by Bloomberg Business, May 3, 2019, in theJapantimes
SYDNEY – In a corner of the Australian Outback, a drilling crew will soon try tapping shale rocks that could hold more than three times the world’s annual consumption of natural gas.
Origin Energy Ltd. plans to drill two wells later this year in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin, after the local government ended a three-year ban on fracking — the practice of extracting oil and gas from layers of shale rock deep underground. With an estimated 500 trillion cubic feet (14 trillion cubic meters) of gas, Beetaloo has been compared to famed U.S. shale regions such as Marcellus and Barnett.
But its isolated location, lack of infrastructure and the likelihood of tough environmental opposition make Beetaloo a highly speculative investment.
“There are some big numbers being quoted, and people have to realize this is exploration,” said Mark Schubert, Origin’s head of integrated gas, noting that only some of the total reserves would be extractable.
by Frédéric Simon, May 7, 2019 in Euractiv
The governments of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg have launched an appeal to boost EU climate action ahead of a major summit on the future of Europe taking place in Romania next Thursday (9 May).
A leaked “non-paper” by the eight countries calls on the European Union to step up the fight against climate change and sign up to a European Commission plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions “by 2050 at the latest”.
Germany, Italy and Poland were notably absent from the list of signatories of the leaked document, obtained by EURACTIV, echoing divisions at a recent EU summit.
by Donna Laframboise, May 13, 2019 in BigPictureNews
The United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is a clone of the IPCC, the UN’s climate body. But there are some notable differences.
We’re told that a great deal of power resides with the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP), which currently consists of 28 individuals. These are the people who, for example, decide which international scholars will be assigned to discuss which topics within the pages of official IPBES reports.
To its credit, that entity’s website has been designed to provide the CV of everyone who sits on this panel. Rather than taking the UN’s word for it that these are world class experts, the public is given the opportunity to examine their credentials firsthand.
But saying you believe in transparency is different from acting like it. If organizations aren’t living up to the standards they’ve set for themselves, that’s worth noticing.
Last week was hugely important for the IPBES – it sought and received massive international media coverage. Despite this, it utterly failed its own transparency test. The CVs of most MEP members aren’t actually available online.