People's Climate March; Scottish oil and gas; Kenya's energy boom [Recharge]

The People's Climate March drew hundreds of thousands from around the world for what organizers are calling the largest climate march in history; Global energy largely welcomed Scotland's decision to stick with the UK; Big oil finds in Kenya puts it at the center of an East African energy boom. Catch up with the People's Climate March and the latest in global energy with Recharge. 

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    People gather near Columbus Circle before the People's Climate March in New York Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.
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From the People's Climate March to East African oil to Latin American shale, Recharge delivers global energy's big ideas to your inbox each weekend. Subscribe for free.

People's Climate March: Hundreds of thousands marched through the streets of Manhattan Sunday in the People's Climate March, which organizers are calling the largest public show of support for clean energy the world has ever seen. The Christian Science Monitor's Harry Bruinius was on the scene in Manhattan: 

The parade began on the west side of Central Park and featured beating drums and dancers from indigenous peoples in Central and South American. They were followed by a cavalcade of union members, including hundreds under the blue United Auto Worker logo, many of whom carried the sign: “Climate change is real: Teach Science.” Thousands more community groups from around the world joined the march, each with identifying banners and political signs and slogans.

The People's Climate March kicked off a week of climate action as more than 120 heads of state gather in New York for climate talks Tuesday. World leaders have had little success brokering climate agreements in one grand summit alone. This time around they're giving officials plenty of time to work out the kinks before the pressure of a deadline hangs over them. It makes what happens in this week's New York talks as critical as the big show in Paris next year. With the People's Climate March over, all eyes are on Tuesday's global climate talks. Here's what to know in advance: 

More than 120 heads of state will announce various country-level efforts to decarbonize their energy supply and preview what they intend to contribute to Paris negotiations. On the sidelines, expect major corporations to make committments of their own. No formal joint negotiated agreement will come from the NYC talks.

Leaders from China and India – the world's largest and third largest carbon emitters – will not attend, raising concern over a longstanding climate divide between developed nations and those expected to make up the bulk of new emissions for decades to come.

Developing nations will be closely watching how much rich nations pledge to a Green Climate Fund to help expand renewables among the poor. If they fail to meet their $15 billion goal, developing nations will be less eager to join a global deal come next year.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in global energy:

'No'Global energy largely welcomed Scotland's decision to stick with the UK Friday, preferring not to divvy up an oil, gas, and renewables regime that straddles borders. That means renewable projects currently in limbo can move forward with some certainty, and North Sea production may see a temporary lift. Still, it's doubtful the region's offshore oil and gas industry will ever be the bonanza it once was.

South Lokichar Basin: The fossil-fuel future looks brighter in Kenya. Two major firms doubled the country's estimated oil resources this week, sending officials scrambling to accelerate plans for infrastructure development. As the capital of a looming East African energy boom, Nairobi has a lot to gain – so long as it avoids the 'curse' of newfound resource wealth.

In the pipeline

Wednesday, Sept. 24: NEW YORK and THE INTERNET – Dr. R.K. Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, talks trends in global energy investment at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy. Global investment in both renewables and fossil-fuel infrastructure is well below levels most watchers say is needed to meet future demand.

Friday, Sept. 26: BERLIN – Trilateral gas talks between Russia, Ukraine, and the EU are tentatively scheduled to resume. Ukraine's gas flows from Russia have been cut off since June, and recently Poland has reported reductions in its Russian supply. Meanwhile, the US and Canada are sending teams of experts to help assess Ukraine's oil, gas, and efficiency potential in a show of support for energy diversification ahead of winter.

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Drill deeper

Progress Watch: How the world is cleaning up its act on energy
[The Christian Science Monitor]
“The realization is gradually growing that climate protection is not costly but profitable," Rocky Mountain Institute's Amory Lovins tells the Monitor, "because it’s cheaper to save energy than to buy it, let alone burn it.”

Deep inside the wild world of China's fracking boom [Mother Jones]
A shale gas boom could help China move away from coal – the dirtier, smog-producing fuel that feeds 70 percent of China's enormous energy appetite. But a shale revolution is not without its problems. Fracking in China requires up to twice as much water, and drillers are dealing with geological formations more complex than in the US.

Bobby Jindal says Obama denies science of US energy boom. Is he right? [The Christian Science Monitor]
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana – likely a 2016 presidential hopeful – blasted Obama last week for policies Jindal says have stunted the US energy boom. Jindal's criticisms place him among a growing chorus who say the US should leverage its oil and gas bounty to increase energy security, drive down gasoline prices, and counter Russia.

Energy sources

Global Commission on the Economy and Climate: "We don’t have to choose between economic growth and a safe climate. We can have both. We can choose better growth and a better climate."

Wood Mackenzie: "Exploration success and new discoveries [in UK oil and gas] are instrumental in replacing produced reserves, slowing production decline rates and maintaining a healthy project pipeline. If these issues are not tackled, the longer term outlook for the UK is worrying."

Council of the Americas: "The potential for partnership between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean in the development of the shale gas sector is significant."

From the People's Climate March to East African oil to Latin American shale, Recharge delivers global energy's big ideas to your inbox each weekend. Subscribe for free.

 
 
 

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