Today's climate and energy headlines:
- What do the Labour leadership candidates think on climate and energy?
- Independent Scotland 'would be doomed by plummeting oil revenue'
- BBC pulls plug on Met Office
- Energy review spells end of the green bandwagon: Spotlight on true costs of power generation could save us billions
- 'Both sides are unhappy': Obama's Arctic drilling green light heightens tensions
- Where will the energy business be in 2025?
- The Woman Who Could Stop Climate Change
- Fracking: who's who in the race to strike it rich in the UK
- The public is scared of fracking. Trying to force it on them is a huge mistake
- Climate and southern Africa's water-energy-food nexus
- Adapting to climate change in the mixed crop and livestock farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa
The UK’s Labour party will soon choose a new leader, following the
resignation of Ed Miliband after May’s election. We’ve created a
grid, distilling the candidates’ thoughts on key climate policy
Climate and energy news.
Oil revenues from the North Sea tumbled to a record low in the
first quarter of 2015, leading the Conservatives to claim there is
“no way an independent Scotland could survive” in the current
circumstances. Proceeds from North Sea oil in the first three
months of 2015 were down 75% on the previous quarter, reports
The BBC has ended its 93-year partnership with the Met Office by
deciding not to renew its contract to provide weather forecasts.
The broadcaster said it was legally required to open up the
contract to outside competition in order to secure the best value
for licence fee payers, reports
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has, according to the Mail on Sunday,
launched a “groundbreaking project” to examine the “actual cost” of
electricity generation in a move which “could spell the end of
billions of pounds of subsidies for green energy”. The study, which
is being conducted by Frontier Economics, the consultancy chaired
by former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell, will include not just
the cost of constructing offshore wind farms, for instance, but
also of connecting them to the national grid. It will also examine
nuclear power and “conventional” energy, says the paper. A “senior
energy source” is quoted as saying: “Many in the energy industry
have suspected that previous governments have been ‘economical with
the truth’ about the economics of moving to a low carbon producing
A senior official at the State Department has admitted there is an
“obvious tension” between the US’s commitment to combat climate
change and its approval of Shell’s oil drilling in the Arctic. Last
week, the Obama administration gave Shell the final green light to
drill off the coast of Alaska on Monday. David Balton, deputy
assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries at the State
Department, said there are “people very unhappy on both sides of
the issue”. In a comment piece, in
Climate and energy comment.
Nick Butler pictures the future of the energy industry in 2025. He
outlines ten hypothetical scenarios – including would-be president
(Chelsea) Clinton promising an early decision on the fate of the
Keystone Pipeline after the 2028 elections, and Prime Minister
Amber Rudd expressing optimism that Hinkley Point nuclear power
station will be ready by the end of the year.
The New Yorker profiles Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In a
wide-ranging interview, Figueres discusses her upbringing in Costa
Rica, why Saudi Arabians prefer the phrase “low emissions” to “low
carbon”, and why the decoupling of economic growth and carbon
emissions is not only possible but obligatory.
David Hellier looks at which companies were awarded licences in
the latest round of applications to frack in the UK. Of the “big
players”, chemicals group Ineos leads the way with seven licences,
while others include fracking experts Cuadrilla, energy group IGas,
and the French energy giants Total and GDF Suez. But “it is too
soon to predict who will make their fortunes from fracking in the
UK – if it ever gets off the ground”, he says.
Last week’s announcement of plans to issue licences to explore for
shale oil and gas across vast new areas of England “is,
unfortunately, more likely to impede fracking as to spur it on”,
says Lean. He adds: “Had ministers and the industry started small,
slowly and carefully – instead of hyping an imminent shale
‘revolution’ and trying to bulldoze the opposition – they might
very well now be succeeding, where they are increasingly failing.”
New climate science.
A new study reviews the connections between climate and the
water-energy-food “nexus” in southern Africa. This nexus refers to
how producing food, water and energy production often have to
compete for the same resources. The majority of climate models
project decreases in annual precipitation for southern Africa,
which could result into reduced water availability and crop yields,
the researchers say.
Farming with a mix of crops and livestock is the backbone of
African agriculture, providing food and livelihoods for hundreds of
millions of people. But relatively little is known about how
interactions between the two may be affected by climate change,
says a new study. This is a serious gap, the researchers say,
because there is potential to help smallholders adapt to climate
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