UK hands fracking firms “most generous tax breaks in world”

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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Environmentalists have branded the news shale firms will receive tax breaks as a “disgrace” (Pic: HM Treasury/Flickr)

UK: George Osborne has infuriated environmentalists by announcing big tax breaks for the fracking industry in a bid to kickstart a shale gas revolution that could enhance Britain’s energy security but also increase its carbon emissions. (Guardian)

USA: The Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy on Thursday to head the Environmental Protection Agency, helping the agency move forward on President Obama’s climate change plan. (USA Today)

South Africa: The country’s Renewables Support Programme, worth $1.3 billion, will see Eskom develop the first commercial-scale wind farm in the country and one of the world’s largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. Each of these two projects will add 100MW to the grid. (Reuters)

Carbon markets: UN-approved Certified Emission Reductions, or CERs, for December have more than doubled to 49 cents (70 c. cents) from a record low in April on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Brazil: Deforestation has soared in the Brazilian Amazon since a new forestry code was passed last year at the urging of the agribusiness lobby, a non-profit environmental group said Thursday. (

UK: Britain’s first hydrogen-fuelled ferry has been officially launched in Bristol harbour. (Business Green)

EU: Chief executives of some of Britain’s largest energy service companies have warned of “significant economic consequences” if Brussels implements a fuel quality directive that would classify crude from Canada’s oil sands as dirtier than other types. (FT)

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