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Ecuador's 'free trade' agreement with the US only undermined their ability to get justice for Texaco's toxic legacy of oil pollution, and did little to attract investment. Now it has been dumped along with 15 others. Photo of Lago Agrio by Caroline Bennet

Ecuador rips up 16 toxic trade treaties

Nick Dearden / Global Justice Now

31st May 2017

Ecuador is the latest country to tear up 'free trade' agreements that have so far cost the country $21 billion in damages awarded to foreign companies by 'corporate courts', and yielded next to nothing in return, writes Nick Dearden. So the outgoing President Correa did the only sensible thing: in one of his final executive acts this month, he scrapped 16 toxic trade and investment treaties. more...
The Escondida copper-gold-silver mine, 170 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Chile’s port city of Antofagasta. This astronaut photograph features a large impoundment area (image center) containing light tan and gray waste spoil from of the Escondida m

For how long will the London Stock Exchange give Antofagasta mine a free pass?

Ali Maeve & Liam Barrington-Bush

1st June 2017

London-listed copper giant Antofagasta has been entangled in scandals in Chile involving water depletion, dangers to local communities, corruption of national politics and environmental contamination, write Ali Maeve & Liam Barrington-Bush. Yet the London Stock Exchange remains silent. Following the company's AGM last week, a new London Mining Network report puts their actions and operations into the spotlight. more...
Greenham Farm smallholders. Photo: Abbie Trayler Smith / ELC.

Ecological agriculture: investing today in tomorrow's farms

Phil Moore

22nd May 2017

Ecological farming has taken root in the UK, writes Phil Moore: drawing inspiration from the past while employing the latest ideas and techniques from organic, no-dig, permaculture, agroecology and agroforestry methods. But with agricultural fields selling for up to £10,000 an acre, there's a big difficultly for many would-be eco-farmers: access to land. Now, with public support, that's a problem the Ecological Land Cooperative is determined to solve. more...
Who needs research into climate change adaptation? Flooding in Brisbane, Queensland, 11th January 2011. Photo: Angus Veitch via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia axes climate change adaptation research

Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, University of Canberra

16th May 2017

Natural disasters like flood and drought have cost the Australian government more than A$12 billion since 2009, write Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, with even harsher weather events predicted for coming decades. Clearly, it's just the time for Australia to eliminate funding for research on adapting to climate change. more...
ADB's 'two finger salute' to the world on climate change: the Tata Mundra coal power station in India, under construction in 2010. Photo: Joe Athialy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Asian Development Bank must end its 50 year addiction to coal!

Hemantha Withanage

4th May 2017

The mighty Asian Development Bank is celebrating its 50th birthday this week in Yokohama, Japan, writes Hemantha Withanage. But the victims of ADB's $3 billion coal funding have little to be glad of - whether local communities impacted by mines and power stations, or people everywhere suffering climate change. ADB must stop financing coal now! more...
The UKEF export finance agency has committed £1 billion to support Colombia's fossil fuel sector. The Barrancabermeja oil refinery on the banks of Colombia's Río Magdalena. Photo: Javier Guillot via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Leaked: UK £7 billion export credit for fossil fuel industry violates 'clean energy' pledge

Lawrence Carter / Greenpeace Energydesk

16th May 2017

Between 2011 and 2016 the UK's export finance agency UKEF provided £109m to underwrite exports of equipment to coal mines in Russia, writes Lawrence Carter - despite the agency's commitment not to support 'investment in dirty fossil-fuel energy production'. And that's just a fraction of the £6.9 billion UKEF has lavished on the corrupt, polluting sector since 2000, while it was meant to be backing the clean energy technologies of the future. more...
Total tax received from the North Sea oil and gas sector 1968-2017, not adjusted for inflation. Includes petroleum revenue tax, ringfence corporation tax, supplementary charge, royalty and gas levy. Figure for 2016-17 covers 11 months to February 2017. So

North Sea oil industry cost UK taxpayers £400m last year, and counting

Simon Evans / Carbon Brief

5th April 2017

The whole idea of North Sea oil was to make Britain rich, writes Simon Evans. At least that's how it all began. But now ... it cost UK taxpayers a massive £396 million a year in tax breaks and subsidies to keep the industry alive last year. And there's no reason to think that's going to turn around any time soon. more...
Where Toshiba's $10bn nuclear debt came from: the Vogtle AP1000 construction site in Georgia, under inspection by NRC Commissioner Svinicki. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr (CC BY).

