In this edition, Energy groups say EU Commission lacks climate ambition, reports Reuters. EU policymakers have bowed to industry concerns about the cost of environment policy without even exploring the potential for deeper emissions cuts, green energy groups said in a letter to the European Commission. An FT piece says Coal holds on while pieces of green puzzle come together. Elsewhere, Saudis to Spend $29 Billion on Water, Power Works, Bawaba Says. Plus, RGGI States send regulators comments for consideration as EPA develops guidelines for state programs to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants under Clean Air Act section 111(d). Read the comments, here. Find these and more articles, below.
Quote of the Day:
“We will use architecture that is already in place and working well. We agree on the science. We agree on the targets. We agree on market mechanisms. We disagree, absolutely, on what is the right market mechanism.”
–Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt, in the paper drawn up for the Carbon Market Institute, covered by Bloomberg’s “Australia’s Pollution Plan Starts to Look Like Trading”
RGGI States Recommend that EPA Support Flexible Market-Based Carbon Pollution Program
The nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, have submitted
comments to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for consideration as EPA develops guidelines for state programs to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants under Clean Air Act section 111(d).
**RKB — Read the comments, here.
Australia’s Pollution Plan Starts to Look Like Trading
Australia’s newly elected leaders, claiming a mandate to dump the old government’s climate policies, would actually protect programs the defeated Labor party was using to prepare for emissions trading.
Energy groups say EU Commission lacks climate ambition
EU policymakers have bowed to industry concerns about the cost of environment policy without even exploring the potential for deeper emissions cuts, green energy groups said in a letter to the European Commission.
Guest post: EU cannot tackle climate change without gas
Can the European Union regain the global lead on climate policy? Yes, but not without natural gas. The EU’s credibility as an international leader on climate change hinges on successfully realising its grand visions of a renewables-centric society beyond coal. This vision is simply Euro-dreaming without natural gas, a critical fuel for challenging coal today and supporting renewables tomorrow.
**RKB–Contributors Brian Marrs is an energy markets consultant (New Jersey, USA) and Agata Hinc is managing director at demosEUROPA – Centre for European Strategy (Warsaw, Poland). Both are members of the Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy (ELEEP) network.
Green for Green: The Buyers That Stand Behind Forest Carbon
It might not be immediately apparent why insurance giant Allianz, retailer Marks & Spencer, energy company Eneco, airline Qantas or Brazilian cosmetics producer Natura Cosmeticos would invest their money in forest carbon offsets – sometimes from projects on the other side of the world – but they do.
EU Nations Approve Pact With China on Solar-Panel Trade
European Union countries approved an agreement with China to curb imports of Chinese solar panels, ending the EU’s biggest commercial dispute of its kind.
Ontario races toward a clean power economy
A year after Hurricane Sandy, the costs and risks of inaction on the climate are becoming clearer. Among the costs are those revealed in a new Ceres report about the growing taxpayer burden from climate inaction. The escalating risks to coastlines from climate-driven sea-level rise are highlighted in granular detail in a major new expansion of Surging Seas, Climate Central’s online tool to analyze the impacts of sea-level rise.
UN calls on private sector to protect vulnerable communities
“But let us again be clear that we are witnessing ever more frequent, extreme weather events, and the poor and vulnerable are already paying the price.” Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, closed COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland — which took place Nov. 11 to 22 — with these harrowing words. Figueres puts a fine point on a key element within UN climate negotiations that have direct implications for the private sector.
In Mexico City, prospect of energy reform ignites protests
Tensions are running high in Mexico after tens of thousands of people protested the government’s proposal to allow private investment in Mexico’s energy industry this weekend, a controversial plan that has prompted one opposition party to abandon a political pact with President Enrique Pena Nieto.
CarbonExpo Australia 2013
December 2-4, 2013
Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA
Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California
Firms suffer as carbon credit market collapses
Standard Media (Kenya)
A number of firms especially those in energy consuming activities such as cement manufacturing, sugar production, tea farming and electricity generation are sitting on huge but worthless carbon credits.
World’s carbon markets now cover 20% of emissions
Responding to Climate Change
Believe it or not, the statistics indicate carbon trading is growing – nationally and internationally. As of December 2013, 17 countries have carbon pricing mechanisms either running or planned. According to a recent study by the World Bank these cover greenhouse gas emissions of 10 GtCO2e/y, equal to 21% of the 50 GtCO2e emitted globally.
