In today’s edition, major players in the environmental energy field seem to be looking beyond today’s news on Ukraine or GE. Main stories try to assess the influence of the European elections’ results on climate commitments, predict what will happen at the next climate summit in 2015, or judge the upcoming fight between the Obama’s administration and the US industry on climate rules.
Quote of the day
“The role for carbon markets – and linked markets – in fighting climate change is being increasingly recognised by policymakers around the world, from China to Europe to California”
IETA president and chief executive Dirk Forrister in the BusinessGreen’s story Carbon exchanges optimistic at prospects for a 2015 climate deal
Elections have limited impact on EU climate goals
The results of the European Parliament elections could have only a limited impact on climate and energy targets up to 2030, despite a successful showing in the polls by parties hostile to expanding EU climate regulation.
EU-Skeptic Parties Unlikely to Focus on Carbon, Consultancy Says
Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg Businessweek
The U.K. Independence Party and the French National Front are unlikely to compete for key posts in the European Parliament environment committee, which leads work on carbon-market legislation, according to G+Europe consultancy.
Russia’s Gazprom says Ukraine will owe $5.2 billion as of June 7
Ukraine will owe Russia about $5.2 billion for natural gas as of June 7 if it makes no payments by that date, the CEO of state-controlled Russian gas exporter Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said on Wednesday.
***LB: Also in this story “Russia and Ukraine are fighting over gas prices, with Kiev wanting to change a 2009 contract that locked it into buying a set volume of gas, whether it needs it or not, at $485 per 1,000 cubic metres – the highest price paid by any client in Europe.”
Ukraine Natural Gas Price Risk Premium Remains for Europe
Isis Almeida and Anna Shiryaevskaya, Bloomberg
The European Union still faces the threat of natural gas disruptions this winter after helping forge a draft deal to settle a debt dispute between Russia and Ukraine, which carries about 15 percent of the bloc’s gas needs.
Ukraine’s gas stockpiling builds winter buffer against supply cut
Oleg Vukmanovic and Nina Chestney, Reuters
Ukraine’s stored gas reserves are sufficient to help meet domestic needs well into the winter months should Russia cut supplies as authorities step up efforts to rebuild inventories.
U.S. industry gears up to fight Obama’s climate rules
Roberta Rampton, Reuters
This summer is likely to see a series of attacks by industry opponents of a U.S. plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants in a bid to stir voter anger ahead of elections in November, when voters in states such as Kentucky and West Virginia may determine whether Democrats keep control of the Senate.
***LB: Also in this story “On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose new rules to crack down on power plant emissions, part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to combat global climate change. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will release a report Wednesday analyzing the effect the yet-to-be-announced regulations will have on the economy.”
Energy, emissions goals appear cloudy for 2015
Economic and environmental officials vowed on Monday to step up efforts in the next two years to ensure China’s energy and environment goals for 2015 are within reach, despite efforts in the 2011-2013 period that failed to measure up.
Carbon Price Hurt by Australia, Russia Policies, World Bank Says
Mathew Carr, Bloomberg
Efforts to put a value on greenhouse-gas emissions to contain global warming are being hurt as countries from Australia to Russia and Japan pull back from carbon-reduction commitments, according to the World Bank.
Carbon exchanges optimistic at prospects for a 2015 climate deal
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Carbon markets expect to play an increasingly important role in preventing catastrophic climate change as a result of a global deal on climate change next year, new industry research reveals today.
***LB: Also in this story “IETA members also underlined the need for the European Union to set an ambitious 2030 carbon reduction goal in order to bolster the price of carbon in the emissions trading scheme.”
Koch Industries rides U.S. shale boom with PetroLogistics buy
A Koch Industries Inc unit will take PetroLogistics LP private in a deal worth $2.1 billion, including debt, gaining control of a plant that can convert cheap U.S. shale gas into propylene, a key petrochemical used to make plastics.
Chile, South Africa top list for German carbon market aid: report
Chile and South Africa are best placed to receive aid from Germany to cut help cut greenhouse gas emissions and develop new carbon markets that can be expanded worldwide, a new study commissioned by Berlin said on Tuesday.
EPA 2, challengers 0
Timothy Cama and Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
EPA notches court victories: Two federal courts Tuesday took actions backing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate air pollution.
EEX Seeks Bigger Share of Italian Power Trading as Market Booms
Rachel Morison – Bloomberg
European Energy Exchange AG, continental Europe’s biggest power bourse, aims to raise its share of Italian electricity trading as the market expands at the fastest pace in the region. The exchange handles almost a third of electricity trading in its German home market and wants to achieve the same in Italy, Chief Operating Officer Steffen Koehler said in an interview on May 23.
Intercontinental Exchange announces launch of 19 new energy contracts
IntercontinentalExchange Group, the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced the introduction of new coal, wet freight and U.S. environmental futures and options contracts.
GE strengthens hand in Alstom battle with pledge for 1,000 French jobs
Natalie Huet and Julien Ponthus, Reuters
General Electric (GE) strengthened its position in the battle for the power arm of French group Alstom on Wednesday with a pledge to create 1,000 jobs in France and recognition from Paris that it had made a more acceptable offer.
Are We Underestimating America’s Fracking Boom?
Dennis K. Berman, The Wall Street Journal
Start with exotic Nazi technology, take a detour with South African apartheidists, and add a bit role for Iranian imams. What you have is—what else? —one of the most improbable and important American business stories of the past decade.
Oil lobby warns ozone rule will hurt businesses
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Prominent oil lobby American Petroleum Institute warned Tuesday that if the administration tightens federal standards for smog, roughly 94 percent of the U.S. would be “closed for business.”
