Chloe Farand's blog

Fresh Revelations of Alleged Shell Corruption to be Heard in Italian Court

Shell

Court proceedings are due to begin in Italy today to determine whether oil giant Shell will face trial on corruption charges over the purchase of one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks.

Italian prosecutors claim Shell and Italian oil major Eni concluded a deal for the rights to exploit the Nigerian deepwater oil block OPL 245 with knowledge that the money would fall into the hands of a convicted money-launderer and be turned into political kickbacks.

They are accusing Shell, Eni and several of Eni’s senior executives, including its CEO Claudio Descalzi, of corruption over the purchase of the block in 2011.

French Elections: Alt-Right, Total and Gold Mines, the Story Behind the Candidates’ Environmental Policies

French flag

France, the birthplace of the Paris Agreement, is a week away from the first round of its presidential election on April 23. Throughout the campaign debates on the environment have often been side-lined, with the three leading candidates showing no sign of real climate leadership.

The backdrop to the election campaign has been full of “fake news”, Brexit and Donald Trump. It has also been mired in scandals over corruption claims and growing concerns of Russian interference.

Many in France are still deciding who to vote for in one of the most unpredictable elections yet. If no candidate wins a majority on April 23, a second election round featuring the top two candidates will take place on May 7.

Brexit Could Cost Consumers as Internal Energy Market Deal Currently ‘Not Realistic’ Say Experts

Power cables running through the UK's countryside

Consumers are likely to pay the price for the UK leaving the EU’s internal energy market, experts warned on Wednesday.

Brexit has opened the door to huge uncertainties over the security of the UK’s energy supply, with details of a final deal dependent on political will on both sides of the divide, they said.

Theresa May triggered Article 50 to officially start the UK’s divorce from the EU at the end of last month, yet the future of key policy areas seems as hazy now as it was before the referendum took place.

London Energy Company Tied to UK Chancellor to Build Coal Bed Methane Plant in Botswana

A gas flare in front of a drilling rig

A UK energy company with ties to chancellor Philip Hammond and the Oxford Philharmonic has just signed an agreement to develop a highly polluting coal bed methane power plant in the east of Botswana.

London-based company Independent Power Corporation (IPC), which develops and operates power plants around the world, has signed an agreement with Australian-firm Tlou Energy to jointly develop a 100 megawatt power plant as part of the Lesedi coal bed methane project.

Coal bed methane (CBM) plants come with significant environmental risks, including contamination of soil and underground water as well as generating significant greenhouse gas emissions through methane leaks.

There are concerns the Botswana government does not have sufficient checks and balances in place to ensure companies such as IPC and Tlou Energy are subject to robust environmental regulations in a country ranked third for its level of inequality, according to the World Bank.

UN Climate Chief Calls for $7 Trillion of Green Finance as World Faces Trump ‘Challenge’

UNFCCC chief Patricia Espinosa addressed the Marrakech COP22 climate conference

The financial sector needs to show leadership by providing trillions of dollars for green growth projects, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), today told a London audience.

Speaking at a public event at the London School of Economics (LSE), Espinosa highlighted “the gap of trillions of dollars that are still needed to truly transform our economic and social reality”.

She warned that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include climate goals, required finance of $5 trillion to $7 trillion a year – a target which is far from being met.

UK Government Last Year Gave £427 Million to Support Fossil Fuel Projects Abroad

Henrique Lage oil refinery owned by Petrobras in Brazil

A government agency that recently had its budget doubled by Chancellor Phillip Hammond spent hundreds of millions supporting foreign fossil fuel extraction and petrochemical projects last year. That included large lines of credit to a Brazilian company embroiled in a corruption scandal, and support for a petrochemical run by India's richest man.

The investments were part of £1.8bn worth of loans and export credit guarantees that a small government department and credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), gave to British companies to help them export their goods and services abroad. The oil, gas and petrochemical sector accounted for the UKEF's second largest investment, after the aerospace sector.

Government data shows that, in total, UKEF gave more than £427 million to carbon intensive projects during the 2015-16 financial year. Depsite the UK's claim to be a low carbon leader, only £6m was invested to support equivalent clean energy projects.

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