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China: Coal data confusion as US/China negotiators meet

Reuters reports that China’s coal consumption (by weight) may have risen by 0.06% instead of falling by 2.9% in the first quarter of the year – with big implications for global emissions. The report would appear to contradict data from the International Energy Agency and multiple sources of data from China suggesting a fall in coal consumption, reported by Energydesk.

The two numbers are likely to refer to different things – the amount of coal used versus the energy released from burning the coal. One possible explanation is a switch from low to higher quality coal in China. This would still lead to a fall in CO2 emissions but not at the same level as a 2.9% fall of the same type of coal. Watch this space for further analysis.

The Reuters analysis comes as a new analysis by the US Energy Information Agency found that over the past decade China had consumed 14% more coal than previously announced – something we reported on earlier this year. Ironically it means that China’s coal use is more likely to have peaked – as it reached a higher level.

All this comes as US and Chinese negotiators meet to hammer out further details of a possible deal at the climate summit in Paris at the end of the year and amidst fears that China’s economic downturn may hit it’s ability to meet it’s renewable targets. 

Climate change: Exxon scientists confirmed climate change in the 70s, Republicans not so sure

Top executives at Exxon were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions – according a new multi-part investigation into the oil major. The investigation raises key questions over what other oil majors knew prior to some of them accepting climate change in the late 90’s.

The news comes amidst a Republican debate in which a question on climate change was asked but none of the 11 candidates thought it a good idea to take any particular action. One of the stars of the latest, CNN, debate Mark Rubio added “America is a lot of things – the greatest country in the world, absolutely. But America is not a planet.” Anyway.

Oh, and the Pope is heading to the states to try and convince a reluctant church to move on from gay marriage to climate change.

Markets: Oil, energy stocks surge as production falls

The FT (and everyone else) reports that oil prices surged by as much as 6 per cent on Wednesday after data showed a sharp drop in US crude oil inventories, heightening concerns that months of low prices is finally weighing on shale producers. The news boosted major energy stocks who have taken a hammering over the past few months as oil, coal and gas prices have fallen leading Shell’s chief executive to admit the whole thing is terribly hard to predict.

Other (big) news

Fracking: Sites of Special Scientific Interest at risk

UK: 100,000 households ditch big six for green provider

Clean tech: Goat killing menace mutates to biofuel

Depressing: More people die from air pollution than HIV

Business; Watchdog queries Shell/BG deal