1. Bypassing congress
Obama’s efforts to sidestep an obstructive Congress to drive action on climate change will receive a boost today, as over one hundred experts prepare to present him with a list of around 200 ways in which he can exercise executive action. The report will make recommendations in six areas, the National Journal reports, including energy efficiency and new business models.
2. The firing squad
Any official who increases coal burning through adding new steel capacity in the heavily industrialised area around Beijing faces being fired from his job, says the governor of Hebei. According to Greenpeace’s EnergyDesk, he told the media: “one ton [of steel production capacity] gets added, and the person responsible is fired”.
3. Electric vehicle road rage
In 2010, German software company SAP decided to install 16 electric vehicle charging ports at its campus for the handful of employees who owned electric vehicles. But three years later, the business faces a problem that the San Jose Mercury News says is increasingly common at Silicon Valley companies: demand is beginning to outstrip supply. There are 61 employees who now own electric cars, leading to some notorious incidents of “charge rage”.
4. Green MEP vs Total
Radical Green MEP Jose Bove has pledged to help British communities resist fracking by the French oil company Total, which announced last week it was taking a 40% share in the shale gas exploration in the East Midlands, reports the Guardian. He said: “We clearly need a moratorium at the European level against fracking. If needed, I will come to be in front of the police in Britain.”
5. Al Gore showdown
Alison Redford, the Premier of Alberta, says that she hopes to “give Al Gore the facts” about tar sands production in Canada when she meets him at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. The Calgary Herald reports that she has accused him of not having science on his side and spreading inaccurate information.