Leaking havoc: UNEP termed the Nord Stream gas pipelines the largest methane release ever recorded.

“Largest methane release ever recorded,” UN warns as Nord Stream gas pipelines develop mysterious leaks

Last week, the Nord Stream 1 & 2 pipelines that carry gas from Russia to Europe developed mysterious leaks in its section that passes through the Baltic Sea. Even as investigations are underway to ascertain the reasons for the leaks, anywhere between 100,000 to 350,000 tonnes of methane are estimated to have been released from the leaks before they were plugged, with the UNEP terming it the largest methane release ever recorded.

OPEC+ agrees deepest production cut since COVID, oil prices climb

The major oil producers group, OPEC+, this week decided to slash oil production by two million barrels a day, the deepest cut since early 2020 when oil demand was decimated due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the group has justified the cuts as a response to the global economic downturn and reduction in demand, there are strong suspicions in Europe and the US that the move is a political one, at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The oil production cuts are likely to send oil prices soaring, further exacerbate the looming energy crisis in Europe, and fuel inflation further as winter sets in. 

China to build 80 GW of coal power plants each year until 2024?

A new report revealed China’s plans to start 80 GW of new coal power projects each year until 2024. Chinese media group Caixin published the article citing “a number of industry sources”. The report also noted that the country’s five major power generation companies lost 36bn yuan (£18 billion) in 2021. 

Overseas, China has completed building 14 power plants and will finish 27 more soon, according to another report. According to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air and People of Asia for Climate Solutions, these plants are likely to emit around 140 million tonnes of CO2 a year. 

UN chief urges rich nations to levy windfall tax on oil & gas, use revenue for climate finance

United Nations secretary general  António Guterres urged rich countries to levy tax on windfall profits made by oil and gas companies. The revenue generated can then be used towards climate finance for developing countries, which are most impacted by climate change, Guterres suggested in his speech at the UN general assembly held this past weekend. Guterres also urged developed nations to use this revenue to help those struggling with rising food and energy costs.  

France keeps its COP26 promise, restricts public finance for oil and gas 

France announced a new policy that restricts public finance for fossil fuels from its export credit agency, BPIFrance. This is in line with its COP26 commitment to end international public finance for fossil fuels by the end of this year. 

According to experts, this will put pressure on other countries that signed last year’s Glasgow Statement, such as Germany, USA and Canada, to follow suit. France joins other countries such as the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden, which have also published policies in line with their Glasgow commitment. If all remaining signatories do the same, analysis shows that $28 billion a year will shift from fossil fuels towards clean energy.   

Carmakers’ global emissions 50% higher than what they are reporting, says new research

New research revealed global emissions by carmakers are 50% higher than what they are disclosing. According to the report by Transport & Environment (T&E), companies such as Hyundai-Kia and BMW are under-reporting their emissions by as much as 115% and 80%, respectively. 

According to experts, this does not bode well for financial institutions invested in car companies as the EU is set to make it mandatory for them to disclose their Scope 3 (indirect) emissions starting 2023. The report stated that the reality is car companies are as carbon intensive as oil firms when looked at from an investment perspective.