China came to Warsaw with its fists raised. The deal should operate under rules dating back to 1992 that set a clear division between the obligations of industrial and developing nations, Chinese Environment Minister Xie Zhenhua told delegates at United Nations climate talks in Warsaw, Bloomberg reports. The U.S. and EU want to step away from that division. The Wall Street Journal digs in to the environmental and energy implications in the Chinese Communist Party’s 10-year blueprint meeting held earlier this month. According to the WSJ: Questions remain about how comprehensive the shift will be. Policy changes, if carried out, are expected to spell gradually rising prices for resources ranging from natural gas to water. Higher taxes and other tools are likely to be used to try to wean the economy off coal, which is abundant and makes up the majority of China’s energy use. To make sure local governments get the message, the government signaled it is rethinking how it evaluates officials’ performance by giving environmental policies heavier weight when considering promotions. There is no timetable for pushing through the changes, and the political will of Chinese leaders is likely to be tested by vested interests—state-owned enterprises that want to protect their bottom lines and local governments that rely on state companies for revenues. It also remains to be seen how big a role is played by cleaner fuels. Read more below.
Quote of the Day:
“An agreement based on 1992 categories that are unchanging will not work. We have advocated a structure for the new agreement that is designed to attract the participation of all countries.”
–U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern told delegates at Warsaw today. His view was backed by European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, Bloomberg reports in China Clashes With U.S., EU on Roles in New Climate Deal.
China Clashes With U.S., EU on Roles in New Climate Deal
China clashed with the U.S. and European Union over the commitments each should take in a new climate change agreement that envoys aim to reach by 2015.
Beijing Looks to Markets to Fix Pollution
The Wall Street Journal
China’s leaders are taking aim at the cheap use of resources that has let its industries boom but has choked its air and tainted its soil, looking to markets to play a larger role in commodity prices as a way to fix pollution.
Climate Finance Battle Shows Expectation Gap at UN Talks
A debate over climate aid is widening the rift between richer and poorer nations at United Nations climate talks in Warsaw, creating another obstacle in the fight against global warming.
Developing Nations Stage Protest at Climate Talks
The New York Times
The United Nations climate talks here are bogging down over the old divide between rich and poor nations on the question of who should pay when climate-related disaster strikes, with developing nations staging a symbolic walkout early Wednesday in protest at what they consider inadequate financial support from wealthy countries.
EU Denies Seeking to Hide Emissions Levels, Envoy Lefevere Says
The European Union’s request for more time to count and review greenhouse-gas levels is due to an unrealistic deadline and not an effort to hide emissions, according to Juergen Lefevere, a climate envoy for the bloc.
Halving EU emissions by 2030 is affordable, says Britain
Cutting the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 would reduce economic growth by a fraction of a percent, Britain’s minister for energy and climate change said on Thursday.
Can This $280 Million Trilateral Blast Spark Climate-Safe Ag In Forest Nations?
Edward Davey knows where the trees are being chopped, and he believes he has a solution. “We know that we can begin to address 87% of the world’s remaining deforestation with support and action in 10 countries,” he said on Wednesday. “And we know that consumer goods companies with over $3 trillion in annual sales are getting behind the Tropical Forest Alliance in an effort to remove deforestation from their supply chains.”
Showdown in Senate for carbon tax laws
The Abbott government has cleared the first hurdle in getting the carbon tax scrapped, but is now set for a hostile showdown with their opponents in the Senate.
Nation’s directors split on carbon tax
About a half of business directors couldn’t care less about the carbon tax, according to a survey of company bigwigs from around the nation.
These members of Congress are bankrolled by the fracking industry Grist.org
The growing fracking industry is “yielding gushers” of campaign donations for congressional candidates — particularly Republicans from districts with fracking activity — according to a new report [PDF] from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Natural Cash: How the Fracking Industry Fuels Congress
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
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
Emission trading’s automatic 15%
The emissions trading scheme implemented by the prior Labor Government requires that by May 2014 the government propose to parliament regulations specifying what emissions caps will apply under the scheme, otherwise default levels of emission reductions are triggered.
EPA proposes new deadline for air cleanup plans
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new deadline for Alaska to develop a plan to clean up Fairbanks air that’s been deemed dangerous to breathe.
India Rejects U.S. Plan to Use Ozone Treaty to Cut HFCs
India opposed using the Montreal Protocol ozone-protection treaty to restrict powerful greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons, pouring cold water on efforts by the U.S. and the European Union.
Carbon neutral farming ‘by 2050’
FARMING should be completely carbon-neutral by 2050, a group of cross-party politicians have claimed.
Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels
Dynegy gets pollution waiver for Ill. coal plants
The Illinois Pollution Control Board agreed Thursday to give a Texas company extra time to install pollution controls at five Illinois coal-fired power plants, saying that requiring the upgrades sooner would pose an economic hardship.
Shale Boom in the U.S. Is Bridge to Future Cleaner-Burning Fuels
A shale boom in the U.S. that’s led to lower natural gas prices and higher energy efficiency will act as a bridge to cleaner burning fuels, Carol Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency head, said today.
Gas power to decline 50% in NEM; Coal to gain
New analysis sees LNG plants plus carbon price repeal helping coal grow at the expense of lower emission gas and wind power plants.
Judd Hirsch’s Wind-Power Plan Unsettles Catskill Town
The New York Times
Blanketed by the stillness of stone-faced mountains and endless trees now shaded rust and gold, the town of Denning is quiet, so quiet, one longtime resident likes to say, you can hear your heartbeat.
Hareon Solar Plans $1.6 Billion of Solar Farms in Inner Mongolia
Hareon Solar Technology Co. (600401), a Chinese maker of solar panels, plans to invest 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in 1 gigawatt of solar power projects in China’s northern province of Inner Mongolia.
Enel Green Power Starts Building $250 Million Wind Farm
Enel Green Power SpA, a unit of Italy’s biggest utility, started building a $250 million wind farm in Murray and Carter counties, Oklahoma.
GE to Supply 795 Megawatts of Wind Turbines in Brazil, Colorado
General Electric Co. (GE), the largest U.S. producer of wind turbines, agreed to supply 795 megawatts of systems for projects in Brazil and Colorado. Terms weren’t provided.
IKEA Produces Enough Clean Energy To Match A Third Of Its Global Energy Use, And Keeps Going
Continuing its impressive commitment to being 100 percent carbon neutral by 2020, Swedish retailer IKEA announced the purchase of a 46-megawatt wind farm in Alberta, Canada. The 20-turbine farm is expected to generate 161 gigawatt-hours of power each year, or more than double the total energy consumption of IKEA Canada. The output is equivalent to the consumption of 32 IKEA stores or the average power consumption of 13,500 Canadian homes, the company said.
Many German households to pay more for electricity next year
Some 282 German companies are set to raise retail electricity prices from January 2013 by an average 3.3 percent, data from the internet portal Toptarif showed on Thursday, as the government hikes a levy to support renewable energy.
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)