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Fracking is burning more than just our health. Our money's going up in flames too - and that's putting the whole financial system at risk. Photo: Bill Baker via Flickr.

With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system

Paul Mobbs

17th December 2014

A new financial crisis is threatening to dwarf the 'subprime' mortgage debacle, writes Paul Mobbs. Cheap money from central banks has fuelled some $1.3 trillion of risky investments in high-cost 'unconventional' oil and gas. Now, with oil sinking below $60, all that paper is turning to junk - and that's putting the entire economic system at risk. more...
BUNDjugend demonstrators take on Shell in Hamburg in early 2014. They may not stop Shell in its tracks - but there's one power that can - international finance. Photo: BUNDjugend via Flickr.

The UN climate talks just failed - now for the real battle

Assaad W. Razzouk

15th December 2014

COP20 has just laid the foundations for a non-agreement in Paris in 2015, writes Assaad Razzouk - thanks to the pernicious influence of fossil fuels, poisoning debate and subverting serious climate action. Now there's only one earthly power big enough to fight back. more...
Rooms with views ... but where's the vision? European Commission photo by Bruno Coelho via Flickr.

Europe on the brink - green future or industrial wasteland?

Oliver Tickell

12th December 2014

The EU faces a choice: a green, democratic future of clean prosperity and social justice? Or a dirty future of corporate domination with resurgent nuclear power, expanding fossil fuels, GMO agriculture and weak human and environmental protection? Junckers' Commission represents the latter. We must assert our own vision - or there will be little worth staying in for. more...
No Mr Juncker, that's not 'Happy Birthday' they're singing ... Photo: Felix Kindermann / Stop TTIP.

TTIP - Juncker's 1.1 million signature 'birthday card'

The Ecologist

9th December 2014

Campaigners today today delivered Commission President Juncker a 'birthday card' with 1.1 million signatures from EU citizens. Yes, it really is his birthday today - but the real message was calling on him to back off from negotiations over the TTIP and CETA trade deals with the USA and Canada. more...
Torched Senger homes. Photo: Dean Puckett.

Kenya: a forest people illegally evicted, beaten, imprisoned - paid for by the World Bank

Dean Puckett / REDD Monitor

7th December 2014

Financed by the World Bank, the Kenya Forest Service has intensified its illegal campaign of evictions, arson, beatings and arrests of the Sengwer forest people of the Embobut forest, Dean Puckett reports from the Cherangani Hills. And behind the violence lies the lure of hard cash - from the prospect of selling the forest's carbon to international financiers. more...
Under the new 'capacity market' regulations, Britain's dirtiest coal-fired plants are set to benefit. Photo: Dom Atreides via Flickr.

UK's 'unlawful' £35 billion support to fossil fuels in ECJ challenge

Oliver Tickell

4th December 2014

The UK Government plans to lock consumers into a 2.5bn a year, 15-year spend to support peak-time fossil power generation - while undermining energy demand savings capable of achieving the same purpose more cleanly and cheaply. But today the 'unlawful' system has been hit by an ECJ lawsuit. more...
The wind turbine at the end of the rainbow. Photo: geogrpah.org.uk / Wikimedia Commons.

Community renewable energy in the UK needs co-ops!

Tammy Calvert / Energy4All

26th November 2014

The UK's community energy sector was badly hit by the financial regulator's sudden decision this summer to disallow renewable energy co-operatives, writes Tammy Calvert. A consultation on the topic ends tomorrow, Friday - so get your views in quickly while you can! more...
Australia’s official forecasts for expanding fossil fuel exports don’t match up with what’s needed to avoid severe climate change. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham/Flickr, CC BY.

