1) Climate change: New study, pensions, climate leadership
The moderate anthropogenic global warming that has already occurred has quadrupled the frequency of heatwaves – and a failure to bring emissions under control will lead to a 62-fold increase in heat blasts, reports the NYT on the new study in Nature Climate Change. TIME adds that global warming causes 18% of heavy precipitation, and this will increase to 40% if temperatures continue to rise.
Nearly half of the world’s top pension funds are taking a bad gamble on climate change, says a financial think tank. Only 1.4% reduced the carbon intensity of their investments from the previous year.
And the whole subject of the climate is missing from the UK election – and this is what enables scepticism to take hold.
2) UK: BP, Centrica – plunging profits raise question of takeovers
Due to the extreme oil price drop in the last months (though it is at a four-month high today) BP’s profits have fallen to $2.1bn (from $3.5bn for the same quarter last year), prompting an intervention from UK leader David Cameron who wants to protect them from a takeover bid. In fact, the FT thinks that BP shareholders need protecting from David Cameron, and there’s more comment on the PM’s informal strategy of resistance from the Guardian’s Nils Pratley, who says it’s a cop-out.
Low oil prices continue to chill Centrica – who has failed to benefit from cold weather this winter – and it too is preparing in case it is approached with a takeover offer. Meanwhile the company’s AGM saw a protest vote over the pay of its new boss Ian Conn.
And Allister Heath rounds it all off by arguing in the Telegraph that those who rejoice at the woes of energy firms are making a big mistake.
3) Renewables: Strong forecasts, home batteries, Denmark’s wind, water into fuel
Scientific American reports that the US Energy Information Administration forecastsrenewables as the fastest growing energy source through to 2040.
Bloomberg Business reports on Tesla’s rise in the past three weeks as analysts see its home storage battery plan as a growth opportunity. And Quartz reports that Audi is making fuel from air and water.
Deutsche Welle has a long piece on tiny Denmark’s “wind power fairytale”: the country is on track to produce half its electricity from wind by 2020, and wind and other renewables will free it from fossil fuels by 2050.
In other news: