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1) IEA’s new scenario shows way to 3-degree world

IEA has today set out its stall on climate ahead of the Paris climate talks at the end of the year. The think tank has introduced a new ‘Bridge’ scenario that sees global emissions peaking by 2020 and results in 2.6 degrees of global warming.

As some media outlets point out, this is more than their 450 – 2 degree – scenario (the previously internationally-agreed threshold beyond which we’d see tipping points for floods, droughts, rising seas and storms) – but less than the IEA’s main energy scenario, called ‘New Policies’, which results in 3.6 degrees of warming.

There has been a lot of coverage of this significant report.

Pledged contributions to emissions reductions ahead of the talks so far would end up in 2.6 degrees, Reuters reports, though others have emphasised that last year was the first that saw emissions stall, and decouple from economic growth – aside from during economic recession. The IEA’s chief economist warned the Paris talks need to send a strong signal on global warming in order to divorce economic growth and GHG emissions growth.

Peaking energy-related emissions by 2020 would come at no net economic cost – and could be achieved by boosting renewables and energy efficiency, cutting coal use, capping methane emissions and cutting fossil fuel subsidies – which the agency points out are 16 times higher than carbon prices. In related news, OECD talks to phase out coal subsidies end in stalemate, with Japan asking for more time.

Investment in low-carbon technologies is proving more effective at curbing emissions than previously thought, writes Business Green’s Jessica Shankleman – and The FT’s key takeaway is that renewables will overtake coal if climate pledges are kept – growing to almost a third of power generation by 2030.

2) Shell has jumped yet more hurdles on its way to Arctic drilling 

Shell, which is just weeks away from drilling in the Arctic of Alaska’s coast, has had two more permits approved, Fuelfix reports. The permits allow Shell to discharge wastewater in the Chukchi Sea. There are four more permits that need to be received before Shell can drill in the Alaskan Arctic – two wildlife harassment permits, and two drilling permits. (Here’s our recent story on marine mammal harassment.)

Shell’s spill response plan has been approved by an appeals court, after environmental groups challenged the its initial approval by the government. (Here’s our story on how Shell said it would clean up a spill.)

Shell is one of 15 oil and gas companies that has been courted by DECC to help implement the Wood Review recommendation to maximise the economic recovery of UK petroleum, Desmog’s Kyla Mandel reports.  

Meanwhile, the energy giant has retreated from Ukrainian shale gas exploration plans, has seen its shares hit – along with BP – by Saudi Arabia’s willingness to increase production.

In other news

UK: The Guardian’s Terry Macalister writes of doubts cast over Swansea Bay tidal lagoon’s engineering contract with China.

UK: Up to 30 onshore wind farms planned across Scotland could be scrapped as a result of Conservative plans to axe subsidies, The Sunday Times reports.

China: Stop using China as an excuse for inaction on climate change, George Monbiot writes.

China: China’s Premier Li Keqiang restated the government’s commitment to achieve peak carbon emissions by “around 2030.”

M&A: The European Commission has sent a list of concerns to GE over its proposed $17bn acquisition of Alstrom’s power business, WSJ reports.

US: Energy is a key issue in the US election, polls suggest.