Sir David Attenborough has criticised plans to open a coal mine at a Northumberland beauty spot as ‘shameful’ as he joined environmental scientists calling for the project to be blocked by the government. Proposals for the open cast mine in Druridge Bay were originally rejected by Sajid Javid when he was Communities Secretary, but last year the High Court ruled that decision was flawed and asked for a rethink. New Communities Secretary James Brokenshire is due to rule on plans before the summer, but now experts have written to the minister urging him to throw out the scheme, claiming it will exacerbate global warming. Sir David Attenborough, said: “It would be shameful were the UK to open this new coal mine at precisely the moment the world at large is recognising the dreadful effect of burning coal on our planet’s climate”. Banks wants to extract three million tonnes of coal, sandstone and fireclay at the Highthorn site, which lies directly behind the sand dunes at Druridge Bay.
Telegraph 25th Feb 2019 read more »
Ban Ki-moon has urged Britain to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas, in what he said would mark a test of Theresa May’s commitment to act on climate change. The former UN secretary general said he was deeply concerned that the UK’s export credit agency had provided billions of pounds in recent years to support businesses involved in oil and gas schemes around the world. “These figures and policies are hard to reconcile with the UK’s commitments under the Paris agreement,” said Ban, referring to the international climate deal he forged in 2015 as UN chief. “The time has come for the UK to change course, in the interests of the whole world,” he wrote in a comment piece for the Guardian.
Guardian 24th Feb 2019 read more »
Nick Butler: The latest short-term outlook for US oil production published by the Energy Information Administration shows output rising to 13.2m barrels a day by the end of 2020. If this is achieved (and the EIA is traditionally cautious), the US will be the largest producer in the world, by a clear margin over Saudi Arabia and Russia. Two-thirds of that production will come from “tight oil” – that produced by fracking shale rocks. Ten years after the shale business began, the revolution is as dynamic as ever. Commentators who said shale was a marginal short-term phenomenon that would be killed off by falling prices, or rapid reservoir depletion, have been proved wrong. What began as a gas play now supplies the US with the bulk of its oil and gas needs. Threatened by the downturn in prices after 2014, the shale industry has achieved a remarkable reduction in costs. The current outlook is for output to continue to rise until at least the mid 2020s even at current oil prices.
FT 25th Feb 2019 read more »