Aguarico (Ecuador) (AFP) - Actress Mia Farrow has hit out at US oil giant Chevron as she visited an Amazonian region Ecuador accuses the company of polluting. "I feel an incredible sense of anger," she said after being shown pools of oil in the Aguarico region of Sucumbios in the northeast of the South American country. Chevron was ordered to pay a $9 billion fine for polluting the Amazon when the US oil company Texaco operated in Ecuador between 1964 and 1990. Chevron inherited the pollution lawsuit when it acquired Texaco, a former rival, in 2001.
By Geert De Clercq PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's attempt to combine an ambitious climate policy with the liberalization of electricity markets has largely failed, and the continent needs to rethink its subsidies for renewable energy, a French government study said. The study, based on reports by leading European energy academics, said Europe must decide on the trade-offs between affordability, sustainability and security on setting its energy policy. In December 2008, EU leaders approved the climate change package with three targets for 2020: cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, produce 20 percent of EU energy from renewable resources and improve energy efficiency by 20 percent. The climate package conflicted with the EU policy, in place since the mid-1990s, of trying to lower electricity prices by opening up power markets to competition, the report found.
By Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo's consumption of nuclear power is "selfish" and unsustainable since the Japanese capital hosts no nuclear reactors, former prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa said on Tuesday, questioning the government's energy policy. Hosokawa, who is running for Tokyo governor on a plank to scrap nuclear power, is billing the February 9 vote as a referendum on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to restart reactors halted after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. "Tokyo is shoving nuclear power plants and nuclear waste to other regions, while enjoying the convenience (of electricity) as a big consumer," said Hosokawa, 76, who is backed by charismatic former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.
A Nigerian court upheld an order on Monday barring Chevron from selling its onshore assets until a legal dispute with local firm Brittania-U is resolved, Brittania-U's lawyers said outside the court. Brittania-U alleges it had a deal with the U.S. oil major to buy the assets, which Chevron denies. "The court upheld the interim order in favour of Brittania to protect the assets while the substantive case is still being determined," lawyer Rickey Tarfa said. The order restrains Chevron from transferring the asset or doing anything with the assets." Chevron's lawyer at the Federal High Court in Lagos declined to comment.
By Dmitry Zhdannikov DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Oil executives normally travel the world to win big contracts - but rarely do government officials travel the other way. This week in Davos, however, some of the most powerful oil CEOs gathered on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum and were presented with an embarrassment of riches. While the appearance of Iran's new president and oil minister in front of the heads of BP , ENI , Total and Lukoil made most headlines, the executives also heard presentations by officials from Canada, Mozambique and Mexico. Five years on, oil is considered plentiful thanks to the U.S. shale oil revolution and the discovery of massive oil and gas fields elsewhere.
By Gernot Heller MESEBERG, Germany (Reuters) - Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel and her center-left partners tried to allay concerns about a rocky start to their month-old coalition on Thursday, saying they had a clear road map ahead after two days of talks north of Berlin. Speaking at a news conference at the end of the two-day meeting, Merkel and Sigmar Gabriel, her vice chancellor from the Social Democrats (SPD), pledged to work closely together on contentious issues like energy policy and pension reforms. Merkel, starting her third term, effusively praised Gabriel and SPD Labour Minister Andrea Nahles, whose plans on pension reform and a national minimum wage have drawn fire from conservatives in Merkel's camp. "Every project put forth by every minister is a project of the entire government," the chancellor, on crutches after a cross-country skiing accident in December, said at the start of the retreat.