With the Climate Change conference now under way in Lima, today’s edition focuses on countries’ commitments (including rich countries’ pledge to annually finance a $100bn fund for poor countries) and how the stakes are raised by the China/USA deal. Also, how Europe proposes changes to a draft emissions market overhaul, in order to address the carbon market current glut.

Quote of the day

“You basically need to see a revolution in all sectors of the economy to achieve and sustain that carbon intensity reduction. Governments are still falling far short of what’s really required to achieve the 2 degree-goal, including Europe. I don’t think there’s recognition of the scale of change that’s required.”

Jonathan Grant, climate change director at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London, in the New York Times’ story Testing the Limits of European Ambitions on Emissions

Lead stories

Obama China Pact Raises Stakes for India in Climate Talks
Natalie Obiko Pearson and Alex Morales – Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama’s breakthrough deal with China to rein in fossil fuel emissions puts the spotlight squarely on India and other major economies as the world’s governments gather in Peru in search of a plan to fight climate change.

Climate change talks offer India new opportunity 
Bina Venkataraman – Boston Globe
The air in Delhi is getting thicker. As winter nears, the smog in India’s capital city stifles and suffocates. It grounds airplanes. And it kills. Outdoor air pollution is the fifth leading cause of death in India, according to a study showing it led to 627,000 premature deaths in 2010 alone.

China and Brazil rebuke rich world over climate cash pledge
Pilita Clark and Lucy Hornby – Financial Times
China and Brazil have criticised the amount of money wealthy countries have pledged to help poorer nations deal with global warming in a sign that sealing a climate treaty next year still faces serious snags.

Lima COP to Lay Foundation for Paris 2015 Agreement 
Press Release, UN
Governments to meet for the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima starting today (1 – 12 December) to lay the foundation for an effective new, universal climate change agreement in Paris in 2015 while also raising immediate ambition to act on climate change in advance of the agreement coming into effect in 2020.

Testing the Limits of European Ambitions on Emissions
Beth Gardiner – The New York Times
The European Union has long been a world leader on climate change, and its new agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 keeps it at the forefront of that effort.

EU Lawmakers Propose 115 Amendments to Carbon Market Fix
Ewa Krukowska – Bloomberg
Members of the European Parliament proposed changes to a draft emissions market overhaul ranging from a rejection of the planned market stability reserve to accelerating its start by four years.

Air pollution costing Europe billions
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has recently published a report on industrial facilities and what they cost the European Union. 
***LB: Also in this story “Over a period of five years they took a closer look at 14,000 facilities in Europe – either industrial production plants or power stations – and measured their damages to the environment and health due to air pollution and greenhouse gases. The major finding: One percent of these plants – which means about 150 facilities – cause 50 percent of the overall damage.”

Plan Outlines Low-Carbon Future for Germany
Diana S. Powers – The New York Times
Scientists have developed a comprehensive computer model that simulates German energy supply and demand, in a bid to establish whether it is feasible for Germany to rely on renewable energy sources to power its economy and meet its carbon dioxide emission reduction targets.

E.ON to quit gas and coal and focus on renewable energy 
Germany’s biggest utility firm, E.ON, has announced plans to split in two and spin off most of its power generation, energy trading and upstream businesses, responding to a crisis that has crippled the European energy sector.

Veolia requests withdrawal of its U.S.-listed shares 
Veolia Environnement said on Monday that it planned to request that its New York-listed shares, known as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), be withdrawn from trading effective on December 22.

Energy Efficiency May Be the Key to Saving Trillions
Beth Gardiner – The New York Times
Compared with eye-catching renewable power technologies like wind turbines and solar panels, energy efficiency is nearly invisible. But advocates say doing more with less power may be an even more critical weapon in the fight against climate change and offers big economic benefits, too.

Study: Cities can slash CO2 cheaply using ‘no brainer’ technologies
Cities could cut energy-related CO2 emissions by more than a third at little to no cost, according to a new study. 
***LB: Also in this story “Work by researchers at the University of Leeds, University of Bristol, and the London School of Economics (LSE) found measures such as energy efficient appliances, fuel efficient transport, biomass boilers, and policies to tackle congestion can be implemented inexpensively and have an average payback of just five years. Savings generated after this period could be reinvested in other low-carbon developments in cities, which account for over 70 per cent of global energy-related carbon emissions.”