Toshiba's nuclear flagship goes bust after $10 billion losses

Jim Green

30th March 2017

News that one of the world's biggest nuclear power constructors, Westinghouse, has filed for bankruptcy in with debts of over $10 billion has put the entire sector on notice and issued a dire warning to nuclear investors everywhere, writes Jim Green. Among the likely casualties: the UK's Moorside nuclear complex in Cumbria. more...
Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (Bakken / DAPL) near New Salem, North Dakota, August 2016. Photo: Tony Webster via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Colonialism, climate change and the need to defund DAPL

Amy Hall

10th April 2017

British firms lie deep at the heart of the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, writes Amy Hall. Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland have lent $800m to Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidaries, London-based Commercial Bank of China has loaned $120m, and RBS $250m, while HSBC and Barclays own over $110m worth of shares in project partner Phillips 66. more...
A dirt road near Dinant Corporation's El Tumbador plantation, Honduras, where the corporation is locked into a deadly land war with local campesino communities. Photo: ICIJ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

World Bank claims 'sovereign immunity' to escape liability for its crimes against humanity

Pete Dolack

23rd March 2017

World Bank projects have left a worldwide trail of evictions, displacements, rapes, murders, forest destruction, greenhouse-gas-belching fossil fuel projects, and destruction of farmland and water sources, writes Pete Dolack. But even as internal reports admit the Bank's wrongdoing, it is asserting its immunity from legal action as terrorised communities seek redress in the courts. more...
Radiation hotspot in Kashiwa following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Abasaa via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Fukushima court ruling holds 'reckless' Tepco and government liable

Shaun Burnie / Asia Times

2ist March 2017

A Japanese court has found the government and Tepco culpable for the Fukushima nuclear disaster for failing to act on clear warnings of the dangers of seismic shocks, writes Shaun Burnie. The ruling is sending a shockwave through Japan's 'nuclear village' and may end all prospects of any mass restart of reactors. more...
Fukushima: the third IAEA mission to review Japan's plans and work to decommission the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, February 2015, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Terminal decline? Fukushima anniversary marks nuclear industry's deepening crisis

Jim Green / Nuclear Monitor

10th March 2017

With the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster falling tomorrow, nuclear lobbyists are arguing over solutions to the existential crisis facing nuclear power, writes Jim Green. Some favour a multinational consolidation of large conventional reactor designs, while others back technological innovation and 'small modular reactors'. But in truth, both approaches are doomed to failure. more...

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EDF's 4x900MW Nuclear power plant at Dampierre-en-Burly, commissioned in 1980, will soon turn from a money machine into a monstrous financial drain. Photo: Pymouss via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

EDF facing bankruptcy as decommissioning time for France's ageing nuclear fleet nears

Paul Dorfman

16th March 2017

Soon EDF will have to start the biggest, most complex and costliest nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management programme on earth, writes Paul Dorfman. But whereas Germany has set aside €38 billion to decommission 17 nuclear reactors, France has set aside only €23 billion to decommission its 58 reactors. When the real costs come in, they could easily bankrupt the company. more...
IAEA technicians examine Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the only one of four reactors to be stabilised - because it was  defuelled at the time of the earthquake and tsunami. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Fukushima catastrophe unfolds ... key facts and figures for an unhappy sixth anniversary

L'ACROnique de Fukushima & Hervé Courtois

10th March 2017

The 2011 Fukushima catastrophe is an ongoing disaster whose end only gets more remote as time passes. The government is desperate to get evacuees back into their homes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the problems on the ground, and in the breached reactor vessels, are only getting more serious and costly, as unbelievable volumes of radiation contaminate land, air and ocean. more...
Fossil fuels are already a huge money pit for US taxpayers, costing them $170 billion a year. Photo: open pit coal mine in West Virginia by Elias Schewel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Trump, think again! US subsidies for fossil fuels are already worth $170 billion a year

Radek Stefanski, University of St Andrews

2nd March 2017

We must not let President Trump's vocal support for the US fossil economy eclipse the dismal record of his predecessors, writes Radek Stefanski. Under Clinton, Bush and Obama fossil fuels subsidies reached $170 billion per year, pushing up US emissions by some 11% - and that's the real problem we have to solve. more...
The 'pro-science' chemical industry boosters have a guilty secret: they are funded by the same 'anti-science' right-wing foundations that finance climate change denialism. Photo: Sucralose packaging by Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY).

Propaganda wars: 'pro-science' GMO, chemicals boosters funded by climate change deniers

Stacy Malkan

28th February 2017

They promote GMOs, defend toxic chemicals, and attack people who raise concerns about those products as 'anti-science'. But behind the slick 'astroturf' PR fronts lurk some very dubious funders: the same arch-conservative foundations that finance climate science denial. Stacy Malkan exposes the key players in the agribusiness and chemical industry propaganda wars. more...
Wind and solar power at work on the Westmill Cooperative Open Day 2015. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Budget 2017 - wind and solar are essential to combat climate change!

