Energy

Time for accountability – Climate Weekly

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Next EU energy chief backs gas as part of climate transition

Former Estonian minister Kadri Simson told MEPs a 2050 carbon neutral target was ‘wise’ and said gas ‘might be the most cost-efficient option’ to get off coal

Growing anti-coal alliance could become non-proliferation treaty for fossil fuel

With the addition of coal-dependent Germany and Slovakia, the powering past coal alliance may start a new, normative era of climate governance

‘New Bretton Woods’ needed to fix global system and climate: outgoing UN official

As she steps down from leading UN sustainable energy push, Rachel Kyte said global institutions must be rebuilt and aligned with action on climate change

Australian emissions rise as LNG production soars

Emissions from gas extraction cause carbon pollution to continue to rise, while agency issues warning about health of Great Barrier Reef

Indonesian government under pressure to stamp out toxic haze

Rampant forest fires are causing polluting smog to travel to neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore, sending air quality plummeting in Southeast Asia

Court blocks Polish coal plant, in win for climate campaigners

Client Earth successfully challenged the Ostrołęka C project on behalf of shareholders, arguing it was a bad financial bet as renewables become competitive

European Investment Bank moots fossil fuel lending ban

The world’s largest development bank proposed a pivot to clean energy, in a draft plan for consideration by EU finance ministers in September

Energy

Renewable Energy

Zimbabweans work at night to beat hydropower shortage as drought bites

Low water levels at Kariba Dam mean power cuts lasting 16 hours a day in capital Harare, making it difficult for businesses to survive

AIIB must stop backing gas in climate-hit Bangladesh

The Beijing-headquartered development bank is skewed towards fossil fuels, when it should be helping poorer countries access clean renewable power

Europe’s largest solar plant unveiled amid Spanish renewable rebirth

€300 million investment plan comes amid buoyant optimism for Spain’s long suffering solar sector

Australian voters can’t trust the Coalition on climate and energy

The current government has only shown contempt for meaningful climate policy and renewable energy – why would they change now?

Multiple coal deals emerge from China’s ‘green’ investment summit

At the belt and road summit in Beijing, leaders talked up sustainable development, while investors forged ahead with polluting power projects in partner countries

China promotes ‘green’ belt and road, but is pressured over coal investments

More than 30 heads of state arrive in Beijing to court its massive outward investment plan, but the UN chief and others warn the investments must be sustainable

New York City bans inefficient glass skyscrapers, WA state to end coal

New York mayor announces sweeping climate change programme, while Washington’s power will be carbon-neutral by 2030

EU, China agree to work together on clean energy

After a Brussels summit dominated by trade tensions, the two major powers presented a united front on climate change and clean energy

Renewable energy

Fossil Fuels

UN warned corporate courts could thwart climate efforts

Campaigners are urging reform of an obscure system that allows coal, oil and gas companies to sue governments if climate policies hit their profits

Oil tanker investments at risk from climate action, report says

Strong action on climate change would shrink demand for vessels by a third, impacting investment decisions being made now, analysts say

Why we need a non-proliferation treaty for fossil fuels

Most reserves of coal, oil and gas are unburnable if we are to prevent climate crisis. The international approach to nuclear weapons offers a model for action

China scrubs its coal projects from ‘world heritage in danger’ decision

Three coal plants that threaten the Sundarbans tiger habitat were removed from a draft text, while Unesco members declined to list the site as ‘in danger’

Countries must address this major Paris Agreement blind spot

As countries meet in Abu Dhabi to discuss their climate pledges, they must draw up plans to end the production of fossil fuels, not just their consumption

Four countries have declared climate emergencies, yet give billions to fossil fuels

The UK, France, Canada and Ireland have all formally recognised a climate crisis. But analysis shows they give $27.5bn annually in support for coal, oil and gas

Australia’s coal communities, ignored by Labor, deliver brutal election defeat

In a stunning upset, voters returned the pro-coal government, prompting soul-searching among Australia’s left wing parties

Germany to miss 2030 climate goal without coal phase out

Unless action is taken across the economy, the country will miss emissions goal by wide margin, government report shows

Fossil Fuels

Nuclear energy

Hungary wants end to coal power by 2030

‘Sky-rocketing’ EU carbon prices could mean Hungary is the first country in eastern Europe to set an exit date for the most polluting fossil fuel

Brexit: Avoiding the nuclear fallout

UK government report card on replacing the EU’s atomic energy community shows progress, but no deal on March 29 still threatens power and medical supply

UK offers green assurances for no-deal Brexit

London says it will carry over EU emissions rules for cars, coolants and industrial plants even if it crashes out in March with no negotiated deal

US launches nuclear initiative to cut carbon with Canada, Japan, UK

While the Trump administration generally avoids discussion of climate change, it is participating in a coalition to promote “clean, reliable” nuclear power

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

Nuclear Energy

Efficiency

EU ‘climate leaders’ plans found lacking

Finland, Sweden, Portugal, France and Germany praised for ambitious targets, but NGO analysis raises questions over details

Asian Development Bank signals end to ‘dirty’ coal finance

Falling renewable energy costs and a shadow carbon price are making coal power investments unviable, according to bank energy chief Yongping Zhai

UK government refuses to commit to EU clean energy targets after Brexit

The UK helped craft a deal on EU renewable and energy efficiency ambition but its participation after it leaves the union is uncertain

EU decides on non-binding 2030 energy efficiency target

Deal between lawmakers and ministers will cut energy waste 32.5% and reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports, but didn’t go far enough for green groups

EU closes in on clean energy package, with Spain, Italy joining push for higher targets

The EU is near agreement on measures to put its 2030 climate target into action, with a meeting of energy ministers on Monday swinging towards more ambition

EU climate laws undermined by Polish and Czech revolt, documents reveal

As the world looks to the EU for leadership on climate, eastern states are diluting laws supposed to guide Europe toward its carbon reduction targets

Energy efficiency becomes breakthrough issue in French election

All five leading candidates in France’s presidential election have made prominent energy efficiency pledges, now UK Labour have followed suit

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

Efficiency