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JLN Environmental/Energy: Big banks weigh risks, rewards of California’s new CO2 market; New government may raise Quebec’s carbon target; UN’s CDM offset scheme issues one billionth carbon credit

In this edition, climate market coverage with Reuters’ “Big banks weigh risks, rewards of California’s new CO2 market” and “New government may raise Quebec’s carbon target” Plus, political topics tackled in The New York Times’ “Obama Counterpunches on Climate Change” and Business Green’s “President Obama: ‘Climate change is not a hoax’

Quote of the Day:

“We’ve been trading in Europe for years, so we have a deep understanding of carbon right now. To replicate this in California is a no-brainer for us.”

–Anthony D’Agostino, director of emissions markets for the Royal Bank of Canada, in Reuters’ “Big banks weigh risks, rewards of California’s new CO2 market”

Lead Stories

Big banks weigh risks, rewards of California’s new CO2 market
Reuters
Major banks are weighing whether to wade into the California carbon market, which experts believe could grow into a $40 billion a year market by 2020, but one that is also loaded with risk and uncertainty.
http://jlne.ws/TEXbBd
**RKB — Canada-based Scotiabank is the most active bank in the market at this point.

New government may raise Quebec’s carbon target
Reuters
Quebec’s new government would not change the province’s plans to launch a carbon market that would link to California’s next year, but its new leadership may try to raise its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
http://jlne.ws/RMhwEg
**RKB – Key quote, perhaps: “It’s quite certain they (PQ) will raise it (the target) to -25 percent. It’s in their electoral platform and they are well committed to do it,” said Patrick Bonin, climate and energy director for the Quebec Association for the Fight Against Air Pollution.

UN’s CDM offset scheme issues one billionth carbon credit
Business Green
The UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) offset scheme reached a major milestone earlier today with the issuance of its billionth officially approved Certified Emission Reduction (CER) carbon credit.
http://jlne.ws/OkaTtQ

UN Emission-Credit Option Plunges to Record After Trades
Bloomberg
The price of an option to buy United Nations Certified Emission Reduction credits at 2.50 euros ($3.17) a metric ton plunged 21 percent to a record after 9.3 million tons changed hands over the past two days.
http://jlne.ws/TysGP3

EOG Says U.S. Fracking Rule to Cost $1.5 Billion a Year
Bloomberg
The Obama administration’s plan to tighten regulation of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas on public land may cost more than 20 times U.S. estimates, energy companies and local governments said.
http://jlne.ws/TES04q

Obama Counterpunches on Climate Change
The New York Times
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, took a not-too-subtle jab at President Obama in his convention speech last week, mocking Mr. Obama’s soaring 2008 campaign language about rolling back the rising seas and healing the planet. Mr. Romney’s gibe drew thunderous applause from the Republican delegates, many of whom express doubt about the existence of climate change.
http://jlne.ws/TzsEGB

President Obama: ‘Climate change is not a hoax’
Business Green                                                 
President Barack Obama gave hope to green businesses last night, telling the Democratic National Convention that “climate change is not a hoax” and promising to accelerate investment in renewable energy.
http://jlne.ws/PULnXL

Environment Secretary commits to ‘explore’ UK climate change response
Business Green
Questions over whether or not the new Environment Secretary Owen Paterson regards addressing climate change as a priority for his department remain unanswered, after the government released a statement that failed to address media reports that he is widely regarded as a “climate sceptic”.
http://jlne.ws/P8LPRH

Russia and Japan in Agreement on Natural Gas Deal
The New York Times
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled gas monopoly, signed an accord on Saturday with the government of Japan to move forward with plans for the construction of a $13 billion natural gas terminal here that would propel the Kremlin’s ambitions to multiply its business and trade ties in the Far East.
http://jlne.ws/RMGqDL
**RKB – Additional coverage in Natural Gas section

