GENEVA (AP) — Diplomats from the United States, China and the European Union began talks Tuesday with 11 other countries toward a deal that would cut tariffs on almost $1 trillion of environmental goods.
The proposed agreement at the World Trade Organization would cover 86 percent of trade in goods such as solar panels and wind turbines for producing energy, filters for wastewater treatment and catalytic converters for air pollution control. U.S. exports of environmental goods reached $106 billion last year, and have grown 8 percent a year since 2009.
The negotiations also include Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and Chinese Taipei. They are meant to build on a list of 54 environmental goods put together by members of APEC — the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation for Pacific Rim economies — for which the governments hope to reduce tariffs to five percent or less by the end of 2015.
BEIJING (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Chinese youth on Tuesday to help protect the environment and conserve energy, telling a group of elite university students that sustainability does not have to come at the cost of economic growth and can ensure a better world.
In a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China's top universities, Merkel said it does not make sense to separate economic performance, environmental protection and social responsibility.
"Sustainable development does not sacrifice economic growth. This is a misunderstanding. Sustainable development gives us a new opportunity to create wealth," Merkel said at the end of a three-day visit to China, where she helped open an urbanization forum, met with Chinese leaders and promoted German enterprises.
Tesla Motors plans to study the remains of a stolen Model S sedan that split in half and caught fire after several collisions to determine any mechanical issues with the electric vehicle, Bloomberg reports.
The Interior Department will make available 80,000 acres in waters off Maryland for wind power development, in its latest action by the Obama administration to spur development of Atlantic Ocean offshore wind farms.
The department said Wednesday the Aug. 19 competitive lease sale has so far attracted interest from 16 companies. It first proposed the sale in December.
HELSINKI (AP) — Norwegian energy companies Statoil and Statkraft have announced plans to build a wind farm off the British coast in a 15 billion kroner ($2.4 billion) investment, expected to be completed in 2017.
Statoil, the operator of the Dudgeon offshore project, says construction of the 67 turbines will begin in 2016. With a total generation capacity of 402 MW, they will provide energy for some 410,000 households.
Delmarva Power’s surcharge on customers for using electricity from a fuel-cell project is being challenged in court, with the plaintiff claiming that Bloom Energy servers being used for it are consuming more natural gas than regulators permit, Gannett’s The News Journal reports.
Finding solar imports from China and Taiwan were being sold too cheaply on the U.S. market, the Commerce Department has imposed a new round of duties, more than doubling for some Chinese products while Taiwanese producers face having to pay an extra 44 percent, Reuters reports.
The proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants includes an incentive for development of regional systems for carbon trading, and top air regulators from Western states held a closed-door meeting last week to discuss the idea, Bloomberg reports.
A district court has rejected a ban on fracking imposed by the city of Longmont, in a ruling celebrated by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, but a coalition of environmental groups says it will appeal, E&E reports.
Pemex said it lost more than $4 billion in the second quarter on higher costs and taxes, despite an increase in revenue, Reuters reports, noting that the Mexican state-run oil company anticipates 2014 will see its lowest output in more than 20 years.
Representatives from the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management were not invited to a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing Thursday where complaints were aired about their “bullying” tactics across the West, most recently in New Mexico, where ranchers charge their water rights are being violated by moves to erect fences to protect the habitat of the meadow jumping mouse, E&E reports.
At the current rate of work, it would take 30 years to repair and replace utilities’ aging natural gas pipelines around the country, but compressing that to 10 years would create more than 300,000 jobs and slash methane emissions, according to a report from the BlueGreen Alliance, FuelFix reports.
The U.S. produced more than 149 million gallons of biomass-based diesel in June, up more than 4 million from May, and the six month level was more than 70 million higher compared to last year, according to Environmental Protection Agency data, although average monthly production was down following the expiration of a tax credit at the end of December, Platts reports.
Ontario-based Algonquin Power & Utilities, following a rejection of its bids for Gas Natural, has written to the board warning that it will present its case to the company’s shareholders, Gannett’s Great Falls Tribune reports.