finance

Wind and solar power at work on the Westmill Cooperative Open Day 2015. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Budget 2017 - wind and solar are essential to combat climate change!

Ervin Bossanyi
| 1st March 2017
David Cameron's Conservative government did its best to kill off the UK's lowest-cost renewable energy technologies, onshore wind and solar. But in next week's budget, the Chancellor can put that right. Renewables are low carbon, quick to deploy, have low environmental impacts, and enjoy high public support, writes Ervin Bossanyi. It's time to give them a break!

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The 'pro-science' chemical industry boosters have a guilty secret: they are funded by the same 'anti-science' right-wing foundations that finance climate change denialism. Photo: Sucralose packaging by Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY).

Propaganda wars: 'pro-science' GMO, chemicals boosters funded by climate change deniers

Stacy Malkan
| 28th February 2017
They promote GMOs, defend toxic chemicals, and attack people who raise concerns about those products as 'anti-science'. But behind the slick 'astroturf' PR fronts lurk some very dubious funders: the same arch-conservative foundations that finance climate science denial. Stacy Malkan exposes the key players in the agribusiness and chemical industry propaganda wars.

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The nuclear dream is turning into a nightmare! EDF's Cattenom 5.5 GW nuclear plant in Lorraine, France, built on the border with Luxembourg. Photo: Matthieu Nioufs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

'Picking losers' - UK must not risk taxpayers' billions on failed nuclear dream

David Toke
| 27th February 2017
With the world's leading nuclear corporations facing bankruptcy due to ever escalating costs, 'unconstructable' reactor designs and financing risks, there's an easy way to finance the UK's new nuclear power stations, writes David Toke: pin the cost onto taxpayers. As for schools, hospitals, pensions, housing, social care and other public services, who needs 'em?

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Photo: takomabibelot via Flickr (Public Domain).

Trump's multi-trillion dollar fraud on America: 'public-private' infrastructure partnerships

Pete Dolack
Systemic Disorder
| 23rd February 2017
Donald Trump's scheme to rebuild US infrastructure could be among the world's greatest ever financial heists, writes Pete Dolack. He has chosen the most expensive, anti-democratic way to do the job, through the mass privatization of priceless public assets - sticking users and taxpayers for exorbitant charges for decades to come, while banks and speculators reap the profits.

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Imposing, moi? Photo of the Sellafield nuclear complex by Dafydd Waters via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Copeland by-election: opposing nuclear power, and voting Green, is the only rational choice

Jack Lenox
Green Party
| 17th February 2017
All but one of the candidates in next week's Copeland by-election are backing a massive new nuclear power station in the constituency that would cost us tens of billions of pounds. Only the Green Party's Jack Lenox is resisting the spin, hypocrisy and outright lies that his rivals have swallowed whole. Here he explains why this risky, unaffordable white elephant must be scrapped.

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The Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, next to which the 3-reactor Moorside nuclear project is planned. Photo: Bellona Foundation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Keep UK taxpayers off the hook for Moorside nuclear black hole!

Doug Parr
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 14th February 2017
The main company due to build UK's 'flagship' nuclear power project at Moorside in Cumbria is on the ropes, writes Doug Parr, thanks to its multi-billion dollar nuclear losses on in the US. The obvious solution, (almost) all our politicians insist, is to ignore cheaper, faster, cleaner renewables, and make the taxpayer pick up the cost of yet another nuclear white elephant.

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Opposing TISA: Global Trade in Services Strategy Meeting, October 2014. Photo: Public Services International via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

TPP and TTIP are not dead: now they're called the Trade In Services Agreement

Pete Dolack
| 9th February 2017
If there's one good thing about Trump, it's that he has put an end to the TPP and TTIP trade deals, right? Don't celebrate yet, writes Pete Dolack. There's another 'trade deal' waiting in the wings, TISA, and negotiators have been busy expanding its remit to include huge parts of TPP and TTIP, while giving free rein to the global behemoths of internet and finance to expand their monopolies.

