Chukchi Sea town of Shishmaref, Alaska
Chukchi Sea town of Shishmaref, Alaska

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Climate change: EU chief praises progress, but pledges not enough; Bolivia & Alaska want to “drill more”, but BP says most oil will stay in the ground

Miguel Arias Cañete, Europe’s climate chief, finds it “quite astounding” that 149 nations have published their emissions-curbing plans ahead of the Paris climate talks in December. But their implementation would only add up to a 3-degree warming limit (against the internationally recognised “safe” level of 2C – or 1.5C for some low-lying island nations), he warned, suggesting that the pledges – even if implemented – aren’t quite good enough.

Bolivian president Evo Morales has issued his anticapitalist set of climate pledges to the UN, to cries of hypocrisy over plans in the country – that already has 50% of its exports tied up in petroleum – to allow oil and mineral prospecting in national parks.

Climate doublethink abounds this week as the governor of the state of Alaska has just told the BBC that increased oil exploration is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change.

But oil major BP’s chief economist predicts that most of world’s oil will end up staying in the ground due to climate concerns, reports the Times.

And The Economist is exploring aspects of emissions reduction in the run up to Paris, starting with the the interactions between reducing air pollution and tackling climate change.

 

Oil (& coal): China chief jailed, Shell in North Sea sell-off, shale market impacts, UK pensions losses

The former head of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation is jailed for 16 years on corruption charges.

Shell is selling North Sea assets in response to high production costs and a slump in crude prices, reports The Times.

Comment from the BP chief economist Spencer Dale on how US shale has revolutionised the global oil markets appears in the FT. Over in China they are seeking their own “energy revolution” based on shale gas drilling in Sichuan – and officials have criticised their own government’s management.

And the New York Times reports on the decline in oil sands business in Alberta, Canada – with the loss of thousands of jobs.

And in the UK research has emerged suggesting that the global decline in coal has wiped millions off pension funds.

 

Renewables: China solar default as wind plans rise, California solar, Scottish subsidy cut threat

The bonds of a solar firm that may become China’s latest default plunged to record lows, reports Bloomberg. Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co.’s 1 billion yuan fell to 46.2% of face value Monday.

Officials from the National Energy Administration of China said that in the next national five-year plan, the electricity generation of wind power will achieve 300 billion KWH – and subsidies for photovoltaics will remain in place for the next 8-19 years, with a focus on distributed solar.

In California, utility regulators are in discussions over how to balance the interests of household rooftop solar owners with the utilities on which they still depend.

And over the UK, some £14bn in Scottish renewable energy projects are threatened by subsidy cuts.

 

In other news

Solar: Estate where Prince Charles and Diana spent honeymoon to become huge solar farm

Amazon: Climate change could triple drought in region

Tech: India’s climate tech revolution starts in its villages

London: Environment set to become key battleground in Mayoral race