Energy

Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to hike fuel prices has sparked fierce opposition.  Piers Pigou What triggered this explosion of unrest? In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Consultant Piers Pigou explains how economic hardship is driving ordinary citizens to unprecedented acts of resistance. On 12 January, in response to persistent fuel shortages compounded by manipulation and mismanagement of a currency crisis, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel price hike of over 200 per cent to $3.31 per litre – making the ... Read More »

Energy price cap could leave customers £200 a year out of pocket

Householders could be left more than £200 a year out of pocket as the energy regulator has admitted a cap on bills which comes into force today could reduce the number of customers shopping around for a… Sam Meadows Telegraph The cap, which applies to the default energy tariffs paid by consumers after any fixed-rate period comes to an end, prevents suppliers charging the average household more than £1,137 a… Ofgem said the cap will help the 11 million households ... Read More »

Energy price cap could mean people missing cheapest deals, warns consumer champion

Which? said the cheapest tariffs had vanished from the market as suppliers prepared for the cap’s implementation Joe Watts Independent Theresa May’s energy price cap which comes into force on Tuesday could mean people missing out on the cheapest electricity and gas prices, the UK’s foremost consumer group has warned. Which? said some of the cheapest tariffs available had been vanishing from the market as suppliers adjusted their operations in the run-up to the cap’s implementation. The prime minister argued the cap would cut bills for millions ... Read More »

Logging of old-growth forests should stop, Victorian environment department says

Court hears department and VicForests have not protected minimum area of old-growth forest required by law in East Gippsland Lisa Cox The Guardian Logging in old-growth forests in Victoria should cease, according to testimony from the Victorian environment department in a court battle over logging in East Gippsland. The Fauna and Flora Research Collective is pursuing VicForests and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in the supreme court. The not-for-profit research collective claims the department and VicForests have not protected ... Read More »

Climate action must now focus on the global rich and their corporations

The latest UN climate talks, known as COP24, have just concluded. Nicholas Beuret The Conversation The supposed story this time was one of a grinding victory by the EU and developing nations over recalcitrant petro-states – Russia, the US, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. These four, condemned as “climate villains” over the past week, worked to block the adoption of a critical IPCC report that detailed how woefully inadequate current international action was for limiting future climate change to 1.5C. Building ... Read More »

Climate change: The massive CO2 emitter you may not know about

Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet. Lucy Rodgers BBC But, while cement – the key ingredient in concrete – has shaped much of our built environment, it also has a massive carbon footprint. Cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,according to think tank Chatham House. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third ... Read More »

Australia only nation to join US at pro-coal event at COP24 climate talks

Country’s stance described as ‘a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours’ Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the… Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as… Its ... Read More »

Russia’s Gas Strategy Gets Help From Turkey

The Turkish Stream pipeline will make Ankara more energy dependent on Moscow. It will also give Russia a bigger energy foothold in Europe. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe It was November 19 in Istanbul. There, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a ceremony marking the completion of the first underwater segment of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, linking Russia to Turkey’s European shores. The project is a vivid illustration of Moscow’s strategy to strengthen its position ... Read More »

Climate change: Can 12 billion tonnes of carbon be sucked from the air?

Is it remotely feasible to remove 12 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air? Every year. For decades to come. BBC That’s the challenge posed by the latest conclusions of the UN’s climate science panel. It says that only by pulling this heat-trapping gas out of the atmosphere can we avoid dangerous climate change. But according to one leading researcher, there’s a bit of a hitch: “We haven’t a clue how to do it”. The problem is that scientists ... Read More »

Paris is burning

Worries are mounting that the global effort to fight climate change will not meet its goals. By KALINA OROSCHAKOFF Politico They were supposed to always have Paris. Three years after world leaders celebrated the signing of a landmark agreement intended to head off catastrophic global warming, the effort looks to be going down in flames. Scientists say the cuts to greenhouse gas emissions agreed to under the 2015 Paris climate agreement fall far short of what would be needed to ... Read More »

Climate change: CO2 emissions rising for first time in four years

Global efforts to tackle climate change are way off track says the UN, as it details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years. The emissions gap report says that economic growth is responsible for a rise in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered. Matt McGrath BBC To meet the goals of the Paris climate pact, the study says it’s crucial that global emissions peak by 2020. But the analysis says that this is now not likely even ... Read More »

Rio Tinto warns climate inaction poses ‘greatest long-term threat’

The new chairman of global mining giant Rio Tinto has described inaction on climate change as “perhaps the greatest long-term threat” facing the business and promised it would be part of the solution rather than the… Nick Toscano WAtoday Speaking at an investor meeting on Monday, Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said society – particularly Millennials – were demanding higher standards from the companies they worked for and… He signalled a renewed emphasis from Rio Tinto’s board on environmental, social ... Read More »

Glorious rubbish, have we been wasting your energy all along?

Caieiras, Sao Paulo: As Australia debates the need to spend money on renewable energy projects to power our future without destroying the environment, it is worth taking a look at rubbish. Lia Timson WAtoday Is this never-ending resource being used to our advantage? What if, instead of just seeing it as something to get rid of, we put it to work? That is a question environmental engineer Marcelo Camargo, manager of one of the world’s largest biogas electricity generators on the outskirts of ... Read More »

Australia’s endangered forests are being ‘stolen’ and sold in hardware and office stores

Thousands of hectares of state forest appear to have been logged illegally, an ABC investigation has found, amounting to what some say is the mass “theft” by a government-owned for-profit… By environment, science and technology reporter Michael Slezak and the Specialist Reporting Team’s Penny Timms ABC Trees making up some of Victoria’s most endangered ecosystems are being felled and turned into building products, paper or wood chips by VicForests, which are then sold in retailers such as Bunnings and… The apparently illegal logging ... Read More »

France fuel protest: One dead in ‘yellow vest’ blockades

One protester has died and more than 200 were injured as more than a quarter of a million people took to the streets of France, angry at rising fuel prices. BBC The female protester who died was struck after a driver surrounded by demonstrators panicked and accelerated. The “yellow vests”, so-called after the high-visibility jackets they are required to carry in their cars, blocked motorways and roundabouts. They accuse President Emmanuel Macron of abandoning “the little people”. Mr Macron has ... Read More »

Seafood industry calls for Senate inquiry into seismic testing

Members of the Australian seafood industry are persisting in their calls for an inquiry into seismic testing, despite the Senate having twice rejected the idea. ABC West Coast SA By Samantha Jonscher Seismic surveys, which are used to search for undersea oil and gas deposits, involve firing intense soundwaves into the ocean floor, which fishers worry could disrupt the behaviour of marine life. Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association President Brian Jeffriess said not enough is known about the impacts of ... Read More »