Saudi sees fossil-fuel phaseout, GdF Suez rebrands and goes renewable, Merkel & Hollande pledge decarbonisation, Shell says carbon-bubble campaigners "ignore reality": Week 21, 2015

Oil production of oil majors down 21% 2004- 2014, while gas has risen 3% = oil-equivalent production down 12%
Axa to divest from higher-risk coal funds and triple green technology investment. The insurance giant says it is motivated to sell €500m of assets by climate change.
University of Hawaii divests from fossil fuels. It becomes the 30th high-education institution to divest.
Billions of barrels of oil and gas are about to disappear from books. 5.4 billion barrels out of 9.7 billion is attributed to wells that don’t exist yet, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Drone Captures Tesla’s New Gigafactory in Stunning HD Video.” “….It won’t just be the biggest battery factory in the world—it will be one of the biggest factories in the world, period.”
Total hosts climate talks with big oil companies. Shell, Saudi Aramco, Statoil, BG Group and Eni are in Paris discussing a joint position, Reuters reports.
“Colombian takes BP to court in UK over alleged complicity in kidnap and torture.” The trade union leader claims damages after surviving the fate of many 13 years ago. BP will contest.
Kingdom built on oil foresees fossil fuel phase-out this century. Saudi Arabia’s Ali Naimi says in Paris that the KSA could phase out fossil fuels by “I don’t know…. 2040,2050, or thereafter”.
Big energy boss says fossil investment is out and renewables in. GDF Suez (now called Engie) CEO Gerard Mestrallet says thermal power investment will only happen in developing world.
Glencore chairman calls for an end to subsidies for fossil fuels. So Tony Hayward tells the Paris conference.
Coal and solar execs clash in Paris. Tony Hayward says solar cannot be expected to replace coal in India. Solar executives say he defending the past.
Global news organisations form unprecedented alliance on climate. 25 publishers including The Guardian, El País, Le Monde and China Daily, aim to raise awareness approaching Paris.
The Tesla Powerwall is not the holy grail it seems, Tom Randall argues. The Powerpack is the much more disruptive product, because of affordability, the Bloomberg columnist contends.
Hollande calls for “miracle” climate agreement in Paris. Business will be key: there must be a business revolution, he says, invoking the French revolution.
Obama recasts climate change as a national security threat. This in a speech to the Coast Guard Academy.
32 energy companies account for almost a third of greenhouse-gas emissions. So a study for Reuters shows. Order: Gazprom, Coal India, Glencore, Petrochina, Rosneft, Shell, Exxon.
Saudi Arabia and OPEC partners turn down Chinese request for extra oil. They need it for their own refineries and powerplants, Arabian Business reports.
Revealed: BP’s close ties with the UK government.” Documents seen by the Guardian show the extent of BP’s influence on government policy. Former MI6 chief joins board etc.
Merkel and Hollande pledge to decarbonisation this century. In a joint statement in Berlin they say they have “firmly decided” that the Paris summit must produce a binding agreement.
“Get Ready for Solar Boom From China Plants as Asia Demand Swells.” Bloomberg reports production forecast to grow by almost a third this year. “A period of rational excitement.”
Shell vows to explore Arctic despite Seattle kayak protests against rigs using port. Shell has legal right to use Seattle port says CEO, and decision to produce oil in Alaska is a decade away.
Shell CEO: “carbon-bubble” campaigners “ignore reality”. AT AGM, van Burden warns lack of investment in production could result in a 70m barrel per day (bpd) shortfall in crude by 2040.
Global renewables jobs grow 18% to 7.7 million. So IRENA reports. Solar PV is the top of the technology employment league, with 2.5m. China has 3.4m, US 724,000.
“Energy groups take knife to $100bn of spending after oil rout”: FT. Analysis commissioned by the FT shows this is the tally in 26 major projects.
Fossil fuels subsidised at $10m a minute: IMF. Total $5.3 trillion subsidy, if external costs are included, exceeds total health spending of all governments.
Oxford University will divest from coal and tar sands. Comment from climate campaigners on this partial divestment is divided.
Opposition to fracking increases again in the UK, Sunday Times finds. The paper does not report the poll, The Carbon Brief reports.