In today’s edition: “Activated Carbon Water, Air Markets to Pass $3 Billion, GII Says,” according to Bloomberg. Forbes dives in to “How To Tap A Trillion Dollars For Renewable Energy Investment.” Reuters reports, “More than 100 firms interested in China’s 2nd shale gas auction.”

Quote of the Day:

“Is it wise to continue to flood an already oversupplied market? Clearly not. That’s why (we) propose to change the auction time profile.”

–Europe’s energy commissioner Connie Hedegaard on Twitter, reported in AFP’s “Brussels bids to rescue carbon-trading scheme”

Lead Stories

EMA Successfully Protects Environmental Commodities in Title VII of Dodd-Frank Act
Press release
The Environmental Markets Association (EMA) is pleased to announce the successful result of their efforts and others in the industry to protect environmental commodities including emissions allowances, renewable energy credits, and carbon offsets from being regulated as “swaps” under Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act.  

EMA was active early in the process, and commented on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s 2010 advance notice of proposed rulemaking, showing how environmental commodities were not swaps under the law.  In its following notice of proposed rulemaking, the CFTC cited the EMA’s comment letter, and suggested that environmental commodities could be made swaps by changing its regulatory definition of “physical” to capture them.

EMA and its members responded by writing comment letters to the CFTC, and also sought to alert as many other interested parties as possible to this threat by also writing articles in periodicals, speaking publicly at industry events, and supporting any others who requested assistance in preparing their own comment letters on the issue. EMA noted, among other things, that capturing environmental commodities as swaps because they were intangible would also capture patents and broadcast licenses.

Many others in the industry, as well as regulators, including the Environmental Protection Agency, also made persuasive arguments.  All who participated in this essential endeavor to protect environmental markets succeeded.  In its release of the final rule, the CFTC relented and stated: “The intangible nature of environmental, or other, commodities does not disqualify contracts based on such commodities from the forward exclusion from the swap definition.” Note that swap transactions that use environmental commodities to determine prices will indeed be swap transactions under the law.

This effort was an excellent example of participation in the rulemaking process by EMA’s Market Oversight Committee contributing to a very successful outcome for the industry.

To view the specific efforts, visit

EEX: Trading Technologies Broadens Access to European Energy Derivatives
Press Release
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) and Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT) have announced that EEX products are now tradable via EEX memberships on TT’s platform, further increasing the distribution network of the EEX order book, whilst offering EEX customers advanced order execution technology. All EEX derivatives products are now available through TT’s Eurex gateway and tradable via TT’s X_TRADER® order-entry platform and related electronic trading products.

Brussels bids to rescue carbon-trading scheme
The European Commission moved to fix the EU’s sickly Emissions Trading Scheme on Wednesday, a centre-piece of EU climate policy now in trouble, as certificates fail to find buyers in times of recession.

EU May Cut More Than Half of Carbon Permits Sold in 2013
European Union carbon permits declined as much as 6.3 percent because of doubts that the bloc’s regulator will approve a cut in supply before auctions start in 2013.

Australia lags on carbon tax rules
The Age
SOUTH Korea has banned the use of international offsets in its emissions trading scheme, leaving Australia isolated as one of the few places planning to allow in a large number of carbon credits from projects in developing countries.

Activated Carbon Water, Air Markets to Pass $3 Billion, GII Says
The market for activated carbon, used as a specialty chemical for water treatment and air purification in the automotive, food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, may grow at least 13 percent a year to $3 billion by 2017, Global Information Inc. reported.

How To Tap A Trillion Dollars For Renewable Energy Investment
Since the late 1970s the U.S. has avoided creating a comprehensive energy policy.  Instead, we have created a patchwork quilt of energy subsidies and tax credits that has bifurcated into two camps: Permanent tax credits for the fossil fuel industry and temporary credits and subsidies for the renewable energy industry.
**RKB – Guest post was written by Jigar Shah, the founder of SunEdison and the first chief executive of the Carbon War Room. He currently is chief executive of Jigar Shah Consulting and author of the forthcoming book The Impact Economy.

Forest ‘Disruption’ Greater Threat Than Climate Change
Deforestation of protected areas and illegal hunting of endangered species that live there has a greater impact on biodiversity than climate change, overfishing and the degradation of coral reefs, according to a researcher.

Eco Global Markets Avoided Deforestation Project in Manaus, Brazil, Sees PDD Submission
Press Release
As well as the milestone of a project approval (Hydropower in Peru) in June, Eco Global Markets also saw the PDD submission of their avoided deforestation carbon project in Manaus, Brazil. The City of London carbon management consultancy was understandably delighted by the news.

Climate change and the American West
TomDispath on
Dire fire conditions, like the inferno of heat, turbulence, and fuel that recently turned 346 homes in Colorado Springs to ash, are now common in the West. A lethal combination of drought, insect plagues, windstorms, and legions of dead, dying, or stressed-out trees constitute what some pundits are calling wildfire’s “perfect storm.”


GreenGov Symposium
ACCO & White House Council on Environmental Quality
September 24-25, 2012

Carbon Forum North America
October 1-2, 2012
Washington, DC

Sustainability Summit – Innovation Challenge
October 9, 2012
New York

EMA  2012 Fall Meeting
**Keynote speaker is Richard Sandor
October 24 – October 26, 2012
Santa Monica, CA


South Korea Seeking CO2 Cuts at Home Before Allowing Offsets
South Korea is asking its largest emitters to make cuts at home before giving them credit for overseas spending to reduce greenhouse gases.

Govt Abandons NZ Carbon Market- Will Europe Save the Day?
Scoop Business
The New Zealand Government’s recent decision not to restrict the use of international carbon credits in the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme means the local NZ carbon market is likely to stay subdued for years to come.

