In this edition: Cap-and-trade plan upheld by Calif. court, says the San Francisco Chronicle; Opinions on the Rio summit are numerous, including one from The New York Times: “Rio Isn’t All Lost”; Bloomberg reports: CO2 Demand 2.2 Billion Tons Less Than Foreseen, Sandbag Says

Also today: Phil Flynn of The Price Futures Group Discusses the Outlook for Natural Gas & Carbon Markets
Phil Flynn has followed the energy markets for more than two decades and recently joined The Price Futures Group as a senior market analyst. He spoke with JLN Environmental/Energy editor Jim Kharouf about the outlook for natural gas, shale gas and Canada’s oil sands. Flynn also gave his thoughts on the future of the carbon market and the US energy mix.

Quote of the Day:

“Organizations such as ours, hundreds of institutional investors around the world, and a small but growing cohort of visionary companies are putting their shoulders to the wheel. With the support of the governments represented in Rio, a global expectation of corporate sustainability disclosure could be one of the signature achievements of Rio+20.”

–Ceres’ Mindy Lubber in her Forbes column: “A Tipping Point on Sustainability Disclosure in Rio?”

Lead Stories

Cap-and-trade plan upheld by Calif. court
San Francisco Chronicle
A state appeals court on Tuesday upheld California’s plan to combat global warming with a market-based cap-and-trade system to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, rejecting some environmental groups’ arguments that the rules are too weak and could worsen certain types of air pollution.  

EU works toward common energy market
European lawmakers backed legislation that would promote transparency among member states in the energy sector as part of a coordinated market.

Rio+20 earth summit should look to reduce black carbon through carbon trading
The Christian Science Monitor
Delegates at the Rio+20 earth summit must look beyond CO2 to black carbon. Reducing black carbon (soot) is easier than reducing other kinds of greenhouse gas emissions. And a market-based international system to reduce carbon emissions is already in place.

Opinion: Rio Isn’t All Lost
The New York Times
IN June 1992, world leaders, including President George Bush, agreed to combat climate change at the Earth Summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro. This week, at “Rio+20,” leaders, experts and activists will once more gather to ponder the fate of the planet.

A Tipping Point on Sustainability Disclosure in Rio?
Ceres’ Mindy Lubber for Forbes
Fifteen years ago, Ceres launched the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the first-ever framework for corporate sustainability reporting. Today, more than 2,500 companies worldwide use the GRI voluntarily to inform investors and the public about how they are integrating sustainability into their operations. Such disclosure is also one of the core expectations of The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, a platform we developed to help companies become sustainable enterprises.

Ditch the “green economy”
Leaders from around the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro today to start putting the finishing touches on a document their representatives have already haggled over for months. The meeting those leaders are attending, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (or Rio+20, for short), has been given up by journalists and analysts as a lost cause, destined to produce only warmed-over pablum about the world’s best intentions not to totally squander what natural resources we have left. In practice, that pablum will be titled “The Future We Want,” and will intend to guide the world’s governments toward a more sustainable future.  

Op-Ed: ‘Clean energy’ is money wasted
The Washington Post
In blackjack, doubling down is a high-risk, high-reward move. If you think you can win, based on the first two cards dealt, you bet 100 percent more — but you also pay for the privilege by agreeing to take one, and only one, additional card.

Politics, costs main hurdles to green world economy
The main obstacles to creating global green economy are the lack of political will, the fear of alienating voters with rising costs and the absence of a global price on carbon, economists and scientists said at a U.N. environment summit on Wednesday.

Is the Rio+20 Environmental Summit a Failure?
The Daily Beast
Obama and Cameron missing, economies crashing, a conference document that managed to displease everyone—Rio+20, marking the 20th anniversary of the famed Earth Summit, looks like a bust as world leaders arrive. Mac Margolis reports.

CO2 Demand 2.2 Billion Tons Less Than Foreseen, Sandbag Says
Demand for European Union carbon permits and United Nations offsets in the five years through 2012 is 2.2 billion metric tons less than anticipated by EU regulators, according to an environmental group.

Carbon tax debate will rage on: Combet
Trading Room
People hoping for some relief from the carbon tax debate after the pollution price begins in 10 days shouldn’t hold their breath, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says.

Code REDD Aims For Scale and Quality
Ecosystem Marketplace
This year’s “State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets” report documents more than seven million tons of reduced greenhouse-gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). That’s an impressive number of credits generated by saving endangered rainforest and a testament to the work put in by hundreds of scientists, economists, and entrepreneurs who have spent the last decade developing rigorous methodologies for measuring both the amount of carbon sequestered in trees and the impact of human action on that sequestration.

Sustainable Water Management is Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits, say Countries
WaterWorld/UNEP Press Release
Over 80 per cent of countries have reformed their water laws in the past twenty years as a response to growing pressures on water resources from expanding populations, urbanization and climate change.


