Top 5 Stories
1) UK: Closure of Longannet blamed on ‘renewables obsession’ as data finds Scotland climate policies outperforming rest of the country
Longannet, Scotland’s last coal-fired power station, looks set to close next year after failing to secure a deal with the National Grid, reports The Telegraph and everyone else.
Instead SSE’s gas-fired station at Peterhead was awarded the £15m contract that will see it providing power when renewables are unable to meet demand till September 2017, reports the BBC (and everyone else again).
The Scottish opposition parties – both Labour and Conservatives – have hit out over Longannet’s likely closure, which will cost hundreds of jobs, blaming the SNP’s ‘obsession with wind power’, reports The Times.
The Committee on Climate Change has found that carbon emissions have fallen further in Scotland than in the the rest of the country – 30% since 1990 vs 24% for the UK as a whole – reports Business Green.
Despite this, Scotland is failing meet its ambitious climate targets, with the BBC reporting the CCC recommending the introduction of a congestion charge to address transport emissions.
Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Ed Davey told Business Green that a Conservative government could weaken Britain’s role in the Paris climate summit at the end of 2015.
2) Climate change: Studies see Amazon collapse, sea-level rise
The Amazon rainforest, which scientists thought was handling well the atmosphere’s excess carbon dioxide, may soon experience degradation because emissions have sped up tree metabolism, according to a study via the New York Times.
And the Washington Post reports that climate change is causing an ocean circulation slowdown that could lead to an accelerated sea-level rise.
The Carbon Brief has broken down a Nature Climate Change study that said the carbon price should be 200% higher because modelling hasn’t accounted for extreme climate impacts.
3) China: Heating up faster than the rest of the world, and cutting energy efficiency targets
China has recently been making unprecedented noise about the impacts of climate chnage, and taking significant steps to addressing its own pollution problems.
Just yesterday Bloomberg reported on plans to close all of Beijing major coal-fired power plants, and new policies to ensure that clean energy is being used.
The government also released surface temperature data that revealed China has been heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world, reports Quartz.
Despite this, China has cut its energy efficiency target this year to 3.1%, the lowest of the past decade and markedly less than last year, as it also revised economic growth for the year, reports Radio Free Asia.
4) Europe: Ukraine to stop buying Russian gas as Germany considers fracking
Starting on April 1, Ukraine will – for now – stop buying Russian gas, reports Reuters.
With its current package ending at the close of March, Ukraine will require a lower price to keep on buying.
Meanwhile the German government has come under fire for a long-in-the-works bill that would legalise fracking, reports EurActiv.
5) US: Shale oil struggles, BP leaves climate-denying group
The oil price crisis is hitting US oil (WTI) far worse than the international Brent, which has shale companies clamouring for the US to lift its export ban, reports the FT.
Elsewhere, following the lead of tech giants Google and Apple, BP has severed ties to the climate change denying conservative lobbying group ALEC, reports the Guardian.
The US coal sector falling apart, according to a Carbon Tracker Initiative report covered by Business Green.
With dozens of companies going bust, and many other losing up to 80% of their market, natural gas, renewables and more stringent environmental policies have devastated US coal.
But the world-renowned Smithsonian museum has partnered up with controversial fossil fueled brothers Koch for a climate change exhibition, reports Climate Progress.
Long Read: Arthur Neslen of the Guardian looks at carbon capture and storage in Norway.