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Oil Majors Looking to Use Renewable Energy Schemes to 'Own the Customer' in Rural Africa

Read time: 5 mins
Workers construct a solar array in Malawi

By Sara Stefanini for Climate Home News

Armed with solar panels, lanterns and mini grids, European energy giants hope to capture the data of hundreds of millions of new, increasingly wealthy customers in rural Africa.

The first step is to set up tiny renewable generators independent of main power grids, often sold on pay-as-you-go schemes like mobile phones.

Once that basic energy supply is established – to charge phones, home lighting and other small appliances – it’s expected to fuel demand for a slew of new products and services, such as internet access, mobile banking, water pumps, mills, fridges, home batteries and cooking stoves. The reams of data on how these new customers use and pay for their energy will help companies decide their next moves.

An Open Letter to Lancashire County Council from the School Climate Strikers

Read time: 3 mins
Lancashire school kids strike

Hundreds of thousands of children are striking from school to take to the streets demanding policymakers take the climate crisis seriously. This is an open letter from three striking students in years 7 and 8 in Lancashire, the only area of the UK currently being fracked for shale gas extraction.

Comment: School Strikers Know it's Time to End Corporate Lobbying that Encourages Climate Inaction

Read time: 2 mins
London school climate strike

By Thomas O'Neill, Research Director of corporate transparency NGO InfluenceMap

If you were sitting on the last lifeboat from the Titanic, making a hole here, removing a panel there, while denying that ships can sink, your fellow passengers would rightly deem your actions deliberately destructive. 

The climate and energy policies which governments must implement if we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent within the next 12 years are our civilisation’s lifeboat to avoid the worst effects of climate change, which threaten the security of all humankind.  

Ineos Fracking Injunctions Having 'Chilling Effect' on Right to Protest, Court Told

Read time: 7 mins
Joe Corre outside the Court of Appeal

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

The injunction against anti-fracking protests granted to Ineos is already breaching rights to freedom of speech, the court of appeal heard today.

A challenge, brought by fashion designer Joe Corre and campaigner Joe Boyd, argued that the injunction against actions at Ineos sites and premises was “wide-ranging, unclear, unfair and based on exaggeration and untested evidence”.

Comment: Drax Can't Grow Trees Fast Enough — Biomass is Not a Climate Solution

Read time: 4 mins
biomass handful

By Jo Alexander, a chartered geologist and researcher for campaign group ShareAction

Drax has been stepping up its greenwashing over the past few days, by appearing on BBC Radio and in the Financial Times.  Unfortunately, this reporting has been completely one sided and has allowed Drax to make its usual misleading claims, without any challenge by experts or campaigners. The public and investors should not be taken in by the greenwashing of utility companies that sell biomass power generation as a climate solution.

Drax would have you believe that biomass is a climate solution when it’s actually part of the problem. Drax often makes the misleading claim that they save over 80 percent of carbon emissions compared to coal. This is far from the truth, because it is not counting the emissions from combustion, which are 3 percent higher than burning coal according to their own annual report

Opposition to Fracking Increases over Earthquake and Environmental Concerns

Read time: 5 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

Opposition to fracking has risen to near record levels in the latest government public attitudes survey with a big increase in concern about earthquakes. Support for fracking fell to a joint record low.

The Wave tracker survey, conducted in December 2018, was the first to reflect reaction to fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road. By the end of the survey period, operations at the site near Blackpool had induced 57 seismic events.

Blow for UK Fracking Industry as Government Refuses Regulation Change

Read time: 2 mins

By Megan Darby for Climate Home News

The UK government has rejected calls from shale gas companies to loosen limits on earth tremors, in a potentially fatal blow to British fracking.

Ineos and Cuadrilla said the rules, which require drilling to be halted for 18 hours after any tremor exceeding 0.5 on the Richter scale, are “absurd” and “unworkable”. In the US, the limit is 4 magnitude.

In principle, the Conservative administration supports shale gas exploration. Climate minister Claire Perry said in October gas had a role in a low-carbon future and it was “pragmatic” to back fracking.

However in a statement on Thursday morning, the energy ministry said: “We set these regulations in consultation with the industry and we have no plans to review them.”

Comment: Young Brits are Ready to Fight for a Fracking Ban

Read time: 3 mins
Youth climate campaigners

By Katja Garson, UK Youth Climate Coalition Campaigner

Not here, not anywhere’. The central slogan of the anti-fracking movement is a call to arms, a celebration of community within and across borders, and a direct challenge to fracking companies and the Governments that support their nefarious activities - including the UK Government.

I am a member of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, a UK-wide network of young people who campaign for action, ambition and accountability on the issue of climate change. This past weekend, UKYCC ended their call for people around the UK to add their names to a letter addressed to Energy Minister Claire Perry.

Study: Scrap Fossil Fuel Hardware Right Now to Avert Catastrophic Climate Change

Read time: 4 mins
Power station demolition

By Tim Radford for Climate News Network

British scientists have worked out how to make sure of a better-than-even chance that 195 nations can fulfill a promise made in Paris in 2015 to stop global warming at 1.5°C by the end of the century: junk fossil fuel plants.

The answer is simple: phase out fossil fuel hardware as soon as it reaches the end of its effective life. Scrap the old petrol-powered car and buy electric. Shut down the coal-burning power generator and get electricity from the wind or the sunlight. Find some renewable fuel for jet planes. Deliver transoceanic cargoes with a marine fuel that isn’t derived from oil or coal.

Comment: Davos is Wrong — Giving Corporations More Power Cannot Solve the Planetary Crisis

Read time: 3 mins
Davos WEF sign

By Dr. Katherine Kramer, Global Lead on Climate Change for Christian Aid

This week’s meeting of economic leaders World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos has the theme of ‘Shaping globalization 4.0’.

While some of us may have missed out on the nuances of the previous three incarnations of globalization, WEF’s chosen theme is in response to the trend of increasing nationalism and general pulling back behind national borders. The Forum’s founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab has argued that cross-border problems like climate change require “a new social compact” between leaders and the citizenry so that people feel secure enough domestically to be open to the world beyond their borders.