Americans care deeply about ‘global warming’ – but not ‘climate change’
Suzanne Goldenberg, the guardian.com
Barack Obama, scientists and campaigners have all looked at how to engage Americans more powerfully on the environment. Now researchers have come up with one critical piece of advice: do say “global warming”, don’t say “climate change”.
Bloomberg: Cities Key to Confront Climate Change
Edith M. Lederer, AP
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his new U.N. job, said Tuesday that cities hold the key to confronting climate change because they account for 75 percent of the heat-trapping gases and their mayors have executive powers to reduce emissions.
Interior takes step toward resuming Arctic exploration
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Royal Dutch Shell may be able to resume Arctic oil and gas exploration if the Interior Department sticks to the timeline it filed to the U.S. District Court of Alaska.
For a Canadian Province, Gas Boom Presents a Conundrum
Kate Galbraith, The New York Times
As nations rush to ship vast new stores of natural gas across oceans, the climate change implications of the fuel are coming under increased scrutiny.
BP faces resumption of Deepwater Horizon compensation payments
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
BP is close to being forced to restart contentious compensation payments under its settlement for victims of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, after a federal appeals court rejected its call to keep an injunction in place.
***LB: Also in this story “At the time that payments were suspended, the cost of the settlement was on course to soar far beyond the $7.8bn that BP had originally estimated.”
London’s Dirty Secret Pollutes Like Beijing Airpocalypse
Alex Morales, Bloomberg Businessweek
London has a dirty secret. Levels of the harmful air pollutant nitrogen dioxide at a city-center monitoring station are the highest in Europe.
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China’s Shenzhen to hold its first carbon permit auction
Shenzhen in southern China will auction 200,000 carbon permits to help the city’s big emitters meet their targets under an emissions trading scheme.
Shanghai generators struggle with targets in illiquid carbon market
Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev, Reuters
Some of China’s biggest power generators are struggling to meet CO2-reducion targets via Shanghai’s carbon market as a lack of supply means they cannot buy enough permits to cover their emissions, sources said.
***LB: Also in this story “The nearly 200 firms in Shanghai’s CO2 market, one of six set up nationwide, have until June 30 to hand over permits to the government to cover for the CO2 they emitted last year.”
Australia’s opposition leader concedes carbon, mining taxes to go
James Regan, Reuters
Australia’s opposition Labor Party on Wednesday said two contentious taxes on mining and carbon emissions introduced during its years in power would likely be repealed this year.
S. Korea releases tough CO2 caps on utilities, industry
South Korea plans to impose tough caps on CO2 emissions from utilities and industry as part of a carbon trading scheme that will be the world’s second biggest when it opens at the start of next year.
Environmental Credit Corp: California, Here We Come!
Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Marketplace
California was the big story in the North American carbon markets in 2013, dominating headlines with the launch of the state’s cap-and-trade program in January, which opened up an ocean of opportunity for project developers to push forward with emissions reduction projects. And Environmental Credit Corp (ECC) was one of the biggest fish swimming in that sea.
Kazakhstan wins support for carbon market
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) said it signed an agreement with Kazakh exchange Caspi JSC to provide support and technology for exchange-based trading of carbon permits, supporting Kazakhstan’s new emissions market, EEX said.
Natural gas / coal
High-pollution power plant that said it was victim in Obama’s ‘war on coal’ survives, thrives
Dina Capiello and Kevin Begos, Associated Press
Three years ago, the operators of one of the nation’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants warned of “immediate and devastating” consequences from the Obama administration’s push to clean up pollution from coal.
Committee on Climate Change insists onshore wind still has role to play in cost-effective energy mix
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has today reiterated that an increase in onshore wind capacity during the 2020s is likely to represent the most cost-effective means for the UK to meet its carbon targets, after The Times reported that the organisation’s chair, Lord Deben, thought the UK had “enough wind turbines”.
Italy reveals plans for three advanced biofuels plants
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Italy intends to build three new facilities for turning waste into fuel in the south of the country, extending its leading role in the burgeoning European biofuels sector.
BMW Sees China as Biggest Electric Car Market by 2019
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) predicts China will become the world’s largest market for electric vehicles as more charging infrastructure is built and the government promotes cleaner cars to cut pollution.
UK firm celebrates £300m waste-to-energy UAE export deal
One of the UK’s leading waste-to-energy technology suppliers, Chinook Sciences, is celebrating this week after inking a £300m deal to build one of the world’s largest energy-from-waste facilities in the United Arab Emirates.
***LB: Also in this story “The deal represents one of the largest clean tech export deals completed this year”
USDA launches water conservation program
Timothy Cama, the Hill
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) traveled to Michigan Tuesday to launch a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to fund public-private partnerships to reduce water pollution.
Group: $12.3B water bill ‘opens door for privatization’
Keith Laing, The Hill
A group that advocates for increased spending on public water infrastructure projects said Tuesday that a $12.3 billion port and waterways funding bill that is expected to be signed soon by President Obama will “open the door to water privatization.” http://jlne.ws/1nAUe3S
UK beaches good, but Europe’s cleanest are in Cyprus and Malta, survey finds
Fiona Harvey, theguardian.com
The time to go swimming from British beaches was last year.
Prince Charles calls for creation of a greener, inclusive capitalism
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Prince Charles has called on business leaders to engineer a “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” in order to tackle the grave threat presented by climate change, warning that without urgent action over the next 18 months the world will face “dangerously accelerating climate change” that could “bring us to our own destruction”.