In late 2017, China released its national emissions trading system (ETS) plan, laying out a three-stage transition from regional pilot systems that began in 2013. The national ETS announcement came at a time of intense global interest in China’s climate action, especially given the November 2020
The ramifications from the oil war that has pitted Saudi Arabia against Russia but also dragged in the United States may end up being most significant for Riyadh. To misquote Oscar Wilde, “To lose one war may be regarded as misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness.”
On 20 April 20, US oil futures closed in negative territory for the first time, implying that no one was willing to take physical delivery of some barrels of oil. While the unprecedented price moves were exacerbated by technical market operations, including an excessively large exchange traded fund
Oil made headlines around the world again today, with US oil prices falling below zero for the first time. So what does it mean?
Three perspectives can help to make sense of the headlines.
First, from an economic perspective it’s quite simple – the supply of oil has outstripped demand and
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an intergovernmental organisation focused on ensuring reliable, clean, and affordable energy for its 30 member states. To achieve this aim, member states are required to hold oil stockpiles, allowing states to coordinate a collective response to major
Later this month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will travel to Osaka for the annual G20 Leaders’ summit, and he will no doubt want to make his mark following his election triumph. Advocating for the reform of the international energy architecture would be a good place to start, given the rapidly
There are so many strongly-held views, so many vested interests and lobbyists, so much political spin and such complexity in the energy/climate debate that it is not easy to find reliable forecasts and commentary. One of the more useful sources is the International Energy Agency – an autonomous
Before his fall from grace, former Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards used to talk about 'the two Americas' to describe the gap between the poor and the wealthy. But the phrase earned an afterlife, not least to describe the philosophical chasm between the coastal areas that
South Australia (SA) has become a global case study for what can go wrong when energy policy fails to keep pace with changes in technology and commodity markets.
Following the closure of the Northern coal-fired power plant in May 2016, SA has experienced a set of blackouts. The most significant
Battling climate change was a signature issue of President Barack Obama’s tenure, particularly during the his second term. In contrast, President-elect Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, vowed to roll back climate regulations such as the Clean Power Plan (CPP
The election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States cast a long shadow over the climate conference in Morocco earlier this month. Delegates spent a lot of time expressing hopes that President-elect Trump was not serious when he declared climate change theory to be a 'hoax'
In an interview published by the New York Times (see the full transcript here), US President-elect Donald Trump significantly softened his rhetoric on climate change, saying he has an 'open mind' to it and that he is 'looking at it very closely' – a marked change from previous statements
Those actively pushing for a future where renewables take over electricity generation often point to island grids such as El Hierro in the Spanish Canary Islands, Kodiak Island in Alaska, and King Island in Australia’s Bass Strait. On those islands and others, renewables have proved a
For part one of this essay, click here.
As explained in part one, Turkstream is a joint venture between Russia’s state-owned gas behemoth Gazprom and Turkey’s state-owned BOTAS. The route would transport Russian gas to Turkey under the Black Sea. The second stage of the project would focus on
Russia’s resurgence is undeniable. Whether it be in Syria, Ukraine, or Crimea, Russia is making headlines. There are allegations of Kremlin backed cyber-attacks on the current US presidential election, as well as reports of systematic democratic rollbacks within Russia. Russia is busy
China’s first floating nuclear power plant is expected to be operational by 2019, and will likely be deployed to the South China Sea to support China’s outposts and oil drilling operations. CNOOC, the state enterprise which owns the mobile oilrig that deployed to disputed waters with
One factor driving energy policies across the world is repeated claims by activists that green energy is gaining substantial market share over its despised fossil fuel competitors.
