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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

4.12.10. Cancún climate talks in danger of collapse over Kyoto continuation. Guardian. “Many Latin American countries said that they would leave if a crucial negotiating document, due to be released tomorrow, did not continue to commit rich countries to emissions cuts under the Kyoto Protocol. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (Alba) group of nine Latin American countries – who claim they are backed by African, Arab countries and other developing nations – said they were not prepared to see an end to the treaty that legally requires all of its signatories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They challenged the Mexican presidency of the UN summit to prepare a negotiating text including a commitment by rich countries to set fresh targets for a second period of Kyoto beyond 2012. … The potential crisis was provoked by Japan stating earlier this week that it would not sign up to a second period of the Kyoto Protocol. Other countries, including Russia, Canada and Australia are thought to agree but have yet to say publicly that they will not make further pledges. … Wealthy countries were last night trying to avoid a diplomatic disaster, saying they were not trying to kill Kyoto. Britain and the EU have said they are prepared to sign up to a second commitment period – provided others do so too.”1110

5.12.10. EDF, Centrica inject £435m into nuclear consortium despite no planning permission or certainty on Government policy yet.  Telegraph: “Sources said tens of millions of pounds have already been put towards preparing the site at Hinkley Point and the consortium is preparing to increase its commitment to the preliminary construction. This week EDF filed its first major "pre-preparation" planning application to West Somerset County Council – permission to build the main nuclear reactor will be submitted to the Government's national planning body next year. However, a briefing paper prepared by the Office for Nuclear Development shows that there has already been "some slippage of about six to nine months" due to planning delays, the election and the long approval process for reactor designs.1111

6.12.10. Branson: business must now play a leading role in combating climate change.  “We should not be downhearted, nor treat the COP16 meeting as though it does not matter – there is too much at stake to be defeatist. I believe that Copenhagen proved that combating climate change is too important and too complex for governments to tackle alone. Business must play a leading role in encouraging efforts to effect lasting change. Experts predict that we must invest more than $550bn annually into the next generation of low-carbon intensive energy system. A shift of this magnitude can only happen with leadership provided by businesses and the investment community.”1112

From Quakers to suited psychopaths: Too many socially minded businesses leave their conscience behind, argues a new business history that impresses Jeremy Leggett.”1113

Desire hits water: Maybe Exxon was right about the paucity of oil in the Falklands. A rather dramatic statement from Desire Petroleum today: an oil find announced last week today is revealed as mostly water.1114

7.12.10. Coalition holds line on nuclear power: operators to pay decommissioning costs far into future. FT: “Operators of new nuclear reactors in the UK will have to set aside money to help pay for decommissioning and their full share of waste disposal costs from day one, the government has reiterated as it launched a consultation on the subject. There would be no public subsidy for new nuclear, it insisted. “Today we are asking for views on our proposals to ensure that operators have robust decommissioning programmes in place and how to make sure costs are covered long after any new plants are closed,” said Charles Hendry, energy minister, in a statement. A second consultation, also published on Tuesday, is focused on the price charged to operators transferring nuclear waste from reactors to the UK’s future long-term disposal facility.”1115

$100 crude looms in 2011. FT: “After trading between $70 and $80 a barrel for most of the past year, oil prices have surged to a two-year high above $90 a barrel on the back of strong demand in emerging countries and factors, such as cold weather in most of Europe. Banks say $100 a barrel is not a question of if, but when in 2011. And even traders in physical oil, mildly bearish until a fortnight ago, are turning bullish now. But with the global economy still emerging from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, are rising oil prices likely to put the kiss of death on the recovery?1116

Transocean oil rig suffered start of blow-out in North Sea. Guardian: “Drilling company had incident in North Sea similar to that which caused Deepwater Horizon disaster, internal report shows. …. four months before the US disaster the Sedco 711 rig in the North Sea, which is leased by Shell and operated by Transocean, experienced similar problems. In this case, however, the blow-out preventer – which is believed to have failed on the Deepwater Horizon – worked effectively, preventing oil and gas from spurting uncontrolled up the rig's pipe.”1117

8.12.10. Japan under fire over Kyoto deadlock but senior negotiator says country will stand firm. A senior Japanese negotiator today said that it had come under intense diplomatic pressure to soften its stance at the UN climate talks in Cancún and admitted that it was causing a "big problem" for the negotiations. …. With only two full days' full negotiation possible before the climate talks conclude and developing countries equally adamant that rich country pledges for emission cuts are needed if they are to sign up to a new deal, it is clear that the hosts Mexico will have to come up with a new text to save the summit from complete deadlock.” Chris Huhne says that the Kyoto protocol is "vital" to the success of the negotiations. “Asked why the principle of not signing up to a second period of Kyoto was so important, (the negotiator, Yamada) only said: "It's difficult to explain." But he added that there was no reason why the talks should fail because of Japan's position. "We can have an agreement. But we just have to find good wording."1118

Copenhagen climate cables show US and China joined forces against Europe to deliver the Accord. Spiegel: Last year's climate summit in Copenhagen was a political disaster. Leaked US diplomatic cables now show why the summit failed so spectacularly. The dispatches reveal that the US and China, the world's top two polluters, joined forces to stymie every attempt by European nations to reach agreement.Confidential US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks now show just how closely the world's biggest polluters -- the United States and China -- colluded in the months leading up to the conference. And they give weight to those who have long suspected that the two countries secretly formed an alliance. …. When the leaders and representatives of 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen last December, everyone was talking about an agreement. However, at the decisive moment Europe's politicians were forced to stand by helplessly while China, India, South Africa and Brazil met in a hotel room and took matters into their own hands. They took the draft Copenhagen agreement and struck off all binding obligations. Later on the plotters were joined by Barack Obama. The outcome of this paring-down is now known as the "Copenhagen Accord." In international negotiations, this vague draft resolution now stands alongside the specific plan demanded by the Europeans.”1119

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