Scottish ministers have rejected calls for a watertight legal ban on fracking, promising instead that they would use planning policy to block the technology indefinitely. In a long-awaited announcement energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, has told the Scottish Parliament that fracking was “incompatible” with the Scottish Government’s bid to cut climate pollution and take carbon out of the economy. He said the government will not issue licences to fracture – or frack – underground rocks to access shale gas, nor to extract underground coalbed methane. The announcement of a “final policy position” comes after eight years of controversy over fracking including a moratorium, three consultations, a raft of expert reports, and a high-profile court case. Fossil fuel companies such as the Grangemouth petrochemical giant, Ineos, had wanted to frack for gas under large areas of the central belt between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Broad Alliance of community groups opposed to fracking and related technologies described the government’s announcement as “a partial victory for communities”, but added that “a legal ban is what we really need.” “There is a similar policy presumption against new nuclear developments in Scotland, and so far there has been no attempt to build new power stations on existing nuclear sites, as has happened in England where there is government support. We hope the same will happen with fracking but in all honesty, when it comes to corporations like Ineos, we don’t think hope is enough.”
The Ferret 3rd Oct 2019 read more »
The Royal Society, Britain’s leading science organisation and publisher of many doom-laden reports on the impact of climate change, has millions of pounds invested in fossil-fuel companies. The revelation may shock members, many of whose careers are devoted to researching climate change, which is linked to emissions from coal, oil and gas. The assets emerged after a study by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) into the investment policies of science and engineering societies. The Royal Society at first told SGR only that its investment funds totalled £270m but declined to give details. However, after inquiries from The Sunday Times, the Royal Society confirmed that at least £16m was invested in oil and gas companies. The final figure could be much higher once all money held in pooled funds is included. Stuart Parkinson of SGR said the body should follow the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company “by not accepting money earned by fossil fuels.
Times 6th Oct 2019 read more »
The latest blow to the company’s public image and prestige came earlier this week when the Royal Shakespeare Company severed links with BP – which had sponsored tickets – after students threatened a boycott over climate change. The National Theatre yesterday ended Shell’s corporate membership after coming under similar pressure. Handling the increasing flow of negative publicity and the growing backlash around climate change stoked up by populist groups such as Extinction Rebellion will test Looney’s diplomatic skills like never before. Investors are also calling for the oil industry to change faster. Last month, the University of California’s $80bn (£65bn) investment fund said it was cutting links with fossil fuel industries. Meanwhile, institutions such as the Church of England and the University of York have instructed their portfolio managers not to invest in oil companies. Long-term forecasts for oil market fundamentals are also changing faster than expected because of the energy transition that is under way. Consulting firm McKinsey – which has advised Saudi Arabia on the need to diversify its economy away from oil dependence – now expects global demand for crude to peak by 2030. BP itself forecasts daily oil demand could peak at around 112 million barrels per day, up from around 100 million barrels per day this year. As chief executive, Looney may be judged more on his ability to make BP a leader in the low-carbon economy, instead of pushing ahead with any more world-scale oil projects such as Thunder Horse. This will require investing more in electrification initiatives like its £130m acquisition last year of electric vehicle plug-in network Chargemaster. This followed the purchase in 2017 of solar developer Lightsource. Despite these investments, BP has fallen behind its main European rival Shell in the race to be a leader in the energy transition market.
Telegraph 5th Oct 2019 read more »