Wake up Australia! Your coal exports are being left stranded

Stephen Bygrave

30th November 2014

Australia is betting the farm on huge increases in coal exports, writes Stephen Bygrave - just as key markets in China, India, Korea and Japan are drying up, with rising tariffs and huge renewable energy and efficiency programs. The policy is totally out of touch with reality - and will lead to revenue shortfalls in the AU$100 billions. more...
The Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: Elias Schewel via Flickr.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss

Gregory McGann

27th November 2014

The exploitation of Canada's tar sands is more than just an environmental catastrophe, writes Gregory McGann. It's also an turning into an economic disaster, with massive investments at risk as falling oil prices leave the tar sands stranded. more...
Solar reflectors being cleaned at the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant in Morocco. The World Bank provided technical assistance and managed the overall project. Photograph: Dana Smillie / World Bank.

World Bank to focus on 'all forms of renewable energy'

John Vidal / the Guardian

25th November 2014

The president of the World Bank has promised to back out of financing coal developments, and instead target its finance at 'every dimension of renewable energy' under a new climate-friendly strategy. more...
'So can you build this bloody power station or can't you?' Cameron gets tough with EDF workers on a visit to the Hinkley Point C site. Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr.

Hinkley C hit by surprise treble whammy - is it all over for EDF?

Doug Parr /

20th November 2014

EDF has already moved heavy earth moving gear onto the Hinkley C nuclear power station construction site, writes Doug Parr - but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. On the contrary, a host of intractable problems are coming home to roost, and the increasingly troubled project is looking shakier than ever. more...
Who has the longest nose of them all? Pinocchio from Tony Wolf Pinocchio and other tales 1990. Photo: janwillemsen via Flickr.

Long noses: Shell, GDF Suez, Samsung sweep Pinocchio Awards

Oliver Tickell

19th November 2014

Who has the longest nose of them all? Worthy winners of France's fiercely contested 'Prix Pinocchio' 2014 were selected last night, recognising corporate greed, hypocrisy and malfeasance, based on a record vote since the awards began. more...

finance: 1/25 of 91
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TTIP - the elephant in the room. Photo: People's NHS.

NHS at risk from TTIP - Friday's key debate

John Hilary

20th November 2011

Tomorrow MPs will debate a bill to halt the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, writes John Hilary. But even if the bill passes into law, it risks being squashed by the TTIP - the increasingly unpopular US-EU trade deal which could hand over the NHS to US health giants. more...
Protestors against the TTIP in Smith Square, London, 12th July 2014. Photo: World Developement Movment via Flickr.

TTIP: Cameron begs Brussels to give away more British sovereignty

Jurgen Maier

29th October 2014

The UK and 13 other EU trade ministers have written to the European Commission's new head imploring him to include secret, much criticised investor protections in the controversial TTIP, the EU-US trade and investment deal, writes Jurgen Maier. Is this a democratic snub too far? more...
Are there more nasty surprises in store for fossil fuel investors? The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 22nd June 2010. Photo: Oscar Garcia / via John Amos on Flickr.

To hit fossil fuel firms where it hurts, support divestment!

Franklin Ginn

20th October 2014

Fossil fuel companies are a risky investment thanks to the 2.8 trillion tonnes of 'unburnable' carbon in their reserves, writes Franklin Ginn. But there's an even stronger reason to support fossil fuel divestment: to erode their political power, which they use to block progress to a sustainable, low carbon future. more...
An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

NAO investigates Hinkley C nuclear subsidies

Terry Macalister / The Guardian

17th October 2014

Hinkley C's subsidy package may have won European Commission approval - but now it faces a National Audit Office 'value for money' investigation, following a demand from a powerful Parliamentary committee. more...
Protestors against the TTIP in Smith Square, London, 12th July 2014. Photo: World Developement Movment via Flickr.

Help us reach the TTIP tipping point!

Morten Thaysen

11th October 2014

The TTIP - a massive trade and investment deal under negotiation between the US and the EU - could be the end of democracy as we know it, writes Morton Thaysen, as corporate rights will supplant those of ciizens and elected governments. Join a global day of action today! more...
The women of the village of Akbarpura in Alwar District, Rajasthan, have formed a self help microfinancing group. They meet every fortnight and collect money from each of their members on which they give out small loans - for a new buffallo or a water-pum

Loan sharking and microfinance: What's the difference?

