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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

before the middle of next year.”1136

13.12.10. Cancun achieved something important, says Fiona Harvey in the FT: a compromise that represents real progress compared with the entrenched positions that negotiators have held for more than a decade. The future of the Kyoto protocol is a totemic issue for developing countries, and it was put aside as too hard to sort out this year. The question of what legal form any new agreement should take has also been left hanging. And while a “green fund” was ushered in with much fanfare, there is still no agreement on how exactly the $100bn a year it will require should be raised. … At Copenhagen, governments from both developed and developing countries for the first time agreed to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. At Cancun, those commitments were at last formally adopted by the United Nations, and added to that which governments agreed on: the form of a green fund; a framework for helping poor countries adapt to the effects of global warming; a framework on preserving forests; guidance on how to monitor, report on and verify emissions; and ways of fostering international cooperation on the development of low-carbon technology.”1137

WikiLeaks cables: RBS chairman said directors 'failed to live up to their duties'. Guardian: “Sir Philip Hampton's reported claim of breach in 'fiduciary responsibilities' will raise pressure on FSA over RBS inquiry.  Asked about the importance of a fiduciary responsibility, Simon Morris of law firm CMS Cameron McKenna said: "A fiduciary duty is about honesty. Shareholders give directors the power to run a company and a breach of that fiduciary duty is a reflection of a lapse in that honesty. A breach is also likely to be of interest to the FSA if it is an FSA regulated firm." On 2 December the FSA said it could not find any director who had behaved with "a lack of integrity", nor had it found "a failure of governance on the part of the board." … The cables also report that Lord Turner expressed concern about mistakes made by directors on bank boards in the run up to the taxpayer bailouts, and that Turner regarded "too little oversight by boards of directors" as one of the causes of the financial crisis. "Negligent boards of directors bore much of the responsibility for the crisis, he argued, failing to provide oversight or check risky activity," the cable said.”1138

UK must shake off the dominance of the energy giants, write Catherine Mitchell in the Guardian. Any move to a sustainable future is unlikely while it is not in the interests of the energy companies to deliver more efficiently. After more than 25 years working on energy issues, I have recently come to an extraordinary personal realisation: there is very little need to have heating bills at all. Since refurbishing my coastguard's cottage in July, I have – to my total surprise – been able to more or less rely on solar heating for warm water and a wood burning stove, occasionally, for heating. … At the heart of the problem is a seasonally appropriate difficulty: asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. It is simply not in the interests of the handful of dominant energy companies and their shareholders to dramatically transform the energy system, whether on the supply or demand side. … A typical energy policy argument is that an energy company has to move from selling energy units to providing services. In this way, it is argued, the loss they take from reduced energy sales can be made up through new profits or new services. But, thinking of my cottage, this simply is not the case. I paid for my energy-efficient house upfront. I don't need any services and my bills are now minute. From the perspective of an energy company which makes most of its money from supplying energy, installing the equivalent energy-efficiency measures I had in my house into another house will effectively get rid of a customer. But this is what is required. … So what's the answer? We need regulated obligations on the scale of the transition from town gas to natural gas. Tendering for street-by-street or area-by-area contracts to make homes energy efficient is cost effective, but crucially creates a mechanism for new companies to enter the market, thereby potentially diluting the dominance of the current energy companies.”1139

Chernobyl: now open to tourists …and 2,500 workers still clearing up radioactivity. Ukraine announces official tours of 1986 nuclear disaster site. 2015 completion date of new sarcophagus for leaking reactor. Guardian: “The plant itself, which kept generating power until 2000, still has 2,500 staff making the site safe, working in strict shifts to minimise radiation exposure. Ukraine's government said that it hoped to complete a new sarcophagus for the exploded reactor by 2015. The existing concrete structure is cracking and leaks radiation.”1140

14.12.10. FSA bows to critics over RBS inquiry. FT: “The Financial Services Authority is aiming to publish a fuller account of its controversial decision to clear the former directors of Royal Bank of Scotland of any wrongdoing. The move comes after a political outcry over the City regulator’s earlier refusal to release the details of its findings. The volte face by the FSA follows mounting criticism of the way it has handled the fall-out from its 18-month probe into the collapse of one of Britain’s biggest banks, amid the regulator’s repeated insistence that it was legally bound to keep the contents of its investigation confidential. But senior politicians including George Osborne, chancellor, and Vince Cable, business secretary, have pushed the FSA to find a way to publish at least part of its inquiry, given that the government retains an 84 per cent stake in the bank.”1141

Ratcliffe activists found guilty of coal station plot. Campaigners who planned to shut down coal-fired power station convicted of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass. Guardian: “A statement issued on behalf of all those on trial, asserted that, as UN climate talks finished in Cancún, Mexico, with no legally binding framework on reducing emissions, "the British legal system is still upholding business as usual".”1142

“Far from being a drain on the public purse, new power plants will be major boost to UK economy”. So write Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy and Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, in the Telegraph. “The carbon price alone will not deliver energy that is clean and secure. The electricity market must be designed for the desired generation mix of the future. … the market reform should look at steps that reward secure supply, probably through capacity payments. Carbon price support and electricity market reform are two distinct, complementary activities that encourage investment. Both are essential to EDF Energy and Centrica to take forward our proposals for four new nuclear plants in the UK, which could safely provide enough power to meet the needs of 40pc of UK homes. With the right market framework in place, new nuclear plants can be built without subsidy. … they would create a multi-billion pound stimulus to the economy, creating 5,000 jobs on site during construction and 1,800 permanent jobs during operation, plus many more in the supply chain. …. provided the investment framework is in place, we are on track to bring the first online in 2018.”.1143

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