In today’s edition, Switzerland opens the way and submits its climate plan for the Cop21, while a report points to the fact that a large rise in energy prices would barely affect exports from European industry. Finally, Don Gimbel, global portfolio manager at Geneva Advisors LLC, says there are plenty of investment opportunities in anti-pollution stocks in China. 

Quote of the day

“There’s a high chance that there’s going to be an agreement, but a lower chance that it’ll be a true 2 degree C agreement. Whether the world signs up to it or not depends on the negotiations between now and Paris 2015.”

Jeffrey Sachs, head of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, in the Nation’s story This Year’s Climate Talks Are Our Last (and Best) Chance to Slow Global Warming 

Lead stories

This Year’s Climate Talks Are Our Last (and Best) Chance to Slow Global Warming 
By David Kortava – The Nation
In December 2015, world leaders will gather in Paris to negotiate a binding agreement to reduce global carbon emissions.

Switzerland first to submit climate plan for Paris U.N. deal
By Alister Doyle – Reuters
Switzerland became the first nation on Friday to submit a plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020 as a basis for a U.N. deal to limit climate change due to be sealed in December.

Doctors should take lead in push to curb climate change: experts
By Kyle Plantz – Thomson Reuters Foundation
Doctors should take the lead in supporting political efforts to cut the pace of climate change and encouraging more people to see the problem as a crucial issue for public health, experts say.

High energy prices unlikely to affect trade, study finds
By Will Nichols  – BusinessGreen 
A large rise in energy prices would barely affect exports from European industry and the balance of trade, academics have said.  
***LB: Also in this story “It calculates that a near 10-fold increase in the carbon price in the European Union Emissions Trading System from around 7 euros per tonne of carbon dioxide today to 65 euros per tonne, would result in a 30 per cent increase in energy prices – but would cause only a 0.5 per cent drop in exports while increasing imports by 0.07 per cent.”

House likely to vote on EPA ‘secret science’ bill
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The House Rules Committee will vote on a bill to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using “secret science,” setting up a likely vote on the House floor. 
***LB: Also in this story “The committee said will vote on the bill Tuesday, which would allow a probably vote in the full House Wednesday. The legislation would prohibit the EPA from issuing any regulations that rely upon scientific research that is not publicly available.”

Britain, Wary of Sanctions, Adds Pressure to Keep Russian From Buying Energy Unit
By Stanley Reed – The New York Times
The British government on Saturday hardened its resistance to the Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s attempt to buy the energy subsidiary of the German utility RWE.

(UK’s) Government ponders nationwide low emission zones
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
A nationwide network of low emission zones could be rolled out across the UK, according to ministers. 
***LB: Also in this story “In a response to MPs today, the government said it will consider whether the proposal could be included as part of its Air Quality plans, which are due to be submitted to the European Commission at the end of this year.”

Power giant joins China’s offshore rush
By Frances Yoon – IFR
China Three Gorges Corp , the operator of the world’s largest hydroelectric power project, is joining a line of state-run Chinese companies looking to issue bonds overseas for the first time.

Opportunity in China Anti-Pollution Stocks, Gimbel Says 
Bloomberg Television
Don Gimbel, global portfolio manager at Geneva Advisors LLC, talks about investing in China, and why he likes Hong Kong-listed Beijing Enterprise Water Group Ltd.

Documentary on Air Pollution Grips China
By Chris Buckley – The New York Times
Millions of Chinese, riveted and outraged, watched a 104-minute documentary video over the weekend that begins with a slight woman in jeans and a white blouse walking on to a stage dimly lit in blue.  

Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg are Helping Indian Solar Power Expand
By Sohrab Darabshaw – Metal Miner
Renewable energy consulting firm “Bridge to India” recently listed investments likely to be completed by active private Indian solar developers.

Israel and Jordan Agree to Share Water, But Fall Short of Saving Dead Sea
By Kaye LaFond – Circle of Blue
A long-awaited binational agreement to supply fresh water to Jordan and Israel, and to transport water to the drying Dead Sea, was reached on Thursday in Jordan. Provisions for Palestine to be part of the agreement, though, were not included. Israeli officials said they were being dealt with separately.


