In this edition, Keystone jabs continue. “We did move first” to put a price on carbon emissions, says Alberta, Calgary, premier Alison Redford said in a Bloomberg article. North America’s integrated energy industry requires cooperation on pipelines and carbon emissions as well as electricity, hydropower and renewables, Redford said. “We want to do it together.” And, cross-Canada pipeline will boost emissions, a new report argues. Also today, a blog says bitcoin still may be dividing opinion between those who think it can revolutionize the way the world transacts and those who remain deeply sceptical. But could a similar approach help drive investment in renewable energy?

Quote of the Day:

“This isn’t a game of chicken. We’re not going to start introducing anything that puts us at a competitive disadvantage when other jurisdictions aren’t prepared to take any steps.”

–Alberta Premier Alison Redford, on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Lead Stories

Redford: Alberta Won’t Play Emissions Chicken on Keystone
Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who has lobbied the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, says her oil-rich Canadian province won’t toughen rules to cut carbon emissions from crude producers until the U.S. takes similar steps.

Keystone Consultant Disclosed Alleged Conflict After Win
The consulting firm that wrote a largely favorable environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline didn’t disclose an alleged conflict of interest to the State Department until after it won the contract, according to newly released documents.

Cross-Canada Pipeline Will Boost Emissions, Report Says
The Wall Street Journal
Much of U.S. environmentalists’ opposition to big pipeline projects has focused on Keystone XL. They say the pipeline would worsen climate change by leading to higher production in Alberta’s oil sands, which are exploited using an emissions-intensive process.

Energy East: new report assesses pipeline’s climate impact
Pembina Institute
The proposed Energy East pipeline would enable a significant increase in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, says a new report from the Pembina Institute.

Opinion: Don’t judge climate policy by Europe’s experience
Daily Camera
Some local and national environmental policy advocates are arguing against a cap-and-trade approach as the backbone of a U.S. policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because they perceive, erroneously, that the European Union’s Emission Trading System has “failed.” The European cap-and-trade system has not failed.

Energy regs come with $70M price tag
The Hill
The Obama administration is moving forward with tougher energy efficiency standards that would cost manufacturers more than $70 million, but save consumers billions of dollars in energy bills.

Handshakes and Body English Vex Corporate Carbon-Cutting Goals
Global companies are trying to shrink their carbon footprints by targeting business travel, and the early results are frustrating, even among companies with celebrated green credentials.

SolarCoin promises incentives to solar energy producers
Bitcoin still may be dividing opinion between those who think it can revolutionize the way the world transacts and those who remain deeply sceptical about the stability and viability of the new digital currency. But could a similar approach help drive investment in renewable energy? That is the question being asked by a team of volunteers in the U.S. who have launched a new digital currency to create greater incentives for solar energy generators.

EPA piles up billions
The Hill
Environmental Protection Agency investigations yielded more than $5.6 billion in criminal and civil penalties over the past year, the agency said Friday.

Bloomberg On Climate Change: Cities Are Leading The Way ‘Right Now’
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made combating climate change a major focus during his time in office. Now, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist has a new international role to push his message. He has been appointed the U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change. Melissa Block talks with Bloomberg about the new job and what cities can do to fight climate change.


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


Carbon Emissions Fall for Third Straight Year
Environmental Leader
Greenhouse gas emissions fell in the nine states that participate in a northeast carbon trading market by 6 percent in 2013. The states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) were helped by mild temperatures and the greater use of natural gas for power generation.

New Zealand tribal group threatens multi-million-dollar claim over carbon scheme
Ecosystem Marketplace
A New Zealand tribal group says it will file a NZ$600 million (HK$3.8 billion) claim against the government for value lost on their forests unless policymakers move to shore-up prices in the nation’s emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Tackling Climate Change Means Curbing Emissions From Smokestacks, but Also Expanding our Forests
The Energy Collective

EU Carbon Trading Chokes On Data Centre Diesels
Tech Week Europe
Data centres have back-up generators, and those generators generally burn diesel. This forms a small part of the emissions of a data centre, but it’s possible to get it out of proportion. This can be a sticking point for environmentalists – and apparently for government regulators too.

