly $2 billion above 2008 levels.

Record year for UK power market N2EX
Commodities Now
Power volumes traded on N2EX, the UK power market jointly operated by Nord Pool Spot and NASDAQ OMX Commodities, reached an all-time high in 2012, end of year figures have revealed. The year saw 94.8 TWh of power traded on the N2EX day-ahead market, an unprecedented increase on 2011’s figure of 18.7 TWh. The end-of-year total for all volumes traded on the N2EX platform – prompt, spot and day-ahead auction- was an impressive 133.3 TWh.
**JK – It’s notable that ICE reported power futures volume of 379,002 in 2012, up 52 percent. ICE emissions volumes were up 20 percent to 41,876 contracts.

New York Governor Cuomo Proposes Tougher RGGI Carbon Cap
Angelique Mercurio –
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, in his State of the State address, proposed a tougher carbon cap for states covered under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program. The proposal underscores RGGI’s missed opportunity for achieving emissions reductions, as its current carbon cap remains significantly higher than current emissions levels produced in the nine member states.
**JK – Interesting look at a cap-and-trade program that is in need of new caps.

Fraud-free cap and trade: What California learned from Europe
By Larissa Koehler and Timothy O’Connor –
Drawing parallels between financial markets and carbon markets is easy. Both are utilized by large corporations to execute trades of fungible products, both involve the monetization of products in a way that is difficult to understand and both have witnessed fraud and manipulation at the hands of their participants.

Berkeley Lab researchers find that utility customer-funded energy efficiency programs expanding across the United States
Press Release
Spending on energy efficiency programs funded by electric and natural gas utility customers will double by 2025 to about $9.5 billion per year, according to projections published today by researchers at Berkeley Lab.

Carbon plan can pass with German backing: EU climate chief
Gerard Wynn – Reuters
The European Union will have to introduce mandatory standards to limit power plant emissions, given a failure to introduce carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology plus rising coal consumption and the construction of new coal power plants.

Sluggish German economy forces EU carbon to record low
Reuters Point Carbon
EU carbon prices hit a fresh record low on Thursday as poor economic data from Germany and relatively healthy supply of coal continued to force European power and coal prices lower.

Davos Pitch for Dynamism Rams Into End-of-Growth Debate
By Jeremy Kahn – Bloomberg
In his paper, Gordon identifies six “head winds” that he says will subtract from U.S. growth: an aging population, declining educational attainment, rising income inequality, increasing offshoring and automation, climate change and the prospect of a carbon tax to combat it, and the high debt burden on both households and the government.
**JK – Interesting look from the doomsdayers.

Roadblocks to an Aus-China ETS link
Climate Spectator
Australia is happy to see the roll-out of China’s emissions trading scheme. In this Asian Century, the Chinese scheme is one institutional window through which Australia can strengthen its role in regional climate policy development.
South Korea and Vietnam have also approved plans for implementing a national emissions trading scheme. Tokyo has a metropolitan ETS and India started a pilot scheme in three states. If the Chinese ETS works, one may expect other Asian national economies to follow suit. With the current efforts by Australia and New Zealand, there are some prospects for an Asia-Pacific network for emission trading.

Gemalto’s Cinterion M2M Technology Preserves Amazon Rainforest in Brazil
Press Release    
Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, announces its Cinterion M2M business is providing wireless connectivity for Invisible Tracck™, an innovative device used in a pilot program to thwart illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. Developed by Cargo Tracck™, a technology leader in Brazil, the device uses Gemalto’s Cinterion M2M technology together with local cellular networks to send location updates from sensors in trees to a central server allowing officials to remotely track trees removed from protected areas.
**JK – Tree tags for lost logs.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance names top deal-makers of 2012
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has today released its 2012 league table results, which reveal the leading investors and service providers in clean energy and the energy smart technologies sectors. The list shows different leaders from the previous year in every single category, among them the European Investment Bank in asset finance, Japan-based Toray Industries in mergers and acquisitions, Germany-based HEAG in venture capital and private equity, and Goldman Sachs in public markets.


