Hinkley Point B Power Station

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Critics round on Hinkley deal after EDF exec resigns

News on the Hinkley deal continues to dominate, with news organisations on both sides of the Atlantic publishing stories this morning and throughout yesterday.

EDF has announced that it intends to go ahead with the deal, despite the resignation of one of the company’s senior vice presidents, Thomas Piquemal, apparently over cost concerns.

Quartz builds on yesterday’s news with an analysis which suggests that the French giant could go to the wall under the burden of building what has been dubbed “the most expensive object ever”.

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Lisa Nandy has taken to the Telegraph to pen an op-ed which calls on the government to have a plan B, in case Hinkley fails. “Britain cannot be left entirely dependent upon any single company or any single energy project,” she writes.

The Times turns its fire on one of the ministers responsible for signing off the deal. Political editor Sam Coates reports that former Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey has taken up a part-time job with MHP Communications, a lobbying firm that counts EDF as one of its clients.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s business reporter Chris Johnston has put together a helpful explainer looking at why Britain needs a new nuclear power station.

The UK and French government’s, which owns a majority stake in EDF, have both reaffirmed their commitment to the Hinkley deal in recent days. Reuters report that when completed, the plant would provide around 7% of Britain’s energy needs and act as a major boost to the French nuclear industry.

Oil rebounds to $40 a barrel

The oil price has hit $40 a barrel amid a global rise in commodity prices.

The BBC report that the price of Brent crude rose more than 5% overnight to $40.83. The oil price had been as low as $28 in January.

The price of iron has also been boosted by renewed optimism about Chinese economic growth.

The Financial Times reports that Wall Street was buoyed by the increase in the oil price, with US energy companies Murphy Oil and Southwestern Energy both seeing healthy gains 12.6% and 9.6%, respectively.

Mining giants, Glencore and Anglo American also saw their share prices double in trading yesterday, as traders bet on commodities after a horrific 2015 for both companies

JPMorgan turns away from coal

One of the world’s largest banks, JPMorgan, has announced that it will no longer invest in new coal mines and new coal power plants in wealthy countries.

The Financial Times explains that the move will mean that new coal projects rank alongside child labour on a list of the companies “prohibited actions” on its environmental and social policy. JPMorgan is one of the top ten biggest backers of coal plants.

The news comes as accounting giant PwC warns Indonesia that the country could deplete its coal reserves by 2033, with the tricky environment for the fuel having led to a tailing off of demand and mining firms cutting costs.

In other news

US: Clinton’s fracking pledge fails to convince

Iran:  Shell repays 1.7bn euro oil delivery debt

Climate change: Campaigner dies snorkelling at Great Barrier Reef

China: Still hard to breathe in Beijing, despite air pollution cuts

Africa: Scientists publish timeline of impact of climate change on sub-Saharan agriculture

Cop21: EU open to boosting 2030 carbon target