China disqualifies ‘clean coal’ technology from green bond funding FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Environmental Finance:China will axe ‘clean coal’ from its green bond guidelines, in a move that will see its definition of green align more closely with the Climate Bond Standards and the consensus of opinions in the West.Geoffrey Choi, financial services assurance leader for the Asia Pacific region at EY, said at the Asian sustainable green bond market conference in Tokyo, organised by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and Japan Securities Dealers Association: “I can share with the conference that, going forward, in the new [green bond] catalogue, the clean utilisation of coal will not be considered green.”The issuance of green bonds for clean coal has been highly controversial and the technology is widely considered, at least by Western investors, to be too emissions- intensive to be green.China’s support for clean coal has in the past been the biggest difference between its definition of green and the opinions of most Western investors.Choi explained that it is a “big step” for China to move towards a likely EU green bond standard, adding that the standards will continue to evolve.“For a lot of the areas that we have debated in the past, China has the determination to converge with the EU standard,” he said.
Sources say Chinese regulators to limit use of green bonds for ‘clean coal’ projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Chinese regulators are close to releasing new “green bond” standards that would exclude polluting fossil fuel projects from corporate financing channels designed to lift environmental standards, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.Beijing has in recent years promoted new green financing methods to help industry pay for its transition to cleaner modes of growth. But China’s inclusion of “clean coal” in a 2015 central bank list of technologies eligible for green bonds has put the country at odds with global standards, a point of contention for some international investors and many environmental groups.Two sources with direct knowledge of the situation say China’s central bank, which regulates financial institution debt issuance and whose 2015 guidelines were adopted by other market regulators, has already revised the eligibility list. One of the people said the list is due to be published later this month. The People’s Bank of China did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.“If confirmed, ending the policy of financing coal with green bonds would be a much-needed step in the right direction,” said Liu Jinyan, senior campaigner with environmental group Greenpeace in Beijing. “With no new coal projects taking money from the green bonds market, those funds can actually accelerate China’s energy transition and green development,” she said.Of the $42.8 billion worth of green bonds issued in China last year, only $31.2 billion would have met global criteria, according to a report published at the end of February by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), a non-profit group backing green bond standards. The share of what CBI calls “internationally aligned” green bonds has been steadily increasing as China’s institutions move to align themselves more with global markets.More: China to cut coal from new green bond standards: sources
Legal loophole costs U.S. government $18B in offshore oil and gas royalties FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global ($):U.S. taxpayers have missed out on tens of billions of dollars in revenue from offshore federal leases due to a decades-old law on royalty payment exemptions and due to faulty methods of determining minimum acceptable bids, a government report showed.The Government Accountability Office study released Oct. 24 found nearly $20 billion in offshore oil and gas revenues has been lost since the signing of the Deepwater Royalty Relief Act of 1995, which was enacted to encourage drilling of leases in the Gulf of Mexico.At the time, oil companies were offered a temporary break from paying royalties on oil produced from leases that were uneconomical at crude oil prices below a certain threshold, but the temporary reprieve was made permanent when the industry won a suit claiming that the law was written to guarantee royalty reductions regardless of the price of oil.“[The result is an approximate] $18 billion in foregone royalty payments between 2000 and 2018, a number that will continue to rise,” U.S. Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Alan S. Lowenthal, D-Calif., said in a joint statement. Grijalva is the chair of the subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.The GAO also found the method for determining minimum acceptable bids for offshore oil and gas leases does not ensure a fair return, which has cost U.S. taxpayers another $1 billion or more since 2000.“This is not a fair or free market,” Grijalva said. “Our laws and standards need to reflect the fact that public resources are there for the benefit of the public.”Production of oil and natural gas from leases on federal waters accounts for more than 50% of the oil and gas production on federal lands and waters. From 2006 through 2018, the U.S. government collected almost $90 billion in revenue from the management of offshore oil and gas resources generated primarily through upfront cash payments, or bonus bids, for leasing rights to explore, develop and sell oil and gas resources, and royalty payments as a percent of the value of oil and gas produced.More: Loophole has cost U.S. Government $18B in offshore royalties, study finds
