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Arctic: Shell quits ‘for the foreseeable’ after disappointing oil find

So that’s that then?

Royal Dutch Shell announced this morning that it would cease its Arctic operations after finding only traces of oil at its tester Burger J well.

In its media statement, Shell also blamed ‘the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska’.

Its US President Marvin Odum says they still see exploration potential in the region but are pulling out ‘for the forseeable future’.

Shell’s Alaska investments are around $3 billion, with a further $1.1 billion in contractual commitments. We’ll see the size of the financial hit in the company’s 3rd quarter results.

Here’s our analysis on what the low oil price could mean for Shell’s Arctic plans. Kind of prescient.

And there’s this article on how its Arctic dalliance saw Shell lose friends and alienate shareholders.

Finally a few weeks ago we chronicled Shell’s troubled journey to Chuckchi Sea using a piece of fancy storytelling software. That piece will be updated and completed later today so check it out.

UN: Brazil promises to cut emissions as UK pledges £6 billion to developing countries

The pieces are falling into place ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris just over two months from now.

Brazil, one of the last remaining major economies to make a climate commitment, this weekend submitted its INDC.

Days before the final deadline, President Dilma Rousseff promised that by 2025 her country would cut carbon emissions to 37% less than they were in 2005, and will try for 43% by 2030.

With that submission, we’re now mainly waiting on India – and that’s expected this Thursday.

But its not just about cutting emissions. For richer countries, it’s also about providing financial support to developing nations to tackle climate change. And there’s news on that front too.

The UK government has promised to spend £5.8 billion over 5 years helping poorer countries tackle climate change; this is double the foreign aid climate finance it provided the 5 years previous.

The continued collaboration between the US and China on climate action bodes well for a global deal in Paris, but Reuters notes that China’s ‘cap-and-trade’ announcement last week isn’t all that substantive since it was already pretty much on the cards.

And French President Francois Hollande is deep in the midst of a diplomatic offensive for when he hosts world leaders at the end of the year. Encouraged by what he was told at the UN general assembly, Hollande said words must become action.

UK: The grid wants solar while energy companies continue to rip off customers

Senior executives from The National Grid told The Times the era of coal is ending, that rooftop solar will become the country’s energy baseload, and that it’s fast becoming cost competitive.

Meanwhile the major energy firms continue to screw over customers, with The Telegraph claiming they will automatically transfer tens of thousands of accounts to more expensive tariffs and overcharge by up to £186.

The Competition and Market Authority will publish the findings of its investigation into the energy sector next year.

While smaller energy firms are having a bad time as well. It turns out that some upstarts are among the most complained about.

VW: Other cars caught up in the scandal

European NGO Transport & Environment has found some Mercedes, BMW and Peugeot models use 50% more energy than their official lab results show.

Its not quite proof that they’re using emissions ‘defeat devices’ but gives an indication of just how widespread is the manipulation and circumvention of energy and emissions standards by car manufacturers.

The Telegraph reports that engineering firm Bosch warned VW over its emissions cheating eight years ago.

And in our latest VW investigation, we reveal the extent to which VW and other diesel car companies lobby the EU.

And it looks like dieselgate gets even worse, with the BBC reporting that complex hydrocarbon emissions from diesel engines are up 70 times greater than previously thought.

Its little wonder that Paris is wondering aloud if its should scrap diesel cars from its roads.

Other news

China: The government will likely resume construction of its nuclear power plant islands following a review in which 31 proposals passed preliminary feasibility, reports the Chinese press.

UK: From one Chinese nuclear plant to the next: Hinkley Point in the UK. The Observer has issued an editorial in which it says Chancellor George Osborne is doing everything to avoid humiliation over this disastrous project.

Climate change: Y’know the famous 97% scientists stat? Well here’s the update.