On Energydesk: What do low and volatile oil prices mean for Shell’s Arctic drilling?
New this morning, here’s a good look at the commercial viability of Shell’s Arctic drilling programme. The drilling taking place right now in the Alaskan Chukchi Sea is only in the exploration stage and it could take 10-15 years to reach commercial production of oil. But if the low oil price (currently around $50 a barrel) sticks around until 2030, the near $10 billion Shell has spent could yield paltry returns. We can’t predict the oil price (although many try) – but we do have analysis and comment from a number of experts on the breakeven cost of Shell’s Arctic adventures.
Australian prime minister ousted: The infamously climate change denying Tony Abbott has fallen foul of poor opinion polls and Australia now has a new prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
Environmental groups called on Turnbull to be more ambitious when it comes to setting emissions targets, and a host of other policy groups are getting ready to put their requests to the new PM.
Australia is currently the highest per-capita greenhouse gas emitter among rich nations, notes the New Scientist – but concedes that although Turnbull seems more amenable to climate action, he is unlikely to shift Australia’s climate policies much in the short term.
This power shift is likely to have EU implications, as Turnbull is likely to re-embrace climate policies Europe likes, writes Ryan Heath in Politico Europe.
EU and OECD climate talks coal subsidy “standoff”: The European Parliament has urged EU governments to include aviation and shipping in a strong climate deal in Paris at the end of this year.
Meanwhile the rich world is struggling to resolve a row over phasing out coal subsidies. The host of the UN climate summit, France, is piling on political pressure to restrict subsidies that help nations export technology for coal power generation. Discussions reopen on the issue in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on Thursday, but an anonymous source has described the situation as a “total standoff”.
UK’s new opposition government forms: Britain’s Labour Party has a new leader and a new shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who has argued in the past for a “removal” of the “monopoly of the big six energy companies”.
Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, is the new shadow energy and climate change secretary, and “outspoken vegan” Kerry McCarthy of Bristol East is the new shadow minister for the department of the environment and rural affairs.
And households across the UK could see their energy bills soar by 25% this month as 24 popular fixed-rate tariffs expire.
In other news