Africa: Reaping From Carbon Credits
All Africa
Carbon credits have become big business as more affluent countries offset their pollution by reimbursing developing economies to launch clean energy projects and plant trees as well.

Natural Gas/Coal

U.K. Boosts Gas While Cutting Support for Wind, Biomass
The U.K. government granted tax relief for natural gas drillers and cut subsidies for renewable energy, signaling more reductions in the months ahead as it balances demand for cheaper power against a goal to lower pollution from fossil fuels.

Australia Mining Boom Close to Peak, Deloitte Says
Dow Jones Newswires
The government regularly cites some A$450 billion or so in planned resources spending as a core strength in the economy, which has recorded 21 uninterrupted years of growth but where a widening gap exists between mining and weaker industries such as retail and manufacturing.

More than 100 firms interested in China’s 2nd shale gas auction
More than 100 Chinese companies, including a grain trader, are interested in a shale gas exploration tender the government is expected to issue within weeks, underscoring the appeal of the unconventional resource in the world’s second largest energy consumer.

UN Body Decision Marks End for Dirty Carbon Credits from Coal Power in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
Sierra Club Press Release
The United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board has taken a landmark step against propping up the dirty, carbon intensive coal industry. In a meeting last week, the CDM Executive Board requested yet another round of scrutiny around the set of rules that would allow coal power plants in India and China to receive carbon credits.

The Assault on Coal and American Consumers
Paper – The Heritage Foundation
For decades, coal has literally been the rock that has powered America with cheap, reliable energy. Yet the federal government is using every possible avenue to reduce coal’s role in American energy production by creating an environment in which coal production’s decline is inevitable. Congress should reform federal policies and regulations to enable the market—not federal politicians and bureaucrats—to determine the role of coal in U.S. electricity generation. This includes repealing, preventing, or freezing unnecessary regulations and empowering the states to appropriately balance economic growth and environmental protection.

Coal Power Loses Its Luster in India as Costs Rise
National Geographic
Along India’s narrow coastal belt of Mundra in Gujarat State, 500 miles (805 kilometers) northwest of Mumbai, several coal-fired power plants generate electricity so cheaply that authorities for the most part have overlooked damage to fishing and grazing, and harm to the vulnerable mangrove ecosystem.


RWE Delays Decision on Innogy Nordsee Wind Farm Until 2013
RWE AG (RWE), Germany’s second-largest utility, postponed a decision on whether to build the Innogy Nordsee 1 offshore wind farm until 2013 as it waits for the government to set out who will pay for any connection delays.

Sunrun, SolarCity Get $300 Million Credit Suisse Funding
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) is investing $300 million to finance Sunrun Inc. and SolarCity Corp. rooftop solar systems in the U.S.

Solar Power: China Might Be Stepping Up Its Green Energy Game
Pete Danko from Earth Techling on The Huffington Post
China, it appears, might be ready to step up and do its part in deploying more of the vast solar photovoltaic capacity it is producing. Will it be enough to make everything OK in the beleaguered solar manufacturing sector? No, but it sure won’t hurt.

Opinion: Will Drought Cause the Next Blackout?
New York Times
The scarcity of water caused by the extensive drought threatens not only crops and livestock, but power plants and gas and oil production.

Europe launches grid-connected renewable energy storage project
EE Times
A consortium of seven European partners has been formed to build a solid state hydrogen storage facility that will balance power supply and demand of renewable energy installed in the Puglia region of Italy.

Tidal power project nears completion in Maine
What’s being called the country’s first commercial-scale tidal power generator is being launched in eastern Maine.


Agencies buying energy credits to meet mandates
Federal Times/Washington Business Journal
An increasing number of agencies are purchasing renewable energy credits to meet energy mandates, Federal Times reports.


This Week In Water: But Is It Scalable?
Ecosystem Marketplace
Last month we welcomed our Forest Trends colleagues back from Rio, where they co-chaired a fascinating side event on scaling up payments for watershed services. The brains behind programs like Fundación Natura Bolivia and Mexico’s Programa para el Pago por Servicios Ambientales Hidrológicos (Program for the Payment for Hydrological Environmental Services) talked about the keys to smart expansion. Among their advice: Don’t get distracted, terminology matters, and measure the outcomes. You can read more about the conversation here.

Sri Lanka Water-Supply System Being Built With Ex-Im Bank Aid
The Export-Import Bank approved almost $65 million in U.S. financing for Sri Lanka to build and design a water-supply system from Pasadena, California-based Tetra Tech Inc. (TTEK) to provide more drinking water for the country.


Per capita CO2 emissions in China reached European level (July 18, 2012)

The Interim Regulation of Voluntary Greenhouse Gases Emission Trading in China (Posted July 10, 2012)
The Climate Group

Measure for Management: C40 Cities (July 9, 2012)
Carbon Disclosure Project

Characterizing Pivotal Sources of Methane Emissions from Unconventional Natural Gas Production (Posted June 4, 2012)

Vulnerability of US and European electricity supply to climate change (Posted June 4, 2012)
Nature Climate Change

Developing Dimension: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2012 (Posted May 31, 2012)
Ecosystem Marketplace

Tackling exposure: placing disaster risk management at the heart of national economic and fiscal policy (Posted May 22, 2012)

Fossil fuel price shocks and a low carbon economy (Posted May 21, 2012)

Using the Allowance Value from California’s Carbon Trading System: Legal Risk Factors, Impacts to Ratepayers and the Economy (Posted May 17, 2012)

Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathways to Sustainable Development (Posted May 9, 2012)
World Bank

Meeting Canada’s 2020 Climate Change Commitments (Posted May 8, 2012)
Office of Auditor General

View all reports >

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