Today is carbon tax day. As the market falters, the World Bank wants to expand a plan to rescue emission projects, while Forbes says why a tax on carbon can help climate change – and the economy. Also, food for thought, with an interesting story on the linkages between disrupted ecosystems and human illness, in the context of Ebola.
Quote of the day
“It’s a good idea, because the incentive is missing in today’s market.”
Marten von Velsen-Zerweck, managing partner at Nserve GmbH, a developer of credits in Hamburg, in the Bloomberg’s story World Bank to Expand Plan to Rescue Emission Projects
World Bank to Expand Plan to Rescue Emission Projects
Mathew Carr, Bloomberg
The World Bank seeks to expand a plan to buy emission credits from projects including those that capture heat-trapping gas at garbage dumps, underpinning demand in the carbon markets for the first time in nine years.
***LB: Also in this story “The proposal would initially use options to help spur about $100 million in government donations to a World Bank methane-reducing facility.”
Why A Tax On Carbon Can Help Climate Change – And The Economy
Victor Lipman, Forbes
I recently read a thought-provoking interview with Harvard professor of economics Dale Jorgenson, “Time To Tax Carbon,” the cover story in the September issue of Harvard Magazine.
Hawaii’s energy efficiency auction challenges innovators
Sustainable Business News
To boost innovations in energy efficiency, Hawaii Energy is conducting what may be the first efficiency auction.
***LB: Also in this story “Open to companies that offer efficiency services and property managers and developers, the program will compete for $2.1 million in funding that offsets project costs.”
Poll: Voters skeptical of fed’s energy agenda
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
A poll released Tuesday by the conservative group American Energy Alliance (AEA) found that 65 percent of likely voters want their state, not the federal government, to decide what energy sources power their electricity supply.
Russia aims to choke off gas re-exports to Ukraine
Christian Oliver and Courtney Weaver, Financial Times
Moscow is seeking to prevent its European customers re-exporting Russian gas to Ukraine, threatening to choke off a crucial lifeline for Kiev and deepen the energy crunch it faces this winter.
As Europe braces for Russian gas cuts, some traders bet on peace
Oleg Vukmanovic and Henning Gloystein, Reuters
As the conflict in Ukraine heads toward the winter, Europe’s politicians are braced for supply disruptions from its biggest provider, Russia, yet some energy traders sense an opportunity if peace prevails and the gas keeps flowing.
Renault and Bolloré bet on electric cars
Michael Stothard, Financial Times
French billionaire Vincent Bolloré and carmaker Renault are teaming up to make electric cars in a bet on a pick-up in demand for emission-free vehicles and the expansion of “green” urban car hire schemes.
Japan’s Nuclear Regulator Gives Final Safety Approval To Two Reactors At Kyushu’s Sendai Plant
Sneha Shankar, International Business Times
Japan’s atomic regulator Wednesday gave its final safety approval to restart two reactors at the Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc’s Sendai plant, in the country’s south. Both reactors at the plant had been shut down, along with 48 others across the country, after the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant disaster in 2011.
Power Plants Heading Out to Sea in Post-Fukushima Japan
Masumi Suga and Chisaki Watanabe, Bloomberg News
One of the biggest hurdles to building new power plants in Japan is finding a place that’s safe from earthquakes and tsunamis. That place may turn out to be 30 miles at sea.
***LB: Also in this story “Sevan Marine ASA, a Norwegian builder of offshore oil-drilling vessels, is proposing a $1.5 billion natural gas-fired power plant that will float on a cylindrical platform bigger than a football field moored off the Japanese coast.”
A Closer Look at the Ebola Epidemic in the Context of Ecological Health
Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times
The Ebola epidemic continues to rage in West Africa, and while it is very unlikely to reach pandemic scale (see The Economist), the outbreak provides a reminder of the linkages between disrupted ecosystems and human illness.
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
UK carbon budgets to make each household £565 a year better off
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Each household in the UK will be an average of £565 a year better off by 2030 if the UK government sticks to the carbon budgets set out as part of the Climate Change Act – and that is before you even consider the climate change benefits that may result from decarbonisation.
Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984
Matt McGrath, BBC News
A surge in atmospheric CO2 saw levels of greenhouse gases reach record levels in 2013, according to new figures.
Before carbon is counted, policy indicators offer way to measure REDD+ progress
Imogen Badgery-Parker, Forest News
Countries can measure their progress in REDD+ by assessing their policy environment, even if supportive governance structures are not in place and they aren’t ready to measure their carbon emission reductions, a recent study shows.