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The disastrous Okiluoto 3 EPR reactor under construction in Finland. The project is taking twice as long to complete, and costing twice as much, as promised. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time and money run out for nuclear revival

Paul Brown
| 17th January 2017
The nuclear industry faces an uncertain future as the reactor building boom is struck by unexpected costs, serious technical problems, and long, expensive delays, writes Paul Brown. Meanwhile renewables like wind and solar are offering investors an enviable combination of falling cost, low risk, fast build times, predictable returns and minimal long term liabilities.

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Blazing a trail? The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System - a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert SW of Las Vegas - has a capacity of 392 MW. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Never mind Trump - the global energy transition is racing forward

Jeremy Leggett
| 3rd January 2017
As the new year begins, the global clean energy transition is progressing much faster than most people realise, and is probably irreversible, writes Jeremy Leggett. President-elect Trump's prospects of revitalising the US coal industry, and giving the oil and gas industry the expansionist dream ticket it wants, are very low.

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The European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Photo: Gideon Benari / www.solvencyiiwire.com via Flickr (CC BY).

ECB's 'quantitative easing' funds fossil fuels, arms, cars and climate change

Corporate Europe Observatory
| 14th December 2016
What kind of companies is the European Central Bank supporting by buying €46 billion of their bonds under its QE programme? Research by Corporate Europe Observatory reveals a strong preference for oil, gas, tar sands, dirty power generation, armaments, aviation, airports, car makers, motorways, luxury goods and gambling. Our sustainable be future be damned!

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The £740 million box: the 27 metre high Evaporator D module being lifted vertically into place from the horizontal, transportation position. Photo: Sallafield Sites.

Nuclear plundering of the public purse - the Sellafield and Moorside billions

Martin Forwood
| 13th December 2016
While the government is cutting vital public expenditure across the board there's one industry for which no costs are too great, writes Martin Forwood. The price of an 'evaporator' at the Sellafield nuclear complex is escalating towards £1 billion, while billions more of taxpayer finance are being lined up to finance cooling systems, power lines and transport links for the adjacent Moorside new-build nuclear power plant.

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EDF's Cruas nuclear complex in  Rhône-Alpes, France, where two reactors have been out of action this autumn due to safety concerns. Photo: jan buchholtz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

French taxpayers face huge nuclear bill as EDF financial crisis deepens

Paul Brown
| 8th December 2016
Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, writes Paul Brown, as it faces a perfect storm of under-estimated costs for decommissioning, waste disposal and Hinkley C. Meanwhile income from power sales is lagging behind costs, and 17 of its reactors are off-line for safety tests. Yet French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis.

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Solar roof at Moor Hall Primary School, Sutton Coldfield, completed on 1st November 2012. But with government policy changes and now a new 'solar tax' on commercial property installations including schools, there's no longer much to celebrate. Photo: Birm

Chancellor - stop the solar tax hike!

Solar Trade Association
| 5th December 2016
Next April the UK government proposes to increase taxes on self-consumed solar electricity installations on schools, offices, warehouses and factories by a whopping 6-8 times, write the STA and undersigned. This inexplicable move, which threatens a once thriving solar industry already on its knees, must be abandoned.

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Hunger: a street-dweller in New Delhi, India. Photo: johnjodeery via Flickr (CC BY).

India's 'economic miracle' is built on debt, dispossession and now, monetary destruction

Colin Todhunter
| 30th November 2016
After two decades of neoliberalism, India's magnates and corporations are profiting as never before, writes Colin Todhunter. But the entire economic edifice is built on the dispossession of the poor, locked into debt servitude, and ever rising income inequality. Prime Minister Modi's latest move, 'demonetization', is yet another example of the state stealing from the poor to give to the obscenely rich.

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A recent demonstration in the British Museum to denounce BP's sponsorship. Photo: Kristian Buus / Art Not Oil.

In the age of Trump, Big Art must cut off Big Oil!

Chris Garrard
| 29th November 2016
With Trump denying climate change and threatening to reject the Paris Agreement, it's more important than ever for society to hold a firm ethical line, writes Chris Garrard. The last thing we need is our most revered museums and galleries muddying the water by courting the sponsorship of leading climate criminals.

