Sustainability Blog - The Grid
Bloomberg BNA — California and other states that have already adopted climate policies have an advantage over states that waited for proposed federal rules mandating plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols said June 2.
As a result, neighboring states may want to look at what California is doing, Nichols told Bloomberg BNA, referring to rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that would require existing fossil fuel-fired power plants to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Judging only by U.S. political debates about climate change, a reasonable person might conclude that the world was still stuck at square one when it comes to cutting carbon.
The situation is nowhere near that dire. The world is stuck at square two.
Bloomberg BNA — The Obama administration's proposed limits on power plant carbon pollution can't be voted down by Congress under the Congressional Review Act, which only provides procedures for killing rules in their final form, the Government Accountability Office said in a May 29 report.
The Environmental Protection Agency formally proposed the carbon pollution limits for future plants in January and is expected to unveil its proposed limits for existing plants June 2.
Responsible Investor — ExxonMobil, one of the oil companies whose stance on climate change disclosure has been under scrutiny from investors, has revealed that it expects the implied cost of CO2 emissions to reach $80 per metric ton [tonne] in 2040 in developed economies.
It comes as major institutional investors backed a shareholder proposal calling on Exxon to set quantitative goals for reducing its emissions at its annual meeting in Dallas yesterday (May 28).
Bloomberg BNA — A group of nongovernmental organizations is warning executives of major greenhouse gas emitting companies that they could face personal liability if they are found to have been involved in funding climate denial or opposing policies to fight climate change.
Greenpeace International, World Wildlife Fund and the Center for International Environmental Law asked the executives of 32 energy and cement companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, whether they were prepared to face liability questions based on their involvement in the climate debate.
Good morning! Here are today's top reads:
- Technarians at the gate: How Google could become your next power company (Bloomberg)
- A pushback on green power (NY Times)
- Something is seriously wrong on the East Coast – and it’s killing all the baby puffins (Mother Jones)
- Toxic toads threaten ‘ecological disaster’ (Scientific American)
- Is an $84,000 hepatitis drug too expensive? (National Journal)
- Wonks collide as Obama climate plan prompts new ideas (Bloomberg)
- Big waves bust up sea ice, may be playing role in melt (Climate Central)
- Corporate stranglehold of farmland a risk to world food security (Guardian)
- Is green design ready to take root in neighborhoods? (GreenBiz)
- Global health: Dirty dinners (Nature)
Visit The Grid for the latest about energy, natural resources and global business.
Bloomberg BNA — China announced a plan to conserve energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions through the end of next year by targeting heavy industry, automobile emissions and coal consumption in major metropolitan areas around Beijing, Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta in southern China.
In a May 27 statement, National Development and Reform Commission Chairman Xu Shaoxi declared a “sense of urgency” to meet the goals, which include cutting energy intensity per unit of gross domestic product by 3.9 percent in each of the next two years and reducing carbon dioxide intensity per unit of GDP by over 4 percent this year and 3.5 percent in 2015.
Bloomberg BNA — Businesses that fail to account for risks associated with the “startling” erosion of natural capital could lose competitiveness, according to a recent report.
Natural capital—including assets such as fossil fuels that have a market price and others such as clean air and water that are often undervalued—is being depleted at an accelerating rate, according to the report from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
InsideClimateNews.org — Between February 2010 and July 2011, Lisa and Bob Parr filed 13 complaints about air pollution from gas and oil operations near their ranch in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). They also experienced nausea, nosebleeds, ringing ears and rashes.
Other families were also alarmed. Between 2008 and 2011, the TCEQ received 77 complaints from Wise County, in the Barnett Shale drilling area in North Texas. One said the odor was so powerful that the complainant "couldn't go outside," according to the TCEQ report.