Due to capsize? The rapidly declining global coal pipeline was dealt another blow with China’s decision to stop funding for offshore coal projects | Photo: Open Sea

44 countries have no plans for new coal plants, China to stop overseas coal funding

A new report found that 76% of the world’s planned coal capacity since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 has been scrapped, and that 44 countries now have no plans to add new coal power plants. The report is compiled by E3G, Ember and Global Energy Monitor and also finds that of the countries that do plan on adding new capacity, 50% only plan to add one new plant, and that major south-Asian economies pulling out of coal would shrink its pipeline by 90%. 

Incidentally, China announced that it would stop funding all overseas coal plants. This could permanently shrink the global coal plant capacity and take out more than $50billion in financing as Chinese banks — along with banks from Japan and South Korea — have been the primary financiers of coal capacity in South Asian countries like Vietnam, Laos and Indonesia. 

Shell offloads all oil and gas assets in Permian Basin — to ConocoPhillips

Oil and gas giant Shell will sell off all of its oil and gas assets in the Permian Basin as it aims to pacify shareholders and “do the right thing” by starting to move away from oil and gas. However, the $9.5billion worth of assets, spread across 91,000 hectares, will be bought by another big driller, ConocoPhillips, and the sale would essentially do nothing to stop the exploitation of the resources. The move comes amidst growing calls for She’ll to reduce its absolute emissions and soon after it was handed a harsh ruling by a Dutch court to the same effect. 

Five fossil fuels companies sue governments for £13bn over disruption of profits 

Five fossil fuel companies are suing governments in the EU for a total of £13bn over their decisions to ban activities like offshore oil and gas drilling and asking for environmental assessment plans before approving new projects. The lawsuits are filed in corporate courts that are built into the contracts under the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process — and the Energy Charter Treaty — that allows for companies to sue governments over potential losses and disruptions to their profit margins. However, these corporate courts bizarrely work outside the countries’ regular judiciaries and thus contradict any climate action proposed and adopted by the governments, even when done democratically and legally. 

The list of companies includes Ascent Resources, which is suing the Slovenian government for £85.5m over demanding an environmental assessment plan for its fracking project, and Rockhopper, which is suing the Italian government for £235m for banning offshore oil and gas drilling. 

Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance to launch at COP26

The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance is expected to officially launch at the COP26, where it will attempt to convince nations to a legally binding commitment to stop extracting any more oil and gas. The alliance is led by Denmark and Costa Rica, both of which have pledged to stop oil and gas exploration — Costa Rica has never extracted crude oil — and climate action is the primary driver behind their attempt to gain more signees. The Alliance comes about around the time of the new IEA report that has warned that the world could not afford any new oil and gas exploration if it was to reach net zero emissions by 2050.