Environmentalists and indigenous people against carbon offset trading
Latin America Press
Central American environmentalists and indigenous people are intensifying efforts to prevent governments in the region from participating in a program promoted by the World Bank that seeks to include these countries in the carbon credits market, claiming it will have deleterious effects on the environment and the people.
http://jlne.ws/Ru0Wu5

Asia-Pacific nations pledge growth, fret over economy
Reuters
Asia-Pacific nations including China, the United States and Japan promised measures to boost growth on Sunday and rejected limits on food exports to try to revive the flagging global economy.
http://jlne.ws/Qx1r4B
**RKB – This is a broad article but includes: the groups endorsed a list of 54 environmental goods on which import duties will be reduced to no more than 5 percent by 2015, including equipment for renewable energy, waste treatment and environmental monitoring.

Asia-Pacific Forum to Cut Import Duties for Green Technologies
Reuters
Asia-Pacific nations have made a breakthrough in promoting trade in green technologies, and the United States is pressing ahead with efforts to carve out a regional free-trade zone, a senior U.S. official said Friday.
http://jlne.ws/S1gh0e

US, Canada update Great Lakes agreement for first time in 25 years
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The United States and Canada updated a binational pact that takes a more “prevention-oriented” approach to the Great Lakes than previous versions, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson said Friday.
http://jlne.ws/QuerKr

Events

GreenGov Symposium
ACCO & White House Council on Environmental Quality
September 24-25, 2012
http://jlne.ws/OfOB9D

Carbon Forum North America
October 1-2, 2012
Washington, DC
http://jlne.ws/zDe43B

Sustainability Summit – Innovation Challenge
October 9, 2012
New York
http://jlne.ws/wKbX7U

EMA  2012 Fall Meeting
**Keynote speaker is Richard Sandor
October 24 – October 26, 2012
Santa Monica, CA
http://jlne.ws/NIFCwM

Carbon

COLUMN-Shell CO2 capture bets on emissions targets: Gerard Wynn
Reuters
Royal Dutch Shell’s investment in a carbon capture plant at its tar sands facility in Alberta shows the company recognises the threat of climate policies targeting unconventional oil.
http://jlne.ws/SvorEu

Australia scraps dirty power station closure plan
Reuters
Australia on Wednesday abandoned plans to pay the country’s dirtiest power generators billions of dollars to shut down production after failing to agree a price, but the government said the move would not derail its carbon reduction policy.
http://jlne.ws/P20KP5

Natural Gas/Coal

Russia’s Putin rules out trade war with EU over Gazprom
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday dismissed any talk of a trade war with Europe over a European Commission competition investigation into state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom.
http://jlne.ws/NUdNp3

Massive Mining Deal on Rocks
The Wall Street Journal
The biggest corporate deal of the year, part of a global scramble to control commodities, turned into a power play after a sweetened offer to salvage the merger.
http://jlne.ws/OjMkxd

Factbox: Glencore and Xstrata
Reuters
Glencore has raised its bid for miner Xstrata in an 11th-hour effort to rescue one of the sector’s largest ever deals from collapse after opposition from rival shareholder Qatar.
http://jlne.ws/OjM2Gl

Hess to Sell Azerbaijan Assets for $1 Billion
The Wall Street Journal
Hess Corp. HES +4.09% said it agreed to sell some minority stakes in fields in Azerbaijan to India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. 500312.BY -0.29% for $1 billion, as the oil-and-gas producer works to sell off small holdings in mature assets.
http://jlne.ws/OjMapl

South Africa Lifts Fracking Ban
The Wall Street Journal
South Africa’s government said Friday it has lifted a moratorium on shale-gas exploration in an isolated, nature-rich region, though any production is still many years away.
http://jlne.ws/TEZMuV

Power

Romanian Utility on Black Sea Seeks Water System Bids
Bloomberg
Raja SA, a water utility on the Black Sea in Romania’s Constanta county, is seeking bids to upgrade about 56 million lei ($16 million) of water and sewage systems, a European Union procurement document showed.
http://jlne.ws/U3ew48

