By Andrew Ward, Scandinavian correspondent
● All is not lost for people turning up in Copenhagen without a hotel reservation. The city’s famous Christiana district – a self-proclaimed autonomous hippy commune occupying an abandoned army barracks in the heart of the Danish capital – is making up to 500 sleeping spaces available.
A barracks building has been set aside for visitors and Mongolian-style yurts erected outside. Finnish activists have even built a temporary wooden sauna for guests.
The first day of the Copenhagen climate summit passed with fanfare, speeches, impassioned pleas for progress, and an awful lot of assertions from a lot of countries that they want a deal and are doing more to get a deal than anyone else.
Connie Hedegaard, Danish clinate minister and host of the talks, made a rousing speech to delegates, urging them: “Let’s get it done!”
Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, talked about how green the conference is – no bottled water, only tap, and no gifts of little mermaid statuettes for the delegates. The money was spent instead on scholarships for 11 students of the climate.
But Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, addressed the big issue still casting a pall over these talks – the climategate emails. He mounted a fierce defence of the IPCC’s methods, transparency and integrity. Whether the sceptics were listening is another issue.
FT Energy Source is posting a daily question for our panel of expert commentators. Below, guest panellists Robert Stavins of Harvard University, Jeremy Leggett of the Global Observatory , former BP chief Lord Browne, Graciela Chichilnisky of Columbia University and David Jones of the Tck Tck Tck campaign respond to today’s question:
What outcomes you would like to see from Copenhagen? And what do you expect will actually happen?
Robert N. Stavins: The best goal for Copenhagen is to make progress on the foundation for meaningful, long-term global action, not some notion of immediate triumph. This is because of some basic scientific and economic realities.
- Copenhagen, day 1: Optimism abounds, but what about the sceptics?
- Copenhagen panel: Robert Stavins, Julian Morris, Mindy Lubber and Jeremy Leggett on Obama’s decision to attend the Copenhagen endgame
- Climategate, Sesame Street, and trains on the (rail)road to Copenhagen
- More UK natgas glut talk
- US moving in the right direction on biofuels
- China’s offshore ambitions
- ‘Perfect’ oil prices and giant LNG deals in Spot news
- How will troubled PNG fare from its gas boom?
More signs of a natural gas apocalypse (Houston Chronicle)
Goldman Sachs says China could cut oil consumption by 15m b/d over 40 years (Environmental Capital/WSJ)
Wind turbines don’t lower home property values (USA Today)
Why there’s no sign of conspiracy in hacked emails (New Scientist)
As refineries close, new stresses on the system (The Oil Drum)
A brief history of climate change (National Post)
How smart meters could change everything (John Kemp/Reuters)
Will GM’s shakeup kill the Volt? (MIT Technology Review)
Further, further reading on Climategate (Megan McArdle/The Atlantic)
By Izabella Kaminska
Talk about the UK natgas/liquefied natural gas (LNG) glut appears to be intensifying.
The latest to warn over the situation is Merrill Lynch, whose analysts on Monday described the market as “plagued by weakness” as they turned “more negative on UK nat gas prices in 2010″.
The culprit once again is surplus LNG heading in the UK’s direction.
The US government on Friday said it had picked 19 biorefinery projects to receive up to $564m to accelerate the construction and operation of pilot, demonstration and commercial scale biorefinery facilities. The projects are spread across 15 states and are to lay the foundation for full commercial-scale develoment of a biomass industry in the US.
This is not aimed at taking corn out of tortillas or other food products. The projects are to focus on adsvanced biofuels, biopower and bioproducts, using biomass feedstocks at the pilot, demonstration and full commercial scale. This means feedstocks such as non-corn kernal starch biomass sources and algae.
If there was any doubt that China’s numerous big oil deals this year have little to do with neo-colonialist aspirations and everything to do with security of supply, comments from CNOOC chief Xie Luhong are rather telling: the company plans to drill far deeper than it has before in order to double its production of offshore oil and gas.
Cnooc plans to work with foreign partners to drill the first deepwater wells in the area next year, Xie said, without naming the companies. “The water depth might be between 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) and 1,800 meters,” he said.
Hopes for a substantial agreement at Copenhagen grew as the world digested news that US president Barack Obama would appear at the end of the Copenhagen meeting, writes Fiona Harvey in today’s FT. When the announcement was made, she writes “the gasp of relief from delegates heading to the Danish capital was almost audible”.
UN climate chief Yves de Boer told Harvey that ‘a lot had happened’ in pre-Copenhagen negotiations during the past two weeks. “We are almost there [on the key issues].” Those key issues are commitments for deep emissions cuts from developed countries; commitments to curbs from developing countries; financial aid from the latter to the former to help meet the cost of reducing emissions; and finally, a governance structure to oversee the agreement.
Saudi Arabia’s Al-Naimi Says Oil Price Is ‘Perfect’
‘Investors, producers, consumers – they’re all very happy’ (Bloomberg)
CNOOC may double oil, gas output off South China to meet demand
May expand to almost 80m boe a year by 2015; deeper wells planned (Bloomberg)
Chevron’s $82m Wheatstone LNG deal is Australia’s biggest – govt
Tokyo Electric Power to buy 3.1m tonnes a year for 20 years (Reuters)
Comment: Speculation in oil futures is not excessive
Hilary Till uses traditional speculation metrics to look at Nymex futures (FT)
Only one in two voters accepts manmade climate change, according to new poll
52% of British voters believe humans are largely responsible (Telegraph)