NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 16: Climate Talks Flop; Southeastern Utility Giant Throwing Its Weight Around

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    Monday, December 16, 2019

    QUICK NEWS, December 16: Climate Talks Flop; Southeastern Utility Giant Throwing Its Weight Around

    Climate Talks Flop COP25 was meant to tackle the climate crisis. It fell short

    Tara John, Arwa Damon, Ingrid Formanek and Sheena McKenzie, December 15, 2019 (CNN)

    “The message from climate activists was passionate, the warning from the scientific community and countries already experiencing the effects of climate change, urgent. The action from world powers has been excruciatingly slow and inadequate…What had been scheduled as a 12-day summit [of nearly 200 countries] aimed at hammering out the rules of the 2015 Paris Climate accord, instead dragged on two extra days and highlighted the huge disconnect between the world's biggest polluting nations, and the global community demanding change...[Many observers, scientists and climate activists called the summit’s] agreement a monumental failure, strewn with watered-down language that kicks urgent items down the road to COP26 in 2020…

    Negotiators struggled to find common ground at the summit, especially over rules for a new global carbon trading market…The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, India and other big polluters are accused of obstructionist behavior while Australia and Brazil stand accused of seeking loopholes to recycle old carbon credits in order to meet their commitments…There were some signs of hope…[F]inance ministers from more than 50 countries unveiled an action plan that would see them incorporate climate solutions into their policies…” click here for more

    Southeastern Utility Giant Throwing Its Weight Around Southern Cities' Renewable Energy Push Could Be Stifled as Utility Locks Them Into Longer Contracts; The utility has only modest plans for emissions cuts over the next 20 years. Its shift to longer contracts would prevent customers in 7 states from leaving.

    James Bruggers, December 16, 2019 (Inside Climate News)

    “As cities in the South start exploring ways to expand renewable energy, some are running into an obstacle that could set those plans back decades…The Tennessee Valley Authority, a public utility owned by the federal government, serves a population of 10 million in seven southeastern states through a distribution network of local power companies. While it has a lower carbon footprint than many utilities right now, its plans envision only modest improvements over the next 20 years…[It has persuaded many of those power companies] to agree to 20-year contracts—a much longer timeframe than its past agreements…

    Conspicuously absent from that list, however, are some of the largest local power companies in the TVA system, including those that serve Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Huntsville, Alabama. Together, the hold-outs account for nearly half of TVA's operating revenues…[Their] fear is that signing long-term deals now will limit their bargaining power over everything from electricity rates to significantly boosting renewable energy, which some customers are demanding…” click here for more

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