“Small is beautiful” could be the motto of today’s edition, as small communities invest in renewable power generation to cut cost and carbon footprint. In the meantime, a study by the Imperial College in London shows that each ton of CO2 offset by businesses brings $664 in additional benefits to host communities. And (in the Clean tech section) bacteria can be used to make propane, say scientists. 

Quote of the day

“This follows on the heels of the whole local food movement.  It is part of re-localization. We are taking back power.”

Chris Mann, chief executive of Guayaki, a maker of yerba mate teas, in the Los Angeles Times’ story Communities going into power business to cut cost, carbon footprint 

Lead stories 

West considers penalty against Putin
Peter Spiegel and Christian Oliver, Financial Times 
Could boycotting the 2018 World Cup be more effective at persuading Russian president Vladimir Putin than an increasingly long list of economic sanctions? For the first time since the Ukraine crisis began nine months ago, EU diplomats are actively considering the idea.

Finland most vulnerable to Russian gas cut-off
Valentina Pop, EU Observer  
Finland would experience gas shortages even if Russia cut off exports just for one month, while other EU countries would last between three to nine months without Russian gas, according to a German study.

Russia Arctic energy ambitions jeopardised by western sanctions
Guy Chazan and Jack Farchy, Financial Times
Beneath the Kara Sea, north of Russia’s Siberian coastline, lies more oil than can be found in the whole of the Gulf of Mexico. That, at least, is the Russian government’s estimate – and the reason why ExxonMobil began drilling a well there with Rosneft just four weeks ago.

Thomson Reuters launches new environmental investment tool
Thomson Reuters has launched a new set of indices based on European companies’ Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) practices. 
***LB: Also in this story “The company says the four Thomson Reuters CRI Europe Indices offer a comprehensive, objective and transparent benchmark for global ESG performance.”

Study: Carbon offsets brings over $600 a tonne of benefits to local communities
Each tonne of CO2 offset by businesses brings $664 in additional benefits to host communities, researchers at Imperial College London have calculated.

Communities going into power business to cut cost, carbon footprint 
Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times
Sonoma County, which enticed Americans to forsake factory-made food for artisan wines and farmers market produce, now wants consumers to reconsider another everyday commodity.

More cash for EU industry, eastern states in 2030 climate goals: draft
Ben Garside and Michael Szabo, Reuters  
Big emitting industries and poorer eastern member states in the European Union could get tens of billions of euros in additional funds next decade to help them meet the bloc’s 2030 energy and climate goals, a draft EU document showed. 
***LB: Also in this story “Outgoing European Council President Herman van Rompuy is steering talks over how to spread the burden of cutting the bloc’s emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.”

Germany’s flagship green energy policy ‘in tatters’
Justin Huggler, The Telegraph
Germany’s flagship green energy policy is in tatters, according to a new report by the consultancy firm McKinsey which says many of its goals are “no longer realistic”.

A five year project strengthening Natural Solutions in the Pacific region
Islands Business
A 5-year, 5 million euros project titled ‘Natural Solutions to Climate Change in the Pacific Islands Region: Implementing Ecosystem-based Adaption’, has been signed on the cusp of the 3rd International Conference of Small Island Developing States.  
***LB: Also in this story “The project was signed between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).”


EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting 
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts. 
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA

FT European Gas Summit 
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times. 
23 October 2014 
London, UK 


First Auction of EU Aviation Allowances for 2014 concluded successfully
EEX Press Release 
Today, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) successfully concluded the first primary market auction of EU Aviation Allowances (EUAA) for the year 2014 on behalf of the European Commission and the participating Member States. 
***LB: Also in this story ” A volume of 1,643,000 EUAA was auctioned on the Spot Market at 11:00 am. The auction price was established at EUR 5.70 per EUAA.”

House panel to hear from regulators on carbon rule
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
House Republicans are continuing their push against the administration’s carbon pollution rules on existing power plants next week when they return from recess.

