Done deal? Well, not yet. In today’s edition, Russia and China still haven’t signed a much-publicized $400 billion gas deal that would have illustrated Russia’s resourcefulness in the face of Western sanctions. In the meantime, weary of its energy dependency, the EU wishes to increase its energy efficiency by between 30 and 35 percent by 2030 – a good way to cut greenhouse gas emissions, too. 

Quote of the day


“We are still positive on the carbon prices because of the proposed crucial structural reforms that should remove oversupply long-term.” 

UBS analyst Patrick Hummel, in the Reuters’ story UBS slashes EU carbon price forecast on weak backloading effect 


Lead Stories 

Russia, China Leaders Fail to Sign Gas Deal at Shanghai Meeting
Elena Mazneva, Stepan Kravchenko and Aibing Guo, Bloomberg
The presidents of China and Russia failed to sign a $400 billion gas supply deal at a meeting today in Shanghai. 
***LB: Also in the story “Talks will continue as the two countries seek a compromise”

Russia, China offer to scrap duties on gas – Rosneft
Russia has offered to scrap extraction taxes for gas supplies designated for China, while Beijing is also looking to abolish import taxes for Russian gas, Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft said on Tuesday.

Securing China deal key for Gazprom
Jack Farchy and Kathrin Hille, The Financial Times
For Gazprom, which claims to be the world’s largest company by operating profits, its long-anticipated deal with China has acquired an almost existential significance.

U.S. LNG Won’t Replace Russian Gas as Europe Seeks Supply
Isis Almeida and Anna Shiryaevskaya, Bloomberg
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas won’t be able to replace Russian exports to Europe as the Ukrainian crisis threatens to disrupt flows to the region.

Russian government analysing market for Rosneft state stake privatisation – Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev does not rule out the possible sale of part of the state package of shares of the Rosneft oil company in 2014.

EPA carbon curbs to reach beyond power plant ‘fence,’ aiding cap-and-trade
Valerie Volcovici, Reuters 
President Barack Obama’s landmark rules to cut power plant emissions will likely give a fresh push to regional U.S. carbon cap-and-trade systems by allowing for a holistic, state-wide view of new pollution targets, sources familiar with the process said.

EU figures show carbon credit glut persists, but offset data withheld 
The ETS (Emissions Trading System) is supposed to drive carbon dioxide emissions reductions in Europe and help EU states meet the bloc’s climate targets. 
***LB: Also in this story “But at 5 euros per tonne of CO2, carbon allowances provide industry with little incentive to switch from cheap coal to more expensive alternatives, such as renewable energy, or gas.”

UBS slashes EU carbon price forecast on weak backloading effect 
Michael Szabo, Reuters
Swiss investment bank UBS slashed its year-end EU carbon price forecast by 23 percent due to the weaker-than-expected market impact of the bloc’s plan to cut the supply of carbon permits. 
***LB: Also in this story “Analysts at the bank now predict front-year EU Allowance (EUA) prices will end the year at around 10 euros per tonne, down from a previous forecast of 13 euros.”

Areva CEO says ready to study deal for Alstom wind unit
French state-controlled nuclear group Areva is not directly involved in negotiations about the possible sale of the energy unit of Alstom but would be ready to study any possibilities involving Alstom’s wind turbines unit, Areva CEO Luc Oursel told a parliament committee.

EU policymakers looking to boost energy savings target-sources
Barbara Lewis, Reuters
EU policymakers are considering a goal to increase European Union energy efficiency by between 30 and 35 percent by 2030, as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fuel bills and improve energy security, EU sources said.

Emissions from 10 food and drinks companies ‘higher than Scandinavia’
Rebecca Smithers,
The ‘big 10’ global food and drink companies together emit more greenhouse gases than Scandinavia and would rank as the 25th most polluting country in the world if grouped together, the international charity and agency Oxfam claims in a new report on Tuesday. 
***LB: Also in this story “The companies are Associated British Foods, Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever.”

