In this edition, coverage of the continuing clash between European Commissioners over the 2030 goal. One Australia-based column that reflects on 2013 environmental policy developments, and a Huffington Post contribution that looks at prospects for carbon market growth in 2014, based on the Quebec and California tie-up. And, coal takes some lumps as disaster hits West Virginia.

Quote of the Day:

“2014 is going to be an inflection point. You’re in it, or you’re out.”

–Wim Elfrink, executive vice president of industry solutions and chief globalization officer at Cisco, during a briefing originating from the International CES show in Las Vegas, in’s “Cisco: Don’t miss the life-changing ‘Internet of Everything’”

Lead Stories

Rift over new EU energy, climate policy deepens
European Commissioners clashed on Friday over what the European Union’s climate and energy policy goals for 2030 should be, with time for agreement running short ahead of their planned publication this month, EU sources said.

Parliament, Commission set for clash over 2030 clean energy goals
The European Parliament yesterday (9 January) voted for three binding energy and climate targets in 2030, audaciously backing a 40% energy savings improvement, but EurActiv understands that a meeting of nine EU commissioners this morning is set to endorse a far weaker text.

VCS Says Regulation Beats Trading For This Dangerous Greenhouse Gas
Ecosystem Marketplace
Markets are a powerful tool for incentivizing and rewarding greenhouse-gas reductions, but the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) says they no longer add value to the effort to eliminate one of the world’s most powerful heat-trapping compounds.

The Climate Post: Carbon Markets Show Glimmers of Recovery in 2014
Tim Profeta, of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute on Huffington Post
A year after the launch of its cap-and-trade program, California formally linked its emissions trading scheme with Quebec’s — enabling carbon allowances and offset credits to be exchanged between participants in the two jurisdictions. The linkage, which marks the first agreement in North America that allows for the trading of greenhouse gas emissions across borders, is designed to escalate the price on the amount of carbon businesses can emit.

Commentary: Marking the milestones of 2013
Climate Spectator (Australia)
Last year was one of considerable trepidation and uncertainty for the clean energy sector in terms of the politics, but also one of success in demonstrating what the sector could do. The imminent election of ‘Tear-it-up Tony’ left many in the sector nervous as to what the future might hold. He then well and truly delivered by moving to slash the uncommitted funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, completely contrary to reassurances before the election that “we fully support ARENA”. In addition, he put forward legislation to rescind the emissions cap and trade scheme while putting forward just seven dot points on what would replace it to achieve his 5 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020. The Gillard/Rudd Labor government didn’t help things either by taking their sweet time to respond to the findings from the review of the Renewable Energy Target and constant fiddling with the ETS. IIt may have been the hottest year Australia has experienced since records began, but the politics seemed to operate in a parallel universe to the physical world. . .
**RKB- includes a great infographic that illustrates where science and politics meet.

West Virginia Water Cleanup ‘Trending in Right Direction’
West Virginia officials said they were seeing the first signs a coal-processing chemical that leaked into drinking water is being diluted to the point that customers may begin to use their household taps again.

Obama Declares Emergency in West Virginia After Spill
President Barack Obama declared an emergency in West Virginia today after a chemical spill tainted drinking water, forcing officials to issue a ban on using the supplies as state and federal agencies began investigations.

COLUMN-Is nuclear power the answer on climate change?
James Hansen’s latest press conference was positively scary. NASA’s former chief climate scientist (he recently left government to pursue a more activist role) met with environmental journalists last month at Columbia University to release a new study with the ominous title, “Assessing Dangerous Climate Change: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature.”

EIB issues 350 mln Swiss franc green bond
The European Investment Bank (EIB) issued a 350 million Swiss franc ($384 million) “green bond” this week, after selling a record number of such bonds last year, the bank said.


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

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

France Oil Giant Is Expected to Seek Shale Gas in Britain
The New York Times
The French oil giant Total is on the verge of becoming the first major oil company to explore for natural gas and oil in shale rock in Britain.

Ukraine no longer wants reverse gas flows from EU
Ukraine has ceased buying gas from Europe and will instead purchase the fuel solely from Russia, as it offers the lowest prices, Ukraine’s energy minister Eduard Stavitsky said yesterday (9 January). After Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom has brought down the price of its natural gas for Ukraine by a third – to $268 dollars per thousand cubic meter (tcm), Ukraine suspended imports of natural gas from European countries at the beginning of 2014.


U.K. Needs Sea-Turbine Innovation as Farms Flail, Adviser Says
The U.K. must develop offshore-wind technology faster or risk higher costs, the Carbon Trust said.

Solar’s grim 2014: five headwinds await
Climate Spectator
At the start of last year I predicted the solar PV party was over. In the end 850 megawatts was sold, down 17 per cent on the prior year but on par with 2011. This far exceeded my grim expectations for the year.

Hunt holds firm on RET
The Australian/Climate Spectator
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has thrown his support behind the Renewables Energy Target in the wake of comments by the prime minister and other Coalition figures which suggest the government may seek to water down the policy, The Australian reports.

Gov. Cuomo commits $1 billion to New York solar
In the last year, New York has become something of a solar powerhouse, jumping to 10th in the country in installed solar power in the third quarter of 2013. That growth is due not only to the precipitous drop in the cost of solar power in recent years — falling at least 40 percent since 2008 but also, in large part, to Gov. Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative.


Cisco: Don’t miss the life-changing ‘Internet of Everything’
How much “value” is your city missing by postponing its strategy for the Internet of Everything (IoE)? New research by technology giant Cisco suggests the cumulative economic impact (aka value) promised by smart buildings, intelligent gas monitoring and water management solutions, advanced transportation networks and related solutions could be $1.9 trillion over the next decade.


National Water to Spend $213 Million on Jeddah Storage Project
Saudi Arabia’s National Water Co. has allocated 800 million riyals ($213 million) to start implementing phases two and three of a 6 million-cubic-meter storage facility in the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast, it said in a statement on its website.

Alstom Moves Into Israel Hydro Market With Pumped-Storage Order
Alstom SA (ALO), a French power-equipment maker, won 120 million euros ($163 million) of contracts to build and operate Israel’s first hydroelectric pumped-storage plant near the Sea of Galilee.


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

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