Farmers sought for carbon trading trial
Farmers Weekly (U.K.)
Farms are needed to help map the UK’s soil carbon content, in the first stage of a project to enable farmers to enter the emissions trading market.
Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels
Brazil’s Sugar-Cane Industry Won’t Benefit From Fuel-Price Rise
Brazil’s ethanol mills won’t benefit from state-run oil company Petrobras (PETR4)’s decision to raise the price of gasoline, which competes against the sugar-cane based fuel at the pump, and diesel.
Report frowns on Citi, MorganStanley as ‘coal-mining banks’
A recent report [PDF] by a consortium of European nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) including BankTrack exposes the claims of sustainability by many major global banks to be little more than greenwashing. Almost all the banks analyzed “have expressed their concern about global warming and have made far-reaching statements regarding their commitment to a ‘low-carbon economy,’” the report found. Yet since 2005, “commercial banks have channeled almost $223 billion to the world’s top coal mining companies.”
Coal holds on while pieces of green puzzle come together
The fact that this year’s UN climate talks were held in Warsaw, the coal capital of Europe, reinforced a sense of deep divisions, paucity of ambition – and perhaps a degree of fatigue – among national governments about reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the consumption of fossil fuels.
A Part of Utah Built on Coal Wonders What Comes Next
The New York Times
For generations, coal has been the lifeblood of this mineral-rich stretch of eastern Utah. Mining families proudly recall all the years they toiled underground. Supply companies line the town streets. Above the road that winds toward the mines, a soot-smudged miner peers out from a billboard with the slogan “Coal = Jobs.”
Osborne Pledges Reduction in U.K. Consumers’ Energy Bills
U.K. power companies announced they will cut prices for consumers after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne pledged to scale back government green levies to ease the cost of living.
Enel Green Wins $271 Million EIB Loan to Aid Romanian Wind Farms
Enel Green Power SpA (EGPW), a unit of Italy’s biggest utility, agreed on a 200 million-euro ($271 million) loan with the European Investment Bank to help fund wind farms in Romania.
Canadian Solar to Receive $32.9 Million Loan for Ontario Project
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), the best-performing solar manufacturer this year, arranged to borrow as much as C$35 million ($32.9 million) to build a power plant in Ontario.
Ormat Technologies Plans Wells at Honduras Geothermal Project
Ormat Technologies Inc. (ORA), a U.S. developer of geothermal energy, bought a project in Honduras from local company Electricidad de Cortes SA and plans to start drilling wells early next year.
Ecopower Seeks Licenses for $250 Million Chile Wind-Energy Plant
Ecopower SAC, a Chilean renewable-energy developer, is filing for permits to develop a $250 million wind farm in the Los Lagos region.
Imperial Irrigation wants to add more power lines in California
California public power and water company Imperial Irrigation District (IID) proposed to expand its Southern California transmission system to boost the amount of renewable energy it can export to the rest of the state and to the U.S. Southwest.
Stem looks beyond utilities to lead charge on batteries for the grid
Some of the most promising energy storage startup companies are targeting big energy users and renewable energy project developers rather than utilities — at least for now.
Pepsico recycles snack food waste into energy and fertilizer
As part of the zero-waste commitment for its manufacturing operation, PepsiCo’s agriculture team in Turkey invested in anaerobic digestion technology several years ago to handle the organic waste created there.
Modern Water’s China Deals Buoy Forward-Osmosis Pioneer
Modern Water Plc (MWG), which completed the world’s first commercial forward-osmosis desalination plant in Oman last year, won three contracts in China during a U.K. trade mission led by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Saudis to Spend $29 Billion on Water, Power Works, Bawaba Says
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $29 billion on water and power projects, Al Bawaba reported, citing Minister of Water and Electricity Abdullah Al-Hussayen.
OECD: Effective carbon prices (November 4, 2013)
Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (Posted September 12, 2013)
The Future of China’s Power Sector (posted August 27, 2013)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Sub-national involvement in NAMA development (posted August 7, 2013)
Ecofys’ International Climate Policies Unit
U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy
Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
Four energy policies can keep the 2 Degree C climate goal alive (Posted June 10, 2013)
Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 (Posted June 10, 2013)