Methane pollution soars in US as shale drilling resumes. Emissions of greenhouse gas return to pre-pandemic levels despite industry pledges.
FT 30th March 2021 read more »
A public inquiry into the Coal Mine has been scheduled for September. The enormous expense of a public inquiry could be spared if the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng MP put his ‘coal mine should be blocked’ words into action and put the kaibosh on renewal of the developer’s licence to drill. The letter asking for an immediate block on the licence to drill has been signed by organisations as diverse as the Ethical Consumer Research Association, CND and the Sea Horse Trust. Leading academics have also signed along with Whitehaven locals. Asking the public to pay for an expensive inquiry into a coal mine that is guaranteed to flout climate and nuclear safety and would end up being a stranded asset at a time of austerity is bonkers – the mine could be stopped today.
Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole 30th March 2021 read more »
New energy policies are urgently needed to put countries on the path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s leading energy economist has warned, as economies are rapidly gearing up for a return to fossil fuel use instead of forging a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the world’s biggest economies now have long-term goals of reaching net zero by mid-century, but few have the policies required to meet those goals, said Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA’s latest figures show global coal use was about 4% higher in the last quarter of 2020 than in the same period in 2019, the clearest indication yet of a potentially disastrous rebound in the use of the dirtiest fossil fuels, following last year’s lockdowns around the world when emissions plummeted.
Guardian 31st March 2021 read more »
When the government published its plan for the future of the North Sea oil industry last week, environmental groups were enraged. Despite rumours of a ban on new exploration, ministers opted to continue to award new drilling licences. Greenpeace called it “a colossal failure in climate leadership in the year of COP26”. The issue risks becoming a political flashpoint before the climate conference in Glasgow in November and has brought the future of the industry into the spotlight. In some respects North Sea oil licences appear a surprising issue for the government to risk its climate reputation on. Oil and gas production in the UK peaked two decades ago and even a modest uptick in recent years cannot mask the fact that the basin is facing a managed decline. Only seven exploration wells were drilled last year, the lowest since 1965, and the annual offering of new licences was scrapped for 2020-21 as the pandemic hit, prices crashed and companies tightened their belts. Yet when suggestions of a ban emerged there was a backlash from industry, which warned it would cost jobs and investment, and from the Scottish National Party, making it a toxic issue before the Holyrood elections in May.
Times 31st March 2021 read more »