A new coalmine in Cumbria has been given the green light by the government in the same week that the Treasury launched a review into how the UK can end its contribution to global heating. The developer, West Cumbria Mining, said the £165m mine would create 500 jobs. The Cumbrian MP Tim Farron called the decision “a kick in the teeth in the fight to tackle climate change”. Farron had asked the government to “call in” the decision after it received unanimous planning approval by Cumbria county council in March. But his application has been rejected, with the local Conservative MP Trudy Harrison saying “sense has prevailed”. Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, expressed his dismay, saying the government should “invest fully in zero-carbon energy” instead.
Guardian 3rd Nov 2019 read more »
Independent 3rd Nov 2019 read more »
TEN oil companies are planning to invest £6.8 billion in six major new projects in the North Sea in breach of international targets to cut climate pollution, according to an expert analysis. In the next three years, big oil multi-nationals from the UK, the US, Canada, Norway, Japan and Korea want to start exploiting new oil and gas fields off Scotland. But the carbon emissions that would result would accelerate dangerous global warming, experts say. The financial think tank Carbon Tracker also warns that the new North Sea projects would be “deeply loss-making”. Multi-million pound investments would risk becoming “stranded assets”, it says. The investors include the £218bn British oil multinational BP, the £193bn US Chevron corporation and the £86bn Norwegian state company Equinor. The Korean National Oil Corporation, Canada’s Suncor and Japan’s Sumitomo are also involved. Campaigners are demanding a halt to new oil developments in the North Sea to prevent a “climate disaster”. But the offshore oil industry insists that continued investment is “fully compatible” with the UK government’s aim to reach “net zero” climate emissions by 2050.
The National 3rd Nov 2019 read more »
Ministers have been condemned for wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in a failed attempt to introduce fracking to the UK. The bid also cost the nation a decade of effort that should have been expended on other, more environmentally friendly energy projects, scientists and activists claimed yesterday. The criticisms were made in the wake of the government’s decision on Friday to impose a moratorium on fracking in the UK. A review published by the Oil and Gas Authority concluded it was impossible to predict the likelihood or scale of earthquakes triggered by fracking. The moratorium leaves the government with an option to restart fracking in future years. However, many critics believe the technology is not suitable for the UK. “Fracking is utterly incompatible with our aims of ending the burning of fossil fuels in this country in a couple of decades,” said geologist Professor Stuart Haszeldine, of Edinburgh University. “Pursuing the technology of fracking while embracing the concept of having a carbon-free society is an example of national schizophrenia. It has wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. It has also wasted a decade when we should have been pursuing other goals.” One such aim should have been the development of the technology of carbon capture and storage which would involve carbon dioxide being captured, liquefied and stored underground in old mines or depleted oil reservoirs, added Haszeldine. “We have lost significant leads in developing this technology over the past decade when we should have been pursuing them energetically. Instead we have wasted our time on fracking projects.” This point was backed by Professor Jon Gluyas, director of the Durham Energy Institute at Durham University. “The government ban on fracking is a neat way of ignoring the now inescapable truth that the projected shale gas potential for the UK is tiny at best. We have, though, as a nation wasted a decade hoping for more gas to heat our homes rather than installing ultra-low carbon geothermal heating like that used in much of Europe.”
Guardian 3rd Nov 2019 read more »
Fracking ban: electioneering or geology?.
FT 4th Nov 2019 read more »