Chile Carbon Tax Coming Up This Week 
Sandy Dechert, Clean Technica
This week, the government of Chile holds a final vote on its first carbon taxation scheme, also the first in South America, a measure to make fossil fuel generators pay for emitting greenhouse gases.

EPA chief pushes economic case of capturing methane
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy on Tuesday stressed the need for industry to tamp down on methane leaks and flaring.

Natural gas / coal 

CME Group Announces the Launch of Illinois Basin Physically Delivered Coal Futures
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced today the launch of Illinois Basin physically delivered Coal futures contracts in October, pending all regulatory approvals.  The contracts will be listed by and subject to the rules of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

$1.4 Billion in Penalties Is Sought in California Gas Blast
Michael Corkery, The New York Times
Four years after a natural gas explosion tore through a neighborhood of San Bruno, Calif., killing eight people and injuring dozens of others, some of them seriously, the Pacific Gas & Electric Company has been hit with a proposed $1.4 billion penalty for suspected safety violations. 
***LB: Also in this story “It is the largest safety penalty proposed to the California Public Utilities Commission.”

Duke, Dominion propose $5B gas pipeline
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Duke Energy and Dominion Resources, along with other partners, are proposing a $5 billion pipeline to ship natural gas produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Southeast.


Shunfeng Talks to Banks With Aim to Become Solar Giant
Bloomberg News
Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Ltd., which plans to become one of the world’s biggest solar cell manufacturers this year, said it’s speaking with as many as five banks about finance for expanding installations.

SmartestEnergy announces ‘first’ Power Purchase Agreements for CfD green generators
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The government’s complex electricity market reform programme received a boost today, as independent supplier SmartestEnergy announced the launch of new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) specifically designed to support the coalition’s new clean energy subsidy regime.

Electricity prices rise at fastest pace in years
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The average price of residential electricity rose at the highest rate in five years in the first six months of 2014, the government reported Tuesday.

Clean tech

Propane made with renewable process for the first time 
Adam Vaughan,
A gas which can power cars and heat homes has been made using a renewable process for the first time. 
***LB: Also in this story “a team of scientists at Imperial College in London has successfully demonstrated that they can make propane from glucose using a genetically engineered version of bacterium E coli.”


Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies 
John Upton, Climate Central
Hike high enough up California’s Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine.

Could water shortages really halt the fracking bandwagon?
The global march of the fracking industry could face a significant challenge in the form of water shortages in many of the regions the sector has earmarked for expansion. 
***LB: Also in this story “The report, entitled Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability & Business Risks, also argues that 40 per cent of countries with significant shale gas and oil reserves have “severely limited supplies of fresh water”, while 386 million people live in shale regions, increasing the likelihood of competition for water resources.”


GOP launches probe of ‘improper influence’ on EPA climate rule
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Republicans are investigating what they call “improper influence” from a national green group on the Obama administration’s signature Environmental Protection Agency climate change regulation.

Chinese president Xi Jinping ‘to skip Ban Ki-moon climate meeting’
Joydeep Gupta,
Chinese president Xi Jinping has decided to skip a meeting of world leaders on climate change in New York, according to climate insiders, casting doubt on the summit’s potential to make progress ahead of next year’s major UN climate summit in Paris. 

Has climate change become a business story? 
Robert S. Eshelman, The Columbia Journalism Review 
One of the more robust periods of study in the modern history of climate change has taken place this past year.

Chevron Makes It Official With Sale of Renewable-Energy Unit
Ben Elgin, Blommberg Businessweek
Chevron has finalized the sale of its renewable-energy subsidiary, Chevron Energy Solutions, to OpTerra Energy Services, a Chevron spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

Fukushima workers sue Tepco over unpaid wages, reliance on contractors
Kevin Krolicki, Reuters  
A group of Fukushima workers on Wednesday sued Tokyo Electric for unpaid wages in a potentially precedent-setting legal challenge to the utility and its reliance on contractors to shut down a nuclear plant destroyed by the industry’s worst accident since Chernobyl.

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