Climate: Record warming in 2015 as California investigates whether ‘Exxon knew’
The top US scientific institutions have confirmed that 2015 was the hottest year on record – and by a significant margin.
The data from NASA and NOAA has been covered pretty much everywhere (here’s the Climate Central version), and researchers claim El Nino contributed only a little to last year’s record temperatures, though they expect will make a bigger difference in 2016 – which will probably be even hotter.
Carbon Brief have written a good explainer.
Meanwhile, the state of California is said to be investigating US oil giant Exxon over allegations that it knew and lied about its climate change findings decades ago, reports the New York Times.
It follows a similar probe launched by New York’s attorney general late last year.
Oil: Price crash triggers financial crisis as companies take emergency action
It’s plastered across the front pages of almost all the UK’s national newspapers.
The energy sector has fallen by 14% so far this year, reports the FT, and is dragging down with it the overall S&P market index, prompting fears of another 2008 crisis.
With US oil futures falling below $27 a barrel, Reuters reports that the oversupply situation doesn’t appear to be resolving itself anytime soon.
BP boss Bob Dudley foresees a price recovery in the back half of 2016, reports Energy Voice.
That means international oil firms must take cost-cutting action, with Bloomberg’s Javier Blas reporting on a secret meeting at the Davos summit.
North Sea oil companies are asking the UK government for ‘crucial’ support to avoid widespread job losses, reports The Telegraph.
But Shell, for one, will not rethink its mega merger with BG Group, according to The Times.
Amidst all the talk of restructuring, the first batch of US oil since its export ban was lifted last month has arrived at European shores, reports The FT.
But while that development may help some US oil companies endure the rough days ahead, many frackers that have made it this far look set to fall with the price this low,reports Reuters.
Silver lining for the industry: It looks like natural gas overtook coal as the top US power source las year.
Coal: Germany plans coal phaseout as Vietnam starts the process
Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks says the government is exploring the timeline for ending coal power, reports Reuters.
Meanwhile the Premier of Vietnam has instructed his trade ministry to stop building new coal power plants, and to start replacing coal with gas, according to reports in the Vietnamese press.
In other news
UK: It’s been noted that wind has been struggling recently to supply power.
Iran: Despite the promise of all that new oil, Iran’s government claims the lifting of sanctions will help cut its emissions, reports Bloomberg.
US: There’s a war of words between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over the latter’s support for the Paris Agreement. Here’s Clinton adviser John Podesta writing on Medium.