Wishing a happy and healthy 2014 to all. In this edition, a recap of China’s latest, its fifth, carbon market to come on line. The New York Times has a feature, New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets, which argues that nuclear and wind power are trying to kill each other off. Left-leaning Grist.org offers its top 13 green stories of 2013. And much more, below.

Quote of the Day:

“This has become a precedent for infrastructure in the U.S. We’re not going to build any other export access into the U.S. out of Canada until we resolve this issue.”

–TransCanada Corp. Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling in Bloomberg’s Obama’s Keystone Carbon Test Sets Precedent: TransCanada

Lead Stories

Tianjin launches China’s latest carbon market
The Chinese city of Tianjin on Thursday launched the country’s fifth emissions trading scheme as the world’s biggest-emitting nation took another step towards reining in its impact on the environment.

China’s Tianjin Starts Carbon Trading at Half Guangdong’s Price
China’s northern municipality of Tianjin started carbon trading at prices less than half of what companies in the southern province of Guangdong are paying.

China struggling to meet 2011-2015 environment goals
China is struggling to meet its 2011-2015 targets to reduce pollution, cut greenhouse gas growth and introduce cleaner sources of energy, a report submitted to the country’s parliament said on Wednesday.

Worries in the Path of China’s Air
The New York Times
When China’s skies darken with pollution, it is not the only nation to suffer. Soot, ozone-forming compounds and other pollutants from China can blow east to Korea and Japan. Ultimately, some even reach the west coast of the United States, scientists say.

Japan Eyes Smart Meters, Fuel Cells to Tackle Climate Change
Japan plans smart meters in every residence and factory by the early 2020s and 5.3 million fuel cells in homes by 2030 to tackle climate change, according to a report to be submitted to the United Nations.

Obama’s Keystone Carbon Test Sets Precedent: TransCanada
Rejecting TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s $5.4 billion Keystone XL pipeline due to carbon emissions in the oil sands would set a precedent for all U.S. infrastructure projects, Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said.

Germany’s economics minister Gabriel seeks reform for renewable energy transition
The new German Minister of Economics and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, says that Germany’s changeover to renewable energy sources needs revamping. He especially wants to rein in electricity costs.

New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets
The New York Times
To stave off climate change, sources of electricity that do not emit carbon will have to replace the ones that do. But at the moment, two of those largest sources, nuclear and wind power, are trying to kill each other off.

Renewable energy country attractiveness index
Ernst & Young
Established in 2003, our global quarterly publication ranks 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities, based on a number of macro, energy market and technology-specific indicators.

The top 13 green stories of 2013: The good, the bad, and the muddled Grist
The environmental news this year was full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and deeply conflicted protagonists.

Thanks to Congress, 2014 will bring uncertainty for the wind industry
Think Progress/Grist
The U.S. House of Representatives has already gone on vacation back to their districts and the Senate effectively adjourned for 2013 last Friday, meaning that the one-year extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) will expire on Jan. 1, 2014.

2013: The Year In Water
Ecosystem Marketplace
2013 began with the launch of our Charting New Waters: State of Watershed Payments report. Our latest global inventory of watershed investment mechanisms found more than $8 billion in annual activity, and a doubling in the number of active programs since our previous report.


RGGI Auction 23 Bidder Information Session
January 15, 2014
The webinar is open to the public, but pre-registration is required for participation instructions.

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

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


Australian Carbon Tax Repeal In The Balance
Tax News
While the Australian Senate ponders legislation intended to repeal the country’s carbon tax law, the former chief executive of a greenhouse gas research centre has said that scrapping Australia’s carbon tax is “the right thing to do at this time.”

Rethinking How to Split the Costs of Carbon
The New York Times
It is probably a safe bet that very few Americans unwrapping a brand-new iPhone left under their Christmas tree are thinking about its impact on the global climate.

New Carbon Trading Approach to Challenge Deforestation and Open Forest Carbon Markets
Press Release
A new approach to carbon trading described in a recently issued patent entitled “Systems of Systems for Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Fluxes” seeks to change the economic and ecological determinants of deforestation. The enigma of deforestation, a global source of CO2 to the atmosphere, has steadily increased over the past decades reducing biodiversity and gobbling up natural lands of indigenous peoples despite expensive policies designed to stop it.