Aviation Carbon 2013
February 19-20, 2012

2013 Climate Leadership Conference
Washington D.C.
February 27-March 1, 2013


Global Resource Energy Inc. Purchases 66,000 Certified Emission Reduction Credits (CER)
Press Release
Global Resource Energy Inc. (OTCQB-GBEN) is pleased to announce the pre-purchase of 66,000 Certified Emission Reduction Credits from BluForest Inc. (BLUF). Total purchase price of $660,000.00 is to be paid to BluForest in the form of 3,000,000 restricted shares of Global Resource Energy Inc.

Republicans: Keep carbon tax buried
The Hill’s E2 Wire
A group of House Republicans and a senior Democrat want to make sure that carbon tax proposals never gain political momentum.

Carb cap and trade linkage effort with Quebec back on track: reopened comment period ends January 23rd
Association of Corporate Counsel
California’s cap and trade program, part of the AB 32 program to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, took effect on January 1, 2012. On January 1st of this year, the first cap and trade compliance period began. Now, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) is moving forward with its effort to link California’s cap and trade program to the cap and trade program of the Canadian Province of Quebec: last week, CARB provided a supplemental 15-day notice seeking public comment on the regulation to link with Quebec. Comments on the linkage regulation are due to CARB by January 23, 2013.

The Gold Standard and Markit join forces
Commodities Now
The Gold Standard Foundation is pleased to announce that the financial information services provider, Markit, has been appointed to develop and manage The Gold Standard’s new registry for Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) in the voluntary carbon market. The Registry also serves as the Gold Standard’s Clean Development Mechanism/Joint Implementation ( CDM/JI) project database to track the certification of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and Emission Reduction Units (ERUs).

Natural Gas/Coal

GOP governors, Canadian leader press Obama to approve Keystone pipeline
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Ten GOP governors and the premier of Saskatchewan are putting fresh pressure on President Obama to greenlight the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

Groups battle on Keystone XL pipeline
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Detractors and backers of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline released separate reports Thursday designed to cement public support for their respective sides. Green groups said the pipeline’s projected greenhouse gas emissions have been underreported, and that the Keystone project would greatly expand oil sands production.

Is Ethanol a Cost Effective Solution to Climate Change?
Energy Collective
Ethanol has been strongly supported as a solution to U.S. energy security, and recently, reducing carbon emissions.  Historic Government subsidies and blending mandates made ethanol one of the most successful renewable energy sources in the U.S.  Although the Government subsidies expired a year ago, increased ethanol is now being advocated possibly as a part of the EPA’s developing climate policy.  Is increased corn ethanol a reasonably economical solution to reducing future U.S. carbon emissions?


Goldman Leading Renewable Offerings Says Slump Is Ending
Ehren Goossens – Bloomberg
Goldman overtook Morgan Stanley as the biggest lead manager for share offerings with three deals valued at $405.6 million, according to an annual ranking by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

NanoMarkets Brings Out ‘Solar Storage Markets -2013’ Report
Power Engineering
Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has published a new report titled, “Solar Storage Markets -2013.”
According to a release, this report forecasts revenues from batteries and supercapacitors for solar energy storage will reach almost $2 billion (USD) in revenues by 2018.


Pew advocates national clean-energy standard
The Pew Clean Energy Program said the green-power industry would benefit from the adoption of a national standard similar to those adopted by 29 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.


Power Forward: Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy (Posted Dec. 11, 2012)

Stock Exchange Benchmark On Non-Financial Reporting Rules (Posted Dec. 6, 2012)

Regional Investment of RGGI CO2 Allowance Proceeds, 2011 (Posted Nov. 27, 2012)

2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the US (Posted Nov. 27, 2012)
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century (Posted Nov. 19, 2012)
World Bank

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012 (Posted Oct. 21, 2012)
Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

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