Inflation Wounds EU Climate Consensus // BlackRock Breaks with Glencore // G20 Agrees to Triple Renewable Capacity
Welcome to Grid Brief! Here’s what we’re looking at today: inflationary worries are eroding the Europe’s climate consensus, BlackRock splits with Glencore over the mining company’s climate progress report, the G20 agree to triple renewable energy capacity, and more.
Inflation Wounds EU Climate Consensus
Inflationary concerns are giving some European countries second thoughts about aggressive climate commitments.
United Kingdom PM Rishi Sunak has dipped out of climate commitments just four years after the country’s net zero by 2050 bill passed without dissent.
“The fraying climate consensus isn’t unique to Britain. In June, 13,000 people gatheredin a south German town in June to protest against a law to ban gas boilers, an issue that’s rocked Olaf Scholz’s coalition, where the Green party is a partner,” reports Bloomberg. “Parts of the EU’s so-called Green Deal have opposition from member states, notably France, which opposed stricter exhaust emissions rules, and Germany, which almost stopped a ban on combustion engines.”
Likewise, Belgium’s prime minister has urged caution with regards to the energy transition and its potentially negative impact on energy-intensive industries. Dutch farmers have also upended the cart in resistance to efforts to curb agricultural emissions.
Plowing billions into a rapid energy change while trying to ram through policies that could increase peoples bills has sowed division between climate radicals, European governments, and European citizens.
BlackRock Breaks with Glencore
BlackRock has split with Glencore over the mining giant’s climate progress report.
“BlackRock's entities, which collectively own more than 6% of Glencore's stock, according to LSEG data, boosted dissident shareholders and helped the total votes in opposition to the company's climate plan pass 30% for the first time,” reports Reuters.
Last month, BlackRock said “it is concerned that aspects of [Glencore’s climate] report and recent developments have pointed to inconsistencies in the company's stated strategy.”
Glencore both mines and trades thermal coal. The company plans to shut down at least 12 mines by 2035 and the remainder by the mid-2040s.
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G20 Agrees to Triple Renewable Capacity
The G20 have agreed to beef up renewable energy capacity by 2030.
According to their recent declaration, they will “pursue and encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally through existing targets and policies, as well as demonstrate similar ambition with respect to other zero and low-emission technologies, including abatement and removal technologies, in line with national circumstances by 2030.”
They also agreed to continue phasing out coal, but stopped just shy of larger climate commitments.
Blackouts hit Sierra Leone. “Sierra Leone's capital Freetown has been hit by power cuts after Turkey's Karpowership switched off the electricity supply due to an unpaid debt of around $40 million, the energy minister said on Friday. Minister Kanja Sesay told Reuters that the outstanding amount ‘was accrued over time because the government subsidises more than half the cost the ship charges per kilowatt hour,’” reports Reuters. “He said the government had to spend more on the subsidy because it charges consumers in the weak local Leone currency, one of worst performing against the dollar in which it pays the power provider. A government commission has been set up to review consumer electricity tariffs which could double.”
Texas paid a bitcoin miner millions to help the state keep the lights on. “During the crypto boom of 2021, Riot Platforms was raking in cash from bitcoin mining. Now the company is losing so much money that it’s counting on energy credits from selling power back to the Texas grid to keep its costs under control,” reports CNBC. “Riot said on Wednesday that it earned $31.7 million in energy credits last month from Texas power grid operator ERCOT. The company generated the credits by voluntarily curtailing its energy consumption during a record-breaking heatwave. The total value of the credits dwarfed the 333 bitcoin the company mined in August, worth about $8.9 million dollars as of the end of the month.”
Strikes come to Australian LNG. “Chevron Corp started withdrawing contractor workers from its Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on Saturday, shortly after staff went on strike at two major projects in Australia, a union coalition said,” reports Reuters. “‘Chevron chartered a special flight this morning to Barrow Island to evacuate 50 blue and white collar contract crew off the Gorgon Project,’ Offshore Alliance said in a Facebook post. The two sides are at odds over issues including pay, job security, rosters and rules around overtime and transfers between Chevron facilities. Workers at Chevron's LNG projects in Australia started strike action on Friday after talks broke down, potentially disrupting output from facilities that account for over 5% of global supply.”
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