In case you missed it this week.
The UK is promising to close plants by 2023 because greenhouse gases;
Citigroup is withdrawing funding for coal;
the cost of wind and solar is falling worldwide;
new research shows how coal & gas industry get their way in QLD;
and Pacific Climate Warriors meet Pope Francis.
1/ UK promising to close plants by 2023
The United Kingdom knows you can't tackle climate change with coal. According to reports this week, it's looking to close all of its 12 coal-fired power plants by 2023. If you don't run coal plants, you don't need more coal. Moratorium anyone?
2/ Citigroup withdrawing funding for coal
Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank, has said it will cut back on financing for coal mining projects, in a sign of things to come for coal investment. "This new policy reflects our declining exposure and our continued commitment to managing environmental and social risks and opportunities," said Citigroup spokesperson, Elizabeth Patella. It's a strong signal from a market leader.
The problem is, tackling climate means no more coal mines, not just less of them. When will they turn off the tap?
3/ Cost of wind and solar falling worldwide, says Bloomberg
The benefit of coal power is supposed to be that it's cheap (nevermind the huge damage it causes means the real cost of coal is very expensive.) But according to new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the “the cost of wind and solar is falling worldwide, whereas gas- and coal-fired generation is heading in the other direction." As Forbes put it
It is not just that renewables are getting cheaper while power from fossil fuels is becoming more expensive. It is in part because renewables are becoming cheaper that fossil fuel power costs more.
Some key points:
- Onshore wind cheaper than new coal & gas in UK and Germany
- Onshore wind cheaper than gas in China
- Australia is the cheapest in Asia for solar & wind, most expensive for new coal
4/ How the coal & gas industry get their way in QLD
This week The Australia Institute launched a scathing report into how the coal and gas industry get their way in Queensland.
The report, Too Close for Comfort examines the relationship between the Queensland Government and the fossil fuel industry, and reveals a pattern of secrecy, a lack of accountability and transparency and a fast moving revolving door between the highest level of the bureaucracy and government, where political donations may well be just the tip of the iceberg.
Download the full report here.
5/ Pacific Climate Warriors meet Pope Francis
Last year, a group of climate activists from several Pacific island nations, the Pacific Climate Warriors, stared down coal ships in traditional canoes at Newcastle coal port.
Now they've delivered their pleas to Pope Francis during the Papal Audience. “We have come from the Pacific Islands to celebrate the leadership of Pope Francis on climate change, and to pray for the islands and the leaders that will decide our fate at COP21 in Paris,” said Koreti Tiumalu, 350.org Pacific Coordinator.
The Warriors also met with Philippines climate champion Yeb Sano, who is part way through his "People's Pilgrimage" to Paris.