The Ecologist


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The UK government is lavishing billions of pounds of subsidies on North Sea gas and oil - while cutting renewable energy to the bone. Photo: Thistle Alpha oil rig in the North Sea roughly halfway between the Shetland islands and Norway by snapper via Flic

COP21: Time to end fossil fuel subsidies!

Tony Juniper

30th November 2015

The theme at COP21 today has been the urgent need to cut fossil fuel subsidies that favour dirty energy over renewables, writes Tony Juniper. Sadly the UK is setting all the wrong examples - ramping up its spending on fossil fuels, while slashing its much smaller renewable energy budgets. more...
The list of sponsors for the 21st UN Climate Conference (COP21) released today includes some of the least climate-friendly multinationals. Image: Corporate Europe Observatory.

COP21 - brought to you by 200 Mt a year of coal-fired CO2

Pavlos Georgiadis

26th November 2015

As negotiators from around the world gather in Paris for what's hoped to be a groundbreaking climate summit, many will be surprised to discover that COP21 is funded by some of the world's biggest coal burners, writes Pavlos Georgiadis, and a leading financier of coal and tar sands development. Shouldn't we just ... kick them out? more...
HM Chancellor George Osborne gazing happily at his vision of the future, courtesy of Ealing Studios. Sadly, the device has a fault - and it's actually taking him back to the 1950s. Photo: PA / HM Treasury via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Osborne's systematic devastation of the UK's sustainable future

David Lowry & Oliver Tickell

26th November 2015

The 'Autumn Statement' delivered with such aplomb by the Chancellor is yet another attack on the UK's sustainable future, write David Lowry & Oliver Tickell - cutting energy efficiency funds just as tens of thousands are set to die of cold this winter, betting £250m on pointless nuclear research, and raiding the renewables budget to fund subsidies to nuclear power and fossil fuels. more...
The UK's pioneering community energy project, Westmill Solar Park and Wind Farm in Oxfordshire, England. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Osborne's community renewables tax 'unlawful'

The Ecologist

27th November 2015

The surprise removal of tax benefits for investors in community renewable energy schemes - effective from Monday - is unlawful and must be reversed, states a legal letter to the Treasury. But meanwhile, investments in the sector have hit record levels, with two days still to go. more...
The growing gap between the projections of fossil energy companies, and the 450ppm of CO2 path to a 2C world. Image: Carbon Tracker.

Investors face $2.2 trillion loss on 'risky' fossil fuel assets

Alex Kirby

25th November 2015

A new report warns that coal, oil and gas assets will be stranded if the world is to limit temperature rise to 2C. Losses are projected to reach $2.2 trillion over the next decade, with coal taking the biggest hit, while oil demand peaks in 2020. Yet fossil energy companies are ignoring the very innovations that will put them out of business. more...
Solar cell charging a battery. Lukolela, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: Ollivier Girard / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Powering the world with renewables - we can do it!

Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert

23rd November 2015

An energy revolution that would take the world to 100% renewables in 15 years is possible, write Sam Cossar-Gilbert and Dipti Bhatnagar. We have the technology, and we even have the money - only it's currently being spent to subsidise fossil fuels. The time has come to tackle two hugely destructive and closely entwined crises - growing inequality and climate change. more...
Fools' gold? The Hinkley Point nuclear complex in Somerset, UK. Photo: TempusVolat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Luxembourg joins Hinkley C nuclear challenge

Oliver Tickell

20th November 2015

Luxembourg will join Austria's legal challenge to the UK's support package for the Hinkley C nuclear power station. Meanwhile EDF has laid off 65 engineers working on the project in Paris, and the EU Commission has initiated proceedings against Hungary over its Paks II nuclear project with Rosatom. more...
Where to get the money from to finance the transition to a low carbon economy? Simple: 'QE for climate' by the world's central banks. Photo: Pictures of Money via Flickr (CC BY).

