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COP21 deal: Should vs shall, what it can’t do, renewable energy rallies

Of course the commentary on the historic deal is coming thick and fast this week, with continued discussion from the NYT on the “few letters that almost sank the deal”- the now-infamous should vs shall typo debacle that delayed the deal by some time. The legally-binding “shall” – which implied huge new legal and financial obligations – was refused by the US until it had been amended.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance delivered a downbeat appraisal of the outcome, along with Oxfam (who said it was a “mixed bag”), with most commending the five yearly reviews but questioned the efficacy of the language that could permit inaction for year to come. Ultimately, the deal may be too weak to help poorer countries or save low-lying island nations from rising sea levels. And climate advocates still see a lot of hard work ahead.

The Economist has this snazzy interactive map on global emissions, and Reuters reports rallies for renewable energy and drops for coal stocks following the deal.

In other energy news, Shell will shed 2,800 jobs after buying rival BG, and natural gas prices have sunk to a 14-year low.

India: Still planning to double coal, drafts UCG policy

An Indian official has said that the country still plans to double coal output by 2020 – as well as implementing its huge plans for solar. “The environment is non-negotiable and we are extremely careful about it,” Anil Swarup, the top bureaucrat in the coal ministry, told Reuters. “(But) our dependence on coal will continue. There are no other alternatives available.” Coal imports are falling however.

And a draft policy for underground coal gasification (UCG) from unexplored coal and lignite bearing areas has been formulated.

China: 3rd party financing for solar, new energy vehicles, nuclear plans

A new funding model in China may allow some people to get solar power for “free”, or at very low upfront cost. Third-party financing is the way this could happen, and it is already used in the United States. In China, a firm based in Singapore is trying out this approach.

Electric bus maker BYD has hailed the Paris climate deal, amidst a surge in electric “new energy” vehicles by 600% year-on-year thanks to government support.

And China is on track to have 30 nuclear reactors in operation by the end of this year, preparing for their nuclear industry to go global. China’s homegrown nuclear technology will be used in Argentina, Essex UK, South Africa and Turkey.

In other news

VW: Wind power deal promises breath of fresh air for VW

Africa solar: Nigeria is betting on solar power to reach a million homes without access to the grid

Google: Americans Still Don’t Know What Climate Change Is, Google Shows

Coal: Queensland court dismisses green group’s challenge to Adani coalmine

UK: Consumers to foot bill for smart meter chaos