U.S. appeals court rejects BP bid to undo ruling in oil spill case
Dan Levine, Reuters
A U.S. appeals court will not revisit a decision to reject BP Plc’s bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if those businesses could not trace their economic losses to the disaster.

Nostrum’s UK premium listing move wins approval
Michael Kavanagh, The Financial Times 
Nostrum Oil & Gas has won approval for a premium listing in London that could see the Kazakhstan-based producer formerly known as Zhaikmunai promoted to the FTSE 250 index in September.

Ray of hope for German nuclear phase-out 
Jeevan Vasagar, The Financial Times
Germany’s two big utilities, Eon and RWE, have been cutting dividends and shutting down capacity in response to a slide in profits in conventional power generation. 
***LB: Also in this story “The chief executives of three German utilities, Eon, Rwe and EnBW, have discussed the creation of a state-owned foundation to oversee the demolition and disposal of nuclear plants.”

Obama likely to give coal rules personal touch
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Climate Legacy: The Environmental Protection Agency is set to unveil proposed standards limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in early June, and President Obama may make the announcement himself.

(Column) Obama’s bet on gas throws caution to the wind
Edward Luce, The Financial Times  
As windfalls go, America’s natural gas boom verges on the biblical.

North Korea: an unlikely champion in the fight against climate change
Benjamin Habib,
When we think of North Korea, we think of a nation determined to be an outsider in the international community. 
***LB: Also in this story “But there is compelling evidence that the North Korean government is motivated by domestic power games to co-operate globally on climate change.”

Japan’s pro-nuclear policy at odds with global trend -ISEP head
Osamu Tsukimori and Kentaro Hamada, Reuters
The Japanese government’s move to reinstate nuclear as an important power source under its energy policy is at odds with increasing global awareness that the age of nuclear power is “coming to an end”, an advocate of renewable energy said. 
***LB: Also in this story “Tetsunari Iida, executive director of the Japan-based Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), said the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety checks needed to be more rigorous and take into account disaster evacuation plans for local governments.”


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


Boulder’s bold plan tackles climate change and energy head-on
Jonathan Koehn,
Climate science has identified the need for a rapid transition to a fossil-fuel-free future, yet Boulder, Colo., has one of the most carbon-intensive electric portfolios in the nation.  
***LB: Also in this story “Electric supply accounts for about 60 percent of city greenhouse gas emissions.”

Vermont renewable energy firm walks talk with employee bonus diminished by carbon tax
Dave Gram, Associated Press
A manufacturer of renewable energy equipment has found a formula to get its employees to save energy: a $6,000 annual bonus, offset with a carbon tax.

Natural Gas / Coal

Prospects for coal exports dim in the Northwest
Zack Colman, Washington Examiner
It might be a little too early for a victory lap, but Cesia Kearns is getting warmed up.

Cuadrilla prepares next wave of fracking planning applications
The UK’s most high profile shale gas developer, Cuadrilla Resources, announced yesterday that it is poised to submit planning applications for exploratory wells at its site in Lancashire, raising the prospect of a summer of protests against the controversial development.

A Fracking Boom Where There Is No Fracking
Ben Geman, National Journal
For John LaRue, sand was the harbinger of the change. Several years ago, LaRue, the Port of Corpus Christi’s executive director, began seeing the smooth quartz grains arriving in bulk from Wisconsin and Minnesota.


Cambridge project taps excess steam to heat buildings 
Erin Ailworth, The Boston Globe 
After three years and $112 million, the French company Veolia has put in place a key piece of what is one of the largest systems in the United States to generate electricity and recycle steam to heat nearby buildings and businesses.

U.K.’s Negative Press on Wind Power Crimps Renewable Fundraising 
Louise Downing, Bloomberg
The U.K.’s negative media coverage of wind farms may have curbed a clean-energy fundraising, with the Ventus VCT Plc (VEN) and Ventus 2 VCT Plc trusts receiving a fifth of the amount they targeted, a Temporis Capital LLP partner said.

