Air Pollution In Beijing
A man rides a tricycle to transport coal through a panda sculpture during severe pollution in Beijing, in January 2013. The air quality in Beijing, in 2013. Photo: Feng/Getty Images

Top stories 

Climate action: People lie down in front of planes to stop runaway as growing economies back climate deal

Activists from Plane Stupid cut through Heathrow’s perimeter fence to lie down on the North runaway in protest at Phoenix-like proposals to build another strip at the crowded UK hub. Their move (unintentionally we suspect) comes as the leaders of the major economies the new runaway is intended to serve (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) repeated their support for a UN-led global warming deal (not that any plausible deal is likely to curtain global air travel any time too soon).

Falling coal use: China reports massive fall in coal imports as study suggests smog link to flooding as gas overtakes coal in US

The world’s largest economy saw coal imports fall by more than a third in June compared to the same period last year as the impact of rules on air pollution and a slowing economy knocked the steam out of the sector (sorry). The latest data comes as Quartz reports on a new study which appears to show China’s coal-fuelled smog may also have helped cause severe flooding in the country.

Meanwhile the FT reports that The US generated more of its electricity from gas than from coal for the first time ever in April — in a sign of how the shale boom is putting mounting pressure on the country’s mining industry.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the global coal sector though. India’s Economic Times reports that imports rose 23% in the first quarter of the year, somewhat confounding the government’s efforts to reduce it’s reliance on imports.

Falling oil prices: Oil price falls on word of Iran deal, fears over China, world economy

Reuters reports that oil prices tumbled on Monday as Iran and six world powers closed in on a final nuclear deal that would end sanctions on the Islamic Republic and let more Iranian oil on to world markets.

The deal comes as speculators who had been betting on a resurgence in oil prices appeared to give up on their bets due to mounting concern that economic turmoil in Europe and Asia will prolong a supply glut.

In other news

Clean energy: Wind power generated 140% of Denmark’s electricity. Denmark able to meet demand and export to Germany, Norway and Sweden last Thursday.