Warehouse Blasts In Tianjin Causing At Least 17 Dead And Over 400 Injured

China explosion at Tianjin

Multiple explosions thought to have originated at a “hazardous goods” warehouse in the Chinese port city of Tianjin last night caused 44 deaths and at least 400 injuries at last count and scenes of total devastation.
Bloomberg reports that vessel shipments from the city of oil, iron ore and automobiles are set to be disrupted.
Elsewhere in China – in the southwestern province of Guizhou – a coal mine accident has killed at least 10.

Top stories

1) UK fracking: Government to intervene in local planning decisions

Reuters’ Karolin Schaps reports that the UK government is to give its communities minister powers to directly approve shale gas permits, along with pretty much every other UK based outlet including the BBC – which details the 16-week timeframe for councils to make decisions before the minister steps in. The fast-tracking fracking story – run too by the Telegraph and Guardian – invariably also covers the June Lancashire decisions, which saw councils delaying and ultimately rejecting shale gas drilling company Cuadrilla’s applications to frack at two sites.

2) Oil glut: IEA says supply growing at “breakneck speed”

The International Energy Agency has made comment on the fastest growing demand for oil in five years – reports Banoit Faucon in the WSJ. This is caused by the oversupply, report Anjili Raval and David Sheppard in the FT, which is now growing at “breakneck speed” according to the agency. FT View also covers the glut - citing US shale as the primary source of the oversupply. Meanwhile Dan Murtaugh over at Bloomberg reports that this sector shows no signs of letting up due to the low prices – some parts of North Dakota’s Bakken shale can still make a profit with oil at under $30 a barrel (it’s at $43) – a discount they have to offer anyway due to extra transportation costs.

In other oil news, Karl Mathiesen at the Guardian asks whether Shell can afford Arctic oil, having spent $7bn already on the challenging project.

3) Investments: Aviva with NGOs welcoming Standard Chartered mine withdrawal, Eon profits, Brazil solar spend

And speaking of profits, Rosie Murray-West at the Telegraph looks at the impacts of climate change on investments – particularly citing exposure to energy companies who are not trying to reduce emissions.

Investor Aviva is with NGOs welcoming Standard Chartered mine withdrawal, according to an article in Environmental Finance. “The reputational risks inherent in the Carmichael project are grave and … if it goes ahead, [it] could have significant negative local and global environmental and human rights impacts,” said Abigail Herron, Aviva’s head of responsible investment engagement, who also said the project had “the potential to become a stranded asset”.

Meanwhile in Europe, a big restructuring is under way at Eon amid falling profits – and in Brazil over $50bn of investments is headed for solar and transmission, following rising bills due to drought affecting hydrodams output.

In other news:

Coal charts: which countries use the most?

Solar sabotage: India’s transition pains

Colorado river pollution: Emergency for Navajo Nation