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UK: Amber Rudd outlines her vision for coal-free subsidy-free future

It was a significant speech, but one which said very little we didn’t already know.

The coal-phase out by 2025, covered in yesterday’s dispatch, was the most eye-catching announcement delivered by energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd.

The implications of this pledge are wide-reaching, from the potent symbolic significance to simply strengthening the UK’s position at the Paris climate summit.

Here’s why it’s such a big deal.

And then of course there’s the thousands of premature deaths the phase-out will prevent, as detailed in a new Energydesk analysis.

This part of the policy reset hit badly the market value of Drax, the country’s largest power station, which the FT reports lost £40m in just 30 minutes.

So it’s gas going ahead. But does that mean fracking?

Damian explores how the UK could phase-out coal without turning to shale gas.

It’s a scenario which envisions a systemic change in the UK energy sector, something which The Telegraph has touched on today in its report that National Grid could be broken up.

Christine analyses what exactly DECC’s renewables policy is in the wake of the speech, and it seems to be something along the lines of ‘bigger is better’ and ‘wind turbines should be charged for intermittency’.

And, upon hearing that bills will rise as a result of the government’s new gas policy, I have written up a long and geeky piece on the state of energy subsidies and the economics of new power generation.

What’s the reaction? Well the speech has united coal and onshore renewables in horror, reports the Guardian.

Offshore wind, on the other hand, is striking while the iron is hot, with ScottishPower submitting plans for a 1.2GW wind farm in the North Sea, reports Business Green.

COP21: Marches cancelled but momentum continues

French authorities will not allow climate marches planned for Paris on November 29 and December 12 to go ahead following the terrorist attack last week, reports Reuters.

That, however, will not stop the building ahead of the UN climate conference in the french capital.

US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his commitment to a strong deal, saying he’s ‘optimistic’ because everyone understands the stakes, reports The Guardian.

And the Chinese are determined to get a legally binding agreement, with Reuters reporting that climate change representative Xie Zhenhua expressing his belief that a consensus can be reached.

Meanwhile, writing for The New Yorker, Naomi Klein explains why a climate deal would be the best thing for peace.

Other news

Coal: The OECD countries have agreed t curb export subsidies for coal-fired power, though the deal would have been stronger were it not for resistance from Australia and South Korea, reports the FT.

US: Republican senators have said they will block payment of Obama’s pledge to pay into the UN climate fund in order to sabotage a prospective deal, reports Reuters.

And Republicans in the House of Representatives are threatening to subpoena Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker over a study that refuted claims that there had been a ‘pause’ in global warming, reports the Washington Post.

Oil: The oil producing countries of OPEC continued pumping out petroleum so as to suffocate US shale, but it looks like they hurt Canada’s tar sands instead, reports Bloomberg.</>