Newslinks - 5th March • Gas prices, Obama's climate picks & summers on steroids

  • 05 Mar 2013, 09:30
  • Carbon Brief staff

UK natural gas prices reach seven-year high
Gas prices have soared to the highest level since 2006. The cause of Monday's price rise was a Norwegian plant power outage but the National Grid denies there is an overarching supply problem. The "big six" energy companies say the rising price of gas has been the main driver behind bill increases over recent years.
Financial Times 


Cabinet Picks Could Take On Climate Policy
President Obama has nominated experienced clean air campaigner Gina McCarthy to take charge of the US Environmental Protection Agency and physicist and nuclear power advocate Ernest J. Moniz to run the Department of Energy. The nominees will be a core part of the president's team charged with turning his climate rhetoric into reality.
New York Times

Talks for EDF Energy to build nuclear plants 'could fail within weeks'
Talks between the government and EDF over building a new nuclear plant are at "crisis point", according to the Telegraph. EDF has said it wants a deal by the end of the month.

CCS projects to get second chance at EU funding in April
Applications for EU carbon capture and storage funding re-open in April, giving the UK a second chance to apply. The UK missed out the first time round as the government refused to give financial guarantees to the four projects that applied.

How extreme weather acts as a catalyst for climate concern
In a welsh poll 85 per cent of respondents reported being either fairly or very concerned about the risks of climate change, while 88 per cent agreed the climate was changing - levels not seen in British opinion polls since the mid 2000s. The research suggests recent bad weather has a strong effect on views about climate change.

Carbon pricing needed to control airline CO2 emissions: study
Research from Manchester Metropolitan University says a carbon price needs to be applied to aviation to stabilize air pollution. The price would need to be set by the EU as aviation is not covered by the Kyoto Protocol measures.

China becomes world's top oil importer
China has overtaken the US as the world's largest importer of oil. An increase in US domestic production is part of the reason for the shift which has the potential to shake up the geopolitics of natural resources.
Financial Times

Foreign firms cash in on fracking boom in the UK: Most companies licensed to drill using technique are not British-owned
Profits of a prospective UK shale gas boom could line the pockets of foreign firms rather than boosting the UK's economy, says the Daily Mail. The biggest license-holder, IGas, is part-owned by the Chinese government.  Energy Desk also takes a look at who owns the licenses.
Daily Mail 


How Closing New York Times' Green Blog Will Hurt Environmental Coverage
The New York Times is set to disband its Green Blog, leaving Andy Revkin's Dot Earth as its only blog dedicated to environmental issues. Media Matters says this is a blow to its wider environmental coverage as the blog frequently proved more attentive and thorough than the print edition.
Media Matters

How a decarbonisation target will lead to lower energy bills
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has released new data showing a decarbonisation target would save consumers money. The research comes as MPs debate an amendment to the energy bill which would require a shift away from carbon intensive energy sources by 2030.

Why Treasury may reject nuclear option
The BBC's Robert Peston mulls over the UK government's nuclear dilemma - should it pay a high strike price to EDF, or does the UK's energy future lie with other technologies?
Robert Peston

Oil demand could peak within five years
Financial Times columnist Nick Butler predicts demand for oil peaking by 2020, ahead of other forecasts. His predictions are based on the market looking for alternatives given the increasing political and economic uncertainties around the extraction and production of oil.
Financial Times 


'Like summer on steroids': Australia's hottest ever year blamed on climate change, with 'really frightening' temperatures in store
Australia's Climate Commission says the effect of climate change on this summer's weather was like an elite athlete taking steroids. A new report shows a direct causal link between Australia's record hot summer and man-made climate change.

Shipping lanes could open over the North Pole due to climate change
Research from the University of California claims the Arctic ice sheet will be fragile enough for ice-breaking ships to carve a path between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by 2050. The  Times also covers the story.

Sussing out sea level rise
The European Geophysical Union looks at the complexities behind sea-level rise. It focuses on a new approach to include impacts on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets in projections.

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