In today’s edition, UK government touts its new renewable heat initiative as a “world’s first”, enabling people to be warm in winter while reducing their carbon emissions and their bills. Also, we expand on one of the stories we ran yesterday – corporations’ call for a trillion tons of carbon to stay in the ground. Companies such as Unilever, but also Jones Lang LaSalle, P&G and Target, are trying to do their part for the environment. 

Quote of the day

“Climate change is putting in jeopardy everything we have achieved since the 1960s in respect of poverty, food security, and social stability.”

Paul Polman, chief executive of consumer goods giant Unilever, in BusinessGreen’s story Unilever boss reveals company already being impacted by climate change

Lead Stories

 UK Government launches Renewable Heat Incentive for homeowners
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The government has today launched its long-awaited domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), in a bid to stimulate investment in new green technologies such as biomass boilers, solar thermal panels, and heat pumps.
***LB: Also in this story  “Under the policy, homeowners installing approved biomass heating systems, ground or water source heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and solar thermal panels will be able to secure payments over a seven year period.”

Unilever boss reveals company already being impacted by climate change
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Paul Polman, chief executive of consumer goods giant Unilever, has this week issued arguably the starkest warning yet by a senior business figure about the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change, arguing the current global response to climate change is badly “inadequate”. 
***LB: Also in this story “Highlighting Apple’s commitment to source 100 per cent of its power from renewables, IKEA’s pledge to invest $4bn in clean energy, and Unilever’s plan to source 100 per cent of its agricultural raw materials sustainably, Polman said businesses were taking action and called upon more corporate leaders to back this week’s ‘Trillion Ton Communiqué’ and its demand for more ambitious measures to tackle climate change.” 

Jones Lang LaSalle reveals hopes for new ‘Plan A-style’ sustainability strategy
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Jones Lang LaSalle is working on plans for a new company-wide sustainability strategy designed to underline its commitment to the green property sector and further embed sustainability support in its wide-ranging portfolio of property services.

Target to Stock More Environmentally Friendly Products
Elizabeth A. Harris, The New York Times
When Eric Ryan helped start Method Products in 2001, the market for environmentally friendly soaps and cleaning products, he recalled, was a “niche of a niche of a niche.” No longer. Target, one of the country’s largest retailers, announced on Tuesday that it would expand its inventory of “natural, organic and sustainable” goods to meet growing customer demand.

Procter & Gamble bows to pressure on palm oil deforestation
Helen Davidson, The Guardian
Procter & Gamble has bowed to pressure from environmentalists and revealed a new, extensive no-deforestation policy in the production of its products, including demanding fully traceable palm oil from suppliers.

Feds to propose Arctic drilling rule ‘shortly’
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The federal agency in charge of safety and environmental regulations for offshore oil and gas exploration will propose long-awaited Arctic-specific drilling regulations “shortly,” its director said.

Ukraine races to spend carbon cash after Japan sets deadline
Ukraine, battling political crisis, is having to find ways to finish spending $800 million it earned through Kyoto Protocol emissions rights sales, after Japanese officials warned Kiev it had a year before Tokyo would demand its money back.
***LB: Also in this story “Under several AAU (Assigned Amount Units) deals agreed with buyers, Ukraine was to have funded more than 500 clean energy and energy efficiency projects by the end of 2012, but the country missed the deadline.”

EEX increases continental energy futures suite
Jonathan Watkins, FOW
The European Energy Exchange (EEX) has launched new Italian power contracts and plans new Belgian and British gas contracts in an aggressive expansion of its continental European offerings, writes Jonathan Watkins. The first day of trading the new Italian contracts this week resulted in 48 trades with a total volume of 994,960 MWh among some ten companies, according to EEX. 

Coal’s Clout Endures in Washington Even as Jobs Decline
Laura Litvan, Bloomberg
Natalie Tennant, the presumptive Democratic nominee for West Virginia’s open U.S. Senate seat, got an earful visiting a company where workers said President Barack Obama’s environmental policies threaten their jobs.
***LB: Also in this story “Though its share of U.S. power generation fell to 38 percent last year from almost half in 2007, it’s still the nation’s No. 1 fuel for making electricity — releasing twice the greenhouse gas emissions of natural gas for the amount of power generated.”