Where Whale Oil Once Reigned, a Town Looks to Renewable Energy
Peter Green, The Wall Street Journal 
Whale oil made New Bedford, Mass., America’s energy capital in the early 19th century. Now the gritty fishing port is once again linking its future to energy—this time renewable. 
***LB: Also in this story “Among cities on the East Coast, only New York generates more electricity from solar power, according to data from the Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center in Boston. And among U.S. cities only Honolulu generates more solar-powered electricity per inhabitant.”

Could Scotland win the race to build the world’s first floating offshore wind farm?
Scotland is officially in the running to host the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, in a move that supporters claim could drastically cut the cost of offshore wind energy.

Scottish Islands Provide a Proving Ground for Power From the Ocean 
Cassie Werber, The Wall Street Journal
Lee Thomson points out to sea on a recent bright day in this archipelago off the north coast of Scotland.


Why Steelcase now lets suppliers participate in its REC program
Heather Clancy,
Using renewable energy credits (RECs) as a strategy to offset the impact of corporate power consumption isn’t anything new. Office furniture manufacturer Steelcase, however, may be the first company to formally extend its program to anyone in its supply chain that wants to participate.


EPA sets standards for cooling water intakes
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized standards Monday for systems that take in cooling water in an effort to stop fish from being drawn in or stuck on the equipment.

California drought will cost thousands of farm jobs: study
Sharon Bernstein, Reuters
California’s drought will cause thousands of workers to lose their jobs and cost farmers in the state’s Central Valley breadbasket $1.7 billion, researchers said in the first economic study of what may be the state’s driest year on record.

How El Niño Might Alter the Political Climate 
Nate Cohn, The New York Times
El Niño is coming. Above-average sea surface temperatures have developed off the west coast of South America and seem poised to grow into a full-fledged El Niño event, in which unusually warm water temperatures spread across the equatorial East Pacific. 
***LB: Also in this story “The debate over climate change, however, brings additional significance to this round of El Niño”

Note to Olympic Sailors: Don’t Fall in Rio’s Water
Simon Romero and Christopher Clarey, The New York Times
Nico Delle Karth, an Austrian sailor preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics, said it was the foulest place he had ever trained.


Energy companies eye drones for pipelines, offshore platforms
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Energy companies are looking forward to upcoming unmanned aerial vehicle regulations that could allow them to use drones to monitor places that are difficult or harmful to reach.

Exploring the Social and Environmental Challenges as Brazil Prepares for Two Sports Spectacles 
Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times 
For the fourth year in a row, a team of graduate and undergraduate communication students at Pace University has created a compelling short documentary focused on efforts to mesh human progress with the environment. 

Leave seashells on the seashore or risk damaging ecosystem, says study 
Jason Goldman for the Washington Post/Guardian Weekly
You might think twice next time you snag a seashell from the beach and drop it into your pocket: you might be altering the seaside environment. 
***LB: Also in this story “In a study more than 30 years in the making, researchers have found that the removal of shells from beaches could damage ecosystems and endanger organisms that rely on shells for their survival.”

Opinion: We’re leaving too many energy dollars behind us, on the ground Ruth Greenspan Bell and Elke U. Weber, The Daily Climate 
When you work on climate change policy, as we do, frustration is a given.

North Carolina GOP Pushes Unprecedented Bill to Jail Anyone Who Discloses Fracking Chemicals 
Molly Redden, Mother Jones
As hydraulic fracturing ramps up around the country, so do concerns about its health impacts.

Environmentalists Have Succeeded in Making Noise — Is Anybody Listening? 
Lucia Graves, National Journal
For years, environmentalists have been trying to make climate-change denial a vulnerability for Republicans.

Climate change could increase volcanic eruptions 
Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network
Iceland names its commercial aircraft after its volcanoes – ironic, given that ash blown into the atmosphere by the 2010 eruption of the country’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano resulted in much of Europe’s airspace being closed for days, with 100,000 flights cancelled and ten million passengers stranded.

Oilpatch critics say Alberta energy regulator is denying them right to speak
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
Critics say Albertans are in danger of being shut out of discussions on how the province’s natural resources are developed.




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