Britain will no longer pursue green energy at all costs and will instead make keeping the lights on the top priority, Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, will vow this week. Households already face paying over-the-odds for energy for years to come as a result of expensive subsidies handed out to wind and solar farms by her Labour and Lib Dem predecessors, Ms Rudd will warn. a major speech setting out a new strategy, the energy secretary is expected to say that from now on, policies will balance “the need to decarbonise with the need to keep bills as low as possible”.“Energy security has to be the first priority. It is fundamental to the health of our economy and the lives of our people,” she will say. —Emily Gosden, The Sunday Telegraph, 15 November 2015
India has blocked G20 efforts to pave the way for an ambitious climate change accord in a sign of deep divisions just two weeks before delegates from almost 200 nations meet in Paris. Through almost 20 hours of talks at the G20 gathering in Turkey officials struggled to bridge a political chasm even over language suggesting a common problem required a collective solution. A senior EU official at the meeting of world leaders in Antalya said: “At certain times I was feeling that we’re not living on the same planet.” Most significantly India and Saudi Arabia opposed the inclusion of a reference in the G20 statement to the need to discuss a “review mechanism” that the EU and many economies say must be a central feature of the accord. If other big economies follow suit, the weakening of the final accord would raise doubts about the UN’s ability to do anything to combat climate change. —Alex Barker and Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 16 November 2015
Speaking for developing countries, in his address to the G-20 Leaders, Prime Minister Modi will voice strong objections to the environment and social safeguards standards being pushed by the World Bank and other multilateral agencies for project finance and loans. He will call for a balance at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 December talks in Paris so that development is not compromised as a result of the focus on climate change. Mr. Modi is also expected to emphasise that the commitment from the developed countries to make available from 2020 $100 billion of climate finance every year to developing countries has to be ensured and a road map for this should be laid down over the next five years. — Puja Mehra, The Hindu, 15 November 2015
In the first nine months of this year, state-owned companies received preliminary or full approval to build the 155 coal power plants that have a total capacity of 123 gigawatts, the report said. That capacity is equal to 15 percent of China’s coal-fired power capacity at the end of 2014. The construction boom — with capital costs estimated by Greenpeace at $74 billion — is a clear sign that China remains entrenched in investment-driven growth, despite promises by leaders to transform the economic model to one based on consumer spending. —Edward Wong, The New York Times, 11 November 2015
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