Thursday, January 21, 2016



The Nov. 28th - Dec. 4th, 2015 issue of The Economist has a 14-page special report on climate change on pp. 3 through 16, titled Hot and Bothered.  The topics covered include: the science of climate change, public opinion, energy, adaptation, biodiversity, geoengineering, and the way forward.  Here are a few selected quotations:  “The IMF warns that human fortunes “will evaporate like water under a relentless sun” if climate change is not checked soon.”  The most important greenhouse gas is water vapor.”  (The amount of it in the atmosphere increases with the global average temperature.)  “A giant opinion-gathering exercise carried ut by the United Nations finds that people in highly developed countries view climate change as the tenth most important issue out of a list of 16 …  In poor countries … climate change comes 16th our of 16.”  In the U.S., views are quite different based on political party.  When asked for their views, people tend to hear the question as, “Whose side are you on?”
Although the CO2 emissions of China are now greater that those of the U.S. or the EU, the emissions per capita (in metric tons in 2014) were about 6 for China, 8 for the EU, and 17 for the U.S..  Economists insist that “The best way to tackle climate change .. is through a global carbon tax.”  (emphasis added) “William Nordhaus, a climate economist at Yale University, calculates that if every country in the world were to tax carbon, temperatures could be held to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels at a cost of 1-2% of world income per year.”

NOTE: Reprints of the special report are available for $7.00 each, with a minimum of five copies.  For more information contact Jill Kaletha at Foster Printing Service at 866-879-9144 Ext. 168 or

The December issue of Scientific American has an editorial and a some articles on climate change.  The editorial, on p. 10, is titled The Price of Pollution.  The online title is A Tax on Carbon Pollution Can Benefit Business.
It says, “In British Columbia, air pollution dwindles while the economy grows. The Canadian province began to tax fossil-fuel users, ranging from utility companies to car drivers, in 2008. Since then, the economy has grown by an average of nearly 2 percent a year, despite a big national recession through 2009, outpacing the rest of Canada. The use of gasoline, coal and other carbon-based fuels has dropped 16 percent during the same period, reducing greenhouse gas pollution. Today the carbon levy is $30 (Canadian) per metric ton; in exchange, both companies and individuals get income tax cuts and other savings.
British Columbia copied this idea from its oil-producing neighbor, Alberta. The time is now right for the U.S. to copy them both and put a price on carbon pollution (emphasis added).  Coal, gas and oil are so cheap at present that even with an added tax, fuel costs will remain lower than what people and companies paid just a few years ago.
This is basic market economics: put a monetary value on the use of the sky, and people will not treat it like a free dump.”
After discussing both a direct carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system for putting a price on carbon emissions, the editor wrote, “If the word “tax” remains too frightening for politicians, there is another way, albeit a less direct one, to make an honest carbon market: stop spending tax dollars on subsidies for fossil fuels. (emphasis added)  More than half a trillion dollars are spent around the world making coal, gas and oil cheaper for businesses to find or consumers to burn, according to the International Monetary Fund. These gifts make fossil fuels appear falsely inexpensive. Any approach that stops obscuring the real price, whether it be a tax, a cap or a subsidy reform, would help clear the air.”

A second article in the December Scientific American on p. 12 by Michael Mann (Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University) was titled Two Degrees of Freedom.  In the online article the title is Meeting a Global Carbon Limit Is Cheaper Than Avoiding One.
He wrote, “It is a steep hill to climb if the world is to avoid warming the earth's surface by no more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the limit beyond which we will seriously harm the planet.” 
“Yet some critics have declared that the so-called 2° C target is impossible, saying we cannot deploy the technologies needed to decarbonize the economy in time. But we can. The obstacle is not a physical one—it is one of political and societal will.  (emphasis added)
Nobody has said it will be easy. More than 70 climate experts who advised the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change said limiting global warming to below 2° C “necessitates a radical transition … not merely a fine tuning of current trends.”
We can emit only 300 billion more tons (270 billion more metric tons) of carbon into the atmosphere and keep warming below 2° C. At the current emissions rate of more than 10 billion tons a year, we will burn through this “carbon budget” in just three decades. According to one recent analysis, staying below 2° C would require that a third of all proved reserves of oil, half of all natural gas and 80 percent of coal remain in the ground.”
Mann concludes with “The cost of taking action is only half as much as the cost of inaction. This is not the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It comes from ExxonMobil, which has pegged the true cost of carbon to society at $60 a ton. Other estimates are even higher. Can we afford to stabilize planetary warming below two degrees C? We can't afford not to.”

