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Top stories

1) UK: Energy bills, wholesale prices and competition report

Ahead of the interim report of the Competition and Market Authority on Tuesday, there have been a spate of stories about it – with The Times, Guardian, and others reporting the CMA won’t recommend the break up of the UK’s Big Six energy firms.

Instead, the CMA will focus on the Big Six firms offering a wider range of tariffs and what consumers can do to reduce their bills.

The Mirror highlights millions of people are paying too much for their energy, and the BBC reports energy customers on pre-payment meters have been paying an average of £226 a year more than they would have done on the cheapest direct debit tariff.

The Telegraph’s Emily Gosden writes that energy companies are facing fresh calls to cut prices after new data showed the threat of Grexit had helped push wholesale gas and power prices to their lowest level in five years, along with low oil prices and strong supplies.

In related news, a UN-backed report says the UK’s power sector must eliminate the vast majority of greenhouse gases emission by 2030 and drastically scale up carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies if it is to meet its ambitious 2050 climate change targets, according to Business Green – while The Telegraph reports on “the cost of subsidising new wind farms is spiralling out of control”.

ICYMI on Friday, our chief scientist Doug Parr wrote about the disruption to our networks from distributed solar.

2) China coal: Deeper coal cuts needed – while Australian coal exporters mourn China’s air pollution policies

China must make deeper cuts in coal consumption to meet its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a government adviser, Li Junfeng, director general of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

The world’s biggest carbon polluter should aim to reduce the amount of energy it gets from coal to less than 55% in the next five years, he said, after China announced its INDC pledge last week (here’s our analysis).

Meanwhile, Anglo American coal mined in Australia has been reportedly turned back from China’s ports after the superpower imposed stronger environmental controls as part of its ‘War on Pollution’. Australian miners are lobbying Beijing to suspend its coal-testing regime, the FT reports.

3) Arctic oil: Shell to start drilling within weeks

Shell is about to start exploratory drilling in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea within weeks, the BBC and FT report, after 30 support ships headed towards Alaska late last week.

Shell’s committed about $7bn (£4.5bn) to the controversial project overall and almost $3bn in the past two years.

An internal report for the Canadian government (not the US, where Shell are drilling), obtained by FOI,  warns the country  isn’t fully prepared to respond in the event of an oil spill in the Arctic or in deep water offshore. While some of BP’s $18.7bn Gulf blowout settlement may be tax deductible, says Forbes.

And two US government reports released last week warned climate change and rapid Arctic ice melt is threatening polar bears with extinction.

4) Fracking: Chemicals detail needed, say scientists
In the US, the Union of Concerned Scientists is calling for the government to provide more detailed information of what’s in fracking fluid, after the administration admitted to the link between fracking and the contamination of drinking water for the first time, The Guardian reports.

In the UK, Fiona Harvey writes that local protests are shutting the doors on fracking in the UK – but the fracking firms aren’t going away while Labour frontrunner for London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledges to block all fracking applications in the capital.

5) Oil price: Down on Greece, China and Iran news

Oil prices fell sharply on Monday after Greece rejected bailout terms and as China rolled out emergency measures to prevent a full-blown stock market crash, adding to worries about poor demand growth amid global oversupply, writes Reuters.

The followed a slide on Friday, on the US’s high crude production and a potential deal between Iran and the West - Iran wants to double oil exports after sanctions are lifted, according to the WSJ.

 6) Renewables: global news

In the UK, National Trust is to invest £30m in renewable energy sources, Kepler Energy reveals plans for tidal energy scheme in Bristol Channel, and UK broke solar energy record on Friday – and a Japanese official is visiting Scotland to learn about wind and wave power.

Globally, the UAE renewables industry is apparently taking off this year,  Adani to set up 650 MW solar power plant in Tamil Nadu, and renewables on tribal lands in the US are stalling.

Meanwhile Solar Impulse has made it to Hawaii.

In other news

Germany coal: Germany’s plan to gradually close some lignite power plants instead of imposing a levy on their emissions has been criticised for offering a subsidy to polluting plants, Ends Europe reports, while Politico writes Merkel stabbed Sigmar Gabriel in the back over the policy.

Climate denial finance: Koch Industries are lobbying Europe on environment, energy, and free trade, a DeSmog investigation finds.
An Indian tycoon plans to invest $2.5bn in Brazil oil and gas, Bloomberg reports.

Coal: The head of the OECD says wealthy countries should help poorer nations that cannot afford to replace coal with low-carbon alternatives, according the Climate News Network.