Business leaders support zero net carbon by 2050, more Norway oil-fund coal divestment, medics advocate divestment on ethical grounds, Statoil talks renewables, US rig count now down 25%: Week 6, 2015

HSBC Swiss subsidiary helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions. Secret files lift lid on practices. CEO Greene was “either asleep at he wheel” or involved, says Margaret Hodge.
6.2.15.
Biggest two-week oil price rally in 17 years: >18% to >$58. The CBOE Crude Oil Volatility Index is at a six year high. Still the price is about half the level of June.
Oil experts predict prices between $30 and $200. Bloomberg: “The only thing that’s certain is more uncertainty. Probably.”
Jeremy Grantham predicts five years before the crash. The shale boom has bought time but “in a few years the global oil industry will be as if U.S. fracking had never existed.”
US oil rig count is now down 25% since October. Drillers idled 83 this week, 94 last week. 30,000 jobs have gone and spending on exploration and production has fallen $116 bn.
BP joins Shell in recommending shareholder resolution. The similar resolution, recommending a range of climate transparency goals, is signed by 50 institutional investors.
“Why Barclays must quit bankrolling coal industry.” Jo Confino argues they must reconnect to their Quaker roots.
The European EV market grew 37% in 2014. The UK, with its £5,000 grants, was the fastest growing. New registrations of EVs are still only 0.6% of all cars.
5.2.15.
Business leaders call for  zero net carbon by 2050. Their appeal to the climate negotiators is made by include Paul Polman of Unilever, Richard Branson, Ratan Tata, & others.
Norway oil fund divested from 40 of coal mining companies in 2014. First report on responsible investing lists 140 companies dumped on env. grounds, incl. 5 tar sands.
Scientists find vast lakes of meltwater stored under Greenland ice cap. Discovery adds to fears for future sea-level rise.
Nuclear power is not “low carbon”, says Prof Keith Barnham. CO2 per unit of electricity is not  6 grams as DECC says, but well above 50, which would disqualify it on CCC criteria.
4.2.15.
Health sector should divest from fossil fuels on ethical grounds. So says a coalition of medical organisations. The Wellcome Trust disagrees, but cannot give an example of engagement.
“How long before an oil major follows E.ON?” Within 3 years, argues Jeremy Leggett. Because the pressures from capex cost-up and cleantech cost-down will become irresistible.
“New Statoil boss signals renewable energy ambitions.” Eldar Saetre led the renewables division before being made acting CEO, now CEO.
“Anything is possible in Paris”. RTCC.com analysis: “The few rules are likely to involve how countries measure, report and verify their GHG emissions.”
Petrobras CEO to step down. But neither she nor the Brazalian President, Dilma Rousseff, ex Petrobras Chairman, were involved in corruption, apparently.
3.2.15.
“Graph of the day: Collapse of the US shale industry.” The drop in rig count is now 24%. “The significance of this is that predictions of the shale bubble may now come true.”
“Cash-starved oil producers trade treasured pipelines for money.” “At some point they all get desperate enough,” says one fund manager.
BP slashes capex by 20%. Asset impairment is $6.5bn. The bulk of this comes from writedowns in the North Sea. Refuses to join Shell in supporting shareholder resolution on climate.
BG writes down assets by $8.9bn to reflect low oil price. Most comes from a coalbed methane project in Queensland. Capex cut will be 30%.
EPA says developing tar sands would significantly increase carbon emissions. In this it takes on the State Department and arms Obama to reject the KXL pipeline.
Coal with CCS could increase future climate risk, a Smith School report concludes. Finite CCS should be held in reserve in case negative emissions technologies are required.
Similar numbers support and oppose UK shale gas, poll finds. DECC finds 24% for, 23% opposed, 53% don’t know.
Solar PV is the most popular energy source in the UK, with >80% support. Shale gas the least. Onshore wind has >70% support, contrary to government line.
2.2.15.
Wounded oil companies turn to creative financing to stay afloat. Investors with the the case to weather a prolonged downturn are hunting for deals.
Russian oil production remains near record level. Low prices fail to push production below 10.6mbd.
Fracking would be banned from 40% of UK shale areas under new rules. Guardian analysis shows that groundwater special protection zones would exclude most.
Shell prepares for costly decommissioning programme in the North Sea. Beginning with the topside of Brent Delta, in the field giving its name to the oil price.
WMO says 14 of the 15 hottest years have now been since 2000. With 2014 as the hottest since records began.
Risky Business project warns US business of climate impacts. Chairman of Cargill is among those making the case, in his instance on agriculture.
Indian government sells 10% of Coal India for $3.6bn. A state-backed insurer was the single biggest bidder, however. And the state remains an 80% Coal India shareholder.
“Why peak oil is finally here.” Ron Patterson on OilPrice.com: A graphic account of how US shale and Canadian tar sands are propping up falling production in the ROW.