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Woman preparing herbs for winter at Tso Moriri, Ladakh, India. Photo: sandeepachetan.com travel photography via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

After Brexit and Trump: don't demonise; localise!

Helena Norberg-Hodge
Rupert Read
| 22nd November 2016
Both Trump and Brexit can be explained by the failure of mainstream political elites to address the pain inflicted on ordinary citizens in the neoliberal era, write Helena Norberg-Hodge & Rupert Read. In the US and the UK, working class voters rightly rejected the corporate globalisation that has created so much poverty and insecurity. But the real solutions lie not in hatred, but relocalisation.

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Crop 'dusting' with pesticide a few miles north of Ripley, Mississippi. Photo: Roger Smith via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Monsanto on trial? Or 21st century capitalism?

Pete Dolack
| 13th October 2016
The organizers of tomorrow's International Monsanto Tribunal describe it as a 'moral trial', while the company dismisses it as a 'mock trial' and 'stunt'. The truth, writes Pete Dolack, is that it's about much more than this one company. On trial is the entire neoliberal system of 'free market' finance and monopoly capitalism.

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If mainstream car makers fail to keep up with fresh, nimble competitors like Tesla, they could go the way of the horse & cart. Photo: Windell Oskay via Flickr (CC BY).

$24 trillion tells car industry: it's time to act on climate!

Terry Macalister
| 12th October 2016
International investors worth a collective $24 trillion have warned car manufacturers that they must 'get with the beat' on climate change, writes Terry Macalister. If car makers fail to shift to low emission models, they will face a large-scale sell-off of their shares.

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Mark Lynas, Kevin Folta, Bill Gates ... the chair is yours to make the case for GMO crops. Or are you chicken? Photo: Hernán Piñera via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

GMO debate: why are Cornell biotech boosters 'chicken'?

Jonathan Latham
| 4th October 2016
The purported mission of the Cornell Alliance for Science is to explain the science underlying biotechnology and GMOs, writes Jonathan Latham. So with a debate on the issue taking place tomorrow, 5th October, on the Cornell campus, how come CAS can't find a single speaker prepared to defend their zealously pro-GM stance?

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These yurts on Mongolia's 'sea of grass' are powered through a miniature solar microgrid that is both compact and lightweight for easy carriage on to the next site. Photo: Shutterstock.

Off-grid renewables: the sustainable route to 100% global electricity access

Adnan Z. Amin
IRENA
| 4th October 2016
Off-grid renewable energy is key to achieving the global goal of 100% electricity access by 2030, writes Adnan Z. Amin, and to achieving the emissions reductions enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Thankfully, a confluence of factors - including rapid cost declines and impressive technology innovations - are making this goal more achievable than ever, and investment in the sector is taking off.

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Monsanto Graph' in Abode of Chaos by Thierry Ehrmann, Saint Romain en Mont d'Or, France. Photo: Urban Scraper via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Bayer-Monsanto merger - corporate madness or a moment of possibility?

Pat Thomas
| 19th September 2016
With the Wall Street Journal warning that the GMO crop boom may be over in the face of superweeds, higher seed prices, falling yields and farmer antipathy, writes Pat Thomas, the Monsanto-Bayer merger is a sign of weakness as both companies struggle to deliver growth and profits to match shareholder expectations. We had better be ready to press home our advantage!

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Hinkley C - it now looks as if the UK may not be saddled with this monstrous white elephant after all. Image: EDF.

Hinkley C nuclear go-ahead: May caves in to pressure from France and China

Oliver Tickell
| 15th September 2016
The French and the Chinese may be celebrating the UK's decision to press ahead with the Hinkley C 'nuclear white elephant', writes Oliver Tickell. But the deal is a disaster for the UK, committing us to overpriced power for decades to come, and to a dirty, dangerous, insecure dead end technology. Just one silver lining: major economic, legal and technical hurdles mean it still may never be built.

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