Coal financing quickly drying up worldwide—analysts FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Financing for coal projects is drying up at ever increasing rates as more countries target zero carbon emissions amid an energy transition sweeping the world, participants at Asia’s biggest gathering of the coal industry said on Tuesday.The exit from coal by big international banks and government-backed agencies, which has accelerated this year, is likely to push coal companies to use offsets to get funding and listed ones to go private to avoid shareholder pressure as the dirtiest fossil fuel is increasingly shunned.With insurance companies, banks and other financiers pulling out of coal “we are seeing a real tide of all these forces moving in capital markets,” Lachlan Shaw, head of commodities research at ANZ, said at the virtual Coaltrans Asia conference. “What’s changed more recently is we have seen China, Japan and South Korea all commit to net-zero carbon emissions targets,” he said.Carbon trading and offsets will become important tools companies to get finance for new projects, so they “can go to the financial markets and say we have a package here that is totally offset from a carbon emissions point of view,” he said.Shaw said he expects more public listed companies to go private as shareholders focus more on the risks to investments from coal.Even cleaner projects such as a coal gasification plant in Indonesia under consideration by coal miner PT Bukit Asam will struggle to obtain finance, said Ben Lawson, vice-chairman of the Djakarta Mining Club and chief operating officer of PT Sandman Coal Indonesia. “Even though gasification is the cleanest way of extracting power or downstream product for coal, its still coal,” he told the conference. To get financing, “I think its going to be a hard sell.”[Aaron Sheldrick and Fransiska Nangoy]More: As more countries pledge zero emissions, coal finance evaporates
Gracie and Lauren being sleepy and not athleticRunners World says if you are fit you can train for a triathlon in 6 weeks. No really, read the article.There is a website for beginner triathletes that provides free coaching and online training logs.Another website has a very handy 93 page training schedule for folks wanting to complete their first sprint triathlon.I have read all the articles, browsed books that were left on my bed side table by the triathlon fairy, and even fleetingly considered a training log. But there is one little problem. None, and I mean not one single resource accounts for the fact that I am a wuss and sometimes don’t want to bike, swim or run in a given day.I am a soft core athlete. Often my motivation to exercise is the extra snacks I will get to have later. Yes, I feel better when I am done. Yes, I like being fit. Yes, I know it is good for me… but so is sitting in a hammock and reading a good book. Are you with me?So when I decided to “train” for my first triathlon (the Patriot Triathlon in Williamsburg Virginia Sept 11 – 12, 2010), I knew it would be on my terms. And what are those terms? I am not totally sure.I can run a 5k.I can swim for a long time.I can tolerate a 16-20 mile bike although there will be some complaining on the way.Oh, more importantly, I am stubborn, and sometimes lazy and am frankly shocked that no one in my shoes has apparently ever tried one of these races.When I googled “lolly gagger triathlon” all I got were blogs by actual jocks who were commenting on how they were not lolly gaggers.There is nothing out there for someone like me. So, I will chart my own course as the say.Training schedule: Do stuff, as much as a I feel like it for as long as I can.Nutrition: I am mostly vegan so I think I will be ok.Cross Training: Yes. Yoga and dog walking count, right?Race day goals: Not to walk or drown.If you too want to be a lolly gagger and train for a sprint triathlon, good luck. My only advice is have fun. If you want to keep up with my lack of training, or general athletic laziness, you can follow my tri-blog. If you are a real athlete, I totally encourage you to read. I will make you feel much better about your purposeful training and skills.
Our May 2014 issue is hitting newsstands this week.And while we really hope you are able to pick up a copy for free at your local outdoor specialty shop, here’s a look at our May Festival Guide issue online to get you pumped up for summer.To kick it off, we’ve got an exclusive introduction by our editor-in-chief Will Harlan with an excerpt from his new book, Untamed, which took him 20 years to create and will be front and center and Barnes and Nobles nationwide.And, we’re sure you’ll be happy to know that our annual Festival Guide is now live and on its way to doorsteps across the Blue Ridge region.Readers face off on the issue of taxes funding bikeways and pay-to-play bike parks; and travel editor Jess Daddio takes a deeper look into the life of Bill Harris, who lives beside — and protects — the Virginia Creeper Trail. She also participates in an epic highline adventure in North Carolina’s Linville Gorge — one of the first of its kind in the Blue Ridge.And speaking of our travel editor … Jess just departed our office here in Virginia for a year-long road trip we’ve dubbed Live Outside And Play. You can follow her adventures on her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as on her project-specific blog. Stay on the lookout for her photos and stories as she gets acquainted to her new mobile outdoor life, based out of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and a Sylvan Sport Go camper-trailer all summer long.Now take your own digital spin around our latest issue and let us know what you think on Facebook.DEPARTMENTSEditor’s Note: The Wildest Woman in AmericaFlashpoint: Pay more in taxes to fund bikeways?Bill Harris Protects His Backyard Virginia Creeper TrailQuick Hits: Outdoor NewsFEATURESCan bikes save the world?Atlanta’s Beltline Trail2014 Festival GuideHashing: Drinkers with a running problem Highlining in the Linville GorgeBehold, More Beer!Top Festival Gear PicksFifty Festivals You Might Not Know AboutBands to Catch on the Southern Festival CircuitAnd more!