Court to hear arguments on greenhouse gas program: Suit claims Christie illegally removed N.J. from effort
The Record (Hackensack, NJ)
An appellate panel will soon grapple with whether Governor Christie illegally removed New Jersey from a multistate program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Oral arguments are expected to be heard before a three-judge panel in Trenton on Jan. 8, nearly 20 months after two environmental groups sued Christie. They claim the governor violated state law by not seeking any public comment before pulling New Jersey out of the program in 2011.

Regulation of Carbon Emissions for Existing Power Plants Under the Clean Air Act
Environmental Protection
While the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently proposed emissions standards for new power plants were controversial, the debate over how to limit the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the largest source in the country, existing fossil-fueled power plants, is of much greater consequence.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

Coal prices drive down NSW exports value
NSW is on track to receive $1.2 billion in new investment over the next three years, despite lower coal prices bringing down the the value of the state’s exports.

Coal India may go for public-private partnership model to produce gas from coal bed
Times of India
Coal India is likely to adopt the public-private partnership (PPP) model to harness the coalbed methane (CBM) opportunity from its existing mines.

Powder River Basin: Coal on the move
Grist/Daily Climate
The broad high prairie of eastern Wyoming and southern Montana was once the bottom of a shallow sea, a rich subtropical swampland for millions of years. Layers of plants began forming peat beds 60 million years ago, later to be buried and compressed into bituminous coal strata.

Israel’s new motor fuels strategy leans on gas
Israel plans to cut oil use in transportation by 60 percent by 2025, an aggressive target by world standards, and will tap into its newfound natural gas deposits to make it happen.

Continental at the heart of shale revolution
Financial Times
The US shale revolution is “the best thing going on in the world since the computer chip”, says Harold Hamm, chairman and chief executive of Continental Resources.

Start-Up Uses Plant Seeds for a Biofuel
The New York Times
In an unmarked greenhouse, leafy bushes carpet an acre of land here tucked into the suburban sprawl of Southern California. The seeds of the inedible, drought-resistant plants, called jatropha, produce a prize: high-quality oil that can be refined into low-carbon jet fuel or diesel fuel.


DBJ to Buy Half of Marubeni Stake in U.K. Offshore Wind Project
Development Bank of Japan Inc. will buy half of the stake in a 172-megawatt offshore wind project in the U.K. owned by Marubeni Corp. (8002), which purchased its original holding for 200 million ($329 million) pounds in 2011.

Spain Orders Smaller Price Increase for Electricity
NY Times/Reuters
The Spanish government decreed on Friday that the country’s utilities could charge consumers only 2.3 percent more for their electricity next month after accusing utilities of manipulating a recent auction to win a price increase of 11 percent.

Catching Rays in California, and Storing Them
The New York Times
Solar power is growing so fast in California — with installations by customers increasing tenfold since 2006 — that it is turning the state’s power system upside down.


India Renewable Credit Demand Rises for Fourth Month
Demand for clean-energy credits in India rose for the fourth straight month as companies seek to comply with renewable targets amid enforcement by government regulators.

Wind Power Developers Race Clock to Secure Subsidy
The New York Times
As the rest of the world prepares to toast the new year, the wind industry is hard at work on its own year-end tradition, rushing to make sure projects qualify for an important subsidy before it is set to vanish at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday.


How technology can halt climate change
USA Today
What will it take to fix global warming? Scientists say the world, within a few decades, will need to switch to energy that doesn’t emit greenhouse gases. Even the optimists agree, it won’t be easy.

Maruti Suzuki to Complete Waste-Heat Project by March
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL), India’s biggest carmaker, expects to complete its second project that generates power from hot air emitted by its factories by March.


Opportunity glimmers through China’s toxic smog
As China’s smog levels crept past record highs in early December, the phone lines at pollution-busting kit maker Broad Group lit up with Chinese customers worried about hazardous pollution levels that have gripped China this year.


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

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)
World Bank

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)
Ecosystem Marketplace

View all reports >

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