4 percent: The limited scope of new sanctions on Russia's Rosneft makes them unlikely to greatly deter future energy deals with the West, but any US limit on a company responsible for more than 4 percent of global oil is a big deal. The new sanctions tighten the grip on Moscow and make broad sectoral sanctions the next logical step in the Obama administration’s slow-boil diplomacy.
West Stream: Europe has yet to match the latest round of sanctions, but it is finding quieter ways to crimp Russia’s energy sector. South Stream talks are still on hold, and the EU again delayed an important decision on whether Gazprom can pump more gas from Nord Stream into Germany’s pipelines. Meanwhile, at this week’s TTIP talks, EU officials pressed US counterparts on lifting energy trade restrictions, hoping its next new gas flows will come from the West.
Tax-free: Australia’s carbon tax reversal should not be interpreted as a wholesale denial of climate change, or even as a rejection of carbon pricing as a potential solution. It should, however, demonstrate that taxing carbon without offsetting cuts elsewhere is unlikely to be sustainable. The majority of Australians still want to reduce carbon emissions; They just don’t like how their government went about doing it.
– by David J. Unger; Send tips/events/reports/comments/corrections to email@example.com.