Hydraulic Fracking Protest in England

From Energydesk

Poland: Europe’s most polluted country in trouble with the EU but won’t clean up coal

The European Commission will take Poland to the EU Court of Justice unless it sorts out its extreme air pollution.

The only problem is that the Polish government is so beholden to fossil fuel interests that it is unlikely to push for a reduction in coal fired emissions – even though an estimated 43,000 Poles die from air pollution each year.

Comment: The Pope’s climate encyclical isn’t “anti-Polish” – it’s the opposite

Still in Poland, and some in the Polish press have labelled Pope Francis’ anti-fossil fuel encyclical last week “anti-Polish”.

Katarzyna Guzek from Greenpeace Poland says it should give the catholic and coal country a wake-up call.

Walrus protections could trip up Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

Shell may have got passed the Obama administration and environmental groups to start drilling in the Arctic, but not it has another obstacle: Walruses.

A little known permitting rule designed to protect walruses and other marine mammals from disturbance, could see Shell barred from operating both of its Arctic drill rigs at the same time this summer, which environmental groups say will be situated too close together.

Environmentalist sent a letter to the US Secretary of the Interior pointing out that under 2013 Fish and Wildlife Service regulations drilling rigs are required to be placed no less than 15 miles apart. Shell’s are set to be just nine miles apart.

Top stories

Netherlands: Landmark court ruling could be just the start

A surprise court ruling which orders the Dutch government to cut emissions by at least 25% by 2020, could be followed by similar judgements across the world.

Cases are already in the works in the Philippines and Belgium, with environmental groups hoping the Dutch decision starts a “wave of climate litigation”.

In a landmark ruling, the court in the Hague said the government had a duty to protect its citizens from the harmful effects of climate change and ordered the emissions target be increased from a cut of 17% on 1990 levels, to a quarter.

The sustainability foundation Urgenda brought the lawsuit using human rights law, arguing that climate change would bring extreme weather events that would leave citizens vulnerable, particularly in low-lying countries like the Netherlands.

UK: Lancashire County Councillors delay fracking decision again

Councillors have again delayed the decision on whether to approve the UKs first full-scale fracking site, saying they need to seek further legal advice.

The decision about whether to allow fracking at the Preston New Road site near Little Plumpton on the Fylde Coast will now take place on Monday.

Opponents had hoped councillors would reject plans by energy giant Cuadrilla to begin operations in Lancashire after reports of problems at the Presse Hall site which was abandoned by Cuadrilla in 2013.

Other stories

Australia: Risk of blowing carbon budget means Abbott government “backing wrong horse” over coal

Germany: Berlin bows to energy companies and scraps plans for climate levy on power sector

Gas: Natural gas leaks negate climate benefits

US: California coal divestment gets a step closer