Guardian: “Poor countries have won historic recognition of the plight they face from the ravages of climate change, wringing a pledge from rich nations that they will receive funds to repair the “loss and damage” incurred. This is the first time developing countries have received such assurances, and the first time the phrase “loss and damage from climate change” has been enshrined in an international legal document.” Read more
European Energy Review: When Germany’s environment minister Peter Altmaier addressed the first-ever congress of energy cooperatives in Berlin on November 19, he knew he was looking out over one of the Energiewende’s core constituencies.” Read more
Independent: “The days of the banking middlemen may be numbered as a technological revolution in business lending shakes the dominance of the UK’s biggest banks, a senior director of the Bank of England has said.” Read more
Guardian: Estimates suggest that for every 1% increase in energy prices, about 40,000 households are pushed into fuel poverty – defined as when consumers spend more than 10% of their income on heating. The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG) said 300,000 more homes had fallen into difficulty this winter and millions could follow without urgent government action.” Read more
FT: US banks are making a last-minute push to ease new global liquidity requirements under Basle 3, arguing that they would need to come up with an additional $800bn in easy-to-sell assets in order to comply.
FT: Insurers are pushing back against regulators trying to prevent a repeat of AIG’s collapse, making a last-ditch effort to avoid capital surcharges. “In a series of submissions to global supervisors seen by the Financial Times, insurers warn that plans to designate some of them as ‘too big to fail’ are incoherent, impractical and simplistic.”
ODAC: “Not even the most fevered frack-head thinks Britain will become self-sufficient in gas, which means the price will continue to be set by the need to attract imports from Norway, Qatar and beyond, and by European demand for UK gas — to which we are umbilically connected (or exposed) by pipeline.” Read more
FT: Shares closed at $11.79, up 47 per cent from their IPO sale price of $8. The IPO can be classed as a qualified success, although investors clearly remain nervous about solar.
Guardian: Ed Davey “said companies drilling wells would be subject to a “traffic light” system, with seismic monitoring to ensure that if there are tremors above a certain level, drilling is halted pending investigation.” Read more
Kevin Allison for Thomson Reuters: “Next year could see markets start to wake up to a proper carbon bubble: the inflated value of hydrocarbon-heavy corporates. Fossil fuel companies may already have found more coal, oil and gas than can safely be burnt without prompting damaging climate shocks. A 2011 report by Carbon Tracker, an environmental think-tank, found 745 giga-tonnes of carbon embedded in the proved reserves of the world’s biggest listed coal and petroleum companies.” Read more
Dow Jones: “New discoveries and technological advances have increased the oil industry’s ability to increase production in recent years, pushing global maximum oil production to 98 million barrels per day for longer than initially expected, Total SA’s (TOT) Chairman and Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said Tuesday.” Read more
FT: New US government estimates show US oil production rose by 760,000 barrels a day this year – the largest increase in annual output since crude oil started to be pumped commercially in the US in 1859. Saudi production dropped to 9.5 mbd in November. Read more
FT: Angela Knight, head of EnergyUK ….says Britain cannot depend on wind, solar and biomass alone. “It is gas with renewables and nuclear – it’s not an either/or,” she said. “The fact is you need gas as a back-up.” Read more
Guardian: “The new reactors at Hinkley were to be the first of a new generation of atomic plants in the UK and EDF had repeatedly pledged to make a final investment decision by the end of 2012. But the decision to plough billions of pounds into the project is now unlikely to be taken before April 2013, according to sources close to the project, although EDF declined to comment.” Read more
FT: “People in Egypt and even Europe could one day turn on their lights with electricity transmitted from the vast bank of solar power stations that Saudi Arabia aims to build in coming years, according to a senior Saudi official and others familiar with the kingdom’s plans.” Read more
Guardian: “Hector Sants, the former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, is in talks to join embattled Barclays in a senior role barely six months after the leaving the City regulator. Read more
Le Monde: The estimated cost soars from €3.3bn in 2007 to €8.5bn in 2012. The estimated time to build from 5 years in 2007 to 9 years in 2012.
FT: “”I don’t think anyone’s going to be rushing out to build on the basis of today’s statement,” said an executive at one of the Big Six energy suppliers. Industry analysts say new gas-fired power stations are being held up mainly because the economics do not stack up, not because the policy framework is not right. “The recent history of UK gas-fired power stations is one of challenging market conditions, with many gas plants currently loss-making,” said Ronan O’Regan, director, energy and renewables, at PwC. “This is the biggest barrier to investment”.”
JL thought: This can’t be encouraging for HMT. I wonder how long they will doggedly push this line if industry isn’t fully behind them, with polls showing they gain no political advantage.
REW: Raj Prabhu, Managing Partner of Mercom Capital: “If you are in downstream you are healthy. If you’re manufacturing, you’re not healthy.” GTM Research’s Shyam Metha authored a comprehensive report that was released in October entitled, “Global PV Module Manufacturers 2013: Competitive Positioning, Consolidation and the China Factor,” in which he predicted that up to 180 solar PV module manufacturers will either be acquired or will fold over the next two years, the majority of which will come from high-cost manufacturing markets in the U.S., Europe, and Canada. Read more
Guardian: “Research from Oxfam suggests rice, maize and wheat prices could rise by up to 177% in the next 20 years if climate change is not checked. A combination of extreme events like the drought that affected North America this year and the Russian heatwave in 2008 could raise prices further than two decades of long-term prices, it said.” Read more
NYT: “Bill McKibben, a writer turned advocate for carbon reduction, is on a national tour to build support for the divestment campaign. As they consider how to ratchet up their campaign, the students suddenly find themselves at the vanguard of a national movement.”
JL thought: It is a matter of intense pride in CarbonTracker that this amazing nationwide campaign is built on the numbers in our 2011 Carbon Bubble report. Read more
Guardian: “Backing offshore wind in preference to gas would create 70,000 more jobs and generate £20bn more GDP, according to a new report today by Cambridge Econometrics (funded by Greenpeace and WWF). Rob Gross, an energy expert at Imperial College London, said: “This report is a hugely important contribution to the UK policy debate. Economic impacts in the round are poorly understood and this report remedies that. I recommend this to all analysts of energy policy.”
FT: The Ob River traversed from Norway to Japan, accompanied part of the way by a Russian nuclear powered icebreaker.