Finally: Standard Chartered has quit funding new coal power after acknowledging its role in driving climate change | Image credit: BusinessAMLive

Standard Chartered to quit direct financing of new coal power, joined by CANDRIAM

Standard Chartered PLC has announced it will stop financing any new coal-fired power capacity – anywhere in the world – and instead pivot to renewables and low-carbon alternatives. It will nevertheless continue supporting its existing coal power commitments, to which it has extended $1.8 billion in finance since 2010.

European asset management firm CANDRIAM – with roughly €108bn in assets – will also divest its coal holdings by December 2018. It has cited coal as “the first stranded asset in an energy transition pathway”.

Study finds India may be worst affected by CO2 emissions-driven climate change

A new study has found that India stands to suffer the worst economic losses from CO2 emissions-driven climate change. It also found India to have the highest country-level social cost of carbon (SCC) amongst the 200 nations it studied – at Rs6,267/tonne. The study has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

With its economic losses pegged at Rs6,235/tonne of CO2 emitted, India is estimated to have lost nearly Rs5.8 lakh crores in FY 17 ($87 billion) – with 929 million tonnes of CO2 emitted by its thermal power sector alone.

Tamil Nadu to import 20L tonnes of coal even after announcing draft solar policy

Tamil Nadu has invited urgent tenders to import 20 lakh tonnes of coal – from wherever available – to keep its urban thermal power plants from shutting down. The state is facing a coal supply crisis that has coincided with output from its wind power stations falling to zero on September 9.

Counter-intuitively – or perhaps to wean itself off of fluctuating coal supplies – Tamil Nadu has also released its draft solar policy, through which it aims to have 8.9GW of installed capacity by 2022. Its capacity stood at 1.8GW in May ‘18, which IEEFA had predicted could reach 13.8GW by 2028.

The draft policy could help the state achieve the target on time. It will also determine feed-in tariffs to help meet more of Tamil Nadu’s peak power demands through solar energy.

China adding 259GW of new coal power plants despite rising emissions: Report

Environment group CoalSwarm’s new report, Tsunami Warning, has alleged that China is building 259GW of new coal-fired power stations, despite having posted a rise in CO2 emissions in 2017 & 2018.

The apparent surge will build upon China’s existing 993GW of coal power capacity, and could exceed its government-mandated cap of expanding up to 1,100 GW by 2020 – unless its regional governments are reined in, the report says. However, some analysts suggest the new plants may be much cleaner than the emissions-heavy ones they are supposedly replacing.

US oil giants  pledge $300 million towards carbon-reduction efforts

Chevron, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum have announced they will join the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) and have pledged $300 million towards supporting research into reducing global carbon emissions. The announcement is a reversal of their earlier decision not to join the OGCI, and comes with ExxonMobil’s CEO even acknowledging that climate change posed societal and financial risks.

The decision is very likely influenced by the trio’s shareholders demanding that the firms minimize the climate risks of their operations. However it contradicts the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine any concerted climate action, which has proposed relaxing greenhouse gas emission reduction norms for US oil and gas firms.

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