David Hulme & Mathilde Maitrot

7th October 2014

Microfinance - lending poor people small sums to capitalise sustainable, profitable livelihoods and businesses - is widely lauded as a 'good thing'. And at its best, so it is. But some micro-lenders in south Asia operate with the methods, and ethics, of loan sharks, write David Hulme & Mathilde Maitrot. Can microfinance save its soul? more...
Homes of Sengwer people stand burning in Embobut, Kenya. Photo: Forest Peoples Programme.

World Bank 'failing to protect Kenya forest dwellers'

John Vidal / The Guardian

30th September 2014

The eviction of Kenya's Sengwer forest people in a World Bank financed project was a failure of the Bank's duty to protect indigenous people, according to an internal report. The Bank's directors are to decide on how to respond today - but if they follow their own management's advice, the evictions will continue. more...
Many investors are already convinced: the Fllod Wall Street demo, 22nd September 2014. Photo: Resa Sunshine via Flickr.

Billionnaires against fossil fuels

Ruth Lumley / Trillion Fund

27th September 2014

The movement to divest from fossil fuels is gaining strength, writes Ruth Lumley, with $50 billion of institutional investment behind it. This week's news that almost $1 billion of Rockefeller money is moving from fossil fuels to clean energy shows that the world is changing faster than most ever imagined. more...
Falling costs make renewables such as solar energy competitive in the US without subsidy. Photo: US Bureau of Land Management via Wikimedia Commons.

Investor heavyweights call for climate action

Kieran Cooke

23rd September 2014

At the UN climate summit in New York today, institutional investors managing $24 trillion of assets are demanding stronger, more ambitious policies on climate change, writes Kieran Cooke. These include an effective carbon price and an end to fossil fuel subsidies. more...
The shining blue waters of Lago Suchitlan, Suchitoto, El Salvador. Photo: Adalberto.H.Vega via Flickr.

A mining company's $300 million attack on El Salvador's water

Pete Dolack

5th October 2014

OceanaGold is demanding $300 million in compensation from impoverished El Salvador after a mining permit was refused to safeguard a clean drinking water source that millions of people depend on, writes Pete Dolack. The sum does not even represent losses - but profits the company claims it would have made. more...
The Edmonton waste-to-energy incinerator in North London is the largest in the UK, and produces up to 55MW of power. Photo: Fin Fahey via Flickr.

PFI waste incinerator contracts burn more money than rubbish

David Hall / The Conversation

22nd September 2014

A Parliamentary report reveals that £200 million has been wasted on failed 'public-private' PFI projects for waste management, writes David Hall. The obvious solution: to allow local authorities to build and operate their own, which is cheaper and more flexible. The only problem: under UK government rules, it's PFI or nothing. more...
A group of Dayaks photographed on Borneo in 1910. The Indonesian government no longer recognises the People as 'indigenous', which may rob modern day Dayaks of protection against World Bank financed development projects.

World Bank to roll back safeguards for indigenous people

Irin News

16th September 2014

The World Bank is considering 'reforms' to its policies to protect indigenous peoples from the impacts of projects it finances that would devolve key decisions to national governments - such as whether an ethnic group is 'indigenous' at all. If passed by the Bank's Board, the changes would strip away a raft of essential human rights protections.. more...
Hunter Lovins. Photo: Joi Ito via Flickr.

Wild horses, Hunter Lovins, and the way to a better world

Sophie Morlin-Yron

10th September 2014

Hunter Lovins is on a mission, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron: to put the transformational technologies we already have to work for the benefit of people and business - and to re-create the economy so it's no longer a machine for polluting the planet and devouring natural resources, but a mechanism for building and sustaining natural and human capital. more...

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