MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Up to $2 trillion in petroleum and coal projects will not be needed if the world takes action to limit warming of the planet to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a report released this week ahead of a global climate summit in Paris. The report adds to a string of studies warning investors that measures to curb carbon emissions will hit earnings at coal, oil and gas companies as the world shifts to cleaner energy. Europe's largest insurer, Allianz SE, this week joined a growing number of institutional investors like California's pension funds and Norway's sovereign wealth fund, to sell off coal investments. Analyzing industry databases, environmental think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) found the three biggest losers would be Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) [PEMX.UL], with $77 billion in unneeded projects, Royal Dutch Shell, with nearly the same, and ExxonMobil with $73 billion in potentially stranded projects. Petroleum companies are worse off than coal companies as their projects are typically much more expensive, it said. Shell and ExxonMobil said they could not comment on the report as they had not seen it, but both said the world will need oil and gas to help meet growing energy demand. "All of ExxonMobil's current hydrocarbon reserves will be needed, along with substantial future industry investments," spokesman Alan Jeffers said. Shell, critical of previous Carbon Tracker reports, said investment is needed just to replace natural decline in existing oil and gas fields. Pemex was not immediately available for comment. From the point of view of cutting carbon emissions, coal producers are much more vulnerable as the carbon saved by not developing their projects is much greater, Carbon Tracker said. However, from an investor viewpoint, oil companies faced a higher risk given the greater cost of their projects, said Mark Fulton, a former investment banker who worked with CTI on the research. He pinpointed two "carbon basins" - oil sands in Canada and the Galilee Basin in Australia, where two Indian conglomerates are looking to dig mines - as regions whose assets will not be needed. In a separate report released on Monday, another non-profit think tank, CDP, ranked Glencore Plc as the worst prepared for a low carbon economy among 11 major listed miners, based on measures including energy efficiency, resilience to water shortages, exposure to coal and carbon price exposure. Glencore said it was disappointed with the findings and said its climate change scores from CDP had improved over a number of years, beating the industry average in an earlier CDP report. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)
- Yahoo News
Speaking to reporters at the White House Thursday afternoon — just 15 minutes after meeting with President Biden — Dr. Anthony Fauci described it as “liberating” to be able to speak openly about science in the wake of Donald Trump’s departure from office.
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- The Week
The evenly split Senate is having a hard time agreeing who's in charge.Georgia's two new Democratic senators were sworn in Wednesday, giving Republicans and Democrats 50 senators each, with Vice President Kamala Harris as a Democratic tiebreaker. The two parties are now working out a power-sharing agreement, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) commitment to the filibuster is standing in the way.McConnell on Thursday formally acknowledged Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as the chamber's new majority leader. But as he has been for days, McConnell again implored Democrats to preserve the filibuster that lets a senator extend debate and block a timely vote on a bill if there aren't 60 votes to stop it. Democrats "have no plans to gut the filibuster further, but argue it would be a mistake to take one of their tools off the table just as they're about to govern," Politico reports; More progressive senators do want to remove the option completely.If his filibuster demands aren't met, McConnell has threatened to block the Senate power-sharing agreement that would put Democrats in charge of the body's committees. But Democrats already seem confident in their newfound power, with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) telling Politico that "Chuck Schumer is the majority leader and he should be treated like majority leader." Giving in to McConnell "would be exactly the wrong way to begin," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) echoed.Other Democrats shared their resistance to McConnell's demands in tweets. > McConnell is threatening to filibuster the Organizing Resolution which allows Democrats to assume the committee Chair positions. It's an absolutely unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive request. We won the Senate. We get the gavels.> > -- Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 21, 2021> So after Mitch McConnell changed the Senate rules at a blistering pace during his 6 years in charge, he is threatening to filibuster the Senate's organizing resolution unless the Democratic majority agrees to never change the rules again.> > Huh.> > -- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 21, 2021More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Biden removes Trump's Diet Coke button from the Oval Office Biden's team reportedly realized after inauguration that Trump really had no vaccine distribution plan
- Yahoo News Video
Already facing allegations of stealing more than $600,000 in federal funds from a health care school she directed, a Tennessee state senator has been charged in a new fraud case, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said Tuesday.
- Yahoo News
With the Senate poised to begin debate on Donald Trump's impeachment charge, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said some Republican House members might also face consequences over their actions leading up to the riot at the Capitol.
- CBS News
The vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory, where Harris will live, is undergoing repairs.
