Today’s edition offers sobering news: Europe is unlikely to meet its climate goal, a study contends, while another report says that the 2006-2010 drought in Syria played a critical role in leading up to the 2011 Syrian uprising. Good news, too, however: UPS and Brown-Forman have been named climate leaders by the EPA, and Chevrolet’s carbon offsetting program won top EPA honor, too.  

Quote of the day

“We’re not saying the drought caused the war. We’re saying that added to all the other stressors, it helped kick things over the threshold into open conflict. And a drought of that severity was made much more likely by the ongoing human-driven drying of that region.”

Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who coauthored the study, in the Hill’s story Climate change tied to Syrian conflict, scientists say  

Lead stories

Climate change tied to Syrian conflict, scientists say 
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Record drought that ravaged Syria from 2006 to 2010 appears to have played a critical role in leading up to the 2011 Syrian uprising, scientists say in a new study published by the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

Senate vote on Keystone veto expected Thursday
By Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama – The Hill
Keystone Bill Take Two: The Senate is going to take another whack at legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, but this time they are trying to override President Obama’s veto. 

Obama: ‘Keystone is for Canadian oil’
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
President Obama said he vetoed legislation authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline because Congress was “trying to circumvent” the review process.

Warren Buffett slams Keystone delay
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
Billionaire investor and President Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett disagreed Monday with the president’s delay in reviewing the Keystone XL pipeline, saying it amounts to the United States thumbing its nose at Canada.

Europe Unlikely to Meet Climate Goal, Study Finds
By Melissa Eddy – The New York Times
The European Union will fail to meet an ambitious goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 unless it takes more aggressive measures to limit the use of fossil fuels and adopts new environmental policies, according to a report scheduled for release on Tuesday. 

BoE warns insurers of possible “huge hit” over fossil fuels 
Insurers may face a “huge hit” if they end up being wrongfooted by rule changes linked to climate change, the Bank of England said on Tuesday.

EPA names UPS, Brown-Forman climate leaders
By James Bruggers – The Courier – Journal
Two companies with a big economic footprint in Louisville have been awarded 2015 climate leadership awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Chevrolet’s Carbon Offsetting Program Wins Top Honor From US EPA
By Kelley Hamrick and Allie Goldstein – Ecosystem Marketplace
And the winner is. No, this isn’t the Oscars. Every year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes organizations with exemplary climate initiatives.

What Is Apple Really Doing About Climate Change?
By Adam Minter – Bloomberg View
Apple likes to say it’s on the cutting edge of the fight against climate change.

Deforestation could shift monsoons, leaving India high and dry 
By Alisa Tang – Thomson Reuters Foundation
Large-scale deforestation could cause monsoon rains to shift south, cutting rainfall in India by nearly a fifth, scientists say.

Ancient cod bones carry modern warning about mercury, climate change
By Yereth Rosen – Alaska Dispatch News
Ancient cod bones unearthed at an Alaska archaeological site carry a very modern warning for a world with a rapidly changing climate — as sea levels rise, so do levels of mercury in the food chain.


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 


EPA tackles emissions from refrigerators, air conditioners 
By Tim Devaney – The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to cut down on emissions from refrigerators. 
***LB: Also in this story “The EPA announced recently it is approving the use of new “climate-friendly” refrigerants that could replace those already in use in refrigerators and air conditioners. This comes as part of the Obama administration’s climate action plan.”

Air pollution will kill thousands in Europe, EEA warns
By Fiona Harvey – The Guardian
Hundreds of thousands of Europeans will suffer a premature death in the next two decades as the result of governments’ failure to act on air pollution, Europe’s environmental watchdog has warned. 

Natural gas / coal

Can Fracking Pollute Drinking Water? Don’t Ask the EPA
By Neela Banerjee – InsideClimate News
The Environmental Protection Agency embarked in 2010 on what was intended to be a definitive study to find out. 
***LB: Also in this story “When a draft of the EPA’s long-awaited fracking water study is released this spring, the agency may still be unable to provide a definitive answer to the question of whether fracking pollutes drinking water. That’s because the study won’t have baseline comparisons of water chemistry before and after fracking due to opposition from industry.”