'QE for climate' is the win-win solution for COP21

Dr. Matthias Kroll

25th November 2015

The governor of the Bank of England recently argued that the risk to the stability of the financial system from climate change is a responsibility of central banks, writes Matthias Kroll. They can begin by using QE - 'quantitative easing' - to finance the Green Climate Fund, and so stimulate the economy, rescue the climate, and save the global financial system. more...
With this lot, what do you expect? At the G20 Turkey Leaders Summit (L-R) Jean-Claude Juncker, David Cameron, Donald Tusk. Photo: European Council President via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Weeks before COP21, G20 fail the climate challenge

Oliver Tickell

16th November 2015

In the run-up to the COP21 climate summit in Paris the G20's Antalya Communiqué is weaker on climate, fossil fuel subsidies and support for renewable energy than the G20's 2009 Pittsburgh Statement made shortly before the failed COP15 in Copenhagen six years ago. more...
Shining a light on the TPP in Chicago, 8th November 2013. Photo: Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The TPP - blueprint for the 1000-year Reich of global capital

pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

16th November 2015

Thanks to New Zealand, the full text of the Trans Pacific Partnership has been made public. And as Pete Dolack writes, it's a disaster for health, environment, workers and democracy - one that will unfold over years and decades to come, as investors and corporations consolidate their power over elected governments and cement in the global rule of unaccountable capital. more...
Thanks to the sudden withdrawal of tax benefits for community energy projects, these waters at Abingdon Lock, Oxfordshire, will remain unharnessed for many years to come. Photo: Victor Bayon (CC BY-NC-SA).

George Osborne must back down on community energy tax

Georgina Matthews

11th November 2015

Surprise changes to the Finance Bill in its third reading have withdrawn tax benefits for investors in community renewable energy projects, writes Georgina Matthews. While some societies are rushing to complete their fund-raising by the end of the month, others have been forced to close. If these measures are not withdrawn, a small but flourishing sector will be at risk. more...
Loadsamoney !!! For the fossil fuel industry, that is. Renewables are left out in the cold. Photo: Helen Keegan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

UK's £10 billion a year fossil fuel subsidies - and rising!

The Ecologist

12th November 2015

In 2009 G20 nations pledged to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. But they are still supporting them with $452 billion a year. Worst offenders include the UK, the only G7 country that's ramping up its fossil fuel spending; and Turkey, host of tomorrow's G20 summit, which plans to double its CO2 emissions with a huge new fleet of coal power plants. more...

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Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Photo: Association for Decentralised Energy via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Leaked letter: Rudd admits 25% green energy undershoot, misled Parliament

Oliver Tickell

9th November 2015

A letter from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd leaked to The Ecologist shows that she misled Parliament by promising the UK was 'on course' to deliver on its renewable energy targets - when in fact there is a delivery shortfall in 2020 of almost 25%. Her plan to fill the gap relies on more biofuels, buying in green power and 'credits' from abroad - everything but wind and solar. more...
The UK's nuclear deal with China comes with a quid pro quo: the City of London's lucrative access to Chinese financial markets, exemplified by the glistening towers of Shanghai's Pudong District. Photo: Allan Watt via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

UK's nuclear deal with China is a boon for bankers - and no one else

Jeffrey Henderson, University of Bristol

6th November 2015

The UK's nuclear deal with China makes no sense, writes Jeffrey Henderson - unless you factor in the simultaneous agreement to forge lucrative links between UK and Chinese financial markets. Lucrative, that is, for the City institutions whose interests the British government so assiduously represents. As for the rest of us, our task is simple: to bear the ever-growing cost. more...
RAN activists holding a banner in front of Duke Energy's Cliffside coal plant in Cliffside, North Carolina, denouncing the banks responsible for its financing. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Top banks put nine times more money into fossil fuels than renewables

The Ecologist

3rd November 2015

Since the last big climate conference in 2009 the world's biggest private sector banks have provided more than nine more money to fossil fuels than to renewable energy - showing up their oft-repeated 'green finance' promises as little more than PR puff. more...
Women in Jepara's teak forest area harvest ground nuts, Central Java, Indonesia, June, 2009. Photo: Murdani Usman / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Local communities, not global financiers, are the best forest managers

Isaac Rojas / Friends of the Earth International

2nd November 2015

A new paradigm of forest conservation is gaining ground, writes Isaac Rojas: 'financialising' them and the climate and ecological services they provide to global investors. But this is a false solution - and one that excludes the local and indigenous forest communities who can truly be relied upon to sustain their sylvan heritage. more...
At least in Greece, the weather is warmer than in most of Europe. Photo: street scene in Monastiraki, Athens, by psyberartist via Flickr (CC BY).

