Washington Post: Al Gore Just Had ‘an Extremely Interesting Conversation’ With Trump on Climate Change

As Donald Trump continues to indicate that he might be willing to change his position on climate change, which he has long called a “hoax,” the president-elect met Monday with former vice president Al Gore, who has become a prominent activist in the fight against global warming.

Gore was originally scheduled to meet just with Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka, who is not registered with a political party and has pushed her father to adopt some positions usually promoted by Democrats. Gore told reporters that after that meeting, he had “an extremely interesting conversation” with the president-elect.

“I had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect. It was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” Gore told reporters after spending about 90 minutes at Trump Tower in Manhattan during the lunch hour Monday. “I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I'm just going to leave it at that.”

Guardian: Australia's Energy Transmission Industry Calls for Carbon Trading

Australia’s electricity and gas transmission industry is calling on the Turnbull government to implement a form of carbon trading in the national electricity market by 2022 and review the scope for economy-wide carbon pricing by 2027.

Energy Networks Australia warns in a new report examining how to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050 that policy stability and regulatory certainty are the key to delivering lower power prices and reliable electricity supply.

While Tony Abbott once characterized carbon pricing as a wrecking ball through the Australian economy, the new report, backed by CSIRO, says adopting an emissions intensity scheme is the least costly way of reducing emissions, and could actually save customers $200 a year by 2030.

Auto Blog: Ford Wants Trump to Lower MPG Standards

After selling about 70,000 "electrified" vehicles (that is, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles) in 2015 and being on track to do the same in 2016, Ford is crying uncle. Ford now wants to lead the charge to lower the federal fuel economy standards. That's according to Bloomberg, which talked to Ford CEO Mark Fields. Fields said that he wants to talk to Trump about many things, including lower CAFE standards.

"We will be very clear in the things we'd like to see," Fields told Bloomberg. Fields said that the rules -- which Ford agreed to, of course, in 2011 -- mean that automakers have to build more hybrids and electric vehicles than they want to. And there's no demand, Fields said as he blamed car shoppers. "In 2008, there were 12 electrified vehicles offered in the US market and it represented 2.3 percent of the industry," he said. "Fast forward to 2016, there are 55 models, and year to date it's 2.8 percent."

IEEE Spectrum: Germany's Aggressive Switch to Renewables Will Save €149 Billion

The switch to renewables in Germany is saving money and creating jobs, according to a new economic analysis by the international consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The report finds that the German government’s 2015-2020 climate action plan and energy-efficiency measures will save about 149 billion euros.

Research that appeared last month in Earth Systems Science Data suggested that global carbon-dioxide emissions will be growing slowly, thanks in part to reduction moves by China and the United States. Several research projects have found that a downturn in the use of fossil fuels in the United States that would come from switches to renewable energy could save U.S. consumers money -- but coal’s not dead yet. President-elect Donald Trump insisted during the campaign season that supporting the U.S. coal industry will help the economy and create jobs. Meanwhile, India plans to double coal production by 2020.

Utility Dive: How PG&E's EV Charging Pilot Will Test Utility Ownership Models

The controversy over utility ownership of electric-vehicle charging infrastructure could to come to a head in California. 

Two of the state’s three dominant investor-owned utilities are already acting on plans to build networks of EV chargers approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. In one, the utility will own all the chargers; in the other, all will be owned by independent charger providers.

The third pilot -- PG&E’s closely watched hybrid proposal -- will involve both utility- and third-party-owned EV chargers. Set to be decided this month, it could be especially important in helping regulators decide how to structure the large-scale charger buildout in the nation’s largest electric-vehicle market.

Advocates for utility ownership say their ability to rate-base investments can help ensure charging infrastructure reaches all customers -- not just the higher-income ones who today account for the majority of EV ownership. But third-party providers say that could squeeze them out of the market, and consumer advocates have voiced concerns about the cost-effectiveness of utility EV investments.