Drought sensitivity of Amazonian carbon balance revealed by atmospheric measurements
Feedbacks between land carbon pools and climate provide one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our predictions of global climate. Estimates of the sensitivity of the terrestrial carbon budget to climate anomalies in the tropics and the identification of the mechanisms responsible for feedback effects remain uncertain. The Amazon basin stores a vast amount of carbon, and has experienced increasingly higher temperatures and more frequent floods and droughts over the past two decades.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

Coal Ash Declared Safe for Recycling by EPA
Coal ash from power plants is safe for use in cement and wallboard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today in a long-delayed decision that may boost recycling of a major source of industrial waste.

Ethanol Evangelist Shrugs Off Volatility to Build Powerhouse
Todd Becker couldn’t stop checking prices on his iPhone as he prepared to speak at a Nov. 21 investor conference in Manhattan. Ethanol was rising, and corn was falling, he says, driving potential profits on the gasoline additive to one of their highest levels in six years.


Race to Beat Polish Subsidy Cuts Drives Wind-Project Push
Poland, where 90 percent of power comes from coal, may be an unlikely clean-energy hub. Yet wind capacity that almost doubled in two years is set to grow further as developers rush to start projects before subsidies change.

Firm seeks to harness Wyoming’s wind energy for California
Los Angeles Times
A relentless wind howls day after day across this high desert, pouring through a low gap on the Continental Divide.

Tidal Lagoon Seeks to Build $1.2 Billion U.K. Marine Power Plant
Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd. applied for consent for a $1.2 billion 320-megawatt tidal plant that could provide power to more than 120,000 U.K. homes for a century.

India May Seek $500 Million World Bank Solar Loan
India’s renewable ministry is seeking permission from the government to apply for a $500 million World Bank loan to build its biggest proposed solar park.

Caribbean Islands Agree to Swap Diesel Power for Renewable Sources
The New York Times
Several Caribbean nations committed on Thursday to start replacing diesel generators, the most common means of producing electricity on islands, with renewable sources like wind, solar or the earth’s heat.

Masuzoe wins Tokyo poll with gradual approach to nuclear power
Financial Times
A supporter of nuclear power backed by Japan’s national ruling party won a decisive victory in Tokyo’s gubernatorial election on Sunday, defeating an anti-nuclear former prime minister who had emerged from retirement to turn the contest into a referendum on Japan’s post-Fukushima energy policy.

Salmond pitches perfect storm in energy debate
Financial Times
Asked why he thinks the rest of the UK should continue to subsidise Scottish renewable energy if Scotland votes for independence, Alex Salmond responds with a nightmare scenario for its power grid: an England-Scotland final at the 2016 European Championship.


Solar Water Pumps Wean Farmers From India’s Archaic Grid
India has a novel idea: Wean farmers from archaic power lines and expensive diesel fuel to run their water pumps with solar energy.

California Drought Impact Seen Spreading From Fires to Food Cost
The drought that’s gripping California may soon have the rest of the country seeking relief.

Op-Ed: Desalination could help California — but only if it’s done right
Los Angeles Times
Californians used to call it earthquake weather, the unseasonably warm, dry, blue-sky days that pushed deep into this year’s rainy season. Now we just call it drought. Unfortunately, the state’s water resources are at critically low levels (12% of normal Sierra Nevada snowpack for this time of year) and the crisis is unlikely to go away soon or for long.

Drought should make state rethink water policy
San Francisco Chronicle
With the arrival of a few raindrops, Californians already may want to put aside efforts to reduce water use by 20 percent as the governor asked when he declared a drought emergency last month. Change is hard; no one likes the idea of trying to do with less. Yet we need to use this drought emergency to rethink how we allocate water in the state.

Suez Wins Contracts From Morocco to China for Wastewater Works
Suez Environnement (SEV), the second-biggest publicly traded water company in Europe, won contracts this week for sludge and wastewater-treatment projects from Morocco to Egypt and China.


The End of Snow?
The New York Times
OVER the next two weeks, hundreds of millions of people will watch Americans like Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin ski for gold on the downhill alpine course. Television crews will pan across epic vistas of the rugged Caucasus Mountains, draped with brilliant white ski slopes. What viewers might not see is the 16 million cubic feet of snow that was stored under insulated blankets last year to make sure those slopes remained white, or the hundreds of snow-making guns that have been running around the clock to keep them that way.

State of Green Business 2014

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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