Coral Reef at Holbourne Island in the Great Barrier Reef

Top 4 stories

1) Doubts over funding for Adani’s mega Queensland coal project

As speculation mounts over whether State bank of India will go through with a $1bn loan deal to Indian coal firm Adani’s massive Queensland coal mine project – Energydesk writes ‘Adani’s Galilee coal project struggling to get financial support amid reef fears’. 

Reuters reported on Friday that SBI was planning to go back on its initial MoU for the funding, while the Times of India reported that SBI’s chair said it was “all gossip” – but the state bank’s official spokesperson was not available for comment.

The main reasons stated for the withdrawal of funding was that the bank low coal price and lack of profitability of Queensland coal mines.

However, mining companies eyeing off the massive untapped resources of Queensland’s Galilee Basin insist the global downturn in the price of coal will prove no impediment to their future plans, reports ABC.

Meanwhile, news.com.au reports that a slowdown in China and shrinkage in the consumption of coal are “tearing holes in the fabric of once-booming mining towns in Queensland’s Bowen Basin”.

In related news, 90% of Australian coal plants have been rated ‘at risk’ in a stranded asset report by the University of Oxford – “by far” the most carbon-intensive sub-critical fleet in the world, RenewEconomy writes.

The analysis saw Chinese companies dominating the top of the ranking but US companies occupying 10 of the top 25 places, The Guardian’s Damian Carrington reports. He also writes that the UNFCCC is backing the divestment campaign ahead of the COP in Paris in December.

2) Global coal capacity slow down

For every new coal plant built around the world, two have been shelved or cancelled since 2010, a new report has found. Here’s our Energydesk story: “Worldwide boom in coal slows down.

This follows an IEA announcement on Friday that for the first time in the modern world the global emissions of CO2 did not rise in 2014, decoupling from economic growth, which rose – everyone reported including the FT and NYT.

Richard Black writes that “Emissions did not actually fall in 2014. But emissions intensity – the amount of carbon dioxide released per unit of GDP – did.”

What this means is that effort to tackle climate change – such as investing in renewables and energy savings – could be working.

Meanwhile, The Street reports shares of the largest private coal firm, Peabody Energy, dropped after  Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “neutral” – reasons include reduced thermal coal outlook and falling thermal coal imports.

3) UK oil and gas urges clemency

Ahead of this week’s budget on Wednesday, Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney has renewed calls for a “fundamental” change to oil and gas taxation to help the ailing North Sea industry, the BBC reports.

Bank of Scotland research has found nine out of 10 gas firms operating in the UK are planning to expand in the next year, despite the slump in prices, according to The Scotsman.

4) US oil price crash – Exxon Mobil calls for new policies

Consol Energy announced on Friday that it is cutting its spending, as a result of the oil price crash, Business Insider reports.

The chairman of Exxon Mobil Rex Tillerson urged US policymakers are called on to adopt the energy policies necessary to take advantage of the new ‘era of abundance’, UPI writes.

Meanwhile the IEA  says the ‘precarious’ oil market has further to drop as supplies from the US show no sign of slowing.

In other news

A major Japanese machinery company has said it has succeeded in transmitting energy wirelessly, marking a step toward making solar power generation in space a reality, Phys.org writes.

The Obama administration says wind energy could supply 35% of the nation’s electricity by 2050 and says that within 10 years wind energy will be competitive even with existing coal plants, RenewEconomy reports.

Oil company BP has signed an agreement to invest $12 billion in Egypt that will produce 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, reports the Times of India.

The University of Oxford will decide whether to pull out of its investments in coal and oil sands later today, the BBC advises.

A Labour government would press ahead with its planned energy price freeze with new legislation within months of taking office, Ed Miliband has said, according to the BBC and others. Meanwhile E.On E.ON accuses Labour of undermining confidence in energy markets with his announcement, the Guardian writes.