In this edition, Reuters reports Court to re-consider New Jersey’s exit from U.S. carbon market. An appellate court will hear arguments on Wednesday on whether Governor Chris Christie illegally withdrew New Jersey from a regional trading scheme aimed at cutting carbon emissions, raising hopes among environmental groups that the state might be forced to rejoin. Plus, EU Carbon-Fix Plan’s Scrutiny Said Possible to Be Accelerated, says Bloomberg.

Quote of the Day:

“California has achieved a strong, transparent carbon price, and we have created a model for the world to follow. We have shown that sending a strong signal to the marketplace can reduce pollution and spur better investment planning and economic growth.”

–California state Senator Fran Pavley, the author of the state’s landmark 2006 law designed to combat global warming, in Reuters’ “Crunch time for California’s pioneering carbon market?”

Lead Stories

EU Carbon-Fix Plan’s Scrutiny Said Possible to Be Accelerated
The European Union’s emergency plan to help boost carbon prices may get all necessary regulatory approvals as soon as next month and start around April, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Court to re-consider New Jersey’s exit from U.S. carbon market
An appellate court will hear arguments on Wednesday on whether Governor Chris Christie illegally withdrew New Jersey from a regional trading scheme aimed at cutting carbon emissions, raising hopes among environmental groups that the state might be forced to rejoin.

Brussels says energy-intensive industry is coping well despite US price gap
Industrial energy consumers in the European Union have dealt well with a large energy price differential to peers in the United States but should remain concerned about high prices, the EU executive said in a draft policy paper seen by Reuters. Europe’s industrial energy users have been paying more than twice the electricity price and four times as much for gas as their US peers who have benefited from a boom in shale gas.

The Most Important Climate Change Question: How Will Investors React?
Ecosystem Marketplace
Newsrooms and dinner table talk hum with observations about crazy weather patterns and natural disasters from Hurricane Sandy to Philippine typhoons. Scientists blame rising CO2 levels caused by human activities, mainly energy production and use, and the greenhouse effect. The energy industry is finger-pointing at the coal sector in a battle over solutions between nuclear energy, clean burning natural gas and natural resources like wind and solar power. Glowing articles on the “fracking revolution” and the rapid rise of new energy technologies have dominated the financial presses.
**RKB – Contributors Thomas H. Stoner Jr. is the author of Small Change, Big Gains, Reflections of an Energy Entrepreneur (2013) and the founder of Project Butterfly. Peter Backlund serves on the board of directors of Project Butterfly. He is also the former Director of the Integrated Science Program and External Relations at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Big industry will quit Germany if green energy costs rise -minister
Germany’s will risk losing its big industries unless they are sheltered from the cost burden of renewable energy, its economy minister said while restating his commitment to a shift to low carbon fuel.

Warring Dogmas Block Climate-Change Progress
National debates over environmental issues are sometimes derailed by two kinds of extremists: eco-doomsayers and techno-optimists. The two positions are best captured in the most dramatic bet in social science. It is useful to recall the tale, recently cataloged by Yale University historian Paul Sabin, because the legacy of the bet is with us today, above all in the domain of climate change.

Still Stuck in a Climate Argument
The New York Times
When a ship carrying scientists and adventure tourists became stuck in ice in the Antarctic late last month, climate change skeptics had a field day. On Twitter and other social media sites, they pointed out that a group whose journey was meant to highlight the effects of global warming was trapped by a substance that was supposed to be melting.


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


Increasing density may not work in cutting greenhouse gases
The Sacramento Bee
Increasing the population density of California’s urban areas is a key component of the state’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 – but it may not be the most effective strategy, new research at the University of California, Berkeley, indicates.

Editorial: Curbing a Potent Greenhouse Gas
The New York Times
On Dec. 17, the European Union drafted important legislation to cut hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, by 79 percent by 2030. This is the most concrete move yet to rein in HFCs, which are potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air-conditioners. In June, the United States and China reached an agreement to reduce these gases, and in September leaders of the Group of 20 nations pledged to do their share. With Europe’s move, the goal of a global agreement on the gases is closer than ever.

World Bank unit to buy carbon credits from Vietnam hydro plants
Water Power Magazine
The World Bank’s Carbon Partnership Facility (CPF) has agreed to purchase carbon credits generated through small hydropower developments in Vietnam under the Renewable Energy Development Project (REDP).

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

The Future of Coal: New Pollution Rules Choke Old Power Plants
The Wall Street Journal
The world was riveted in October by eerie photos of Harbin, an industrial city in northeastern China that was smothered by thick smog from burning coal. The U.S. had its own encounters with choking pollution several decades ago. Though nearly forgotten today, the incidents sparked the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and federal regulations that have reshaped the electricity industry—then and now the country’s largest.


China $50 Billion Power Goal Leads to Australia: Real M&A
State Grid Corp. of China’s search for as much as $50 billion of international power assets may reveal that Duet Group and Spark Infrastructure Group are among Australia’s most attractive takeover targets.

Etrion, Hitachi Plan 100 Megawatts of Japan Solar-Energy Plants
Etrion Corp. (ETX), a Geneva-based renewable-energy producer, and Hitachi High-Technologies Corp. (8036) plan to develop at least 100 megawatts of solar projects in Japan as the Asian nation seeks to diversify its energy supply.

Starwood Energy Closes Financing on 211-Megawatt Texas Wind Farm
Starwood Energy Group Global LLC, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based private-equity firm, arranged financing for a 211-megawatt Texas wind farm it bought in August from T. Boone Pickens’s Mesa Power Group LLC.

Enel Green Power signs $300 mln loans for Chile, Mexico growth
Italy’s biggest renewable energy company Enel Green Power said on Tuesday it had signed two loan agreements with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) for a total of $300 million to help fund investments in Chile and Mexico.


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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