The case for blocking Russia in the North Sea 
View / Financial Times  
The Ukrainian crisis is creating awkward commercial conundrums for many European countries as they seek to realign their relationship with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Russian Energy Deal Comes at Contentious Time
By Stanley Reed – The New York Times
Even in more normal times in the oil industry, Westerners doing business with Russians seldom have a smooth ride.

Modi Commits to Clean Environment by Doubling India’s Coal Tax
By Rajesh Kumar Singh – Bloomberg News
India will double the tax on coal production and promote electric vehicles and renewable-energy projects to balance out emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Drax publishes biomass supply data in bid to address sustainability concerns
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
Energy giant Drax has sought to alleviate concerns about the environmental impact of its ambitious plans to shift from coal to biomass power, publishing comprehensive new sustainability data alongside its annual report last week.


Sunny Side East: Solar Takes Off in Eastern U.S. 
By Bobby Magill – Climate Central
Joshua trees, unnaturally green lawns, In-N-Out Burger and giant farms of solar panels are defining features of the Southern California landscape.

Corn for Home Heat: A Green Idea That Never Quite Popped 
By Christina Nunez – National Geographic
On an exceptionally frigid day in this Washington, D.C., suburb, a modest black stove in the Ikle-Khalsa family’s living room was keeping the house warm.

Even at $10/barrel, oil can’t match solar on cost 
By Giles Parkinson – REneweconomy
One of the biggest banks in the Middle East and the oil-rich Gulf countries says that fossil fuels can no longer compete with solar technologies on price, and says the vast bulk of the $US48 trillion needed to meet global power demand over the next two decades will come from renewables.

M&S debuts UK’s largest rooftop solar array
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
Marks & Spencer has set a new record for the solar industry, after completing the installation of the UK’s largest single roof-mounted solar array at its East Midlands distribution centre in Castle Donington.

Should the UK be subsidising the world’s first tidal lagoons?
By Karl Mathiesen – The Guardian
The company planning to build a series of massive tidal lagoons in the UK claim their project can generate electricity that will be competitive with offshore wind and nuclear power.

Conergy claims return to profit and seeks listing
Financial Times
Conergy, which was one of Europe’s largest solar power companies before it filed for insolvency two years ago, is preparing for an initial public offering after returning to profit, its owners say.

EEX trading volumes in February – All-time high on the Power Derivatives Market – New records in Italian and Spanish Power Futures
EEX Press Release 
In February 2015, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) reached new monthly record on the Power Derivatives Market.

EEX publishes statement on the Green Paper: “An Electricity Market for Germany’s Energy Transition
EEX Press Release 
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) welcomes the Green Paper “An Electricity Market for Germany’s Energy Transition” published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Clean tech

Tesla Roadtrippers Juice Up From Yosemite to Jackson Hole: Cars
By Dana Hull – Bloomberg
Some travelers pick hotels with a five-star chef. Vincent Argiro looks for a Tesla charging station.


Stanley Heckadon-Moreno’s Gift to Panama Is Clean Rivers, Magnificent Tropical Forests 
By Keith Schneider – Circle of Blue
Across the expanse of a half-century-long career as an ecologist, reformer, and skilled raconteur, Stanley Heckadon-Moreno saw his native Panama engulfed by one spasm of political transition after another.


Study Finds Peru’s Protected Areas Are Mis-located
By Apoorva Joshi,
Many of the world’s protected areas may not be located in the areas that need them the most, according to a recently published study in the journal PLoS ONE.

WA Greens move to compensate organic farmers for GM contamination
The Guardian
A motion will be tabled in the Western Australian parliament aimed at protecting organic farmers such as Steve Marsh, who faces an enormous bill after losing a court battle over genetically modified crops.

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