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UK fracking: First application approved since 2011

An intense debate has been restarted following approval for fracking North Yorkshire. Campaigners have vowed to fight the development, calling the council’s decision a declaration of war on their human rights to clean air and water.

Opponents claim the promised £100,000 offered to communities in line with an industry charter is “blood money”.

It’s the first application approved since 2011. In the meantime a 2013 report for the UK government concluded that fracking would increase emissions, and energy analysts say it might not be as profitable in the UK as it has been in the US.

The landmark ruling could set a precedent for further approvals in beauty spots across the UK.

Big coal & oil: $100 oil is over, Shell’s renewable switch

Norway’s petroleum and energy minister has said that the era of $100 oil is over. This hasn’t stopped them pushing for future exploration in the Barents Sea however, opening new blocks in the Arctic region for the first time in 20 years.

Production cuts have caused China’s coal prices to rise 20%, Citi says.

And Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden has warned that the company cannot switch too too quickly to producing renewable energy without risking its dividend payments and even its very existence.

Climate science: Gore, refugees, forests

It’s the 10-year anniversary of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” coming up this week. Scientific American have compared the projections to what is actually happening – finding that in some cases, the reality is even worse than the forecasts. And a few times, Gore got it wrong.

Tuvalu’s prime minister on Tuesday called for a UN resolution to create legal protection for people displaced by the impacts of climate change, saying there was currently no international framework to protect their rights.

But there’s some progress: Rapid investments in reforestation programs across the developing world have drastically reduced emission of gases that are responsible for global warming, UNEP officials said on Tuesday.

In other news

India: India to use International Solar Alliance to push solar water pumps

Sugarplanes: Evolutionary engineer Frances Arnold wins €1m tech prize

Brazil: From the favelas: the rise of rooftop solar projects