Screen shot 2015-04-29 at 09.15.37

Top 3 stories

1) Climate change: As Pope & UN call for action, questions are raised about the Arctic

Ahead of the Pope’s June encyclical in which he will elevate action on climate change to papal priority, the Vatican yesterday held a joint summit with the UN.

In a series of statements, the offices of Pope and UN Secretary General called climate change a “moral issue”.

A crop of climate change denialists, from the US Heartland Institute to former Thatcher adviser Christopher Monckton, have taken issue with the Pope’s imminent encyclical, telling him to stay out of the climate change debate, reports the Telegraph.

Meanwhile the Arctic, one of the world’s major climate issues, is back in the news. On Energydesk, Dr Doug Parr has analysed what the UK political parties have said about protecting the delicate region.

And there’s a debate over whether whitening the oceans around the Arctic to reflect sunlight back into space constitutes a realistic plan to prevent further Arctic ice melting, writes the Independent.

Shell has told a US court of law that it needs safety zones for its Arctic drill fleet to prevent protests from Greenpeace activists, reports the New York Times.

And the Carbon Brief have done an analysis on how successfully the Arctic Council can tackle climate change.

2) China: Shale boom begins, as renewables industry matures

China is on track to becoming the world’s second shale giant by 2035, with the sector set to grow 33% a year starting 10 years from now, according to BP estimates via Shanghai Daily.

The Economic Times reports that China will next year cut it’s shale gas development subsidy, just as Bloomberg says it is readying to cut new-energy vehicle subsidies.

And the country seems to be fulfilling its ambitious clean energy targets, installing 5GW of solar capacity in the year’s first quarter.

Market analysis site Seeking Alpha says China’s ‘ramped up solar ambitions are starting to take form’.

And its wind capacity is growing steadily as well, with 4.7GW installed in the first quarter, according to the NEA.

3) UK: Conservative policy stifling lucrative onshore wind, as ministers hold (lots of) meetings with BP and Shell

Why are the Conservatives threatening onshore wind if they want cost-effective decarbonisation? That’s what RenewableUK is asking.

According to a report in Business Green, the wind and marine energy organisation has said that onshore wind will be able to produce cheaper electricity than new gas by 2020.

This follows another Business Green story about Tory anti-wind farm sentiment that could jeopardise a £600m deal with Irish energy giant ESB.

Ministers met with Shell and BP represenatives more than the those from the entire renewables sector, according to an analysis from the Guardian.

And finally, a Scottish Energy Minister has called for a ‘national debate’ on fracking, saying the moratorium announced in January will remain until a proper public consultation, reports the BBC.

In other news:

Japan: Nuclear plans fade, climate targets scaled back.

Markets: Centrica hits high as FTSE falls, and BP profits plunge.

Gatwick Oil: The Telegraph reveals that drilling for Gatwick Oil won’t proceedbecause UKOG doesn’t have the licenses. We wrote an expose about the companya couple weeks back.

Europe: Air pollution health hazards cost more than $1 trillion a year.

Coal: George Monbiot writes about ‘big coal’s big scam’.

Solar: Doctor Grist-turned-Vox on the future prospects of solar energy.