The boiled peanut. I can’t think of any food that’s more divisive than this slimy, hot, difficult to eat little nut. Either you love the boiled peanut, or you hate the boiled peanut. There is no middle ground.Typically, your preference is dictated by your geography. I believe some people call them “Yankees.” I won’t resort to name calling. I’ll just say that if you’re raised in the South, you’ll have a hard time not liking boiled peanuts. It’s like growing up on an island and not liking fish. Good luck with that. Boiled peanuts are ubiquitous. You find boiled peanuts on the side of the road, at the gas station, at the flea market, at parties, bars…I even found a guy boiling up a batch at the farmer’s market this week.That’s how you know the weather has finally turned for good. The boiled peanut stands pop up.The great irony of the boiled peanut is that it’s a classic road trip food, but it’s hard as hell to eat while you’re driving. It takes two hands so you have to drive with your knee, you get the juice all over you so you need lots of napkins, and you need a trash can to dispose of the empties. And yet, you can’t take a road trip in the South without stopping to get boiled peanuts. That’s sacrilege.Of course, like most things in life, boiled peanuts are better with beer. I finally came across Starr Hill’s new Soulshine Belgian Pale Ale this week, at roughly the same time I found the first boiled peanut stand. Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences. What followed was the ultimate warm weather culinary experience—chasing a batch of hot boiled peanuts with this new, warm weather beer. Soulshine is lighter than your typical pale, almost as bubbly as Champagne, but still a little bit hoppy with a pleasant grapefruit nose. In other words, this is good boiled peanut beer.I threw the empty shells over the side of my deck and wiped my slimy hands on my camouflage shorts. Because that’s what we do in the South.
As spring time arrives here in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, many people are dusting off their fly rods and waders for a day on the river. With fish being stocked monthly, some of my favorite winter time fishing spots are greeted with crowds of enthusiastic anglers looking to hook into that stocked fish of a lifetime. Not me. I turn to the smallest trickles and streams deep in the mountains in search of untouched beauty, tranquility, and feisty wild fish.Those of you in Western North Carolina who don’t want to fight the crowds along the river should consider seeking out the state’s native and wild populations of Brook, Rainbow, and Brown trout. You won’t need much to catch these mountain gems, but you will need a map and a sense of adventure to get to your destination.Be sure to brush up on your “bow and arrow” casting before heading off into the thick jungles of rhododendron. Pack plenty of dry flies and light tippet. I prefer using as small as 6 or 7x, though it is not necessarily needed.A short, light weight rod, such as a 7’6″ 2 weight is best suited for these treks in my opinion. Sometimes a short rod can make the difference between hooking up and going home with a tale of the one that got away.One final thing to remember: always tell someone where you’re going. In my experience, most of these streams are found far beyond the reaches of cell phone reception.The next time you head out to chase trout, don’t rule out wild fish. You might just find a new love and appreciation for the tight line.Evan Norris is an avid fly fisherman, a guide at Brookings’ Anglers, and our first contributor for “Fridays on the Fly”. When he’s not out discovering new wild trout waters all over the mountains of Western North Carolina, he can often be found on his Chattooga River home waters near the town of Cashiers, NC.[divider]Read More Fridays on the Fly[/divider]
Want to see them win again? Vote for 2019 HERE.Solidifying its growing reputation as one of best outdoor schools in the Blue Ridge, Western Carolina University has once again come away with top honors in our annual Top Adventure College Contest, edging out a solid effort from Emory and Henry College of Emory, Virginia.Once again colleges and universities in the contest were selected for their outdoor clubs and curricula, their commitment to outdoor and environmental initiatives, the quality of their outdoor athletes and programs, and their opportunities for adventure, and once again WCU’s strengths shown through above the rest.