NOTE: The 300 billion more tons of carbon that Mann says we can put into the atmosphere before exceeding  2° C of global warming, corresponds to 1100 tons (1000 metric tons) of  CO2.  This assumes that the climate sensitivity - the global average temperature change for doubling the CO2 concentration from 280 ppm in preindustrial times to 560 ppm is 3° C.  Some scientists have suggested that the climate sensitivity might be has high as 6° C for a doubling.

A third article in the December Scientific American, beginning on p. 74 by Naomi Oreskes is titled, How to Break the Climate Deadlock, in the magazine and Without Government, the Marketplace Will Not Solve Climate Change online.
She writes, American rejection of climate action is based on suspicion of big government, often expressed as a threat to freedom.  Free markets will not solve climate change by themselves; they have failed to account for the damage done by carbon emissions to people and the environment.  A carbon tax, or emissions-trading system, could slow climate change, but government is needed to create those systems.  History shows that government is also needed to create and fund major technological innovations of the scale required to solve climate change. For that to happen, Americans will have to stop demonizing government.”
In a properly functioning market, people pay the true cost of the goods and services they use. If I dump my garbage in your backyard, you are right to insist that I pay for that privilege, assuming you are willing to let me do it at all. And if you do not insist, you can be pretty sure that I will keep on dumping my garbage there. In our markets today, people are dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere without paying for that privilege. This is a market failure. To correct that failure, carbon emissions must have an associated cost that reflects the toll they take on people and the environment. (emphasis added)  A price on carbon would encourage individuals, innovators and investors to seek alternatives, such as solar and wind power, that do not cause carbon pollution.”
“To build a better world, we first have to seek it. This requires a different vision, one that embraces priorities other than profit and places care—for creation and for one another—at its center. We have to accept the reality that markets are not motivated by the priority of care.”
Elizabeth Kolbert posted a Letter from Florida in the Dec. 21 issue of the New Yorker Magazine, titled, The Siege of Miami - As temperatures climb, so too, will sea levels.  She describes meeting and touring with Hal Wanless, the chairman of the University of Miami’s geological-sciences department.  She wrote, “To cope with its recurrent flooding, Miami Beach has already spent something like a hundred million dollars. It is planning on spending several hundred million more. Such efforts are, in Wanless’s view, so much money down the drain. Sooner or later—and probably sooner—the city will have too much water to deal with. Even before that happens, Wanless believes, insurers will stop selling policies on the luxury condos that line Biscayne Bay. Banks will stop writing mortgages.”
There is a lot of uncertainty about how much sea levels will rise by 2100 - mostly because of the inability to predict what will happen to the great polar ice sheets.  
“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sea levels could rise by more than three feet by the end of this century. The United States Army Corps of Engineers projects that they could rise by as much as five feet; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts up to six and a half feet. According to Wanless, all these projections are probably low. In his office, Wanless keeps a jar of meltwater he collected from the Greenland ice sheet. He likes to point out that there is plenty more where that came from.”
“Many geologists, we’re looking at the possibility of a ten-to-thirty-foot range by the end of the century,” he told me.”  (emphasis added)
“Low-end forecasts, like the I.P.C.C.’s, assume that the contribution from the ice sheets will remain relatively stable through the end of the century. High-end projections, like NOAA’s, assume that ice-melt will accelerate as the earth warms (as, under any remotely plausible scenario, the planet will continue to do at least through the end of this century, and probably beyond). Recent observations, meanwhile, tend to support the most worrisome scenarios.”
Ironically, people are flocking to South Florida, and the Republican governor doesn’t believe in climate science, and has joined a group of other states in a lawsuit to keep the EPA from reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fire power plants.  Will wonders never cease?
Dana Nuccitelli posted an article in the Guardian on Jan. 4 titled, 95% consensus of expert economists: cut carbon pollution.  She wrote, The Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University (NYU) School of Law recently published a report summarizing a survey of economists with climate expertise. The report was a follow-up and expansion of a similar survey conducted in 2009 by the same institute. The key finding: there’s a strong consensus among climate economics experts that we should put a price on carbon pollution to curb the expensive costs of climate change.”  (emphasis added)
“The survey participants included economists who have published papers related to climate change “in a highly ranked, peer-reviewed economics or environmental economics journal since 1994.” Overall, 365 participants completed the survey, which established the consensus of expert climate economists on a number of important questions.”
“In the 2015 survey, the number of expert economists saying that the US should cut its emissions no matter what rose to 77%. A further 18% said that if other countries agree to cut their emissions, the US should follow suit. In other words, there is a 95% consensus among expert climate economists that the US should follow through with its pledges to cut carbon pollution in the wake of the Paris international climate negotiations, and more than three out of four agreed that the US should take action to curb global warming no matter what.”
Contrary to Marco Rubio’s claim on the presidential campaign train the cutting carbon emissions will hurt the economy, economists are worried that if we fail to cut carbon pollution and instead continue with business-as-usual, it will badly stunt economic growth and may potentially lead to catastrophic economic consequences.  (emphasis added)
However, we can still solve the problem while creating jobs and growing the economy, if our political leaders will listen to the economic experts and their voters. So far, convincing Republican Party leaders to listen to an expert climate consensus has been a fruitless task, but there are signs that the party is starting to move in the right direction.”
NOTE: This is an important article that everyone should read.
On Jan. 6 Rebecca Lindsey at NOAA’s site posted an article titled, Every U.S. state warmer than 20th-century average in 2015  She reported that the average temperature over the U.S. was 54.4° F - 2.4° F above the 20th century average, the second warmest year on record.  The warmest average for the U.S. was in 2012.  A map shows that the greatest contribution to the increase in the 2015 average was in the West.
On Jan. 12 Joby Warrick published an article in The Washington Post titled, Mysterious mass deaths of Alaskan Common Murres baffles scientists.  He writes, Tens of thousands of dead birds are washing up on the beaches of Alaska’s Prince William Sound, an unexplained mass die-off that some experts say may be related to the changing climate.
The birds, all of a species known as the common murre, appear to have starved to death, federal wildlife officials say, suggesting disruptions to the supply of herring and other fish that make up the birds’ diet.
A survey by wildlife officials earlier in the month  counted more than 8,000 dead murres on the shores of one beach near Whittier, about 60 miles southeast of Anchorage. Local news video showed bodies of the black-and-white birds scattered on the beach and floating in the water offshore.
Biologists who have examined the birds say they appear emaciated.
“We know they are starving. Their stomachs are empty,” said Robb Kaler, a seabird biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage.”
Wildlife officials say it’s not yet known why the birds are starving. One possible explanation is that the birds’ usual food source — herring and other small fish usually found near the coast in dense schools — are either not as plentiful or are behaving differently, perhaps because of unusual weather the region has experienced in recent years. The waters off Alaska’s southern coast have been unusually warm since 2014, and this year El Nino weather pattern has led to further warming. A 2008 scientific study  found that mortality rates for the murre tend to increase in years when water temperatures are even slightly above normal.”

