A geopolitical edition today: costs might make the famed North-West Passage less attractive for future users, and climate change, in damaging food crops, could increase the risk of conflict in India, Bangladesh and other emerging countries. Also, while Beijing looks for oil and natural gas in the South Sea, ports – in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen – are heavily polluting the areas where they operate.
Quote of the day
“There is a need for a reality check by the business community.”
Norwegian Shipowners’ Association head, Sturla Henriksen, at an Arctic business conference he hosted this month in Bodoe, a Norwegian Arctic port, in the Reuters’ story High Arctic costs deter business despite thaw
Climate change could spark conflict in emerging economies, study finds
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Climate change vulnerability and food insecurity could damage economic growth and amplify the risk of conflict in India, Bangladesh, and a number of other major emerging markets, according to risk analysts Maplecroft.
Chinese vice premier meets Obama’s adviser on climate change
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli met with U.S. President Barack Obama’s adviser John Podesta, vowing to make their cooperation in countering climate change a highlight of bilateral relations in Beijing on Tuesday.
Beijing Zeroes In on Energy Potential of South China Sea
Chris Horton, The New York Times
For the past several years, China has been throwing its weight around the South China Sea, a body of water studded with coral reefs that laps at the shores of not only China but also Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan.
China shipping delivers toxic pollution cocktail-report
China is waging war on pollution, closing factories and targeting dirty coal-fired power plants, but its ports are pumping out pollution virtually unchecked, according to a report by a U.S. environmental group.
***LB: Also in this story “An estimated 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010 were caused by ambient air pollution, and shipping is a significant source of these air pollution and health problems.”
High Arctic costs deter business despite thaw
Alister Doyle, Reuters
Despite high hopes for Arctic business from mining to shipping as the ice melts rapidly and temperatures rise twice as fast as the global average, few firms say the sums still make sense.
***LB: Also in this story “An oil price slump and cheaper commodities, including iron ore, together with tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, are adding new disincentives.”
Ukraine attempts to break gas supplies deadlock
Christian Oliver, Peter Spiegel and Jack Farchy, Financial Times
Ukraine is likely to face energy shortages this winter if last-ditch talks to resume gas supplies from Russia fail on Wednesday.
Sanctions bind Russia’s energy elite to Putin
Elizabeth Piper and Timothy Heritage, Reuters
An offer by Gazprom to help rival Rosneft salvage an Arctic oil project shows how tightly sanctions have bound Russia’s political and business elite together in the Ukraine crisis – an unintended consequence of the West’s punitive measures.
InterContinental Hotels bed in new environmental programme
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The owner of the InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotel chains is set to move its environmental programme up a gear by rolling out its bespoke online green reporting tool across its 4,700 hotels.
IKEA goes Dutch with solar retail offer
Having successfully started to sell solar installations in store in the UK, retail giant IKEA has this week announced that it is to launch its residential solar offer in the Netherlands for the first time.
U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference
The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference presents data, analysis and expert forecasting on the state of the solar market in the U.S.
Dec. 8 – 10, 2014
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Agri-giant Bunge commits to zero deforestation palm oil
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Palm oil giant Bunge has pledged to phase out deforestation from its operations in a landmark agreement, after two of its major customers – Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme – said they would only source sustainable palm oil from 2016.
Climate Change Concerns Push Chile to Forefront of Carbon Tax Movement
Kate Galbraith, The New York Times
These are rough times for carbon taxes, aimed at mitigating climate change. Australia recently repealed its carbon tax. South Korea delayed a carbon-based tax on vehicle emissions. South Africa put off a planned carbon tax until 2016.
Natural gas / coal
Fracking: In the path of the ‘shale gale’
Barney Jopson, Financial Times
The oil company had hoped that by taking only written questions from the residents, it could keep a lid on their emotions.
Down the black hole of coal mining in Poland
Nicole Crowder, The Washington Post
In his series “What Coal Left Behind,” photojournalist Matthew Busch looked to Europe — Walbrzych, Poland, specifically — to explore the human impact of harvesting fossil fuels, and the people involved either directly or indirectly in the practice.
Whitehaven Coal chief says coal will be crucial in fighting climate change
Sarah-Jane Tasker, The Australian
The head of one of Australia’s most controversial coal producers has launched a defence of the maligned energy source, arguing it will play a crucial role in addressing climate change.
China Rushes to Harness Wind While Government Still Pays
China is on course this year to build four times the total wind power installed in all of Denmark as developers push to build the turbines ahead of cuts to incentives originally designed to spur the industry.
Tesla Car Owners Get $12,000 Shanghai Plates for Free
Tesla Motors Inc. car owners in Shanghai can register their electric vehicles for free after the city exempted them from paying $12,000 for a license plate.
Dominovas Energy and Delphi Sign MOU
Dominovas Energy Corporation (OTCQB: DNRG), an energy-solutions company headquartered in Atlanta, GA, is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Delphi Automotive Systems LLC — a subsidiary of Delphi Automotive PLC — to jointly develop new technology that will facilitate the manufacture, assembly, sale and deployment of electrical power generation equipment using Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology.
Sandy’s silver lining: clean water in long-polluted Long Island bay
Barbara Goldberg, Reuters
Chris Soller headed across a Fire Island beach ravaged by Superstorm Sandy two years ago and stopped to admire the unexpected gift the deadly storm left behind: water clear enough to see the sandy bottom of the long-polluted bay.
Hawaii River Restorations Reflect National Desire to Protect Water for Public Benefit
Codi Kozacek, Circle of Blue
Streams that have been drained dry for more than a century flowed again on the Hawaiian island of Maui last week following the return of water diverted to supply sugar plantations in the island’s arid central plains.
150 liters a day: ‘Water – critical part of Ebola patients’ treatment’
Water supply is an essential part of Ebola treatment, which is needed not only for drinking, but also to wash clothes and disinfect hands and bodies, Laurent Duvillier, Regional Communication Specialist at UNICEF, told RT.
Tibetan plateau faces massive “ecosystem shift”
Beth Walker, China Dialogue
Large areas of grasslands, alpine meadows, wetlands and permafrost will disappear on the Tibetan plateau by 2050, with serious implications for environmental security in China and South Asia, a research paper published by scientists at the Kunming Institute of Botany has warned.
Public ‘needs information on climate change solutions’ says survey
Public support for measures to cut carbon would increase if people heard more about the solutions to climate change, a poll suggests.
Asia Pacific Scales New Heights
The Maritime Executive
Asia Pacific (APAC) showed its strength again as both an energy demand center and a leader in energy company growth in the Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings®, an annual financial performance roster, unveiled in Singapore on Tuesday.
Shell seeks to extend Arctic drilling licences beyond 2017
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Royal Dutch Shell has reportedly asked the US government for a further five years to explore for oil off the Alaskan coast, in a move that is likely to spark further criticism from green groups and investors over the impact and expense of its Arctic drilling programme.