New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies

New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the world’s most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming.

Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell – to federal court due to their contribution to climate change.

Court documents state that New York has suffered from flooding and erosion due to climate change and because of looming future threats it is seeking to “shift the costs of protecting the city from climate change impacts back on to the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat”.

The court filing claims that just 100 fossil fuel producers are responsible for nearly two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution, with the five targeted companies the largest contributors.

The case will also point to evidence that firms such as Exxon knew of the impact of climate change for decades, only to downplay and even deny this in public. New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, is investigating Exxon over this alleged deception.

New York was badly rattled by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and faces costs escalating into the tens of billions of dollars in order to protect low-lying areas such as lower Manhattan and the area around JFK airport from being inundated by further severe storms fueled by rising sea levels and atmospheric warming. De Blasio’s office said climate change is “perhaps the toughest challenge New York City will face in the coming decades”.

New York’s lawsuit echoes a similar effort on the west coast, where two California counties and a city are suing 37 fossil fuel companies for knowingly emitting dangerous levels of greenhouse gases. One of those firms, Exxon, has complained that it has been targeted by a “collection of special interests and opportunistic politicians” as part of a “conspiracy” to force the company to comply with various political objectives.

The legal action and the divestment draw perhaps the starkest dividing line yet between New York and the Trump administration on climate change. Under Trump, the federal government has attempted the withdraw the US from the Paris climate accords, tear up Barack Obama’s signature climate policies and open up vast areas of America’s land and waters to coal, oil and gas interests.

De Blasio and the city comptroller, Scott Stringer, have come under pressure for several years from activists to rid New York’s pension funds of any link to fossil fuels, with some environmentalists claiming the city has been too slow to use its clout to tackle climate change.

Stringer admitted the divestment will be “complex” and will take some time but said the city’s pension funds could promote sustainability while also protecting the retirement of teachers, police officers and other city workers.

“New York City today becomes a capital of the fight against climate change on this planet,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of climate group

“With its communities exceptionally vulnerable to a rising sea, the city is showing the spirit for which it’s famous – it’s not pretending that working with the fossil fuel companies will somehow save the day, but instead standing up to them, in the financial markets and in court.”

Christiana Figueres, former UN climate chief and architect of the Paris climate agreement, added: “The exponential transition toward a fossil-fuel-free economy is unstoppable and local governments have a critical role to play. There is no time to lose.

“It’s therefore extremely encouraging to see NYC step up today to safeguard their city and exercise their role as investors to protect their beneficiaries from climate-risk.”

New York joins cities such as Washington DC and Cape Town in divesting, along with universities such as Stanford in California and Oxford in the UK. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, notable for its links to the past oil wealth of John D Rockefeller, has also sought to divest.

Gas powerhouse around the cards as MRH circled by rivals

A gas powerhouse might be within the making after it emerged that Motor Fuel Group is eyeing a £2.5bn merger with rival MRH.

An offer could produce a company with almost 900 forecourts across the nation at any given time when retailers for example Marks & Spencer and Morrisons are more and more thinking about gas stations like a less costly way to expand.

MRH, which is a member of Texas private equity finance firm Lone Star, has 450 sites over the the nation, branded as BP, Esso and Covering.

The organization has already been dealing with advisors at Citi, JP Morgan and Numis in regards to a potential £1.5bn stock exchange listing this season. However, the organization has become thinking about a purchase, based on Sky News, which first reported Motor Fuel Group’s (MFG) interest.  

MFG may also face competition from rival gas station player Euro Garages should MRH not press ahead using its stock exchange listing. Lone Star has apparently given bidders a deadline of Monday to lodge their offers.

“MRH and it is shareholder are presently assessing a variety of proper options, which might incorporate a potential dpo,” the organization stated inside a statement.

“No decisions happen to be made and there might be no certainty that any process is going to be formalised.”

The amount of cash elevated by companies floating around the London Stock Market hit a 3-year high this past year. Around £15bn was elevated by 106 initial public choices (IPO) in 2017, 164pc greater by value than the year before and surpassing other European exchanges.