On Jan. 13 the Lawrence Berkeley Nation Lab (NBNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory held a webinar titled, A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards, focusing on 2013  The entire 67-minute webinar, including the slides and audio recording, the complete report, and a Factsheet are available at the website above.  The webinar was recorded on YouTube.  The prior study in the series, titled A Survey of State Level Cost and Benefit Estimates of Renewable Portfolio Standards was published in 2014.  Generally the state RPSs reduce the cost of electricity, save consumers money, improve public health, and provide more jobs in renewable energy technologies than are lost in fossil fuel industries.
On Jan. 15 Nate Delesline posted an article in the Hanpton Roads Business Journal titled, All the power you need: Business leaders, advocates charged up about energy development outlook.  He writes about the progress of the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP), which would bring two 6-megawatt, power-generating wind turbines about 25 miles off the shores of  Virginia Beach. The group is consulting with companies from Germany, England, Norway and Denmark, where offshore wind is well established, with decades of experience.
NOTE: It’s about time that the U.S. developed its huge renewable energy resource in offshore wind.  The largest barrier has been the lack of a coherent long-term national energy policy - with on-again off-again Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) and Production Tax Credits (PTCs) that have driven investors overseas.
On Jan 19 the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication issued a report titled, Faith, Morality and the Environment: Portraits of Global Warming’s Six Americas.  The 49-page report says, Recent months have witnessed an evolution in public discourse on global warming.  Typically discussed in the news media as a scientific, environmental or political issue, global warming is being reframed as a moral and spiritual issue by religious leaders – most notably by Pope Francis. Americans are now hearing that global warming will have severe impacts on the world's poor; that it violates divine dictates on the treatment of nature; and that it mandates a concerted response from all nations in the name of social justice and God's will.
Faith communities carrying this message are potentially powerful voices on climate change – voices that have been largely silent on the issue until recently. The call from religious leaders for a moral perspective on climate change is growing, however. For example, Pope Francis’s teachings about climate change’s disproportionate impact on the world's poor have attracted widespread media attention. Faith leaders from many other traditions are speaking out on the issue as well, including Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Episcopalians, and Jews. Interdenominational organizations, such as Interfaith Power & Light, are serving as forums for collaborative efforts.”
“Global Warming's Six Americas are six audiences within the American public that share similar views on global warming. The groups range along a spectrum of belief and concern from the Alarmed, who are firmly convinced that global warming is real, human-caused and dangerous, through the Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged and Doubtful to the Dismissive, who are convinced global warming is not real and is likely to be a scientific hoax.”

