The Week Ahead: EU Leaders to Meet on Climate, Energy Strategy


European Union leaders will meet March 20-21 in Brussels to discuss a climate and energy strategy to be implemented through 2030, which is slated to be finalized by the end of the year. 

As detailed in a March 12 "Energy and Climate Report" article, the 28-nation bloc is trying to balance Europe's ambition to lead the global fight against climate change with an attempt to cut fossil fuel use by the region's industry.

The framework for the strategy, as communicated by the European Commission in January, proposes a greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., both chambers of Congress will be taking constituent work breaks the week of March 17.

RGGI to Hold Board of Directors Meeting

On March 17, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc. will hold a board of directors meeting to fill open positions on its executive committee.

As covered in a March 7 article, the last RGGI auction of carbon dioxide allowances resulted in a record price of $4 a ton after the initiative lowered its emissions cap. The auction alsofor the first timeincluded a new mechanism called the cost containment reserve (CCR), which is designed to keep allowance prices from rising above a certain level.

The CCR allowances are only offered for sale if prices hit $4 this year, $6 in 2015, $8 in 2016 or $10 in 2017.

In a statement, RGGI Chairman Kenneth Kimmell said, “The results are what we expected—there was an increase in the allowance price, all the allowances we offered were sold, and the CCR operated as intended.’’

DOE to Hold Wind Webinar

The Department of Energy will hold a webinar March 19 on "Wind Energy and Property Values."

Carol Atkinson-Palombo, assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, will present her research from a report, “Relationship Between Wind Turbines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts.” Ben Hoen, staff research associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will present findings from the report “A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States.”

Other Climate, Energy Events

On March 19, the Rights and Resources Initiative will hold a webinar on "Challenges of Carbon Rights and Implementing a New Warsaw Agreement on REDD+." As covered in a November 2013 article, which analyzed year-end UN climate talks in Warsaw, REDD refers to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation. A REDD+ agreement, which was considered a bright spot in the negotiations, resulted in the U.S., Norway and the U.K. pledging a total of $280 million to launch a new multilateral body at the World Bank to target deforestation and support more sustainable agriculture. 

On March 18, Resources for the Future will hold an event in Washington featuring Robert Engle, a Nobel Laureate, on "A Financial Approach to Environmental Risk." Engle won his prize in economic sciences in 2003, according to RFF, for his expertise in analyzing the movements of financial market prices and interest rates.

The Wharton Club of DC Green Business will hold a forum March 21 at the National Press Club in Washington featuring Army Deputy Secretary for Energy and Sustainability Richard Kidd.

The 2014 Methanol Policy Forum will be held March 18 in Washington. The forum will focus on U.S. methanol production against the backdrop of an increase in shale gas production.


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