IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2018 says global coal use peaked in 2014 | Image credit:

IEA: Global coal use possibly peaked in 2014

IEA’s World Energy Outlook (2018) estimates that global coal use may have peaked in 2014, and that despite a 25% projected rise in energy demand by 2040, coal use – going forward – may remain flat.

Instead the difference may be met by a combination of solar, wind and bioenergy, along with oil, natural gas, hydro and nuclear power. Nevertheless, IEA says even this would be insufficient to keep global warming to “well below 2C”, and warns that the world may in fact warm by 2.7C under current energy policies.

Generali joins LLoyd’s, Axa and Allianz, announces exit from insuring coal

Italian insurance company Generali has announced it will stop insuring new coal mines and coal power plants. It will also not cover coal-related assets for new clients. Generali is Europe’s third largest insurance group and now joins Lloyd’s (UK), Axa (France) and Allianz (Germany) in stepping up its climate action.

The group may additionally disinvest its shares and bond holdings in coal firms before they mature, and invest up to €3.5 billion in green businesses by 2020.

India: Industry paying twice the price for coal amidst deepening supply shortages

India’s cement, steel and aluminium manufacturers are having to pay twice the price for coal as compared to thermal power plants (supplies to whom have been prioritised) as stocks for the fuel have plunged to their lowest in 5 years.

However, Coal India Ltd. has said it will ramp up its daily output to 1.8 – 2 mt (from 1.6 mt) to curtail the shortages. India’s coal imports have also risen by 7.9% (year-on-year) for January-September 2018.

BHP defends coal mining despite criticism, Japan’s steelmakers echo need for coking coal

Andrew Mackenzie, chief of Australian mining giant BHP, has defended the firm’s strategy to continue mining coal – both for manufacturing steel and for producing cheap energy in developing nations – despite the fuel being criticised as “toxic” and “expensive” by former UNFCCC climate chief Christiana Figueres, and the dire warnings of the IPCC 1.5°C report.

Mackenzie has particularly stressed that steel production did not yet have a viable alternative to using coking coal, and so BHP would instead invest in carbon capture and storage technologies.

Some Japanese steelmakers share the concern, who say coking coal-fired blast furnaces are essential to producing high-quality steel. This is despite competitors like China already moving towards electric furnaces.

Shell and Total only two Big Oil firms disclosing carbon emissions from sold products

A new Transition Pathways Initiative report has found that Royal Dutch Shell and Total SA are the only two firms out of the 10 largest Big Oil entities disclosing – to investors – the carbon emissions of their retailed products.

They are also the only major oil and gas extractors to have a well-defined strategy to reduce their operational carbon intensities, to bring them more in line with the Paris Agreement. This could help them attract preferential treatment — over BP, Eni SpA and ConocoPhillips — from climate-conscious investors.

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