“Together, the results demonstrate that many Americans who are not currently concerned about global warming, nonetheless believe we should care for other people and the environment, but have yet to recognize that reducing global warming will help both. As the majority prefer religious over scientific explanations, a moral perspective on global warming by religious leaders such as Pope Francis may reach segments of the U.S. public that have yet to engage with the issue.”

NOTE: The key finding of the report is that most Americans are concerned about the welfare of their own children and the poor, and see themselves as religious people - even if they don’t believe the climate science.

On Jan. 20 Jim Hansen at co-workers at the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program at Columbia University posted a paper titled, Global Temperature in 2015, which says that the global average temperature was the highest ever measured, and that global warming since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution has now reached 1° C (nearly 2° F), with most of it taking place during the past 30 years.  You can sign up for Hansen’s blog on his website.
On Jan. 20 NOVA broadcast for the first time a documentary titled, Mystery Beneath the Ice.  The description of the 60-minute show, which can apparently be downloaded, is: A research mission to the Antarctica explores what may be behind the plummeting population of the krill, a transparent, shrimp-like creature that's an important cog in the Antarctic ecosystem. Since the 1970s, the krill numbers have declined, though no one knows why. One theory: the krill's life cycle is linked to the seasonal increase and decline of the Antarctic ice pack, which has been altered by climate change.”
The show said that the decline of the krill is having serious impacts on the marine animals - penguins, seals and whales - that depend on it as their primary source of food.  The krill larvae depend on feeding on microorganisms on the bottom surfaces of the floating ice sheets during the Antarctic winter when there is no sunlight for photosynthesis at high southern latitudes.  The temperature on the West Antartic Peninsula has been increasing five times as fast as the global average surface temperature - greatly reducing the area of sea ice during parts of the year.

The following items are from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Carol Werner, Executive Director. Past issues of its newsletter are posted on its website under "publications"
EESI’s newsletter is intended for all interested parties, particularly the policymaker community. 

pastedGraphic.pdfWashington State Proposes New Carbon Emissions Regulations

On January 6, the Washington State Department of Ecology proposed a new regulation to require the state's largest industrial emitters of carbon dioxide to cut their emissions by five percent every three years. The draft regulation, called the Clean Air Rule, would affect all refineries, power plants, natural gas distributors, manufacturing plants and other industrial plants that emit a minimum of 100,000 metric tons of carbon annually. There are approximately 25 such facilities in the state. "It's important that we act now to protect our water supplies, infrastructure and economy for future generations," stated Department of Ecology director Maia Bellon. The rule is expected to be finalized this summer.

