In today’s edition, President Obama’s budget, to be released later today, proposes $7.4 billion to fund clean energy technologies and a $4 billion fund to encourage U.S. states to make faster and deeper cuts to emissions from power plants. Also, the clock is ticking for diplomats: co-chairs of the UN climate talks have told them that they must finalize the draft version of a 2015 Paris deal this February.
Finally, Greg Page, Cargill’s executive chairman, talks about how ignoring climate change could be a risky business for companies.

Quote of the day

It would be irresponsible not to contemplate it (global warming)

Greg Page, Cargill’s executive chairman, in the New York Times’ story Climate Change’s Bottom Line

Lead Stories

UN targets draft of Paris climate deal by 13 February
By Sophie Yeo – RTCC (Repsonding To Climate Change)
The co-chairs of the UN climate talks have told diplomats that they must finalise the draft version of a 2015 Paris deal this February.

***LB: Also in this story “Diplomats from around the world will meet in Geneva 8-13 February for the first time since Lima, where they crafted a sprawling 38-page text laying out the various options for the landmark UN deal.”

Ban Ki-moon’s new climate advisor warns on geopolitical tensions
By Sophie Yeo – RTCC
Geopolitical tensions could complicate the path towards UN climate deal set to be signed in December, an advisor to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has warned.

***LB: Also in this story “The forthcoming agreement, to be decided in Paris, could suffer due to the strained relationships between regions such as the EU, Russia, and the Middle East, said Janos Pasztor. He flies to New York on Sunday to take up a UN role as assistant secretary general on climate change.”

Climate Change’s Bottom Line
By Burt Helm – The New York Times
It was 8 degrees in Minneapolis on a recent January day, and out on Interstate 394, snow whipped against the windshields of drivers on their morning commutes. But inside the offices of Cargill, the food conglomerate, Greg Page, the company’s executive chairman, felt compelled to talk about global warming.

Obama 2016 budget urges U.S. states to cut emissions faster
By Jeff Mason – Reuters
President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget proposes $7.4 billion to fund clean energy technologies and a $4 billion fund to encourage U.S. states to make faster and deeper cuts to emissions from power plants, officials told Reuters.

Poll: Most back federal action on climate change
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
A majority of Americans, including roughly half of Republicans, support government action to curb climate change, according to a new poll.

EPA chief talks climate change with the Vatican
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy met with Vatican officials working to draft Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical on Friday, applauding The Holy See for engaging Catholics on the issue.

China says 90 percent of cities failed to meet air standards in 2014
Nearly 90 percent of China’s big cities failed to meet air quality standards in 2014, but that was still an improvement on 2013 as the country’s “war on pollution” began to take effect, the environment ministry said on Monday.

Can Europe get over its renewable energy midlife crisis?
By Julian Popov – Euractiv (opinion)
A carbon emissions agreement between the two biggest democracies in the world – one in terms of economy and the other of population – would have been welcomed ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015.

With low oil, gasoline prices, is Keystone still necessary?
By Dina Cappiello and Jonathan Fahey – AP
A 50-percent plunge in the price of crude oil, resulting from abundant global oil supplies, and cheaper gasoline at the pump raise critical questions about whether the Keystone XL oil pipeline is still needed or even makes financial sense.

Biodiesel industry irked at delays in EPA mandate
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
The federal government’s delay in implementing biodiesel mandates is causing business to lay off workers and declare bankruptcy, the industry said.


2015 Climate Leadership Conference
ACCO, EPA, The Climate Registry, C2ES
February 23-25, 2015
Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (Arlington, VA)

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2015
North America’s premier conference on climate policy and carbon markets
Presented by the Climate Action Reserve
April 28-30, 2015
Los Angeles, California


First Issuance of SOCIALCARBON VCUs on the APX VCS Registry
Press release
APX, Inc. and Instituto Ecológica are pleased to announce an agreement allowing for the issuance of Verified Carbon Units (“VCUs’) with the Socialcarbon certification on the APX VCS Registry.

***LB: Also in this story “Projects certified with the Socialcarbon Standard all contribute to sustainable development, as well as additional social and environmental benefits. The addition of Socialcarbon to the APX VCS Registry expands the available registry options for project developers of carbon projects certified by the Socialcarbon Standard.”

Carbon credits: Astoria sees forest through trees
By Derrick DePledge -The Daily Astorian
Astoria stands to receive new revenue, help combat climate change, through carbon credit project. In an innovative trade-off, Astoria has agreed not to aggressively harvest timber in the Bear Creek watershed over the next decade in return for carbon credits that could help industrial polluters offset carbon-dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change.

Too Dirty For The USA – High-Pollution Fuels Exported
Solar panels glisten from every thatched hut on the crowded Gardi Sugdup, one of the largest islands in a remote chain off the Panamanian coast. But the tiny emblems of green energy offer no hope against climate change.

Natural Gas/Coal

Coal Industry Waits For Market To Turn
By Jacob Barker – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The coal industry has spent three years waiting for the market to turn.

Chevron to Abandon Shale Natural Gas Venture in Poland
By Stanley Reed – The New York Times
Chevron said on Friday that it would abandon efforts to find and produce natural gas from shale rock in Poland, in perhaps the biggest setback yet to fledgling efforts to start a European shale oil and gas industry that might help replace the region’s dwindling fuel resources.

Heavyweight Response to Local Fracking Bans
By Jack Healy – The New York Times
This northern Colorado city vaulted onto the front lines of the battle over oil and gas drilling two years ago, when residents voted to ban hydraulic fracturing from their grassy open spaces and a snow-fed reservoir where anglers catch smallmouth bass.


India throws spotlight on national LED rollout
India has kick-started a programme to install energy efficient LED lightbulbs for domestic and street lighting in 100 cities by March 2016.

Germany to overtake UK in offshore wind race this year
By Jessica Shankleman- BusinessGreen
Europe is expected to hit the 10GW offshore wind farm milestone this year, thanks to a German construction drive that will see it overtake the UK as the world’s biggest installer in 2015.


Clean tech
Tesla takes UK supercharger network to Sainsbury’s
By Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
Tesla has opened its 20th supercharger in the UK, putting the company on course to provide coverage to the whole of the country by the end of this year.


Obama directs agencies to prepare federal projects for rising sea levels
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
President Obama is directing all federal agencies to factor in rising sea levels when building infrastructure projects.


Have people of color been locked out of the green economy?
By Brentin Mock – Grist
One of my first stories of 2014 was an interview with Reginald Parker, an African-American entrepreneur with a chemical engineering Ph.D. from MIT who was preparing to build one of the largest solar farms in the country.

Rocket blasts off with NASA satellite to track climate change
By Irene Klotz – Reuters
An unmanned Delta 2 rocket lifted off from California on Saturday carrying a NASA satellite to measure how much water is in Earth’s soil, information that will help weather forecasting and tracking of global climate change.

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