1) Energy business: Shell, Centrica, Statoil face strife
The Guardian reports that more than 12,000 jobs are being axed by two of Britain’s leading energy companies on the back of lower oil prices and major internal restructuring.
The news comes as the Wall Street Journal notes that Statoil ambitious expansion in oil production beyond Norwegian shores is increasingly yielding an unwanted byproduct: losses.
That said – it’s really not all doom and gloom for the sector, Centrica’s UK domestic arm – British Gas – saw it’s profits almost double to £528m.
2) Coal & poverty: World bank, Oxfam dispute link between coal and poverty
The World Bank said coal was no cure for global poverty on Wednesday, rejecting a main industry argument for building new fossil fuel projects in developing countries – the Guardian reports.
The study comes after a report by Oxfam claimed renewables, not coal, offered a faster way out of poverty for developing countries with poorly developed power-grids.
Amidst the academic work Reuters reports that EU bosses are pushing to resolve a clash between industry and environmental policy with a new strategy to phase out funding to export coal technology to developing nations, ahead of a meeting of leading economic powers on the issue.
3) US mini-roundup: EPA pushes back deadline for carbon compliance, offshore wind project starts & Trump has wind assets
The US Environmental Protection Agency appears to be leaning toward giving states an extra two years — until 2022 — to start cutting carbon emissions from power plants under a final Clean Power Plan rule expected to be rolled out as early as Monday.
The news comes though as Reuters reports that Rhode Island’s Deepwater Wind will start installing the foundations for North America’s first offshore wind farm on Monday, a milestone the company says could pave the way for an industry long established in Europe but that is still struggling with opposition in the United States.
Interestingly US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has invested in one of the world’s largest generators of wind power, filings revealed this week, despite him launching a ferocious campaign against a new wind farm in Scotland – notes Business Green.