For more information see:

California Declares Emergency over Methane Gas Leak

On January 7, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over the continued release of methane from a ruptured natural gas well at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site, 25 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The leak has released more than 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere since its initial rupture on October 23, 2015. Methane is a very powerful global warming pollutant, and warms the atmosphere 84 times more than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. Thousands of residents in the nearby Porter Ranch area have left their homes due to health complications from breathing the natural gas fumes. The leak is the largest natural gas leak in the United States to date, and is currently the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in California.

For more information see:

pastedGraphic_1.pdfWeather Makes Up Majority of 2015 Insurance Claims

On January 4, Munich RE, the world's largest reinsurer, released an analysis showing that insurers paid out about $27 billion in natural disaster claims in 2015, with weather-related disasters causing 94 percent of the claims. Despite this, insurance companies saw the lowest losses since 2009, with claims decreasing $4 billion from 2014 levels. This can be partially attributed to the low number of costly hurricanes in 2015, due largely to the El Nino-influenced wind pattern in the North Atlantic which cut down on storm development. However, El Nino conditions contributed to severe flooding and heatwaves in many developing nations. Heavy flooding also affected the United Kingdom, which Munich RE linked to Arctic warming due to climate change.

For more information see:

Poll Finds that 70 Percent of Americans Think Climate is Changing

On January 5, Monmouth University released a survey finding that 70 percent of Americans think the earth's climate is changing, with impacts including increased extreme weather events and sea level rise. The poll highlighted the partisan divide in American opinion on climate change, with far more Democrats (63 percent) seeing it as a "very serious issue" compared to Republicans (18 percent). Of those who think climate is changing, 34 percent think both human activity and natural environmental changes are responsible, while 27 percent identify human activity as the main contributor. Tony MacDonald, the director of Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute, said in a statement, "The data exposes the extent to which this has become a partisan political issue in the U.S. rather than a scientific issue."

For more information see:

Rising Temperatures More Strongly Affecting Greenland than Previously Thought

On January 4, the journal Nature Climate Change published a study detailing how recent changes in the composition of Greenland's ice and snow cover have affected the ability of the landmass to capture meltwater before it reaches the ocean. The researchers focused on firn, a porous layer of the ice sheet made up of accumulated snow that gradually becomes ice over time. Research had suggested previously that most of Greenland's firn could store excess meltwater, making the firn a safeguard against sea level rise for the next few decades. However, the scientists discovered new, dense ice layers forming near the surface of the ice sheet. These new layers are preventing liquid water from percolating into the firn, leading meltwater to drain into the ocean instead. Study author Horst Machguth told the Washington Post, "I think the most notable result of our study is showing that the firn reacts faster to an atmospheric warming than expected."

For more information see:

Warming Climate Threatens Power Generation Worldwide

According to research published in Nature Climate Change on January 3, increased water scarcity caused in part by climate change may reduce future generating capacity at more than two-thirds of the world's power plants. The research team said, "The world's electricity sector strongly depends on the availability and temperature of water resources. Global warming, with increased climate variability and likelihoods of heat waves and droughts, may have important impacts." The study examined approximately 26,000 power plants worldwide, showing that generation capacities may decrease at 61-74 percent of hydroelectric plants and 81-86 percent of thermoelectric power plants for the 2040-2069 period, due to reduced stream flows and rising water temperature. The study suggested that power plants could adapt to changing conditions by increasing plant efficiencies, installing a less water-intense cooling system, or switching to a different fuel source.

For more information see:

pastedGraphic_2.pdfNew Poll Shows Young Americans Want More Renewables and Climate Action

On January 11, USA TODAY released the results of a USA TODAY/Rock the Vote poll finding that eight-in-ten millennials (those aged 18-34) want the next president to support renewable energy. Many polled also consider climate change to be a top ten issue. "With millennials surpassing the Baby Boomer generation for the first time this year, nearly 40 million millennials are expected to vote in the 2016 election," commented Bob Dickey, the president and CEO of Gannett. The poll is part of USA TODAY's One Nation initiative and used online interviews of 1,141 adults age 18 to 34, from January 4-7.

For more information see:

pastedGraphic_3.pdfClimate Activist Asks President Obama to Focus on Climate Change in State of the Union

On January 11, The Guardian reported that billionaire activist Tom Steyer has called on President Obama to use his State of the Union address as a platform for climate action. Steyer told reporters that Obama's final State of the Union speech is a high-visibility moment for the president to appeal to the American public, to support the transformation of the U.S. energy sector. Steyer said 2015 was an important year for climate policy, as the Paris climate agreement, the failure of the Keystone XL pipeline, a relative ban on Arctic drilling, and the finalization of the Clean Power Plan all pushed forward the fight against climate change. According to Steyer, "This is a great opportunity to make that case and make sure that the moves we made are decisive and irrevocable."