Natural gas / coal
The Environmental Perils of China’s Coal-to-Synthetic Gas Plans
Christina Larson, Bloomberg Businessweek
Recently China dramatically revised downward its ambitions for producing shale gas—slashing in half a target of producing more than 60 billion cubic meters annually by 2020, to just 30 billion cm.
***LB: Also in this story “Sinopec has just announced a $10 billion investment in coal-to-gas technology.”
Coal Turbulence Offers Modi Shot at Rekindling Indian Economy
Rajesh Kumar Singh and Rakteem Katakey, Bloomberg
A court ruling that shook India’s coal industry may offer Prime Minister Narendra Modi a chance to get nearer his goal of eliminating blackouts that hamper Asia’s third-largest economy.
It’s time for the EU to end the era of dirty coal power
Joss Garman, RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
With his historic ruling to directly regulate dirty coal-fired power stations off the US power network, President Obama sent an unequivocal signal to the world that the era of unlimited carbon pollution indefinitely spewing from American power stations is over.
***LB: Also in this story “Since 2010, coal use across the EU rose by 6%.”
EEX New Participant Natural Gas: Société Génerale
Société Génerale has additionally been admitted to trading on the Gas Spot Market in the product TTF.
US Solar Makes Up Over Half Of New Generating Capacity
Joshua S. Hill, Clean Technica
The US solar industry has enjoyed a relatively strong quarter in the first half of 2014, despite trade disputes endangering projects currently in the pipeline.
EEX New Participant Power: BKW Energie AG
BKW Energie AG has additionally been admitted to trading on the Power Derivatives Market in the product French Financial Power Futures.
Nevada lawmakers gathering for special session on Tesla tax breaks
Sandra Chereb, Reuters
Nevada lawmakers are set to convene a special legislative session in Carson City on Wednesday to consider a package of tax breaks estimated at up to $1.3 billion aimed at cementing a deal with Tesla Motors Inc for a $5 billion battery plant.
Tesla And Toyota – Reunited, and It Feels So Good
John Divine, InvestorPlace Media
Modern-day Renaissance man Elon Musk, 43, is a distinct exception to the old cynical phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” While probably best known for his role as the CEO of electric-car manufacturer Tesla, he is also simultaneously the CEO of space transport service SpaceX.
California generates 40% of U.S. plug-in car sales, report says
California drivers are fueling the sale of rechargeable cars in the U.S. with more than 100,000 sold in the state in the last four years, representing about 40 percent of the domestic plug-in market.
Hopes for a Strong El Niño Fade in California
Henry Fountain, The New York Times
Long-term weather forecasters say it is now unlikely that a strong El Niño will develop this fall, dimming hopes in California for heavy rains that might bring relief from a severe drought.
Chicago Water Bonds Seen Shielded From Pension Woes: Muni Credit
Elizabeth Campbell and Brian Chappatta, Bloomberg
Chicago, bearing the biggest pension burden among the nation’s most-indebted localities, is selling water bonds for the first time since 2012. Investors say the deal’s strengths outweigh the city’s fiscal woes.
Water Benefit Standard Launches At World Water Week
Kelli Barrett, Ecosystem Marketplace
Most people associate environmental consultancy First Climate with carbon footprinting and greenhouse-gas neutrality, but as its clients began asking about water risk, CEO Sascha Lafeld began digging for answers. That was about three years ago.
Mussels don’t stick around in acidic ocean water
Miguel Llanos, The Daily Climate
Cookie tray in hand and lifejacket around chest, Laura Newcomb looks more like a confused baker than a marine biologist. But the University of Washington researcher is dressed for work.
House votes to kill EPA water rule
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
A wet blanket: The House voted late Tuesday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing its proposal to clarify which waterways its jurisdiction covers.
The Earth is warming
C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
The world is undoubtedly warming. The Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by about 1.4°F (0.8°C) since the late 1800s.
Audubon: Climate change threatens hundreds of bird species
Timothy Cama, The Hill
A new report from a bird advocacy group paints a stark picture of the future of North America’s birds, predicting that nearly half of the species living on the continent would lose significant parts of their habitats by 2080.
***LB: Also in this story “Changed climate and weather patterns will threaten well-known birds like the bald eagle, common loon, Baltimore oriole and brown pelican”