Australia’s NSW Pledges Streamlined Renewables Planning Process
Bloomberg
New South Wales, Australia’s most- populous state, promised to streamline planning and improve network connections to attract renewable energy investment.
http://jlne.ws/TytcMX

Carlyle to Buy Cogentrix Energy Assets From Goldman Sachs
Bloomberg
The Carlyle Group agreed to buy energy assets from Goldman Sachs Group-backed Cogentrix, expanding its power asset management and operating expertise.
http://jlne.ws/UCtBfg

EDF Completes Cable Needed for Tidal-Energy Farm Set for 2014
Bloomberg
Electricite de France SA completed installing an underwater cable that will connect to seabed turbines off Brittany’s coast, putting the utility’s tidal energy farm on schedule for power production in 2014.
http://jlne.ws/U3eJV2

Solar support set to be cut again
Business Green
The government today proposed new subsidy rates for solar power will ensure the technology plays an important role in boosting the UK’s energy security and tackling climate change.
http://jlne.ws/SvXxfS

U.S. may fight Solyndra tax breaks in bankruptcy plan
Reuters
The U.S. government is gearing up for a politically charged fight over Solyndra’s bankruptcy plan, as the former solar panel maker supported by President Barack Obama revealed a further $23 million in potential tax breaks for its venture capital backers.
http://jlne.ws/TG2OPD

Utilities beat back community solar bill in California                               
Grist.org
One of the big pieces of a future that makes sense is an energy system that involves clean power, less waste, more intelligence, and a wider distribution of economic benefits. (Think locally owned solar panels hooked into a smart grid.) I lump all that under the term “distributed energy” and have been making fitful efforts to track some of the battles going on around it.
http://jlne.ws/NUfzXh

California’s solar energy passes a milestone
Sacramento Bee
California surpassed a major milestone during a recent heat wave, hitting more than 1,000 megawatts of solar power generation. That’s equal to the production of two large gas-fired power plants.
http://jlne.ws/PUOgIi

Small-scale, distributed renewables: tiny, but growing fast around the world                       
Grist.org
I want to follow up to make the point that, despite that one setback, distributed energy is spreading quickly and has enormous potential. (Reminder: Distributed energy is small-scale power sources, usually “behind the meter,” often owned by individuals or companies or community groups instead of utilities, connected by an intelligent grid. Yes, I need a snappier summary.)
http://jlne.ws/RMisZk

GOP Rep. Steve King defends biofuels, opposes government intervention
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said during a Thursday debate that he wants “government to get out of the way” of markets, but then praised the renewable fuels industry — which is propped up by a government mandate — for providing Iowa jobs.
http://jlne.ws/P2N8D7

 

Reports

Beyond the bluster: Why wind power is an effective technology (Posted Aug. 30, 2012)
IPPR
http://jlne.ws/UeZB9b

Carbon Tax Revenue and the Budget Deficit: A Win-Win Solution? (Posted Aug. 27, 2012)
MIT
http://jlne.ws/Ri3So8

The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (Posted Aug. 21, 2012)
Ceres
http://jlne.ws/ONwe8M

EPA REGULATIONS AND ELECTRICITY (Posted Aug. 16, 2012)
GAO
http://jlne.ws/NHwlos

European Power & Renewables Deals: Quarterly M&A outlook (Posted August 15, 2012)
Pricewaterhousecoopers
http://jlne.ws/TFZjaV

Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future (Posted August 6, 2012)
http://jlne.ws/MA2U6I

Benchmarking Air Emissions Of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States (Posted July 31, 2012)
http://jlne.ws/QbRr0J

Per capita CO2 emissions in China reached European level (July 18, 2012)
http://jlne.ws/NAjBQQ

The Interim Regulation of Voluntary Greenhouse Gases Emission Trading in China (Posted July 10, 2012)
The Climate Group
http://jlne.ws/Mhv62s

View all reports >

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About Author

Koning Beals is a contributing editor to JLN Environmental/Energy.