China coal port

Top 3 Stories

1) Coal giant’s profits slashed

The world’s largest coal company – China’s state-owned Shenhua Energy – has been hit by a 19% fall in profits year on year, Reuters reports. Shenhua’s sales are set to fall 10% in 2015.

In another indication that China’s war on air pollution is being taken very seriously indeed, Beijing has shut down the third of its four coal plants, the new wire also reports, with the last one to close next year.

China’s coal deaths are down to a record low, according to Mining.com.

Meanwhile, the BBC writes that in a rare admission, China’s top climate scientist has warned climate change could have a “huge impact” on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment.

2) US oil industry sues in response to new fracking rules

On Friday US President Obama announced fracking regulations for federal land or land owned by Indian tribes – and the oil industry promptly sued to attempt to reverse the new rules, many outlets including Fortune and Bloomberg report.

This happened amid reports that the US oil and gas rig count dropped last week for the 15th consecutive week.

In related news, oil prices slightly rose on Friday on a weak dollar and low rig count, WSJ reports – and crude-oil futures rallied.

3) BHP Billiton CEO: coal-to-gas switching ‘rich country solution’

The head of BHP Billiton, one of the world’s biggest coal miners, has said that gas and oil groups should stop saying the fossil fuels are cleaner than coal, the FT reports.

Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive of BHP Billiton, said calls to switch from coal to gas as a way of reducing emissions were “a very western, rich country solution”.

Energydesk previously covered a couple of studies out last year that found renewables, not coal were the solutions to fuel poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and India – and coal burning does not drive economic growth.

In other news

The Guardian reports Australia’s leading coral reef scientists have called for huge coal mining and port developments in Queensland to be scrapped in order to avoid “permanent damage” to the Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile, we reported that Adani, the Indian coal firm leading the developments is struggling to find financing.

The Indian government has confirmed that the Mahan coal block in the deep forest of  Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh will not be auctioned, following environment ministry’s recommendation to keep it off mining limits, the Economic Times reports.

Georgetown, Texas, has forsaken fossil fuels and vowed to be all-renewable by 2017, ecowatch writes.

In the UK, a brand new school for 14 to 18 year olds, which focuses on the engineering and renewables industries, will open for the new school year in September 2015 in Scunthorpe town centre, according to local media reports.