How Shell Lobbied to Stop EU Renewable Energy Targets

This has been cross-posted from Energydesk.

A group of the EU’s largest energy companies – including oil and gas giants Shell and Norway’s Statoil – formed an alliance to lobby against a new EU renewable target according to documents seen by Energydesk.

The lobbying group may surprise few, but comes after it was revealed that Shell started lobbying the EU two years earlier for a policy which favoured gas over renewables, claiming “Gas is good for Europe”.

That claim, however, came before the Ukraine crisis raised concerns about gas supply in EU countries.

Key Greenhouse Gas Study May Have "Systematically Understated" Methane Leaks, New Research Shows

A widely cited study on the amount of methane leaking from oil and gas sites, including fracked wells, shows signs of a major flaw, a newly published peer-reviewed paper concludes.

“The University of Texas reported on a campaign to measure methane emissions from United States natural gas production sites as part of an improved national inventory,” researcher Touché Howard wrote in a paper published today in the journal Energy Science & Engineering. “Unfortunately, their study appears to have systematically underestimated emissions.”

Costa Rica Aims For Carbon Neutrality By 2021, But Plans $1.5 Billion Oil Refinery

This is a guest post by Diego Arguedas Ortiz.

Costa Rica’s plan to build a $1.5 billion oil refinery, a joint venture with China’s state-owned petroleum company China National Petroleum Corporation, continues to cast doubt on the country’s path toward a low-carbon future and the feasibility of its self-imposed goal of being carbon neutral by 2021.

The project — sold to the public as a mechanism to lower oil costs in the Central American republic — is financed by a $900-million loan to Costa Rica from the China Development Bank and another $600 million provided by both countries.

The project has sparked a heated national debate on energy policies, the congruency of the nation’s environmental discourse and the thoroughness of its own feasibility study.

Can You Guess How Climate Deniers Reacted to the Stern Review on Climate Change Economics?

In this DeSmog UK epic history post, we recall the climate denial backlash to the influential Stern Review, which called climate change the greatest market failure ever seen.

Tony Blair heeded an appeal made by Lord Lawson and the climate sceptic economist David Henderson that the Treasury in Britain and finance ministries around the world should take an active interest in the economic implications of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings.

And so Gordon Brown, as chancellor, commissioned Nicholas Stern, then a permanent secretary at the Treasury and head of the Government Economic Service, to conduct an exhaustive study into the economics of climate change.

Richard Tol's Gremlins Continue to Undermine His Work

This is a guest post by Brandon Shollenberger 

Global warming is, if you'll forgive the pun, possibly the most heated topic of debate this century.  While most debate over it focuses on extreme weather, sea level rise and climatic events, there is another part.  This is the part that focuses on the economics of global warming.  That is, how will global warming affect our wallets?

At the forefront of this debate is Richard Tol, professor of economics at the University of Sussex.  His work on the economics of global warming is relied upon by climate skeptics like Matt Ridley, who has used it to argue, “Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century,” based on graphs like:

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