1) Fossil fuels: Glencore crash reveals extent of coal’s woes, and the oil price is in free fall again
Mining giant Glencore has lost 47% of its value this year, and endured a particularly torrid Wednesday. When it reported a 56% drop in profit for the first half of this year, in part driven by the Chinese coal slowdown, shares dropped 10% – wiping off $3.4 billion,reports the WSJ.
And, as Bloomberg observes, three of Glencore’s top executives are now no longer billionaires.
This development comes after big US bank Citigroup said the coal business is in for a lot of hardship, including mine closures, liquidations and bankruptcies, reports the Guardian/RTCC.
But curiously, climate philanthropist (and one of the richest men in the world) George Soros has bought millions of shares in Peabody and Arch Coal, reports Business Green.
Meanwhile things aren’t really going much better for oil. Global oil prices hit their lowest level in six years yesterday, reports The Times, with West Texas Intermediate closing at $40.60 and Brent Crude almost equalling its January low-point at $47.86.
The US government has also revised downwards its oil price forecast, saying it’ll stay below $50 a barrel this year and won’t rise much higher in 2016, according to The Telegraph.
2) Renewables: India’s solar-powered airport, and the booming clean energy sector
China’s solar PV manufacturing sector has grown massively this year, with the output so far equivalent to $31 billion, reports Reuters.
And it’s going well for wind energy too. European turbine manufacturers are among the best performers on the stock market, with Bloomberg reporting on Vestas’ record profits, Nordex’s record production, and Gamesa Corp’s record growth.
3) Australia: Adani’s fightback
It hasn’t been going well for Adani and its plans for a coal port on the Queensland coast, but it’s been taking radical steps these past few days.
Queensland’s mining minister will today say the environmental impact report is complete, reports the Guardian, and the country’s Attorney General will prevent people and organisations from legally challenging projects like this in a move Quartz describesas “curtailing the rule of law.”
Meanwhile, the chief of the US Geological Survey has called Australian climate change politics “disturbing.”
In other news
UK: Families could face surprise energy bills rise, reports The Times.
Europe: Poland’s new President Andrezj Duda has hit out against the EU’s renewable energy agenda, telling Politico “decarbonisation is not in our interest.”
Europe again: It’s Britain vs Germany on EU green energy targets, reports Reuters.