Five threats to the EPA’s climate rule
Timothy Cama – The Hill
Supporters and opponents of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon regulations for power plants talk about the benefits and costs as if enactment of the new standards is inevitable.

As Mexico Addresses Climate Change, Critics Point to Shortcomings
Victoria Burnett – The New York Times 
For six years, while drought ravaged Chihuahua State, Mario Ruiz clung to his small herd of cattle.

Billionaire Vinod Khosla’s big dreams for biofuels fail to catch fire
Steven Mufson – The Washington Post
Just over a year ago, billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla was bubbling with optimism about one of his latest investments: KiOR, a biofuel outfit he said would turn wood chips into hydrocarbons that could be poured straight into a refinery, pipeline or vehicle.


U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference
The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference presents data, analysis and expert forecasting on the state of the solar market in the U.S.
Dec. 8 – 10, 2014
San Diego, CA

The Importance and Impact of Including Fuels and Natural Gas in California’s Cap-and-Trade Program
Climate Action Reserve
December 11, 2014 – 10:00am – 11:00am PST
Type of Event: Webinar

Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium
January 7-8, 2015
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington DC

2015 Climate Leadership Conference
ACCO, EPA, The Climate Registry, C2ES
February 23-25, 2015
Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (Arlington, VA)


Bank of England investigating risk of ‘carbon bubble’ 
Damian Carrington – The Guardian
The Bank of England is to conduct an enquiry into the risk of fossil fuel companies causing a major economic crash if future climate change rules render their coal, oil and gas assets worthless.

Guangdong carbon market to restrict access to offset credits
China’s biggest carbon market in Guangdong is going to clamp down on the use of cheaper credits generated by large government-regulated mitigation projects in an attempt to prop up prices in an oversupplied market.

“Beyond Carbon” Benefits The Talk Of The Forest Carbon Markets
Gloria Gonzalez – Ecosystem Marketplace
Much of the discussion during international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru will revolve around halting tropical forest loss to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 
***LB: Also in this story “But Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest report on the voluntary and compliance markets shows forest carbon projects already having an impact – an impact that could multiply if the right policy signals are sent.”

Brazil poised to raise ethanol content of petrol
Samantha Pearson – Financial Times
Brazil is set to raise the ethanol component of its petrol, creating demand for an extra 1bn litres of the biofuel a year and providing much-needed relief for the country’s sugar mills.

Natural gas / coal

Coal conversion plants sap China’s emissions targets
Lucy Hornby – Financial Times
Chinese negotiators attending this week’s climate change talks in Lima have come armed with a long and detailed list of measures to rein in the coal use that creates smog at home and climate change worries abroad.

West Virginia Coal Country Sees New Era as Donald Blankenship Is Indicted
Trip Gabriel – The New York Times
On a memorial to West Virginia’s most recent mining disaster, the silhouettes of 29 figures are etched into black granite, men posed with arms around each another like teammates.


Floating tidal turbine makes a splash in Scotland
Developed by Spanish company Magallanes, the 1:10 scale ‘ATIR’ device was successfully deployed last week at the centre in the Orkney Islands.

Clean tech

Fuel cell powered phones and phone masts promise revenue boost for Intelligent Energy
James Murray – BusinessGreen
Intelligent Energy has today revealed it is on track for rapid growth over the next 12 months, despite admitting its first set of financial results contained headline figures that are “nothing to write home about”.


Drought-hit Sao Paulo may ‘get water from mud’
Adriana Brasileiro – Thomson Reuters Foundation
São Paulo, Brazil’s drought-hit megacity of 20 million, has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves, officials say.


Women on climate change frontline make big impact on small grants 
Teresa Odendahl – The Guardian
In London, Paris and Washington, where leaders have made little progress in curtailing climate change, global warming may seem a merely theoretical problem – too far in the future, or too far away geographically, to matter. 
***LB: Also in this story “From Guatemala to Indonesia, bold action by women in communities threatened by extreme weather shows there is an alternative to costly international schemes.”

30 Years On, Bhopal’s Ghost Haunts the Nation
International Business Times
Even after three decades, the memory of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster is kept alive by “mini Bhopals” that occur across India.


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