Updated: 9 hours 7 min ago
Source: RTCC - From a June peak of US$116 a barrel, oil prices have almost halved to their lowest levels in five years, on weak demand.
That unexpected drop has achieved what environmental protesters could not: prompted oil companies to cancel or delay risky tar sands and deepwater projects.
Source: RTCC - In the climate history books, 2014 will go down as the year the presidents of the US and China stood together and announced that both would reduce their emissions.
For these two superpowers, that November day was a historic moment of cooperation in the fight against climate change.
Source: RTCC - Saudi Arabias plans to build 41GW of solar power by 2032 could be hit by the slumping oil price. Other oil-producing nations that burn oil for power, plus developing countries that use diesel generators, will have less incentive to switch to cleaner sources. But on the whole, the drop from around US$115 to US$60 a barrel in six months will have a minimal impact on renewable energy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Source: ThinkProgress - 2014 brought us plenty of news to be unhappy about. The year had barely begun when a major chemical spill poisoned the water of 300,000 West Virginians, a disaster that left residents worried about the safety of their water for months. Not even a month after the spill, tens of thousands of tons of coal ash spewed into a river in North Carolina, the toxic waste product piling as high as five feet in some places.
Source: ThinkProgress - The 2014 midterm elections saw a wave of Republican candidates elected and re-elected to federal office, many of whom are now rearing to make the environment their first casualty of the 114th Congress. As it turns out, the fossil fuel industry may have had something to do with that.
Source: The Motley Fool - Solar stocks have long been a thorn in the side of Wall Street's stock investors. It seems like an industry with infinite growth potential but the winners and losers come and go at a moment's notice (think Suntech Power) and new technology upends the industry on a regular basis. But Wall Street has found a side of the solar industry it does like. Solar financing has become big business for the big banks and hundreds of millions of dollars is flowing into the solar industry at record low rates.
Source: Huffington Post/ Reuters - LONDON, Dec 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Large parts of Europe, West and Central Africa, and South America face the threat of outbreaks of the deadly dengue virus due to climate change and urbanization, according to the first-ever maps of dengue vulnerability published on Tuesday.
Source: Times of India - NEW DELHI: At a time when the developing world is worried over the rich nations' reluctance to contribute to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) R K Pachauri remains hopeful that the developed world would be more forthcoming once all countries provide their 'Intended Nationally Determined Contributions' (INDCs) or in other words a clear roadmap of their voluntary actions to fight the threat of climate change.
Source: Reuters - Dec 22 (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas emissions by the world's top 500 companies rose 3.1 percent from 2010 to 2013, far off the cuts urged by the United Nations to limit global warming, a study showed on Monday.
Source: Grist - Paris is surging toward the front of the peloton of European cities racing for more bike- and pedestrian-friendly streets. Mayor Anne Hidalgo recently announced an ambitious plan to transform the historic city center into a semi-pedestrianized zone, where walking and biking will be encouraged, and automobile access will be limited to emergency vehicles, residents cars, and delivery trucks.
Source: Guardian - America and India will unveil joint efforts to fight climate change when Barack Obama visits New Delhi next month, as the US tries to keep up the momentum of international negotiations. Obamas visit on the back of the United Nations talks in Lima is seen as a key moment to persuade one of the worlds biggest carbon polluters to step up its efforts to fight climate change.
Source: Times of India - NEW DELHI: A week after conclusion of the Lima climate talks, India on Monday lamented that rich nations have failed to deliver adequately on the issue of finance and said the "goal of mobilizing 100 billion US dollars per year by 2020 is still a far cry".
Source: Xinhua - BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Major revisions for China's air pollution control laws began on Monday as the country plans harsher punishment for offenders. A draft amendment to the air pollution prevention and control law was submitted to China's top legislature for a first reading at the start of the bimonthly session Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress. The meeting will last from Monday to Sunday.
Source: Citylab - Stick your hand over a lit stove and you can get a feel for 2014's overall climatic situation: scorching heat. For months, experts have been predicting this will be the hottest year in recorded history, and while in the end it might not quite achieve that ignoble record, it will be way up there (perhaps at No. 3).
Source: ThinkProgress - The worlds largest tidal energy project, capable of powering nearly 175,000 homes in the U.K. with 400 megawatts of power, will break ground next month in northeast Scotland. Atlantis, majority owner of the MeyGen project, announced that its flagship project had met all the conditions required to start drawing down finance through the U.K.s Renewable Energy Investment Fund.
Source: LinkedIn - 2015 will be an historic year for the United Nations. The Organization will celebrate its 70th anniversary, offering a chance to look back on its contributions to peace, human rights and development since its creation in 1945. The year will also be an opportunity to look forward -- and in particular how to ensure that people everywhere can thrive on our one and only planet. 2015 is when we will set our course for a sustainable future.
Source: Deutsche Welle - Bankers and investors are questioning whether it's worthwhile to invest in fossil fuels, especially in light of new climate agreements that could leave the materials in the ground forever.
Source: Christian Science Monitor - As oil prices plummet, some question whether the US with its piecemeal, disjointed federal energy policy is ready for a new era of fossil-fuel abundance and renewable-energy innovation. The US oil-and-gas boom benefits the US, but lack of an overarching policy hamstrings US potential and poses environmental risks, according to a report released this week by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).
Source: Bloomberg BNA - There were plenty of reasons for advocates of climate action to be at least cautiously optimistic heading into the Lima Climate Change Conference. That's a much harder task now.
In the weeks before the Dec. 1-14 talks in Lima, the U.S. and China agreed to a landmark bilateral climate accord-putting the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gas on the record with climate obligations for the first time ever.
Source: Bloomberg - The 45% fall in oil prices is being portrayed as a big blow to clean energy deployment. In fact, its impact will vary by sector and region, but will be modest in major electricity markets where renewables compete with gas and coal, and benefit from stable policy support