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The La Rance tidal power station near Saint-Malo in France has been producing an average 62MW of power since 1966. Photo: Stephanemartin via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Finally, Amber Rudd must drop her nuclear obsession

Paul Flynn MP

16th December 2015

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd's plan to deliver the UK's emissions reductions promised in COP21 rely on nuclear power as the main 'low carbon' energy source, writes Paul Flynn. But the high cost of nuclear, and the ruinous track record of current technologies, show that this path leads only to massive failure at public expense. more...
Transmission lines across the Ohio River. Photo: Iris Shreve Garrott via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fossil fuel credit ratings unmoved by Paris Agreement

The Ecologist

14th December 2015

The impact of the Paris Agreement on leading rating agency Moody's assessment of the world's fossil fuel companies is ... nothing at all. The one change is in Europe, where thermal generators have a worsening outlook, and renewables are 'credit positive'. more...
The WTO has been quiet in recent years. But now it's back, with a vengeance. Anti-WTO protest in Cancún, Mexico, on the occasion of the 2003 Ministerial Meeting. Photo: Klaus Werner-Lobo via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

WTO is back. And this time, no more Mr Nice Guy

Polly Jones / Global Justice Now

13th December 2015

Overtaken by massive regional trade agreements like TPP, TTIP, CETA and TINA, the World Trade Organisation has slipped into the background, writes Polly Jones. But this week it's back with a vengeance, with its first big meeting in two years. The US's plan is to globalise the investment protection regime set out in the TTP, and open a new era of corporate rule and the eradication of democracy. more...
Oil Refinery at Oxymoron. Photo: Wyatt Wellman via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

COP21: 'fossil fuel giants must pay carbon tax'

Henner Weithoener

11th December 2015

Campaigners at COP21 in Paris are calling for a new 'upstream' carbon tax to be levied on fossil fuel producers, writes Henner Weithoener, and so send a clear market signal and finance poor countries' compensation for 'loss and damage' caused by climate change. more...
Delegates rise from a hard negotiating session at COP21 in Paris. Photo: UNclimatechange via Flickr (CC BY).

COP21 to investors: 'the end of fossil fuels is nigh!'

Kyla Mandel

10th December 2015

Coal prices are in terminal decline, writes Kyla Mandel, oil giant Statoil is calling for the strongest possible agreement, and the world's energy bosses are planning for a decarbonised future. COP21 is marking the definitive tipping point in the demise of fossil fuels. more...
What's to compromise over? The aftermath of Typoon Haiyan / Yolanda in Tacloban city in central Philippines, 10th November 2013. Photo: Mans Unides via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

COP21: climate vulnerable countries must demand unconditional surrender

Laurence Delina, Boston University

10th December 2015

No matter what bullying tactics they encounter in the final stages of COP21, writes Laurence Delina, 'climate vulnerable' countries must hold firm - and demand a legally binding treaty that delivers deep emissions cuts and secure, sufficient climate finance, all backed by strong sanctions for non-compliance. Nothing less will do. more...
Minister Gregory Barker visits what was then the UK's largest rooftop solar array at Bentley Motors in Crewe, October 2013. Photo: DECC via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

EU renews 70% 'solar tax' on Chinese PV

Oliver Tickell

7th December 2015

The EU's decision to renew 'punitive' tariffs on imports of PV modules and cells from China will cost the EU's solar installers an extra £700 million, writes Oliver Tickell - just as the UK industry is reeling from 87% government cuts. more...
The real clowns are the ones inside the COP21 conference centre, deliberately obstructing and slowing down negotiations. A demonstrator in Paris on 29th November. Photo: Duc via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

COP21: Paris climate talks slow to a crawl as obstructionists threaten the deal

Luke Kemp, Australian National University

7th December 2015

Saturday's delivery of the draft Paris Agreement text for ministers to run with today was a small miracle, writes Luke Kemp. But it came at the cost of 935 bracketed texts to be argued over by ministers this week, while key questions - whether it will be a legally binding treaty, and how poorer countries will be paid to adapt to and mitigate climate change - are still up for grabs. more...
Exactly what kind of breakthrough does the club of billionaires have in mind? Photo: vintage ad for Union Carbide by James Vaughan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Is Gates's 'Breakthrough Energy Coalition' a nuclear spearhead?

Linda Pentz Gunter

6th December 2015

Last week a new billionaires club strode into COP21 in Paris promising big money for 'clean energy': the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. But most of its members are nuclear obsessives, writes Linda Pentz Gunter, from Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. And what the the world needs is not 'patient investment' into nuclear research, but impatient investment into renewables deployment. more...
Saudi Arabia being awarded the 'fossil of the day' prize at COP21 last Thursday (Day 5) for trying to obstruct the goal to limit warming to 1.5C. Today, it looks like they lost. Photo: Takver via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Victory: COP21 sets 1.5C 'long term temperature goal'

Kyla Mandel, Brendan Montague & Oliver Tickell

5th December 2015

The latest text of the Paris Agreement on climate change published today sets 1.5C as its 'long term temperature goal', half a degree lower than previously agreed. It's a big victory for poor 'climate vulnerable' countries - and a blow for Saudi Arabia. more...
Will it all be in vain? Human Chain in Paris before the opening of the COP21, 29th November 2015. Photo: Jeanne Menjoulet via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Rich nations must pay the climate price, say G77 + China

Paul Brown

4th December 2015

'Pay up or there's no deal', a coalition of 134 developing nations have warned the rich industrial countries at COP21 in Paris - the ones that caused the climate problem in the first place. As Paul Brown writes, much more than the $64 billion so far pledged will be needed to get them on board. more...
View of the west side of the Brighton Earthship. Photo: Mischa Hewitt.

Saving Earthship Brighton - to inspire and educate for decades to come

Phil Moore

2nd December 2015

Earthship Brighton, an award-winning off-grid community centre set in an organic farm within the South Downs National Park, has hosted hundreds of events and inspired tens of thousands of visitors over the last decade, writes Phil Moore, demonstrating green technologies and energy-efficient living. But now it's in need of a refit. more...

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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...
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...

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