Kicking off this edition, news and editorial commentary on a new study of China that revealed on any given day in 2006, goods made in China for the US market accounted for up to a quarter of the sulphate smog over the western US.
Plus, squabbling continues ahead of the Wednesday release for landmark EU greenhouse gas emission targets. Coverage, in our Leads section and below.

Quote of the Day:

“I don’t know any other economy that can bear this burden. We have to make sure that we connect the energy switch to economic success, or at least not endanger it.”

–German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Bloomberg’s “Germany Can’t Bear $32 Billion-a-Year Green Costs, Minister Says”

Lead Stories

Made in China: Up to a quarter of California smog
New Scientist
The modelling revealed that on any given day in 2006, goods made in China for the US market accounted for up to a quarter of the sulphate smog over the western US.

We export carbon emissions to China, get smog back in return
Barack Obama recently warned supporters at a fundraiser that the U.S. will be “four feet under water” if China and India start consuming energy the way Americans do, The New Yorker reports. The comment reflects growing international angst over the swelling carbon footprints of the two developing countries — each of which is home to more than a billion people, many of them understandably eager to emulate Western lifestyles.
**RKB — The New Yorker article, below.

Going the Distance
The New Yorker
On the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving, Barack Obama sat in the office cabin of Air Force One wearing a look of heavy-lidded annoyance. The Affordable Care Act, his signature domestic achievement and, for all its limitations, the most ambitious social legislation since the Great Society, half a century ago, was in jeopardy. His approval rating was down to forty per cent—lower than George W. Bush’s in December of 2005, when Bush admitted that the decision to invade Iraq had been based on intelligence that “turned out to be wrong.” Also, Obama said thickly, “I’ve got a fat lip.”

Row simmers over EU’s 2030 carbon targets hours before deadline
The Guardian
A row is still simmering within the European commission over landmark targets for greenhouse gas emissions, hours before they are published on Wednesday.

EU Must Contain Energy Costs or Risk ‘Deindustrialization’: EU
Europe must get a grip on energy prices to protect growth and stop its industry from fleeing abroad, according to two top policy makers.

Editorial: High energy prices hold Europe back
Financial Times
Europe is slowly emerging from the crisis and economic growth is picking up. But the sluggish nature of the recovery means governments cannot ease up in the pursuit of reforms that boost investment and jobs. Much of the discussion about improving competitiveness revolves around labour market reforms and reductions in red tape. But far too little attention is paid to what has become a significant burden on European growth: the high cost of energy in Europe when compared with the US and other markets.

Europe Divides Over More Ambitious Pollution Limits
The European Union is poised to take its first formal steps to expand the world’s most ambitious limits on fossil fuel pollution. That may widen a rift in how it balances green policies with the need for cheaper power.

Germany Can’t Bear $32 Billion-a-Year Green Costs, Minister Says
Germany must reduce the cost of its switch from atomic energy toward renewables to protect growth, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

Germany cautions on impact of renewables
Financial Times
Germany’s transition to renewable energy has strained Europe’s largest economy to its limit, the economy minister said on Tuesday, as he outlined reforms to a subsidy scheme that costs business and consumers 24bn euro a year.

Risky Business Co-Chairs Announce Members of U.S. Climate Risk Committee
Press Release
The co-chairs of the national Risky Business initiative today announced the members of a Risk Committee who will oversee an analysis of the economic risks of climate change in the United States. Risk Committee members will join Risky Business co-chairs Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer, who also sit on the Risk Committee and are the founding partners of the initiative.
**RKB — Cargill’s Gregory Page and Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin among them.


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


Kenyans Earn First Ever Carbon Credits From Sustainable Farming
Ecosystem Marketplace
The Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP) last week became the first organization to earn carbon credits under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) for locking carbon in soil. The credits represent a reduction of 24,788 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to emissions from 5,164 vehicles in a year. These are the first credits worldwide issued under the sustainable agricultural land management (SALM) carbon accounting methodology.

Alberta unveils state-of-the-art greenhouse gas emissions monitoring
Calgary Herald
It may look like a horse trailer from the distance, but Alberta’s newest climate-change weapon is a state of the art advanced air monitoring system that is the only one of its kind in North America.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

NiSource Link to Shale Boom Spurs Deal Appeal: Real M&A
NiSource Inc. (NI), the owner of natural gas pipelines and utilities in the upper U.S. Midwest, is a prime acquisition candidate for companies seeking to profit from the shale-gas boom.

Fall in thermal power orders hits Alstom
Financial Times
The shift in the European energy landscape from thermal power has hit profits at Alstom as utilities cut back on orders for traditional coal and gas-fired plants.


Brasil Solair Plans to Fund 10 Megawatts of Solar Installations
Brasil Solair, the developer of Brazil’s second solar-panel factory, plans to fund the installation of 10 megawatts of its equipment this year because homeowners are reluctant to buy the technology.

Caixa May Get $203 Million From KfW for Brazil Energy Efficiency
Brazil’s state-run lender Caixa Economica Federal may get 150 million euros ($203 million) from the German development bank KfW Group for a credit line that will help companies become more energy efficient.

Power prices in Ukraine expected to double to pay for nuclear safety
Electricity prices in Ukraine are expected to double to help pay for a series of safety upgrades to old Soviet nuclear power stations, according to a leaked report by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
EBRD, a public sector bank investing in Eastern Europe and elsewhere on behalf of 64 countries and the European Union, last year announced a €300 million loan to the Ukrainian state nuclear power company, Energoatom. It is the largest nuclear safety loan the bank has made.


Water innovation in action: 50 million euros for new research projects
European Commission Press Release
Biotechnology to treat heavy metal pollution in waste water; new ‘Aquaponic’ systems combining aquaculture and hydroponics in agricultural production; smarter management of water distribution networks. These are just three of 11 new projects approved for EU research funding, aiming to promote innovative solutions for water-related challenges (see MEMO/14/34). The projects involve 179 partners from research organisations and private companies (including more than 70 SMEs), across 19 European countries.


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

View all reports >


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