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US: War on Coal, fracking activists monitored, Kerry hails UK climate leadership

The Senator of coal-state West Virginia railed against Hillary Clinton’s anti-coal stance, while failing to acknowledge that the Republicans – particularly with Trump formally confirmed (today) as their candidate – don’t have much of a plan for the industry either.Here’s a chart showing how coal jobs have been doing over the last 31 years, from Vox’s Brad Plumer:

Meanwhile emails obtained under an open records request in the US have shown that federal agents went undercover to spy on the anti-fracking movement, including groups such as 350.org.

And an awkward press conference saw top British diplomat Boris Johnson and US secretary of state John Kerry enjoying “frank” discussions on international relations – and climate change. Kerry hailed UK climate leadership, perhaps unaware that Johnson wrote that the deal was only agreed because last December was hot.

UK (& Australia): Environmental protection ministries scrapped, new focus on industry

The United Kingdom and Australia no longer have ministries dedicated to fighting climate change, after both countries folded their environment portfolios in to other departments.

Instead, Big Oil player Shell is morphing into Big Gas with Australia’s Curtis Island hosting a 667-acre LNG terminal. “We’re more a gas company than an oil company,” says Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive officer. “If you have to place bets, which we have to, I’d rather place them there.”

And in the UK, the National Audit Office has warned that scrapping  a £1bn carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition because of high subsidy costs could backfire and actually raise energy costs for consumers in the long term.

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Climate change: This map shows what different countries view as the greatest threat to the world

UK: Wind farm licence quashed over bird fears