Greece is the testing ground for the TTIP era of corporate rule

Pavlos Georgiadis / Sustainable Food Trust

5th November 2015

Greece is Europe's sandbox for the neoliberal free-for-all to follow if the EU and the US sign off on the TTIP trade and investment treaty, writes Pavlos Georgiadis. The termination of public services, the cut-price sell-off of public assets, the dismantling of environmental protection, the democratic closedown, the rule of corporations and finance capital ... all coming your way soon. more...
Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne map out their planned destruction of the UK renewable energy industry. Photo: Number 10 via Fliclr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Government cuts tax relief for community green energy

Aisha Gani / the Guardian Environment

30th October 2015

Another week, another renewable energy cut. This time George Osborne is swinging the axe at tax breaks for community renewable energy schemes, writes Aisha Gani - even though previous cuts have already made 90% of projects unviable. more...
If no EU institution or state refers the ISDS provisions of TTIP and CETA to the European Court of Justice (pictured) then these symbols of sovereignty may become empty of meaning. Photo: Cédric Puisney via Flickr (CC BY).

Is TTIP legal? European Court must be asked to rule

Laurens Ankersmit & Oliver Tickell

26th October 2015

The investor protections in the US-EU TTIP treaty would privilege US corporations over the EU's own citizens and businesses, writes Laurens Ankersmit & Oliver Tickell. That would sideline EU courts and undermine the completion of the internal market. It is therefore essential that the EU Court be asked to rule whether they are legal. more...
Natural gas flares from a flare-head at the Orvis State oil well in McKenzie County, North Dakota, east of Arnegard and west of Watford City. Photo: Tim Evanson via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Are the fracking vampires going bust? That's how it looks

Joshua Frank

26th October 2015

The high oil prices that turned North Dakota into a boom state have turned, writes Joshua Frank. Now high-cost oil and gas are in the doldrums everywhere, production is falling - and even if prices do pick up one day, risk aversion and the relentless advance of renewables will leave lakes of oil and caverns of gas underground where they belong. Folks, the oil party really is over! more...
What's his plan? Xi Jinping portrait by thierry ehrmann via Flickr (CC BY).

Will Hinkley C ever be built? If so, China will exact a very high price

Oliver Tickell

22nd October 2015

China's nuclear investment into the UK raises more questions than it answers, writes Oliver Tickell. The £6bn committed is nowhere near enough to see Hinkley C to completion, and EDF has few options for raising the rest elsewhere. The only answer is more Chinese money, and it won't come cheap - not for Britain, nor indeed for France's vulnerable nuclear corporations. more...
Even though the Baram dam is on hold, logging of the reservoir area and surrounding forest is proceeding apace. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Indigenous activists celebrate bitter victory over rainforest dam moratorium

Rod Harbinson / Mongabay

22nd October 2015

As indigenous activists opposing hydropower dams on their territories gather this weekend in the rainforests of Sarawak, Malaysia, they have good news to celebrate, writes Rod Harbinson: a giant dam on the Baram river has been put on hold. But the forests are still being logged, local people have been stripped of land rights, and a programme of 12 giant dams is still official policy. more...
View across Lake Ohrid with small boats. Photo: Jaime Pérez via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Macedonia: EBRD's planned destruction of Lake Ohrid Biosphere Reserve

Elena Nikolovska & Daniel Scarry

27th October 2015

UNESCO's Lake Ohrid-Prespa Biosphere Reserve at Mount Galicica, Macedonia, is at risk from a raft of aggressive developments, write Elena Nikolovska & Daniel Scarry: tourism complexes, a new expressway and ski resort all threaten its tranquility and stunning diversity of wildlife, backed by loans from the EU's taxpayer-funded Bank, the EBRD. more...
Years late, billions over budget: construction of two AP1000 reactors at Vogtle, South Carolina, October 2011. Photo: Charles C Watson Jr / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

UK-China nuclear deal won't keep our lights on

Oliver Tickell

21st October 2015

The UK's plan to get China to build and finance new nuclear power stations is based on a wish and a prayer, writes Oliver Tickell. There is no reactor design, including new Chinese ones, that we can depend on to fill our impending power generation gap. This time, the last one out won't even have to turn out the lights. more...
You want chlorine with that? With TTIP, we will soon be forced to eat US-style meat - hormone-fed animals, chlorine-washed chicken, beef soaked in lactic acid. Photo: Anthony Albright via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Be very scared: TTIP and 'regulatory cooperation'

Alex Scrivener / Global Justice Now

20th October 2015

The 'regulatory cooperation' clauses in TTIP threaten to strip away vital EU protections on food, health and environment, writes Alex Scrivener. Indeed it has already begun: the mere prospect of TTIP has persuaded the EU to back off on plans to ban lactic acid-treated beef and 31 toxic pesticides. We must reject the entire package! more...


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