June 11, 2014

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Civil society groups press OECD to rule out export credits for coal

Join the twitterstorm today!

A coalition of civil society groups is pressing Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) governments to end Export Credit Agency (ECA) financing for coal. On June 16 a crucial meeting amongst the OECD Export Credit Group will discuss whether to develop standards that would restrict support support for coal. Today a coalition of civil society groups are launching a twitterstorm to push the governments of Germany, France, Japan and Finland to support a call to end ECA support for coal.

We need your help! Please join the twitterstorm: sample tweets and more information can be found here.

Suggested Tweets:

Time for @OECD to stop exporting #climate chaos. Say no to export credits and guarantees for #coal! #endcoalfinance http://bit.ly/1hJSyFs

should cut subsidies for . It's time to say no to export credits and guarantees for coal!  

 soyez leader à l’  sur le . Stoppez les soutiens à l‘export au !  

top news

Indian government aims to weaken forests rules: The new Indian government is considering dropping two key criteria used to assess whether to exclude major projects from forested areas. “We cannot dilute any parameters, and we must move fast, and decisively to notify such inviolate areas, as we are losing water catchment areas, forests, and wildlife habitats at a very fast rate,” said Prerna Singh Bindra, a former member of the standing committee of National Board for Wildlife. (LiveMint)
Kosovo coal plant explosion: The explosion of a hydrogen gas tank at the 345 megawatt (MW) Kosovo A plant killed two workers and injured fourteen. The plant, one of the most polluting plants in Europe, has been slated for closure. The proposed replacement, a 600 MW lignite plant, has been opposed by civil society groups but supported by the World Bank even though a study for it estimated that pollution from the new plant could cause 835 premature deaths. (Reuters, KOSID)
Queensland aims to remove objection rights: The Queensland government has introduced changes to severely limit public objections to new mining proposals. “The public loses the right to challenge mining proposals in 90 per cent of cases. There will be no notification in 90 per cent of cases so the first neighbours might hear about a mine is when drilling starts next door. It’s just outrageous,” said Lock the Gate’s spokesman, Drew Hutton. (Queensland Government, Lock the Gate)
Federal US judges break new ground in water pollution judgement: A federal judge has ruled that two Alpha Natural Resources mines in West Virginia illegally polluted streams. In a landmark ruling Judge Robert Chambers found that “conductivity pollution” – changing the electrical conductivity of a stream as a result of changing salinity – was proven to be harmful to wildlife. “Losing diversity in aquatic life, as sensitive species are extirpated and only pollution-tolerant species survive, is akin to the canary in a coal mine,” Chambers wrote in his judgement. (TriCities.com, Sierra Club)
New Indian government outlines agenda: In a speech delivered by Indian President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has foreshadowed it will “substantially augment electricity generation capacity through judicious mix of conventional and non-conventional sources” including an expanded role for solar. The government flagged its intention to expand private investment in coal mining but has also acknowledged the problem of air pollution in Indian cities. (President of India)

“There is no skin left on my teeth to hang on with,”

said one coal trader at last week’s Coaltrans Asia conference.


Bangladesh:  Government signs deal for 1320 MW plant in Patuakhali.

Czech Republic: Government funding deal to keep Poskov met coal mine open until 2017.
Pakistan: CEO of Thar coal project demands favourable coal price to make project viable.
Turkey: More than half of the country’s wastewater discharged into the environment from coal plants.
US: Maintenance error caused fire which has shut down Martin Drake plant.

Wales: Old coal waste dump converted to wind farm.

“We don’t believe in it [Carbon Capture and Storage] because we don’t really see enough evidence of it happening enough to be relevant to our forecast … Our forecasts don’t rely on it and we are not like the International Energy Agency in that we don’t have targets for emissions. We’re not trying to be policy advocates. We try to forecast the trends,”

said Jonas Rooze, an analyst from New Energy Finance Europe.

companies + markets

Metallurgical coal prospects sour: RBC Capital Markets has foreshadowed weaker metallurgical coal prices for the remainder of 2014 despite approximately 9 million tonnes of capacity being shut down. Due to a weak construction sector, Chinese metallurgical coal imports have fallen by almost one fifth while exports from Australia have risen by 13 per cent in the year to date. RBC estimates that met coal production in China is set to increase between 30 million and 40 million tonnes in 2014. (SNL)
Coal traders fear thermal coal price could go lower: The audience at last week’s Coaltrans Asia conference was asked to pick a floor price for the Newcastle benchmark thermal coal. Most voted for US$70, marginally lower than the current spot price, with US$65 coming in second. In May Chinese imports of coal fell by over 11 per cent due to increased hydro generation, lower growth and falling domestic coal prices. (Reuters, Reuters)
Ukraine coal sector privatisation: Ukraine’s government-owned coal mines are set to be privatised to meet a loan condition imposed by the International Monetary Fund. Ukraine has Europe’s fourth largest coal mines, predominantly for domestic power stations. Government-owned mines have been facing increasing financial losses and more recently have been caught in the power struggle between pro-Russian groups and the central government. (Allvoices)
Anglo American presses for renegotiation of Australian rail contracts: Anglo American is seeking to renegotiate ‘take or pay’ provisions of coal freight contracts in a bid to avoid further losses due to low global coal prices. “For the whole industry prices are ugly,” chief executive Mark Cutifani said. Anglo American operates eight Australian coal mines across Queensland and New South Wales, most of which are metallurgical coal projects. (The Age)

“Australian-based coal producers have made large investments in expanding capacity at home and abroad since the outlook changed in 2011. Little of the incremental investment since 2011 will return the cost of capital to shareholders and all of it ­lowers returns to past investments by lowering price. Catching up with reality sooner rather than later will limit the amount of good money that is thrown after bad,”

said Professor Ross Garnaut. (Paywall).

resources                      take action

Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition & risk, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, June 5, 2014. (Pdf)

The report reviews how rapid changes in policies in China, the US, South Korea and India are undercutting demand for thermal coal and the seaborne coal market in particular.

Environmental Survey 2014, The Energy and Resources Institute, June 2014. (Pdf)
This 145-page report details the results of a survey of over 11,000 citizens across eight Indian cities on a range of environmental issues. While the survey does not specifically address coal issues, it does ask about air and water pollution, views on climate change and key sources of information on environmental issues.

Sign onto the ADB and Coal Statement!

A coalition of non-government organisations is calling on the Asian Development Bank to end funding for coal projects. A letter, which notes how the bank’s policy of funding of coal is out of step with other multilateral banks such as the World Bank, European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will be sent to the ADB to coincide with the bank’s June 16-20 Clean Energy Forum.

Please add your name and organisation name to the statement by Thursday 12th June by entering your details here. For a copy of the statement please email Aviva Imhof.


CoalWire is a weekly bulletin of coal-related news published by CoalSwarm. Please send material which you think should be included or suggestions for features to editor@coalwire.org

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