The string of listings came despite a few of the greatest expected floats, including collector Cabot Credit Management, mobile mast provider Argqiva and business outsourcer TMF Group, ditching their IPO plans. Ready-meal maker Bakkavor pulled its plans among “market volatility” before coming back not much later in a cheaper cost.

Cambridge medical firm Abcam reports surging revenues and expects £7m boost from US tax reforms 

Cambridge existence sciences firm Abcam has stated it’s on the right track to satisfy its growth targets for that year and expects a 1-off boost from approaching US tax reforms as high as £7m.

The Goal-listed antibody maker will report revenue development of 10pc in the first half, meaning it ought to deliver full-year development of 10pc, adjusted for currency fluctuations.

Revenues from recombinant antibodies, that are synthetically created instead of being produced from creatures, and immunoassays, which are utilized to test for antigens like infections or bacteria, both grew 23pc at that time, consistent with full-year targets of 20-25pc. Abcam stated its Chinese business was “performing well”, with revenue development of 24pc. 

FTSE giants Shell, Barclays and BP have cautioned they count on paying big one-off charges his year because of changes in america Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But Abcam stated it expects a one-off tax credit of between £6m and £7m because of recalculation of tax liabilities and assets. 

Leader Alan Hirzel stated it absolutely was “been another duration of good progress” for Abcam, adding: “We are dedicated to further develop our product portfolio and then enhance our organisational abilities to aid our ambition to become probably the most influential existence sciences company for research communities globally.”

Shares in Abcam were up 2pc to £10.49 in morning trade.

RBS investors push for brand new shareholder committee to scrutinise governance issues

Greater than 100 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) investors have tossed their support behind plans for any shareholder committee, designed to address corporate governance issues in the United kingdom loan provider.

ShareSoc, britain’s individual shareholder society, is placed to provide documents concerning the suggested resolution to RBS’s London offices on Friday mid-day with the hope that it’ll be offer a shareholder election in the bank’s annual general meeting in May 2018.

The audience stated current ways of shareholder engagement – including “cosy chats with selected shareholders behind closed doors” – doesn’t work for that broad shareholder base, adding that it’s unclear whether investors are experiencing exactly the same information or if it’s being “spun”.

ShareSoc chairman Mark Northway stated: “Shareholders, including individuals, deserve a brand new approach: one with greater participation and much more effective input from their store as ultimate proprietors.

“RBS, given its incredibly poor history and consequent citizen support, should certainly be leading in the front in governance matters.”

It’s the second time the shareholder society has attempted to determine a bespoke committee at RBS, following the bank rejected an identical proposal captured.

ShareSoc claims RBS have been “hiding behind tenuous, costly legal arguments” to be able to block its creation.

The group’s director and campaign manager, High cliff Weight, stated: “This year, we’re wishing RBS will build relationships us and work constructively in developing a better corporate governance framework.

“Since ShareSoc first engaged with RBS in December 2016, there has been several positive developments which we recognise and applaud, but there remains a lot more to become done on shareholder democracy”.

RBS stated it had been conscious that the audience was running another campaign to produce a shareholder committee. “Whilst it’s obviously the function of the organization company directors to represent shareholders, we’ll review any proposal that’s posted making our response obvious in the end,” the loan provider stated inside a statement.

The shareholder group has condemned RBS for any raft of historic failings that incorporated a culture of “excessive risk, short-termism, avarice and irresponsibility”, in addition to extravagant bonuses and executive pay which has “impacted the brand”.

The loan provider seemed to be criticised for the treatment of customers unfairly, miselling mortgage-backed securities in america in addition to ppi (PPI) within the United kingdom, the Libor-fixing scandal, and also the ongoing debate over how its Global Restructuring Group (GRG) treated small company customers.

That’s additionally to concerns over top-level diversity, with simply four women incorporated in the “pale, male and stale” 14-strong board, the shareholder group stated.

ShareSoc claims a highly effective committee would increase transparency although not hinder your day-to-day control over the organization, and is established on the “purely advisory basis” with no specific forces.

“It is not likely the installments of Persimmon, BP, BHS and Sports Direct might have happened if this type of committee had existed at individuals companies,” the shareholder group stated. 

