UN Releases Sustainability Value Tool

The United Nations Global Compact released a tool January 13 to help companies measure the financial impact of their sustainability activities. By measuring business growth, productivity gains, and risk mitigation, the value driver tool could help investors to see the connection between sustainability and financial benefits.

LNG Company Seeks Canadian Export Permit

Oregon LNG Marketing Company applied January 13 to Canada’s National Energy Board to export roughly 1.3 billion cubic feet of gas per day for 25 years from fields in British Columbia and Alberta to feed a proposed $6 billion export plant in Oregon.

EU Light Van Emissions Cap Approved

The European Parliament approved a regulation January 14 that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from light vans to 147 grams/km on average by 2020. The European Union Council will finalize the regulation at a forthcoming meeting.

EU Carbon Sequestration Policy Needs Revitalization

The European Parliament adopted a resolution January 14 charging the European Union with reinvigorating its carbon sequestration policy. The resolution is nonbinding but the European Commission must consider it when preparing relevant proposals. CCS could help the region meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050.

Environmental Requirements Difficult for Russia’s OECD Membership

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Victor Shuvalov said January 15 that environmental requirements are the biggest barrier to the country joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The nation will conclude the accession process by the end of the year.

Baseline Standards Guidance

The United Nations Development Program published non-binding guidelines January 16 for establishing standardized baselines to facilitate like to like comparisons for actions related to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

EU Rejects Biodiesel Duty Challenge

The European Union General Court rejected January 17 British Petroleum North America’s challenge to antidumping and anti-subsidy duties imposed on some biodiesel that is from the United States but shipped into Europe from Canada or another third country.

Blockage of Canadian Pipeline Approval Sought

A group of Canadian environmental organizations filed a lawsuit January 17 challenging the Canadian National Energy Board’s conditional approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline. The group seeks to prohibit the Canadian cabinet, the minister of the environment, and the National Energy Board from making further pipeline decisions until another environmental assessment is complete.

Chinese Solar Duties

China’s Commerce Ministry announced January 21 final anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of solar-grade polysilicon. The anti-dumping duties are in line with initial levels levied last year of up to 57 percent on imports of the raw material used to make solar panels.

EU Renewable Energy Targets Forthcoming

The European Commission’s energy and climate change proposal, set to include binding, long-term targets for each European Union member state for renewable energy, is due January 23. Currently, EU member states must meet a renewable energy target of 20 percent by 2020. The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament must approve the proposal.

Climate Mitigation May Reduce Global GDP

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will soon release a report finding that the cost of containing rising global temperatures within the 2 degree Celsius cap that most world leaders endorse may reach four percent of economic output by 2030. Scenarios that meet the cap would require a 40 to 70 percent reduction in heat-trapping emissions by 2050 from 2010 levels, and the world would need to triple the share of renewables, nuclear power, and carbon capture and sequestration.