Peak district, UK
Peak district, UK

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UK: Fracking firm complained about national parks ban — now it’s being changed

Fracking firm Celtique Energy complained about a ban on drilling in national parks introduced by the government earlier this year, an Energydesk FOI has turned up.

Celtique, which had plans to frack South Downs national park thwarted, told energy minister Matt Hancock in August last year that it was ‘confused and concerned’ by the proposed rule changes.

This follows yesterday’s news that the UK government is trying to sneak through a law that would allow fracking firms to drill under national parks.

We have profiled the people on the committee who discussed the fracking rule change, including MPs with connections to the shale sector.

Meanwhile the gas glut in the US has driven down gas prices to their lowest level in more than three years, reports the FT.

That brewing commodity crisis comes as the oil industry continues to wrestle with record low oil prices, something which has forced Shell to accept a $2 billion loss when cancelling its oil sands project in Canada, the FT also reports.

They also blamed a shortage of pipeline capacity in the region.

COP: No carbon price but there is the prospect of fossil fuel lawsuits

UN climate chief Christina Figueres says the deal struck at the Paris conference next month will not include a global carbon price, reports The Guardian.

Addressing an investor event in London, she said a deal is all-but-certain: “It is unstoppable. No amount of lobbying at this point is going to change the direction.”

At that same meet, Bank of America warned that fossil fuel companies face the increasing risk of legal action over climate abuses like the asbestos class-action lawsuits, reports The Telegraph.

But back to the Paris deal: The French envoy outlined the key challenges ahead of the conference, including the evergreen dispute of wealthy countries financially supporting developing countries, reports Reuters.

Climate change: Bad news for the Middle East, penguins and south east asian businesses

A raft of new climate change studies have just come out detailing the damage global warming could cause.

According to one published by Nature Climate Change, temperatures in the Middle East could get so high that the region will become uninhabitable.

Another from Nature Communications says climate change could threaten the king penguin.

(While we’re in this part of the world, check out the NYT’s amazing longform piece on the melting Greenland)

And finally risk consultancy firm Verisk Maplecroft said productivity around the world (but in south east Asia in particular) will fall massively in the next 35 years.

In other news

China’s solar panel sector will overtake Germany this year, writes the FT.

Poland’s new president has refused to endorse an emissions-cutting amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, reports EurActiv. And while we’re on that, check out our climate and energy analysis of the recent election.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom says she asked herself if climate change was real after she was named energy and climate change secretary, reports the Telegraph. And while we’re on that, we caught the MP being misleading about solar sector approval of her department’s solar subsidy cuts.

It’s the Republican debate tonight (yes, another one) and pressure group NextGen Climate has paid for an ad to run during the CNBC discussion, reports the New York Times. And while we’re on that, we interviewed Republican congressman Bob Inglis about climate change denialism in the GOP.

And Tesla may be heading to India, reports Quartz. But not it’s cars — it’s batteries.