“And the issues would have actually been resolved faster if each had were built with a shareholder committee.”

RBS stated inside a statement: “In line using the Government’s reaction to its Eco-friendly Paper on Corporate Governance Reform, and also the FRC’s current consultation according from the United kingdom Corporate Governance Code, we’ll further enhance our concentrate on strengthening the voice of employees along with other non-shareholder interests at board level being an important element of managing a sustainable business.”

Press Association

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United kingdom North Ocean oil pipeline to resume service at the begining of The month of january, operator Ineos states

Britain’s Forties gas and oil pipeline, among the greatest within the North Ocean, has been tested following repairs and full flows should resume at the begining of The month of january, its operator Ineos stated on Monday.

The closure from the pipeline since 11 December has pressed oil prices above $65 a barrel in recent days, their greatest level since mid-2015.

Forties plays a huge role within the global market because it is the greatest from the five North Ocean crude streams underpinning Brent, a benchmark for oil buying and selling in Europe, the center East, Africa and Asia.

“The repair from the pipeline … has become robotically complete and pressure tests are well arrived,” Ineos stated inside a statement.

“A few clients are now delivering gas and oil with the pipeline at reduced rates included in a coordinated plan that enables Ineos to softly control the flow and pressure within the system”.

The machine, which carries about 450,000 barrels each day of crude to Britain, plus a third from the country’s total offshore gas output, was shut lower following a crack was discovered.

Ineos on Monday morning stated the gas and oil processing facility Kinneil should restart within the next 24 hrs.

“Based on current estimates the organization expects to create the pipeline and Kinneil progressively normal again rates at the start of 2012,” Ineos stated.

Ineos was made to declare pressure majeure on deliveries of Forties oil, gas and condensate, suspending its contractual obligations to customers by citing conditions beyond its control.

This really is thought to be the very first pressure majeure on the major North Ocean production stream in decades. Ineos didn’t say if this likely to lift the pressure majeure.

Ineos, a independently-owned chemicals company located in Europe, bought the pipeline system from BP at the end of October.


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BP returns to solar energy with $200m stake in Lightsource

BP has compensated $200m (£149m) for any 43% stake in Europe’s greatest solar developer, marking its go back to the sphere that it withdrew six years back.

An investment within the London-based Lightsource marks a turnaround for that British oil firm, which rebranded as Beyond Oil in 2000 but shut its renewable power headquarters nine years later.

“We’re excited to become returning to solar, however in a brand new and incredibly different way,” stated BP’s leader, Bob Dudley.

Dev Sanyal, the firm’s leader for renewable power, stated BP was coming back to solar since the sector had matured and also the model had shifted from manufacturing panels to developing solar farms.

“[Solar] is actually a fundamental part of the general energy mix. It’ll constitute around 10% of worldwide power within the next twenty years and it is growing around 15% per year. We love to the basic principles of the profession so we such as the fundamentals of the organization,” he stated.

The solar firm is going to be renamed Lightsource BP and BP will require two seats around the company’s board.

Nick Boyle, founder and leader of Lightsource, stated in lots of countries solar had moved from counting on government support to having the ability to compete by itself.

“In the past few years, we’ve hit that interesting inflection point where unsubsidised solar has turned into a direct competitor then one that really beat other kinds of electricity generation,” he stated.

“Whereas prior to the market was completely different and needed support, now we’re inside a completely ” new world “.”

The organization will concentrate on building solar projects in america, India, Europe and also the Middle East.

As the $200m stake is a part of BP’s $15bn-17bn total spend this season, Sanyal stated it had been a considerable investment. The organization employs 8,000 individuals its renewable power business, that is mostly centred on wind power in america and biofuels in South america.

Requested when the investment marked coming back towards the Beyond Oil strategy pressed underneath the former chair John Browne, Sanyal stated: “We wish to play our full role within the low carbon transition.”

BP isn’t alone in diversifying from gas and oil. The Anglo-Nederlander firm Covering continues to be buying electric vehicle infrastructure companies, France’s Total continues to be obtaining battery storage firms and Norway’s Statoil is pioneering floating windfarms.

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