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 


California Offset Market Slow to Ramp Up
By Allie Goldstein – Ecosystem Marketplace
There is some truth to the insider joke that the cap-and-trade aspect of California’s climate policy gets 90% of the attention but provides 20% of the benefit.

Members of 32bn euro Danish pension funds to vote on fossil fuel divestment
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian
Hundreds of thousands of academics, engineers and lawyers in Denmark are set to vote on divesting their 32bn euro (£23bn) pension funds from the fossil fuels that drive climate change.

Academics urge University of Edinburgh to end fossil fuel investment
By Libby Brooks – The Guardian
Fifty academics from Edinburgh University have signed an open letter calling for the institution to divest its £230m endowment fund from fossil fuels and the arms trade.

Natural gas / coal

Russia-Ukraine-EU Trilateral Gas Talks on March 2 Confirmed 
By Petr David Josek – Sputnik
Trilateral gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union slated for March 2 have been confirmed, European Commission spokeswoman on energy Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said Thursday.

Fracking Opponents Feel Police Pressure In Some Drilling Hotspots 
By Marie Cusik – NPR (Audio)
Wendy Lee, an anti-fracking activist and philosophy professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, has always protested peacefully. So she was stunned last winter when a state trooper came to her home to ask her about eco-terrorism and pipe bombs.

Fracking ban forcing some New York towns to consider redrawing state lines
Associated Press
Plenty of people leave New York state but in a job-hungry stretch of upstate, folks talk about staying put – and seceding to Pennsylvania.

Algeria: Violence Erupts at Protest Over Shale Gas Drilling Project
By Carlotta Gall – The New York Times
Protests against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for shale gas in southern Algeria turned violent over the weekend when the police clashed demonstrators outside a base run by the American company Halliburton near the town of Ain Salah.

Campaigners call for UK coal power phase out deadline
By James Murray – BusinessGreen
The leaders of the UK’s three main political parties are today facing fresh calls to strengthen their commitment to phase out the use of unabated coal power in the UK, after a group of leading NGOs urged them to set a clear deadline for the early 2020s.


Cape Wind vows to move project forward 
By Laura Crimaldi – The Boston Globe
Cape Wind, whose plans to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm were thrown into upheaval in January when two utilities terminated contracts to buy the project’s power, is not throwing in the towel, the company’s chief executive said Saturday.

Wind energy myths lead British public to over-estimate renewables costs
By James Murray  – BusinessGreen
The avalanche of negative media stories that has sought to bury the UK’s wind energy industry may not have had much of an impact on the sector’s popularity, with over two-thirds of people still voicing support for wind farms.

RWE Plans to Close Sale of Dea Unit to LetterOne
By Aaron Ricadela – Bloomberg News
RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest utility, said it will proceed with the sale of its oil and gas unit to a Russian billionaire on Monday and may buy back the U.K. business should the new owner face sanctions.

Under the sun: Australia’s largest solar farm set to sprout in a Queensland field 
By Joshua Robertson – The Guardian
As a barrister acting in some Australia’s biggest defamation cases, Angus Gemmell encountered power in various forms: political, military, celebrity.

Clean tech

UK’s appeal to clean energy investors slumps further
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen 
The UK’s appeal to clean energy investors has continued to be eroded, falling to its lowest level in 12 years, according to consultancy giant EY.


As the River Runs Dry: The Southwest’s water crisis 
By Brandon Loomis and Mark Henle – The Republic |
The patroller stopped his water district truck and grabbed his camcorder.


The big melt: Antarctica’s retreating ice may re-shape Earth
By Luis Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein – AP
From the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can’t be seen is the battle raging thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) below to re-shape Earth.

Wood Mackenzie seeks £2bn listing
By Joseph Cotterill and Arash Massoudi – Financial Times 
Wood Mackenzie is preparing for a stock market listing in which the UK energy research consultancy would seek a valuation of as much as £2bn, according to people familiar with the matter. 
***LB: Also in this story “The Edinburgh-based company, which is owned by the San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, in recent weeks appointed Lazard to advise on an initial public offering, these people added.”


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