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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

the government's economics trade and industry department, in an open session, was the strongest yet made against the protocol by one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. He said: "Japan will not inscribe its target under the Kyoto protocol on any conditions or under any circumstances." The move came out of the blue for other delegations at the conference. … If it proves to be a new, formal position rather than a negotiating tactic, it could provoke a walk-out by some developing countries and threaten a breakdown in the talks. Last night diplomats were urgently trying to clarify the position. … Japan, which last night declined to clarify its position, has said in the past that it would not reject a new legally-binding overall agreement, but is concerned that it would be penalised if it signed up to cuts while other countries such as India and China were not legally bound to make similar cuts. Britain and other countries, recognising the totemic significance of Kyoto for developing countries, have said that they would be prepared to agree to a second commitment period – as long as other countries also did so.”1091

Don't consign us to history, plead island states at Cancún. Guardian: “Diplomats from 43 island nations say they face 'the end of history' unless action is taken to stop sea levels rising.” … "For us, anything not below 1.5C is a red line," said Dessima Williams, vice-chair of Aosis. "It costs $4,500 a metre just to protect airports, so we would need hundreds of billions of dollars. We cannot compromise. But now the rich countries want us to be collateral damage," said Albert Binger, science adviser to the alliance. … Although present rates of global sea level rise are not yet approaching one metre per century, they are observed to be accelerating in response to increased global warming.”1092

UK plans first near-carbon-free power plant …just 10 MW. FT: “It is set to begin operating within a year in response to government efforts to stimulate carbon capture and storage technology. The pilot plant is to be built by Powerfuel, a mining and power company, and Calix, an Australian cement maker that has pioneered a method of removing carbon dioxide from gas before it enters power station turbines. Calix and Powerfuel have set up a joint venture to build the works next to the latter’s Hatfield colliery near Doncaster, where it is also building a 900 megawatt coal-fired power plant equipped with CCS, with public subsidy. The 10 megawatt demonstration plant will help the companies bid for UK and European Union funds. Its “Endex” reactor will capture 90 per cent of the carbon dioxide in fuel gas.”1093

Big freeze causes jump in UK power prices as markets are spooked by near -interruption of gas. FT: “Britain’s winter freeze and temporary supply problems in Europe have caused turmoil on wholesale energy markets, where the benchmark electricity price jumped almost 30 per cent overnight. As temperatures dropped, the price of electricity for “dayahead delivery” soared to £71.25 per megawatt hour compared with £55 on Tuesday. The day-ahead price is considered the benchmark in the market, reflecting the short-term balance of supply and demand. Winter weather across Europe put severe strain on the pipelines designed to supply gas across national boundaries. All the UK’s gas imports from Belgium via the main interconnector ended at 6am Wednesday. Only the timely arrival of supplies from Norway prevented a shortage. Meanwhile, sub-zero temperatures in France, where a third of households rely on electric heating, caused a sudden rise in demand for power. This was partly served by imports from the UK, with the interconnector joining the two nations used at its full capacity of 2,000 megawatts on Wednesday. The UK had to call on its emergency reserves in the Rough gas storage facility beneath the North Sea. Its supplies, first used two weeks ago, are now about 17 per cent below the level recorded at the same time last year. Ideally, the Rough facility should be holding as much in reserve as possible in case it is needed later this month and in January.”1094

US embassy cables leaked to wikileaks include details of gas supplies linked to Russian mafia. Guardian: “Gas supplies to Ukraine and EU states are linked to the Russian mafia, according to the US ambassador in Kiev. His cable, released by WikiLeaks, followed statements by the then prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, to the BBC that she had "documented proof that some powerful criminal structures are behind the RosUkrEnergo (RUE) company". Allegations have long swirled that the Russian crime don Semyon Mogilevich had covert interests in Swiss-registered RUE, which distributes gas from central Asia. A billionaire Ukrainian businessman, Dmitry Firtash, nominally owns nearly half the company. (The Russian state firm Gazprom owns the other half.) In a confidential meeting with the ambassador, Firtash admitted Mogilevich was the real power behind his own multibillion-dollar gas interests. He insisted it was impossible to do business in Ukraine in the 1990s without striking sleazy deals with organised criminals …. The US says Mogilevich is one of the world's top mafia bosses, accusing him of creating eastern Europe's most powerful crime group in the 1990s. He is on the list of the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives for his alleged part in a multimillion-dollar fraud involving a Pennsylvania-based company in the 90s.”1095

Controversial gas 'fracking' extraction headed to Europe. Ecologist: “Europe's dash for gas is leading Halliburton, Chevron and Exxon to consider bringing hydraulic fracturing across the Atlantic. … The Polish government … is largely ignoring stories of environmental impacts emanating from America. Shale gas has become an issue of national foreign policy and taken up with vigour by foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski. … Geology is also a factor. According to Dr Quentin Fisher, a professor of petroleum geo-engineering at Leeds University, the lower permeability of shale in Europe could mean extraction is difficult compared to America. 'I don't think we currently know the volume of "shales" in Europe that are directly equivalent to those in the states,' he said. 'Much of the shale in Europe might have a much higher clay content than in the US, meaning that it could have a lower permeability and be more difficult to fracture hydraulically.'1096

Fred Goodwin escapes sanction by FSA for taking RBS to the brink of collapse. FSA poised to conclude 17-month investigation into crisis at RBS without taking sanctions against any individual director. Guardian: “The City regulator, however, is expected to spell out that any former top RBS banker who might want to return to banking would need to apply for authorisation, and that each such application would be treated on a case-by-case basis.”1097

European banks took big slice of Fed aid – with Barclays the biggest borrower. FT: “Foreign banks were among the biggest beneficiaries of the $3,300bn in emergency credit provided by the Federal Reserve during the crisis, according to new data on the extraordinary efforts of the US authorities to save the global financial system. The revelation of the scale of overseas lenders’ borrowing underlines the global nature of the turmoil and the crucial role of the Fed as the lender of last resort for the world’s banking sector. However, news that banks such as Barclays of the UK, Switzerland’s UBS and Dexia of Belgium borrowed billions of dollars at favourable terms from US authorities may further anger critics already enraged about the Fed’s rescue of

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