Thu, 2014-10-02 00:45Brendan Montague
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How Lawson Sold BP - And How An Arab State Almost Got Control

Lord Lawson is a patriot. He believes himself to be a very wise man indeed. But his sale of BP to the private sector nearly handed the oil company to an Arab state and this means that today, governments cannot control carbon emissions.

The Hayek-inspired revolution was about to be completed as British Petroleum (BP) would be sold into private ownership.

BP had long been a sponsor of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) which was crucial in raising Thatcher and Lawson to the crowning heights of the British state.

They would return the favour by now selling off the company, loosening it from the control of bureaucrats.

Ironically, the way Lawson conducted the sale would prove so controversial that BP itself would object and accuse the government of failing to get the best deal for the taxpayer.

Wed, 2014-10-01 13:00Chris Rose
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Tide Turning Against Global Coal Industry: New Report

Coal plant

Coal, the fossil fuel that largely sparked the industrial revolution, may be facing the beginning of the end — at least in terms of generating electricity.

There are increasing signs of the demise of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, from a global oversupply to plummeting prices to China starting to clean up its polluted air.

Last week, the Carbon Tracker Initiative published an analysis — Carbon Supply Cost Curves: Evaluating Financial Risk to Coal Capital Expenditures — identifying major financial risks for investors in coal producers around the world.

Saying the demand for thermal coal in China, the world’s largest emitter of toxic greenhouse gases, could peak as early as 2016, the analysis also highlights $112 billion of future coal mine expansion and development that is excess to requirements under lower demand forecasts.

Wed, 2014-10-01 09:56Mike G
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Solar Could Be Our Biggest Source Of Energy By 2050, If Politicians Make it Happen

The sun could be our biggest single source of energy and prevent 6 bilion tonnes of climate-warming CO2 pollution by 2050, according to two new reports.

Issued by the International Energy Agency, the two “Technology Roadmap” reports conclude that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could supply 16% of the world's electricity needs and concentrating solar power (CSP) plants could provide another 11% by the mid-point of the 21st century.

Underscoring these findings, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven says, “The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades.”

To get there, however, the reports warn that “clear, credible and consistent signals from policy makers” must be provided in order to inspire confidence in investors, as both PV and solar thermal electricity technologies like CSP require big up-front capital expenditures.

“Lowering the cost of capital is thus of primary importance for achieving the vision in these roadmaps,” Van der Hoeven adds.

Wed, 2014-10-01 04:50Brendan Montague
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Did David Cameron Forget Climate Change Section in His Leader's Speech?

David Cameron warned the Conservative party conference in his barnstorming speech that “the dangers of climate change are stark and very real” and “if we don’t act now, and act quickly, we could face disaster.”

This was, however, during his speech before delegates in Manchester in 2009, as the party readied itself for the 2010 general election when the arch-moderniser was promising voters they could “vote blue, go green.”

Wed, 2014-10-01 00:05Brendan Montague
Brendan Montague's picture

Lawson Becomes Chancellor - Attacks Miners, Sells Coal, Oil and Gas

Lord Lawson created Britain's privatised energy industry. Some argue that he supports their interests by denying the need for robust climate change policies. But he didn't support everyone who worked for coal, oil and gas companies. Even back then.

The general election of June 1983 was a landslide for the Tories and landed Thatcher an increased mandate for her free market reign. “Margaret unexpectedly offered me the chancellorship,” Nigel Lawson recalled.

Lawson's first appearance at the dispatch box brought with it promises of further tax cuts and an attack on public services—and he also tried to sneak through the sale of £500 million in British Petroleum shares, hoping the British public wouldn't notice.

On 29 June 1983, he told the House of Commons about “an emergency package of spending cuts—which would bring savings of £1 billion.”

A month later Lawson admitted that he also intended to sell off some of the government's remaining shares in British Petroleum.

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