The European Union and Turkey pressed each other on Thursday to take concrete steps to improve relations long strained by disagreements over energy, migration and Ankara's human rights record. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of EU economic sanctions over a hydrocarbons dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, but the mood music between Brussels and Ankara has improved since the new year.
- Associated Press
Indonesian authorities on Thursday ended the search for remaining victims and debris from a Sriwijaya Air jet that nosedived into the Java Sea, killing all 62 people on board. Transportation minister Budi Karya Sumadi said retrieval operations have ended after nearly two weeks, but that a limited search for the missing memory unit from the cockpit voice recorder will continue. The memory unit apparently broke away from other parts of the voice recorder during the crash.
- Yahoo News
Counterintelligence official Michael Orlando joins a growing chorus of voices on both sides of the political aisle who point to China as a major national security threat, particularly in terms of technology and cybersecurity.
A British prosecutor hired by the Hong Kong government to lead a case against democracy activists has pulled out after coming under pressure in Britain including 'disgraceful' comments by its foreign minister, city authorities said on Wednesday. David Perry, a Queen's Counsel, was due to lead the case against tabloid media magnate Jimmy Lai and several others, including veteran democracy activists Martin Lee and Margaret Ng. But Hong Kong's Department of Justice noted "growing pressure and criticism" of Perry in Britain for taking the case, adding in a statement that he had "concerns about such pressures and the exemption of quarantine" and "indicated that the trial should proceed without him".
- Associated Press
The Democratic National Committee elected Jaime Harrison of South Carolina as chair on Thursday, signifying an early alignment between newly inaugurated President Joe Biden and state party leaders around the country. Vice chairs on the roster include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas.
- NBC News
The two Republican senators' actions call for a probe and "a determination whether disciplinary action is warranted," the complaint said.
A big fire on Thursday at the Serum Institute of India killed five people, a government official told reporters, but the world's biggest vaccine maker said it would not affect production of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot. Videos and pictures from Reuters partner ANI showed black smoke billowing from a multi-storey building in SII's massive headquarters complex in the city of Pune in Maharashtra state. "We have learnt that there has unfortunately been some loss of life at the incident," SII Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said on Twitter.
- The Week
It's the end of a very caffeinated era.When former President Donald Trump occupied the Oval Office, he quite literally had a button on his desk that ordered a Diet Coke to the room whenever it was pressed. But as a glimpse at President Biden's desk just hours after his inauguration shows, the soda-summoning button is gone.> President Biden has removed the Diet Coke button. When @ShippersUnbound and I interviewed Donald Trump in 2019, we became fascinated by what the little red button did. Eventually Trump pressed it, and a butler swiftly brought in a Diet Coke on a silver platter. It's gone now. pic.twitter.com/rFzhPaHYjk> > — Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) January 21, 2021While it may have sounded just too weird to be true, Trump's Diet Coke obsession and his button to match were absolutely real. No word on if Biden will install some kind of ice cream-ordering alternative.More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Biden's team reportedly realized after inauguration that Trump really had no vaccine distribution plan Fauci says he feels liberated in his 1st White House briefing under Biden
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon.
- The Independent
Michael Flynn’s brother reveals he was involved in Capitol riot response after Army denied it, report says
Apparent U-turn by Pentagon officials could pose questions about police response
- Yahoo News 360
Recent history shows the opportunity to pass major bills can disappear quickly. What should Democrats’ top priority be?
- Associated Press
A powerful earthquake shook parts of the southern Philippines on Thursday night, but authorities said it was too deep to cause major damage and no tsunami warning was issued. The quake measured magnitude 7.0 and was located 95.8 kilometers (60 miles) below the sea and about 210 kilometers (130 miles) southeast of Pondaguitan in Davao Occidental province, the U.S. Geological Survey said. In Davao city, President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, some residents ran out of their houses as the ground shook and power cables and business signs swayed, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.
The European Parliament called on EU governments to recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president in a resolution on Thursday, after a downgrade of his status by the bloc earlier this month. The EU's 27 states said on Jan. 6 they can no longer legally recognise Guaido as the country's legitimate head of state after he lost his position as head of parliament following legislative elections in Venezuela in December, despite the EU not recognising that vote. The European Parliament "calls on ... the member states to unequivocally recognise the constitutional continuation of the legitimate National Assembly of Venezuela elected in 2015 and the legitimate interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido", it said.