1) US: Fracking bans banned in Texas, Seattle protests Shell as US climate impacts studies reveal stress for southern states
The governor of Texas has signed into law a bill that prohibits cities and towns in Texas from banning shale gas drilling. This follows a vote in Denton – where “fracking” was pioneered – to ban the practice in November last year.
In the north, protesters at the Port of Seattle gathered yesterday to block access to the Royal Dutch Shell rig headed to the Arctic to drill for oil.
Meanwhile a new climate change study suggests that Americans are crowding to a southern “corridor” where future heatwaves are set to become more severe. Another study in the same journal said that hurricanes will become stronger though their frequency will decline.
And further research warns that western US states must “climate-proof” their electricity grids.
2) Renewables: UK wind & waste, Australia RET, Sweden future solar, Buffet mixed messages
E.On has received the formal go-ahead to build an offshore wind farm in the English Channel – which will be visible from Brighton.
In Australia, a Senate enquiry has calculated that 1000 more wind turbines will be needed to reach its renewable energy target (RET).
TIME reports on a new(ish) Swedish technology that can covert 34% of sunlight into solar energy. There’s a video explaining all.
And Warren Buffet is sending mixed messages on green energy, reports Bloomberg.
3) Fossil fuels: Divestment moves, IMF $5.3tn subsidy figure
Oxford University has agreed to divest from coal and tar sands – but campaigners say this is still not enough.
Meanwhile the IMF has said in a report that governments are not charging prices for energy that account for harmful environment and health impacts. This amounts to a $5.3tn “post-tax” subsidy this year.
The FT covers the same report – adding that governments misallocate the equivalent of what is spent globally on public health.
4) Europe: Emissions fall 4.5% in 2014, Balkan coal rush, France urges early COP pledges
Emissions are decreasing even as European economies are getting back into growth, according to ETS data and the EU climate commissioner. That said, there’s a coal rush in Balkan countries and Ukraine, which campaigners warn could cause lasting damage to climate and health.
France’s foreign minister has called for countries to present their plans to limit impact on the climate by the 30 October deadline for the Paris talks, saying that the situation is “dramatic” and that it is “urgent that we act”. Thankfully Al Gore is optimistic of a global climate deal being struck at the conference in December.
In other news:
World Bank: One in seven still without electricity