In this edition, major Canadian daily The Globe and Mail talks about the Quebec-California carbon market linkage. As of January 2, Quebec-based industries can now purchase credits from California in order to meet provincial targets for emission reductions. In return, California industries can tap Quebec’s carbon market to satisfy their regulatory requirements. Traders say the linkage of the two systems will improve liquidity for both markets, but particularly for Quebec-based industries. Read the full article, Grist.org commentary, plus Reuters’ U.S. EPA unlikely to step up fracking enforcement efforts for now, and more, below.
Quote of the Day:
“It has been one of the most important trends in US renewables over the past year to two years. Investment by these institutional investors – infrastructure funds as well as pension funds – has really increased significantly.”
–John Gimigliano, principal in charge of the energy sustainability tax group in KPMG’s Washington national tax practice, in The Financial Times’ “BlackRock’s renewables unit gets second wind”
Quebec-California partnership blazes trail for carbon trading
The Globe and Mail
The province of Quebec formally linked its cap-and-trade system with California’s market on Thursday, as the two jurisdictions plow ahead with ambitious plans to put an escalating price on carbon in order to reduce emissions.
Carbon trading is booming in North America, no thanks to U.S. or Canadian governments
In most of the carbon-trading world, it has been getting cheaper in recent years to buy the rights to pollute the atmosphere with climate-changing carbon dioxide. That’s largely because recession-afflicted Europe is awash with too many carbon allowances for its trading scheme to have any real bite, and because demand for U.N.-issued allowances has crashed along with hopes of a meaningful international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
U.S. EPA unlikely to step up fracking enforcement efforts for now -analysts
Federal regulators are unlikely to step up enforcement of potential water contamination cases linked to natural gas drilling – despite new concerns about water safety – given a lack of political will and limited resources to pursue such cases, analysts said.
BlackRock’s renewables unit gets second wind
Fresh from the close of its first renewable power fund, BlackRock’s infrastructure investing group is planning a range of follow-up products for what it sees as a hungry institutional market.
Editorial: Washington must not settle for secular stagnation
Lawrence Summers in The Financial Times
We may, as I argued last month in the Financial Times, be in a period of “secular stagnation” in which sluggish growth and output, and employment levels well below potential, might coincide for some time to come with problematically low real interest rates.
**RKB — Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Harvard Professor Lawrence Summers includes energy in his look at secular stagnation, writing: There is much that can be done in the energy sector to unleash private investment on both the fossil fuel and renewable sides. Regulation that requires the more rapid replacement of coal-fired power plants will increase investment and spur growth as well as helping the environment.
Editorial: Energy Policy – Europe takes power
The Financial Times
Is energy policy made in Brussels ? The obvious answer would be no. The EU may have an energy commissioner but he has little real authority. Energy policy is still under the control of individual national governments and as a result there are 28 very different approaches and outcomes. France is supplied by nuclear power. Germany by contrast is phasing out nuclear in favour of renewables. Much of Eastern Europe still depends on coal. There is cross border trade, of course, but most countries have their own distinct energy market.
China says over 3 mln hectares of land too polluted to farm
About 3.33 million hectares (8 million acres) of China’s farmland is too polluted to grow crops, a government official said on Monday, highlighting the risk facing agriculture after three decades of rapid industrial growth.
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
13th Biennial Conference and Trade Fair on Business and Sustainability
March 26-28, 2014
Vancouver, British Columbia
DoT asks PricewaterhouseCoopers to chart carbon credit policy for telecom firms
The Economic Times (India)
The telecom department has asked PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to evolve a carbon credit policy for mobile phone companies in addition to evaluating the technocommercial feasibility of powering 3.5 lakh telecom towers with green or “renewable” energy.
Delaware ‘cap and trade’ restrictions trigger lawsuit
Two members of a Delaware conservative policy group and a state lawmaker are among four individuals who sued the state’s environmental agency this week over a tightening of state “cap andtrade” controls on power-plant carbon dioxide emissions.
Carbon market woes blunt prospects for Cameroon CDM projects
Thomson Reuters Foundation
An initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites in Cameroon cannot be expanded to other Central African countries as planned due to a lack of income from the troubled carbon market, its backers say.
Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels
Shale boom leaves investors underwhelmed
Lamenting the airline industry’s perennial unprofitability, Warren Buffett observed that “if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favour by shooting Orville [Wright] down”.
Palestine Power to Pay $1.2 Billion for Gas From Leviathan Well
Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) and its Israeli partners in an offshore natural gas field will get about $1.2 billion to supply a Palestinian power plant in the West Bank for the next 20 years.
German Power Costs Seen Dropping for Fourth Year: Energy
Power prices in Germany, Europe’s biggest electricity market, probably will weaken for a record fourth consecutive year as utilities add the most coal-fired capacity in more than a decade.
Solar Power Craze on Wall St. Propels Start-Up
The first inklings of the idea came to Elon Musk and a cousin in an R.V. heading to the Burning Man festival in 2004.
Western Sahara dispute dims Morocco’s solar hopes
A Moroccan solar project worth some 6.6 billion euro aimed at turning desert sun into lucrative power exports to Europe could be at risk as international lenders balk at plants planned for the disputed Western Sahara.
From Ford, a Plug-In That Tracks the Sun
The New York Times
If Stonehenge had been built with a visitor’s parking lot, the spaces might have looked something like what Ford proposes for its C-Max Solar Energi, a plug-in hybrid with a rooftop solar panel.
How to Cut Cloud Computing’s Carbon Emissions
A group of algorithms developed by computer scientists at Trinity College Dublin and IBM Research Dublin can help reduce the carbon cost of cloud computing, IEEE Spectrum reports.
China Aims to Curb Water Use in Cities With Progressive Pricing
China, the world’s most populous nation, called on cities to scale charges for water based on consumption by the end of 2015 to conserve the vital resource. The National Development and Reform Commission said local governments should set at least three tiers of water prices, according to a statement on its website today. Areas facing water shortage should implement bigger price increases with usage, the NDRC said.
Assessing Corporate Emissions Performance Through the Lens of Climate Science (December 2013)
Climate Counts.org and Cdnter 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)
Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 (Posted June 10, 2013)