Three-Quarters Of World Bank-Backed Projects Still Don’t Evaluate Climate Risks: Report
Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post
The World Bank is still failing to take climate change into account as it makes decisions about the projects it finances, according to a new report from the nonprofit World Resources Institute. The impacts of climate change were only taken into consideration in a quarter of all projects the bank approved between January 2012 and June 2013.
***LB: Also in this story “For climate-related risks associated with a given project, the report suggests an assessment of the project’s anticipated greenhouse gas emissions, an analysis of ways to cut the project’s emissions, and consideration of potential alternatives that would produce lower greenhouse gases, among other steps.”

New (UK) government fund backs green community projects
A government-backed fund designed to boost investment in environmental and socially beneficial projects has helped leverage £35m of new investment in a variety of schemes across the UK, according to a new analysis published today.

Scientists seek climate-friendly cow of the future
Barney Jopson, The Financial Times 
A White House climate initiative has boosted a quixotic search for the “cow of the future”, a next-generation creature whose greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by anti-methane pills, burp scanners and gas backpacks.
***LB: Also in this story “Carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is the primary man-made gas warming the planet, but methane is far more potent and the US’s biggest source of it is its 88m cattle, which produce more than landfill sites, natural gas leaks or hydraulic fracturing.”

Why are so many veterans serving in the solar industry?
Pierre Bull,
Liz Perez’s dad served in the first Gulf War. And after she enlisted in the Navy and found herself in the second one, “it made me ask a lot of questions about why we were here in the Gulf again.”


Solar Summit
Greentech Media’s flagship annual solar conference that focuses on global market trends, relevant technologies and project finance. With sessions on everything from Latin American market dynamics to BOS innovations, Solar Summit attracts high-level decision makers from all areas of the industry.
April 14-16, 2014
Phoenix, Arizona

Minnesota’s Marquee Solar Event
The Midwest Solar Expo is bringing together solar leaders from across the Midwest to advance dialogue on key issues, provide insight on the latest industry trends and best practices, and serve as a nexus between the solar industry and the public.
May 16, 2014
Minneapolis, Minnesota 


Sweden scales up CO2 credit buying to fund cleaner cooking in Africa
Sweden has agreed to buy at least 4 million U.N.-backed carbon credits at above market rates from projects that will distribute more than half a million household cookers across African nations, the government said on Wednesday.

Is Cap And Trade A Financial And Environmental Solution For Illinois?
Sean Crawford,
An Illinois professor says state government could improve it’s financial predicament and lower greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. 

Natural Gas/Coal

Morgan Stanley says coal exporters making loss as estimates cut
Ben Sharples, Bloomberg 
Coal producers may need to cut exports of the steel-making variety after the lowest contract settlement with Asian buyers in seven years made more than half of global shipments uneconomical, according to Morgan Stanley.

U.S. natural gas exports poised for takeoff despite debate
Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
The export gas rush is on. From the Pacific Northwest to the Mid-Atlantic to the Gulf states, companies are moving forward with plans to export U.S. natural gas despite controversy over the impact on prices and pollution.

South Africa Shale-Boom Outcome Won’t Mirror Mining Says ANC
Franz Wild and Amogelang Mbatha, Bloomberg
South Africa will make sure its population benefits when it develops its shale gas and offshore oil industries and won’t repeat the errors it made with mining, said Zweli Mkhize, treasurer of the ruling party.
***: Also in this story “Companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total SA (FP) have said the law will deter investment.”

INSIGHT-Ride to lower costs for LNG-run trucks rockier than expected
Julie Gordon, Reuters 
Just over a year ago, Canadian trucking firm Bison Transport took a bet on a potentially game changing technology, buying 15 big rigs powered by liquefied natural gas.

Amid showdown with energy-rich Russia, calls rise in Europe to start fracking
Griff Witte and Anthony Faiola, The Washington Post
Europe’s newest weapon in the battle of wills with Russian President Vladimir Putin lies buried deep beneath the ancient oaks and rolling green pastures of this quintessentially English village.


Wind farms can reduce house prices by up to 12 per cent, says LSE
Patrick Collinson, the Guardian
Large wind farms can knock as much as 12 per cent off the values of homes within a 2km radius, and reduce property prices as far as 14km away, according to research by the London School of Economics.

Western Australia wave energy project on the brink of commercialisation
Oliver Milman, The Guardian
Australia could be set for a breakthrough in energy derived from waves, following the launch a major new project in Western Australia. Carnegie Wave Energy unveiled three large buoys in Perth on Wednesday as part of a new $70 million technology which will feed energy into the Australian grid later this year.




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