Oil majors prepare for profit bloodbath

CRIB NOTES 1-5 FEB: BP and Shell results due, Tubiana named a champion, Bloomberg predict $12.5 trillion needed to back Paris, UN to debate loss and damage 

(Pic: Deepsea Aberdeen semi-submersible rig)

(Pic: Deepsea Aberdeen semi-submersible rig)

By Ed King

Hydrocarbon giants BP and Shell release their annual results this week – and it’s likely to be bad news.

Reports indicate Shell (due Thursday) will reveal a 40% fall in profits to $10.8 billion, and a 57% drop in the last quarter of 2015. Last week shareholders gave the green light to a £36 billion takeover of BG. BP’s results (due Tuesday) are likely to reveal last quarter profits fell two-thirds on 2014.

Crashing oil prices have forced both companies to write off projects and cut thousands of staff.

Tubiana nominated

France’s chief climate diplomat Laurence Tubiana has been named one of two ‘climate champions’ for the new Paris agreement. Not a massive surprise but it means the highly respected envoy will have a high profile up to 2020, encouraging countries to maintain their commitment to the UN pact. Here’s our interview with Tubiana, which took place just before her appointment last week.

Investment call

A whopping $12.5 trillion is needed in the next 25 years to meet the goals outlined in the Paris climate deal, says a report from the Boston-based Ceres consultancy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released on Friday.

Of that wind, solar, geothermal and other zero-emission power sources will need $5.2 trillion of backing, largely in emerging and developing economies.

The total is around 75% more than current predictions of clean energy growth, but it’s realistic if investment funds and big business signal their support for the sector.

“The clean energy industry could make a very significant contribution to achieving the lofty ambitions expressed by the Paris Agreement,” BNEF Chairman Michael Liebreich said.

Monday’s one to watch

UNEP chief Achim Steiner, WTO head Roberto Azevêdo and Philippines trade and industry secretary Gregory Domingo discuss the implications of the COP21 Paris pact on the sidelines of the World Trade Organisation talks in Nairobi. 11-1230 CET – LIVE HERE.

Africa solar alliance

Ethiopia has become the latest country to sign up to the UK-backed Energy Africa campaign, according to the Department for International Development. “They pledged to boost solar energy access in a deal signed with Britain at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa,” reads a press release. More on Africa’s energy challenge here.

Keep an eye out for…

New UN push on COP21: This week Christiana Figueres will lead a social media drive to propel the Paris pact back onto newspaper front pages.

Green Climate Fund: Meets from 2-4 Feb in Cape Town to discuss its ‘strategic plan’ (yes – there is one). Background here from the Third World Network think tank.

Iowa primaries: The race to become US president gets real this week, with the first round of Democrat and Republican ‘caucuses’ to choose who will be their respective candidates for the White House (Monday/Tuesday)

UK Parliament: Siemens Plc, Scottish Renewables, and Velocita Energy Developments Ltd talk to MPs on the Energy Committee about whether investor confidence in the UK energy sector has been affected by the Government’s ‘energy policy reset’ (Watch via webcast here on Tuesday)

Loss and damage

Climate envoys will be back in the familiar surroundings of Bonn this week, tasked with pushing forward talks on loss and damage (more on that here). CARE International’s Sven Harming will be following discussions closely – here’s his take on what’s at stake:

“After the controversial loss and damage discussions in Paris, the Executive Committee of the UNFCCC Warsaw Mechanism will have to take stock after Paris and kick off substantive progress towards delivering on its 2016 work plan. The ExCom members with the support of observers will also have to start working on the new Paris tasks, which includes the set-up of a task force on climate change displacement and a clearing-house on risk transfer.”

Next steps for the Paris deal

This just in from the UN: “The authentic text of the Paris Agreement in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, will be transmitted by the UNFCCC Executive Secretary to the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in New York as soon as it becomes available.

“Following this, certified true copies will be distributed to all Parties to the Convention and the Paris Agreement will open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 April, 2016 to 21 April, 2017. The UN Secretary-General is convening a high-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement on 22 April, 2016 and is inviting all Parties to the Convention to sign the agreement at this ceremony, or at their earliest opportunity.”

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