Ervin Bossanyi

1st March 2017

David Cameron's Conservative government did its best to kill off the UK's lowest-cost renewable energy technologies, onshore wind and solar. But in next week's budget, the Chancellor can put that right. Renewables are low carbon, quick to deploy, have low environmental impacts, and enjoy high public support, writes Ervin Bossanyi. It's time to give them a break! more...
The nuclear dream is turning into a nightmare! EDF's Cattenom 5.5 GW nuclear plant in Lorraine, France, built on the border with Luxembourg. Photo: Matthieu Nioufs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

'Picking losers' - UK must not risk taxpayers' billions on failed nuclear dream

David Toke

27th February 2017

With the world's leading nuclear corporations facing bankruptcy due to ever escalating costs, 'unconstructable' reactor designs and financing risks, there's an easy way to finance the UK's new nuclear power stations, writes David Toke: pin the cost onto taxpayers. As for schools, hospitals, pensions, housing, social care and other public services, who needs 'em? more...
Photo: takomabibelot via Flickr (Public Domain).

Trump's multi-trillion dollar fraud on America: 'public-private' infrastructure partnerships

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

23rd February 2017

Donald Trump's scheme to rebuild US infrastructure could be among the world's greatest ever financial heists, writes Pete Dolack. He has chosen the most expensive, anti-democratic way to do the job, through the mass privatization of priceless public assets - sticking users and taxpayers for exorbitant charges for decades to come, while banks and speculators reap the profits. more...
Imposing, moi? Photo of the Sellafield nuclear complex by Dafydd Waters via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Copeland by-election: opposing nuclear power, and voting Green, is the only rational choice

Jack Lenox / Green Party

17th February 2017

All but one of the candidates in next week's Copeland by-election are backing a massive new nuclear power station in the constituency that would cost us tens of billions of pounds. Only the Green Party's Jack Lenox is resisting the spin, hypocrisy and outright lies that his rivals have swallowed whole. Here he explains why this risky, unaffordable white elephant must be scrapped. more...
The Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, next to which the 3-reactor Moorside nuclear project is planned. Photo: Bellona Foundation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Keep UK taxpayers off the hook for Moorside nuclear black hole!

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

14th February 2017

The main company due to build UK's 'flagship' nuclear power project at Moorside in Cumbria is on the ropes, writes Doug Parr, thanks to its multi-billion dollar nuclear losses on in the US. The obvious solution, (almost) all our politicians insist, is to ignore cheaper, faster, cleaner renewables, and make the taxpayer pick up the cost of yet another nuclear white elephant. more...
Opposing TISA: Global Trade in Services Strategy Meeting, October 2014. Photo: Public Services International via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

TPP and TTIP are not dead: now they're called the Trade In Services Agreement

Pete Dolack

9th February 2017

If there's one good thing about Trump, it's that he has put an end to the TPP and TTIP trade deals, right? Don't celebrate yet, writes Pete Dolack. There's another 'trade deal' waiting in the wings, TISA, and negotiators have been busy expanding its remit to include huge parts of TPP and TTIP, while giving free rein to the global behemoths of internet and finance to expand their monopolies. more...
The disastrous Okiluoto 3 EPR reactor under construction in Finland. The project is taking twice as long to complete, and costing twice as much, as promised. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time and money run out for nuclear revival

Paul Brown

17th January 2017

The nuclear industry faces an uncertain future as the reactor building boom is struck by unexpected costs, serious technical problems, and long, expensive delays, writes Paul Brown. Meanwhile renewables like wind and solar are offering investors an enviable combination of falling cost, low risk, fast build times, predictable returns and minimal long term liabilities. more...
Blazing a trail? The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System - a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert SW of Las Vegas - has a capacity of 392 MW. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Never mind Trump - the global energy transition is racing forward

Jeremy Leggett

3rd January 2017

As the new year begins, the global clean energy transition is progressing much faster than most people realise, and is probably irreversible, writes Jeremy Leggett. President-elect Trump's prospects of revitalising the US coal industry, and giving the oil and gas industry the expansionist dream ticket it wants, are very low. more...
The European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Photo: Gideon Benari / www.solvencyiiwire.com via Flickr (CC BY).

ECB's 'quantitative easing' funds fossil fuels, arms, cars and climate change

Corporate Europe Observatory

14th December 2016

What kind of companies is the European Central Bank supporting by buying €46 billion of their bonds under its QE programme? Research by Corporate Europe Observatory reveals a strong preference for oil, gas, tar sands, dirty power generation, armaments, aviation, airports, car makers, motorways, luxury goods and gambling. Our sustainable be future be damned! more...

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