“WCU truly embraces its rural mountain environment and ability to access natural resources by emphasizing outdoor recreation as a part of our university culture,” said Shauna Sleight, director of Campus Recreation and Wellness. “The university has facilities, programs, services and academic programs focused in the outdoor environment. When an opportunity presents itself to vote for WCU as the best outdoor adventure school, our university community is proud to do so for the place we call home.”One reason that WCU is revered as a top outdoor college is its proximity to renowned outdoors adventure havens like Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.Amidst this backdrop of Appalachian peaks, crystal clear trout streams and rivers, and seemingly endless singletrack, WCU has cultivated an outdoor culture that only gets richer with each passing school year.Mitch Bearden just graduated from WCU this year. During his tenure he worked with WCU’s renowned outdoor program, Basecamp Cullowhee, and spent his free time backpacking, honing his adventure photography skills, and paddling the area’s endless supply of local whitewater.We caught up with Mitch to find out what an ideal day actually looks like for an outdoor-loving student like himself. 6 a.m. — My ideal day would definitely start with a fly fishing trip on the Tuckaseegee River in the morning, specifically the section along North and South River Roads or any of the small tributaries where native trout are plentiful (i.e. Caney Fork, Rough Butt Creek, Moses Creek). 11 a.m.—After a morning of fishing I would typically put in on the West Fork of the Tuckaseegee for some high quality class 4+ paddling. That section has some incredible mini gorges and some of the most unique scenery of any creek or river in the area. 2 p.m.— If I could squeeze it in after paddling I’d probably head back to campus to take advantage of our WCU multi purpose trails, which feature 6.7 miles of narrow, singletrack trails phenomenal for mountain biking. 4 p.m.—To finish off the day I’d watch the sunset from Whiteside Mountain near Cashiers. It’s a pretty short and easy hike and not that far from campus. Related Articles: Want to see them win again? Vote for 2019 HERE. Congratulations to WCU and thanks to ENO for sponsoring the 2016 Top Adventure College Contest. Be sure to check out the August issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine where we’ll be featuring more outdoor college content. Other great hikes to watch a sunset or sunrise near WCU include Pinnacle Peak in Sylva accessible from Pinnacle Park, Black Rock summit in Sylva also accessible by Pinnacle Park or from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Waterrock Knob, which only requires a .5 mile hike.
This two-day community event features speakers, music, colorful artwork and calls for attendees to protect and preserve the Appalachian Trail, currently under threat from the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. Global attention on climate justice has increased during the month of September due to the efforts of activists who fear climate change the most: children. When: Bears Den, Sunday, September 29, 11:00a.m.-1:00 p.m. Where: 18393 Blue Ridge Mountain Road, Bluemont, VA 20135 Who: Members of the public, community groups, environmental organizations Groups to celebrate Fourth Annual “Hands Across the Appalachian Trail” What: Celebratory rally with featured speakers, live music and refreshments, visuals including signs/banners When: Giles/Pearisburg, Saturday, September 28, 11:00a.m.-1:00 p.m. Where: 2030 Narrows Road, Pearisburg, VA 24134 Early this morning at 7 a.m., protestors gathered in downtown Washington D.C. for climate justice. Their route hit the EPA, Wells Fargo, the Trump Hotel, and the investment firm BlackRock according to tweets from Washington Post reporter Marissa J. Lang. Swedish Environmentalist Activist Greta Thunberg has turned a lot of heads to the issue not only from starting the Fridays for the Future protests but also after she and 15 other young activists addressed the UN directly by calling out those in power for, “taking away dreams and childhood with their empty words and promises.” According to Lang, no one was arrested or injured during Friday’s rallies. The large group marched their course with multiple banners and chants in hopes to put more pressure on those in power. From September 20-27, strikes for climate justice were happening around the world. The protests, young activists, and the increase in media coverage has brought a lot of momentum to environmentalist, which can still be felt across the world. Friday’s protest was a bit different than Monday’s. Multiple climate and social justice groups gathered to block 22 major intersections of D.C. during rush hour in efforts to mobilize the #ShutDownDC movement. 32 protesters were arrested, including a few who chained themselves to a full-sized boat that was to symbolize the rising water levels. On Saturday, September 28, community members, environmental groups, and protectors of the Appalachian Trail will gather from 11:00 am-1:00pm in Pearisburg and Lyndhust, Va. and on Sunday, September 29, from 11:00 am-1:00 pm in Bluemont, Va. for the fourth annual “Hands Across the Appalachian Trail.” Climate Justice Protestors that “Shut Down” D.C. on Monday returned to the streets again this Friday Morning When: Humpback Rocks, Saturday, September 28, 11:00a.m.-1:00 p.m. Where: Humpback Rocks Visitor’s Center and Picnic Area, Milepost 5.8, Blue Ridge Pkwy, Lyndhurst, VA 22952