Top 3 stories
There have been several important international meetings going on, including OPEC in Vienna, the G7 in Elmau, Germany, and the Bonn climate negotiations.
1) G7: Merkel wants to achieve group climate goal
Leaders of G7 countries met yesterday and are meeting for a further day of talks today. The first day’s agenda appeared to be hijacked by the Ukraine crisis and Greek bailout, but today is set to focus on climate and energy issues.
German chancellor Merkel said that she wanted the countries to agree to tackle global warming in the run-up to the Paris talks in December as a primary aim of the meeting, according to Reuters, RTCC and other outlets.
Merkel has urged in a podcast released Sunday that G7 to commit to limit the rise in average global temperatures to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, warning that without such a commitment a broader climate deal could fail.
But Merkel is also facing pressure on domestic climate and energy policy, Tobias Muenchmeyer Greenpeace Germany’s deputy political director argues. He writes on Energydesk that the chancellor needs to support a domestic coal levy designed to curb emissions in order to be taken seriously at today’s meeting.
Japan “may find itself the odd man out” at the talks, the Daily Mail reports. Japan favors coal, gas and nuclear power over green energy. But Japan is open to a G7 CO2 target on Sunday, according to Reuters.
2) OPEC: Supply set to increase, prices go down
Crude prices fell on the OPEC meeting and a fall in crude imports from China.
At the meeting on Friday, Saudi Arabia “bulldozed” its agenda through to target US shale exports by keeping OPEC supply high, the Guardian’s Terry Macalister writes.
The Saudi oil minister said the meeting was amicable.
Figures show China, the world’s biggest oil importer, reduced its imports by almost a quarter month on month.
On Monday Brent futures dropped to $63.06 a barrel, down 25 cents. US crude was at $58.90 per barrel, down 23 cents, and analysts said oil prices would likely fall further, Reuters reports.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports Iran and Saudi Arabia are on a collision course that could eventually pull apart OPEC.
3) UK energy: Energy efficiency to be cut, Scotland urges climate action
As international climate change talks continue in Bonn this week, UK energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd has come under pressure from Scotland to prove that the UK is leading on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Business Green reports.
In related news, DECC confirmed on Friday it would cut spending on energy efficiency measures by £40m – out of the £70m Osborne announced last week would need to be cut from the department’s overall budget (Carbon Brief ran a really good break down of DECC’s budget – 64% goes to nuclear cleanup).
The Indy ran an editorial on Sunday warning cuts to energy savings programmes will “cost us in the long-run”.
Meanwhile, Scotland is also putting pressure on the UK government about onshore wind farms. DECC is expected to announced an early end to the Renewables Obligation this week.
Scotland has missed its fourth annual climate change target in a row, the Sunday Times reports.
And Rudd has said that Britain’s new nuclear power stations and other energy infrastructure projects must be designed to look beautiful to garner support, The Independent’s Tom Bawden writes.
In other news
1.5 million smart meters won’t work when you switch energy supplier, The Telegraph reports.
Julian Popov, former Bulgarian minister of the environment, writes in the FT that Balkan countries can leapfrog into clean energy.
China coal imports slump further in May as air pollution policies bite, Reuters reports.