In related news on January 11, Tom Steyer's organization NextGen Climate released a report, "Threat Multiplier: Climate Change & the State of Our Union," which emphasizes the security and public health risks of climate change.

For more information see:

pastedGraphic_4.pdfArch Coal Files for Bankruptcy

On January 11, Bloomberg reported that Arch Coal Inc., owners of the second-largest coal reserve in the United States, filed a chapter 11 petition for creditor protection. The company says most of its senior lenders have agreed to remove $4.5 billion in debt from its balance sheet to keep the company operating as usual. Arch Coal blamed environmental regulations for making it more costly for businesses to use coal. Some citizens groups worry that Arch Coal's bankruptcy filings will allow it to stop or slow its mine-cleanup activities, although Arch has stated that it will continue to fulfill its reclamation obligations. Arch mines coal in West Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia.

In related news, on January 8, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. coal production hit a 30-year low in 2015, falling 10 percent below 2014's levels. EIA said that the low prices of natural gas, low international coal demand and environmental regulations have all contributed to its decline. Central and Northern Appalachian coal production saw the largest decline.

For more information see:

pastedGraphic_5.pdfCrude Oil Prices Sink Further, Raising Bankruptcy Concerns

On January 11, crude-oil prices hit a 12-year low of $31.41 a barrel, posing a bankruptcy threat to as many as a third of U.S oil producers, according to Wolfe Research. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have stated they expect the price of oil to fall into the $20 range soon, due to a weak Chinese stock market, the appreciation of the U.S. dollar, and a continuing oversupply of oil. Law firm Haynes & Boone has reported that over 30 small oil companies which collectively owe $13 billion in debt have already filed for bankruptcy protection. A report from AlixPartners found that North American oil and gas production companies are losing close to $2 billion a week due to low prices.

For more information see:

pastedGraphic_6.pdfClimate Change Causing Economic Losses in World's Middle Class

On January 11, Swiss financial services firm UBS published a report indicating that climate change contributed to $1.5 trillion in economic losses from 1980 to 2014. In addition, climate change was linked to another $32 billion loss during the first half of 2015. The report further found that in cities where climate change has raised environmental risks, the middle class spent $800-$1,600 more per year on housing, displacing household spending on entertainment, luxuries and durable goods. Paul Donovan, a managing director at UBS, commented, "The middle class has two important qualities that make them critically important to the conversation about climate change: substantial assets and political influence. If the effects of climate change significantly hurt the middle class, the inevitable reaction should in turn elicit a strong response from policy makers."

For more information see:

U.S. Economic Boom is Lifting Global Carbon Markets

On January 11, Thomson ReutersPoint Carbon found that the value of global carbon markets increased nine percent, to $52.8 billion in 2015, due to higher prices on emission allowances and offsets in most markets. In the report "Carbon Market Monitor," Thompson Reuters revealed the value of North American carbon markets rose 220 percent to $11.59 billion, mainly driven by the California-Quebec carbon trading market called the Western Climate Initiative, which expanded its scope by including transport fuel emissions this year. "Assuming prices to also end higher than in 2015, we forecast the overall value of carbon markets to grow by a quarter . . . in terms of transactions, Europe and North America will continue to represent more than 95 percent [of the market]," the report says. The report adds that when China's national carbon market launches in 2017, global market value will increase further.

For more information see:

Department of Interior Announces It Will Review Coal Leasing Program on Public Lands

On January 15, the Department of Interior announced it would conduct a comprehensive review of its coal leasing program, using a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS); all new coal leases will be placed on moratorium until this review is complete. According to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, "We haven't undertaken a comprehensive review of the program in more than 30 years, and we have an obligation to current and future generations to ensure the federal coal program delivers a fair return to American taxpayers and takes into account its impacts on climate change."

For more information see:


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Chad A. Tolman
New Castle County Congregations of Delaware Interfaith Power and Light

1 comment:

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