In this edition, follow-up coverage and commentary on revamped EU climate goals, including an op-ed in the Guardian from U.K. climate chief Ed Davey. Writes Davey: Pricing carbon in carbon markets is undoubtedly part of the answer. That’s why the UK has backed major reform of Europe’s emissions trading system. So the commission’s proposed restructuring of the EU ETS is another step forward. While not the comprehensive reform we want, improving emissions trading in Europe is crucial and urgent given the impressive advances on carbon markets being made in countries like China and Korea. In other news: China approves controversial nitrous dioxide carbon offsets and China’s solar industry rebounds, but will boom-bust cycle repeat?

Quote of the Day:

“It’s very weak. It was a communications gimmick rather than a real target. How do we determine the EU has met its target if it has no obligations on member states? It’s hard to imagine the EU will take itself to court and fine itself.”

–Jacopo Moccia, head of political affairs for the European Wind Energy Association, in Bloomberg’s “EU Renewable Energy Loses Out on Bloc’s ‘Lame-Duck’ Plan”

Lead Stories

China approves controversial nitrous dioxide carbon offsets
China will allow big emitters to use offset credits from nitrous dioxide (N2O) destruction to meet domestic climate targets, giving its nod to a type of project that has been banned in other carbon markets.

China’s solar industry rebounds, but will boom-bust cycle repeat?
China’s solar panel industry is showing signs of booming again after a prolonged downturn – raising fears of another bust when the splurge of public money that is driving a spike in demand dries up.

EU sets out ‘walk now, sprint later’ 2030 clean energy vision
The European Commission set out its goal Wednesday (22 January) of a Europe which, by 2030, emits 40% less carbon dioxide than it did in 1990, uses renewables for 27% of its energy, and employs a reserve mechanism to regulate its carbon market.

Commentary: EU 2030 climate deal meets UK’s core demands of ambitious cuts and choice
U.K. Climate Secretary Ed Davey in The Guardian
On climate change, Britain is leading in Europe. Wednesday’s proposal by the European commission for a binding 40% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 is a significant step forward. The commission has accepted our core argument that the EU’s domestic emissions reduction target must be ambitious so we can influence countries like the US and China, ahead of 2015’s critical global climate talks.

EU Renewable Energy Loses Out on Bloc’s ‘Lame-Duck’ Plan
Wind and solar power producers said they’re at risk of losing investment after the European Union’s executive arm scrapped proposals for a mandatory target on renewable energy use in 2030.


Webinar: Prospects for a New Carbon Market: Cap-and-Trade Under Clean Air Act Section 111(d)
January 29, 2014
Click here for more information and to register.

Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA

The Microgrid, Distributed Energy, and Renewables: How They Work Together
February 25, 2014
New York

Round Table: California Clean Energy Markets and Policy Strategies
February 28, 2014
San Francisco,CA
Click here for more information and to register.

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California

GLOBE 2014
13th Biennial Conference and Trade Fair on Business and Sustainability
March 26-28, 2014
Vancouver, British Columbia


CO2 Group calls ‘Timberrr!’ on Direct Action
Climate Spectator
Yesterday we reportedthat the long-time chief executive of the CO2 Group, Andrew Grant, would be departing the company. CO2 Group is one of a very small number of Australian listed companies that are focused on the opportunities flowing from the need to reduce carbon emissions.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

S.Korea to tax coal for power from July 1; lower LNG, fuel oil tax
South Korea plans to impose a tax on coal used for power generation and lower taxes on fuels used for cooking and heating from July 1, to reduce consumption of electricity to avoid blackouts during peak demand periods.

European tar sands imports set for steep rise, US study says
A new study by the US Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) today (23 January) warns that imports of tar sands into Europe are likely to skyrocket if the block does not take measures.

Natural gas locomotives may prove cheaper, cleaner
The diesel-burning locomotive, the workhorse of American railroads since World War II, will soon begin burning natural gas — a potentially historic shift that could cut fuel costs, reduce pollution and strengthen the advantage railroads hold over trucks in long-haul shipping.


French net power exports rise, deficit with Germany widens
France’s net electricity exports rose by 6.8 percent in 2013, making it Europe’s biggest power exporter, although it remained a net importer from Germany for the second year in a row, French power transmission grid operator RTE said on Thursday.

SSE Reviews Offshore Wind Investments After U.K. Decision
SSE Plc (SSE), the U.K.’s second-biggest energy supplier, will review its offshore wind developments after two of its ventures missed out on funding.

With Strain on Electric Grid, a Push to Prioritize Conservation
The New York Times/Texas Tribune
The “polar vortex” that swept across much of the nation early this month knocked two North Texas power plants offline just as residents began turning up the heat and revving up power use. Grid operators fixed the problem, but not before warning consumers that they were a step away from resorting to shutdowns.

Honda ramps up US wind power capability
Business Green
Honda’s plant in the US has become the first major car manufacturing site in the country to source a significant volume of electricity from on-site wind turbines.

Japan enjoys solar boom as nearly 4GW of capacity comes online
Business Green
Japan is in the middle of a solar energy boom as new feed-in tariff incentives mobilise investment in both domestic and commercial solar PV systems.


Netafim to Build Largest India’s Drip-Irrigation Project
The Indian unit of Netafim Irrigation Inc., a smart-drip and micro-irrigation specialist for farmers, won a 3.81 billion-rupee ($62 million) water project contract in the southern state of Karnataka.

Wabag Snags Libya, Turkey Water-Treatment Plant Orders
VA Tech Wabag Ltd. (VATW), India’s largest water-treatment company, won 31 million euros ($42 million) of orders to build four plants in Libya and another in Turkey.

The Stream, January 23: Improving China’s Rural Drinking Water
Circle of Blue
Approximately 100 million people living in rural China do not have access to safe drinking water, a problem driven in part by polluted groundwater, Xinhua reported. In response, some rural communities on Hainan Island are installing “ultra-filtration membranes” to filter out viruses and dissolved compounds, a technology that China believes could be used across the country.


Musk Says China Possible Top Market for Tesla
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)’s Elon Musk said sales of electric Model S cars in China should match U.S. levels as early as next year, with demand from the world’s largest auto market eventually requiring a local plant.


California Carbon Market Watch: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Golden State’s Cap-and-Trade Program,Year One (January 8, 2014)

Assessing Corporate Emissions Performance Through the Lens of Climate Science (December 2013)
Climate Counts and Center for Sustainable Organizations

Use of internal carbon price by companies as incentive and strategic planning tool (Posted December 11, 2013)

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

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)
World Bank

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