These claims, made for the likes of the Danish, German, Californian and even Chinese grids, are distorting the energy
This is the second in a two part series by Fergus Green, climate policy consultant and researcher, London School of Economics and Political Science and Richard Denniss, chief economist, The Australia Institute. Part one examined trends in coal demand; now the authors turn their attention to supply
At a discussion in Washington DC this spring, I was quizzed with a degree of annoyance on the multiple messages coming out of New Delhi with respect to India’s position on a global agreement to combat climate change. In the same discussion there was also an exasperated inquisition on why Indian
First, the good news. We have enough fossil fuel to survive until the century's end. Today's proven reserves of coal, oil and gas combined is about 83 years (at current usage rates), so Spaceship Earth could make 2100 – the exact date that IPCC scientists have set for mankind's plan to moderate
The Marrakesh Accords, the Bali Roadmap, the Cancun Agreements, the Durban Outcomes, the Doha Climate Gateway, the Lima Call for Climate Action – the grand names given to decisions taken under the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stand in contrast to the meagre progress made on
The Pakistani newspaper Dawn declared that at least 1200 people had died in Karachi, capital of the worst affected Pakistani state, Sindh, during the recent week-long heatwave. The effects of the abnormally high temperatures have been exacerbated by local infrastructure that has struggled to cope;
China's long-anticipated formal pledge to international climate change negotiations, it's 'intended nationally determined contribution' or INDC, has arrived.
China's target is a 60% to 65% reduction in the emissions-intensity of the economy by 2030 pegged at 2005 levels, with carbon dioxide
There has been little news of the much criticised proposed dam at Don Sahong in the far south of Laos since the beginning of the year, when the Mekong River Commission (MRC) arranged for a series of public meetings to be held in member countries to discuss the dam.
From the start, these meetings
Overall, Australians continue to feel secure in the face of rising instability in the world and terrorism threats at home, according to the latest Lowy Institute poll.
But that sense of security is declining. 80% of those asked how safe they feel about world events responded positively in 2015.
The latest round of negotiations for the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change closed in Bonn last Friday with mixed results. With ten formal negotiating days left until crucial climate negotiations resume in Paris later this year, the clock is ticking.
Bonn Climate Change Conference, 1 June
2015 has been heralded as the year when Papua New Guinea (PNG) will enjoy the highest GDP growth rate in the world, on the back of its first full year of liquefied natural gas production.
Confidence in the anticipated revenue from the ExxonMobil-led project has encouraged the O'Neill Government
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has announced the establishment of a Royal Commission to consider Australia's, and specifically South Australia's, possible future role in nuclear energy.
He has invited comments on the terms of reference of the Commission, which are to be finalised in March
The plunge in the global oil price is a hot topic. Between June 2014 and January 2015, the price of crude has dropped by 57%. Most of the attention has been on the boon for consumers, with a litre of petrol in some parts of Australia now counted in cents, not dollars.
But while Australia is
The fall in the world oil price has created the opportunity to eliminate petroleum subsidies in a number of Southeast Asian countries. These subsidies have been the long-standing bane of economic reformers everywhere, but until now reducing them involved the deeply unpopular task of raising petrol
What does the fall in the price of oil do for global economic growth?
If the price of oil had swiftly risen by 50%, economic commentators would be calling this an economic disaster. In fact the price has fallen by 50% since June last year, yet this ray of good news hasn't pierced through the
A recent paper in Nature says that 'no other country is investing so much money or generating so much renewable energy' as China. 'Its build-up of renewable energy systems at serious scale is driving cost reductions that will make them accessible to all.'
The International Energy Agency reckons
I raised this topic recently when The Economist pointed to a new Brookings study which argued that the cost of renewables had been severely underestimated. There was some pushback in the comments thread, and now I see that Green Tech Media, an American green energy industry website, has also
Two reader comments I'd like to flag in response to my piece highlighting new research by the Brookings Institution's Charles Frank, written up in The Economist, which suggests renewable energy is still way too expensive to take over from coal, oil and gas.
The basic inadequacy
As you have already seen courtesy of a piece by new contributor Robert Kelly on three things that won't happen in Northeast Asia this year, we've decided to invert the January ritual of making predictions about the coming year. So here's my short list of things that won't happen in 2014, for good