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Climate Treaty Negotiators, U.S. Businesses Look Ahead to Paris

Most countries have now submitted emissions plans ahead of the Paris climate talks later this year, but success in forging a global treaty in Paris is far from guaranteed. Delegations from nearly 200 countries are meeting this week in Bonn, Germany, to pin down details of a draft agreement ahead of the U.N. talks. On…

Climate Change Gets Attention in Democratic Debate

Four of the five candidates mentioned climate change a dozen times as a major campaign issue during at the Democratic presidential debates this week. Candidates at the Republican debate were largely silent on the issue. “This debate shows that climate has become a central issue, right up there with income inequality and broader economic concerns,”…

U.N. Releases Draft of Negotiating Text for Paris Climate Talks

On Monday the United Nations unveiled a first draft of the negotiating text for climate talks later this year in Paris. That text has been reduced from more than 80 pages to  20 and will be further revised in Bonn, Germany, Oct. 19–23, to advance a final global climate deal in Paris. The many proposals…

China Announces Cap-and-Trade Program

On his visit to Washington last week, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced that his country, the world’s biggest carbon polluter, will launch a national cap-and-trade scheme in 2017. The move would make China the world’s biggest carbon market and could strengthen global efforts to put a price on carbon. The planned emissions trading program will…

GOP Candidates: Government Action on Climate Change Will Hurt Economy

Last week’s Republican debate drew opinions of several candidates on climate change, namely on how government action to address the problem will hurt the economy. During the four-minute exchange, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dismissed the idea of enacting former Secretary of State George Schultz’s proposed “insurance policy” to guard…

Cities in the World’s Top Greenhouse Gas Emitters Announce Stronge

Cities in China and the United States pledged to take ambitious steps to address climate change at the state and local level in the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Declaration this week. In China, 11 cities will peak greenhouse gas emissions—some as early as 2020—to eliminate nearly 25 percent of China’s urban total carbon pollution. In the…

World on Path to Miss 2C Target

Plans submitted by world’s top polluters won’t limit global warming to the 2-degree Celsius threshold recommended by the United Nations, according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a tool developed by a consortium of four European research organizations. In a report released last week at climate talks in Bonn ahead of the U.N. climate conference…

Obama Talks Climate, Oil Drilling

President Barack Obama arrived in Alaska this week, sharing blunt language about climate change after laying out initiatives aimed at tackling that issue in the Arctic. “On this issue—of all issues—there is such a thing as being too late,” said Obama. “And that moment is almost upon us … This year in Paris has to…

Recent Studies Provide Examples of Emissions Trading Successes, Failures

The emissions trading program in the northeastern United States—the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—is responsible for about half the region’s emissions reductions—an amount far greater than reductions achieved in the rest of the country. The study in the journal Energy Economics determined that even when controlling for other factors—the natural gas boom, the recession, and…

EPA Targets Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations

On Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took another step to make good on the Obama administration’s pledge to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26–28 percent by 2025 by proposing the first methane emissions rules for the nation’s oil and gas industry. Reducing emissions of methane, which have 25 times the heat-trapping capacity of…

Challenges Ahead for Clean Power Plan, Another EPA Rule

Less than two weeks after President Obama announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan rule, aimed at cutting carbon emissions from existing power plants 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has encouraged states to comply with the plan through emissions trading opportunities—emphasized far more in the…

Final Clean Power Plan More Ambitious, Flexible

On Monday, President Obama announced the release of the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), which sets mandatory limits on the amount of carbon dioxide emissions the nation’s fleet of existing power plants may emit. The rule is projected to reduce emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. “We’re the first generation to feel the…

Studies Make Predictions of How to Comply, What to Look for in Final Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is slated to release the final version of its Clean Power Plan, regulating emissions from existing power plants, any day now. Many are already predicting changes, some that could be significant. A survey by E&E publishing revealed stakeholders expect timing to be the element most likely to change in…

It’s Official: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

Four independent global data sets registered 2014 as the warmest year on record, the Weather Channel reported, citing an annual review by international scientists sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The only major region of the world with below-average annual temperatures was Eastern…

Power Plants Emissions Fall; Progress Unevenly Distributed

Power plant carbon dioxide emissions havedecreased 12 percent from 2008 to 2013 but remain 14 percent higher than 1990 levels, according to a new report by Ceres, four large utilities, Bank of America and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States focuses…