Daily Archives: February 18, 2010

Fiona Harvey

Few could blame Yvo de Boer, the top climate change official at the United Nations, for resigning.

For the past four years, Mr de Boer has attempted the impossible: getting all of the nations of the world to agree to a new global treaty on climate change that would avert dangerous global warming.

But the resignation throws the future of the international climate change negotiations – already on life-support after a series of setbacks – into grave doubt. Read more

Ed Crooks

On Energy Source:

Fourth generation nuclear power is no silver bullet  Read more

Ed Crooks

New models for nuclear reactors have been attracting a lot of interest recently, with all sorts of ideas touted as the solution to the problems of the standard designs in use today.

The huge cost, and delays and budget over-runs in construction, of third generation reactors such as Areva’s EPR, along with concerns about their safety, has inspired a search for new smaller designs, including some that are only the size of a garden shed.

There is also renewed excitement over fourth-generation reactor technology that can use spent uranium fuel as its feed-stock.

Bill Gates has been advocating one version of that technology, the “travelling wave reactor”, and has invested in a company developing it.

The promise is great: cheap power without the waste problems that have still not yet been solved. Gates says we need an “energy miracle”, and fourth generation nuclear power is it. But there are also some nuclear experts who warn that the promise is a snare and a delusion. Read more

Sheila McNulty

Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, has decided to remain the sole voice of the oil industry in the US Climate Action Partnership, a grouping of chief executives working together to promote climate legislation. This week, BP and ConocoPhillips withdrew, saying they needed to focus not just on passing federal legislation, but rather on trying to shape it to the advantage of the oil and gas industry. Read more

US energy chief struggles to shift debate (FT)

Energy companies fight own emissions corner (FT) Read more