Responsible Business Summit
June 27 -28, 2012, New York

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

Sustainability Summit – Innovation Challenge
October 9, 2012
New York


ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd. Announces the Appointment of Alexander Zang to the Board of Directors
Press Release
ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:ESR) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexander Zang to the Board of Directors of the Company and its’ subsidiary, ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates Inc. (“ERA”). Mr. Zang will be replacing outgoing Board Member Holger Mayer, who has resigned following his recent departure from Forest Carbon Group shareholder HSE AG. Alexander Zang is a principal of BCC, Business Communications Consulting GmbH, which is a controlling shareholder of Forest Carbon Group, where he sits as an Executive Board Member. Mr. Zang focuses on sustainable strategies for the energy and clean-tech sectors. He is an expert in change management, and sustainability driven corporate development.

World Energy Solutions Supports Sixteenth RGGI CO2 Allowances Auction
Press Release
World Energy Solutions, Inc. (XWES), a leading energy management services firm, today announced it successfully supported the 16th quarterly auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances administered by Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. (RGGI, Inc.) on June 6, 2012.

Natural Gas/Coal

Cheap Coal Is Dead. Long Live Renewable Age Part 1
“Sustainable Energy for All” is the main theme for this week’s Rio+20 United Nations gathering in Brazil. The challenge of making energy both accessible and sustainable has grown more complicated in the past year or so, and also more exciting. These are tough times for coal and other high-carbon sources of energy, while the news about clean energy is more promising.                    

The World’s Poor Deserve Greener Energy, Too
With oil costing close to $100 a barrel, and most imported Asian coal about $120 a ton, fossil energy costs are crippling emerging economies in Asia andAfrica. Although renewable alternatives are far less costly than they were even two years ago, they still can’t match the cheap coal and oil that Asia and Africa had counted on.

Alberta expects big rise in oil sands production
Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board said on Wednesday it expects output from the province’s oil sands to more than double by 2021, while conventional oil production last year rose for the first time in 16 years.

Market value of Colorado oil production overtakes natural gas
The Denver Post
The market value of oil pumped out of Colorado fields jumped past the value of natural gas for the first time in decades, as oil production increased and natural gas prices cratered, according to a new study.

Editorial: Exporting natural gas would not hurt U.S.
USA Today
Once in a great while, the nation gets a problem that’s actually nice to have. The latest example: the huge windfall of domestic natural gas from shale deposits, and the growing debate over whether to export some of it.

Fracking Technology Brings Promise and Worries
Mention fracking in a conversation and you’ll likely get a strong reaction. It’s become a hot-button issue, but what exactly is it? Why does the natural gas industry believe it is critical to our energy future, and why are so many people leery about it?

Shale-Gas Boom Could Bring Bounty to Companies and Investors
The natural gas industry may now be hurting from rock-bottom prices, but if it is able to fully exploit fracking technology and estimates of massive shale gas reserves turn out to be accurate, there will be few losers and many winners — from exploration and extraction companies to pipeline construction and services companies.

Can the Natural Gas Sector Save the U.S. Economy?
It may not pique the public’s interest quite like finance or information technology, but it just could just save the U.S. economy.

Rockefeller says coal industry needs to ‘face reality’
Charleston Daily Mail
West Virginia coal operators must stop shrugging off climate change and pollution-related health problems to “face reality” about the future of coal, Sen. Jay Rockefeller said in a stern and stunning speech on the Senate floor Wednesday.

Senate upholds EPA standards for coal
The U.S. Senate Wednesday voted against a Republican measure that would eliminate regulations cutting mercury and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants.


How Illinois cities buy electricity in bulk
Chicago Sun-Times
Illinois is one of only six states nationwide that allows municipalities to buy electricity in bulk after voters approve it.

80 Percent of U.S. Electricity Demand Could be Met With Renewable Energy in 2050
Daily Tech
While 80 percent may be a tough goal, the study mentioned that renewables could fully supply 50 percent of electricity in 2050.

Renewable Electricity Futures Study
National Renewable Energy Laboratory


EBay Plans Data Center That Will Run on Alternative Energy Fuel Cells
The New York Times
EBay plans to build a data center to handle its billions of dollars in retail transactions that will draw its power from alternative energy fuel cells rather than the national power grid, which is heavily dependent on coal plants.

Mr. Jetson meet Mr. Flintstone: Clean alternatives to “dirty” energy for data centers
ZD Net
There’s a solution to “dirty” energy in our future and in our past.


China eyes subsidies to develop energy-saving vehicles: paper
Shanghai Securities News/Reuters
China is considering tax exemptions and subsidies for buyers of energy-saving vehicles in an attempt to boost its low-emissions auto sector, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.


Renewable Electricity Futures Study (Posted June 20, 2012)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Public Views on Climate Policy Options: Spring 2012 NSAPOCC Findings (Posted June 18, 2012)

Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (Posted June 11, 2012)

Strengthening the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and Raising Climate Ambition
WWF/Greenpeace/Oko Institut (Posted June 11, 2012)

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

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