Energy

Unfinished business: Coal miners across South Africa walk away from clean up

Documents obtained by Climate Home reveal a growing crisis as big miners and government shift liability to small companies who cannot afford coal mine clean up

Coal power pipeline shrinks dramatically in boon for climate

A freeze on projects in China and India gives fresh hope of meeting tough global warming limits, according to a report by Coal Swarm, Greenpeace and Sierra Club

G20 report shows competing visions of a clean energy future

The IEA and IRENA issued separate press releases for their joint report, reflecting a gulf in expectations on the relative roles of renewables, nuclear and carbon capture

Carbon tangle: Norway must put oil ventures to a ‘climate test’

Norway has some of the most ambitious emissions policies in the world, but is opening oil fields that cannot pay back in a safe climate future, says SEI’s Peter Erickson

China kickstarting new coal boom in Pakistan

In a region of Pakistan besieged by drought, and blessed with solar potential, China is funding the expansion of huge new coal projects

Trump budget: US to stop funding UN climate process

“America First” budget would axe 20% of the UN’s climate body’s funding and $2bn to help developing countries deal with global warming

Watchdog suspends Azerbaijan, EU gas pipeline loans threatened

Billions in development loans at risk after international human rights watchdog strips Azeri membership for failure to increase transparency

Ancient tombs discovery stalls Polish coal mine development

Burial mounds from the 5,000-year-old Funnelbeaker culture stand in the way of the proposed Ościsłowo opencast lignite mine

Energy

Renewable Energy

Weekly wrap: Will China turn its back on coal?

This week’s top climate politics and policy stories. Sign up to have our newsletter sent to your inbox

China coal use fell again in 2016, solar capacity rose 82%

Massive investments in clean energy and economic shifts continue to dampen demand for coal in the world’s largest carbon emitter

World is well placed to stay under 2C – if we have carbon capture

“We are broadly in the right starting position to keep warming below 2C,” but most models require carbon capture to meet the Paris goal, researchers say

Trump won’t impact India’s climate drive, says energy minister

Piyush Goyal tells investors in Delhi his government is committed to a clean energy future, regardless of what direction the US takes

2016: the year wind outpaced coal in the EU

Wind energy overtakes coal as the EU’s second largest form of power capacity but concerns remain over politicians’ enthusiasm for renewables, reports the Guardian

Kenya clean energy revolution dogged by land disputes

One wind farm was cancelled and another – the flagship Lake Turkana project – was delayed by social conflict, report highlights

Women’s mosque goes solar in India clean energy push

As Uttar Pradesh lags its target for solar installations, female-led Ambar Mosque calls on everyone to do their bit for air quality and energy access

Saudi Aramco planning $5 billion clean energy binge

As low oil prices eat into country’s $600 billion sovereign wealth fund, state energy giant starts work on radical transition towards renewables

Renewable energy

Fossil Fuels

Maldives president defends Saudi atoll deal, but reveals no detail

Maldives “should be afforded the ability to expand our economy” says president in response to criticism of a US$10bn development deal with Saudi Arabia

Saudis make Maldives land grab to secure oil routes to China

Proposed multi-billion dollar deal sparks protests in the tiny atoll nation, which has found itself at the centre of a great game over oil, power and religion

Lessons from London’s 1952 fog could save millions today

Air pollution is one of the world’s biggest killers. Peter Thorsheim looks back at the resistance, disinformation and solutions that emerged from the London fog

Exxon Mobil shareholders renew call for 2C climate analysis

New York State and the Church of England lead investors worth US$4trn in campaign for US oil major to disclose climate risks

Court forces Turkish coal plant to suspend operations

Three years after it came online, Izdemir power station has been stripped of its environmental licence, in a win for campaigners

Mozambique expands coal port lapped by rising seas

Dignitaries celebrate the expansion of Maputo port, but experts warn fossil fuelled climate change threatens development gains

India subsidises electricity for the rich while millions lack access

While over 20% of India’s population has no access to electricity, the richest 40% of the population gets highly subsidised power

Campaigners claim legal win against Bosnian coal power push

Setback for Chinese-backed plant planned near Europe’s second most-polluted city, with a ruling it must comply with tougher pollution limits

Fossil Fuels

Nuclear energy

Wind, solar costs undercut new coal plants in South Africa

Wind and solar power are 40% cheaper than new coal generation today, analysis of government data shows

Atomic politics: UK mends China links with Hinkley deal

Choosing your power source should come down science and economics, but as the UK’s Hinkley saga shows it’s also a deeply political game

Atomic shambles: UK nuclear plans need urgent rethink

Planned celebrations by the nuclear industry were cancelled last week following the shock decision to put the world’s largest electricity project on hold

Could every UK town have a small nuclear reactor?

Industry poll shows that backing from the UK government is seen as a beacon of hope for a new breed of small nuclear reactors

Can nuclear really deliver 25% of global electricity by 2050?

Despite a record-breaking year of global nuclear construction in 2015, a report by the industry recognises that it still faces unresolved problems and uncertainties

Are small nuclear reactors a clean energy solution?

NEWS: Nuclear companies meet to discuss licensing the controversial modular reactors set to cost billions of dollars and be built near towns

As memory of Chernobyl, Fukushima fades, activists renew nuclear warning

BLOG: 2011 disaster survivors urge UK to ditch atomic plans: “Don’t consider Fukushima as something that could never never happen to you. It could.”

Armed ships embark on secretive plutonium mission

NEWS: Consignment from Japan to the US highlights hidden cost and security risk of growing nuclear waste stockpile

Nuclear Energy

Efficiency

UNEP: global climate action “still not good enough”

Greenhouse gas emissions need to fall a further 25% from projected levels in 2030 to meet 2C global warming limit, says report

Statoil chief: rise of electric cars will shrink oil industry

Once regarded as a joke, the electric car sector is growing fast with some predicting it could take a 35% share of car sales by 2035 – bad news for oil majors

Brazil shifts funds from coal to solar power

Major development bank is prioritising clean energy as economic crisis limits resources

IEA: oil, gas investments fell 25% in 2015

Energy experts say global investment patterns show a spectacular shift, with renewables on the rise and support for fossil fuels in sharp decline

Sustained cheap oil likely to hurt global climate plans

Low oil prices “considerably” hinder transition to greener energy, say IIASA and World Bank analysts, while sustained high prices would give a boost

Coalition of 17 US states signals support for wind, solar

NEWS: New ‘Accord’ published on Tuesday avoids direct mention of climate change, but makes economic case for renewables and warns of future extreme weather events

Vladimir Putin’s global warming fix: Carbon nanotubes

NEWS: Super-strong carbon nanotubes could transform materials like steel and plastics to slash carbon pollution, claims Russia

Philips targets carbon neutrality by 2020

NEWS: “We’ve reached the climate change checkout” but contributions are not enough, warns CEO, as giant lighting firm launches new efficiency drive

Efficiency