Carbon Tracker says utilities are in coal 'death spiral', coal groups defiant, former Shell Chairman says fossil-fuel divestment is 'rational', IKEA pledges €1bn renewables investment by 2020: Week 22, 2015.

Big hopes remain for Patagonian shale despite low oil price. The Vaca Muerta holds the 2nd largest reserves of shale gas in the world after China, and the 4th largest reserves of shale oil.
African nations chide rich nations for meanness, threatening Paris, in Bonn. “We in Africa are being asked to cut emissions. OK, we say, but help us. Give us finance, technology.”
Catholic Republican Presidential candidate criticises Pope for climate stance. Rick Santorum says intervention is not appropriate.
Bonn climate talks start slowly as negotiators get mired in detail of hefty text. After four days, negotiators have trimmed just 5% of the 90-page rough copy.
EU ruling forces UK government to stop VAT discounts on “energy-saving materials”. So 20% not 5% for measures such as solid wall and cavity wall insulation that cut emissions.
Conoco the last global oil firm to quit Polish shale gas. Seven wells drilled, $220m invested, no gas found. “We understand the disappointment surrounding this difficult decision.”
Now Schlumberger says there is an oil bonanza in Shale under the UK Weald. Their report adds new impetus to the shares of UK Oil and Gas and their Horse Hill prospect.
BP executive acquited on spill-size lies. “Today’s verdict demonstrates how difficult it is to prosecute individuals when the primary culprit is a corporate culture run amok,” says law prof.
EDF takes over Areva. The nuclear reactor-builder, which has not won a new order since 2007, may prove to be a challenge for EDF boss Jean-Bernard Levy.
Sub-Saharan Africa on course to deny growing numbers power. It is the only region of world where the number of people without modern supplies of power is growing, new report shows.
US, Brazil and China voice doubts over Australia climate plans. Brazil suggests Australian emission reduction estimates for 2020 are “not feasible”.
“Warming pause” advanced by climate deniers countered. A new report from a team of researchers led by Tom Karl of NOAA shows pace “virtually indistinguishable” in past 5 decades.
Fossil fuel divestment is rational, says former Shell chairman. And Mark Moody-Stuart laments ‘remarkably little progress’ by oil industry on climate change in last two decades.
Coal mining groups in defiant mood about divestment. Glencore, BHP, RioTinto, Anglo American – controlling more than a third of world trade – say it is making no difference.
Glencore head of coal sees rising coal demand for decades to come. “Building coal-fired power is still the cheapest way of powering people out of poverty,” Peter Freyburg says.
“Coal: caught in the EU utility death spiral.” Carbon Tracker’s latest shows how E.ON, RWE, GDF Suez, EDF & Enel collectively lost €100 bn, or 37% of their stock market value, 2008 -2013.
“Black moods: Coal’s woes are spreading. But it still has its fans.” Economist: “Investors are taking fright…. Environmentalists rejoice.”
Fracking not a ‘widespread risk’ to drinking water: U.S. EPA. The study, requested by Congress & 5 years in preparation, says fracking contaminates drinking water only in “isolated” cases.
Paris climate pledges ‘will only delay dangerous warming by two years’. 2C by 2038 based on carbon pledges made by 36 countries so far, rather than 2036 without any cuts, analysis shows.
Ikea vows to spend €1bn on climate change measures. Over the next 5 years, €500m will be allocated to wind, €100m to solar and €400m to adaptation via the foundation.
IPO frenzy in China lures $273bn to one stock offering: a nuclear company. It attracts bids approaching the entire annual economic output of Hong Kong, intending to build 10 reactors.
Cheap US shale gas unlikely to bring global prices down. BBC News reviews the gas markets, and the economics of LNG.
“Battle for oil market has only just started, says energy watchdog.” IEA: “it would be premature to say that OPEC has won”.
Scientists finally have an explanation for why huge lakes atop Greenland are vanishing. Cracks drain them to the the base of the ice sheet, where they lubricate base and hasten slide.
UN climate negotiations resume in Bonn. 190 governments sit down to hammer out more details of the negotiating text.
Global Apollo programme “needed to make clean energy cheaper than coal”. Sir David King and other luminaries seek £15bn a year for R&D. I say this is out of date thinking.
“Warnings over oil debt are getting louder”: FT. “It has about $2.5tn of debt outstanding, a good chunk of which is considered junk by the credit rating agencies.”
Petrobras returns to capital markets with a 100 year bond. Having been shunned by investors for a year, the scandal-ridden company now sells $2.5bn for a century at 8.45% yield.
“Sometimes, as with a ….train wreck, the best thing to do is to stand back and bear witness.” So writes James Saft of the Petrobras 100 year bond, in a Bloomberg column.
“OPEC is winning the oil war.” So Bloomberg concludes. “But members are still suffering their own casualties.” Few are breaking even, and Saudi A. continues to burn its currency reserves.
Chevron forced to delay flagship Gulf oilfield project indefinitely. In the latest demonstration of the difficulties drilling in deep water, loss of floating platform’s connectors stops exploration.
Climate deal must avoid US Congress approval, French foreign minister says. “We know the politics in the US. Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse.”