S&P: Struggling U.S. Nuclear Fleet May Be Gone by 2055

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:The U.S. nuclear power industry could be out of business by the middle of the century.The entire existing fleet of reactors may disappear by 2055 when the last operating license expires, S&P Global Ratings said in a report. That’s assuming there will be no license extensions. Half of the country’s 99 nuclear units may be retired in 17 years, S&P said.The report comes on the heels of a decision by Scana Corp. to abandon plans to build two new reactors in South Carolina after costs soared to more than $20 billion and the contractor Westinghouse Electric Co. went bankrupt. Nuclear operators have been shutting plants as their profits have been eroded by generators burning cheap natural gas and by weak demand for electricity.Entire U.S. Nuclear Power Fleet Could Disappear in 38 Years: S&P S&P: Struggling U.S. Nuclear Fleet May Be Gone by 2055last_img read more

As of Now, the U.S. Is Officially Out of the Paris Climate Agreement

first_imgOther countries would most likely give a Biden administration some time to get on its feet but would also want to see strong early signs that the United States has substantial plans to cut domestic emissions from cars, power plants and other sources. – Advertisement – On Nov. 4, 2019, the earliest possible day under United Nations rules that a country could begin the final withdrawal process, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo filed paperwork to do so. It automatically finalized a year later. So, as of Wednesday morning, the United States is officially no longer a part of the group of nations pledging to address climate change.President Trump has called the Paris Agreement “job-killing” and said it would “punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters.” WASHINGTON — Au revoir, Paris Agreement. As of Wednesday, under United Nations rules, the United States is officially out of the global climate accord. Here’s a look at how it happened, what it means and what might happen next.How did we get here?You could be forgiven for thinking the United States quit the global climate change agreement a long time ago. Ever since 2017, when President Trump announced his intention to abandon the pact, he’s spoken about withdrawal as if it was a done deal. In fact, however, pulling out of the Paris Agreement has been a lengthy process.- Advertisement – Technically, though, the Paris Agreement doesn’t require the United States to do anything. In fact, it’s not even a treaty. It’s a nonbinding agreement among nations of all levels of wealth and responsibility for causing climate change to reduce domestic emissions. “There’s momentum continuing to build even with the U.S. pulling out,” said Alden Meyer, a director at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a 30-year veteran of international climate negotiations.“The question is, would it continue without the U.S. fully on board?” he said.Will U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spike?Not necessarily. Leaving the Paris Agreement does not in itself mean the United States will stop addressing climate change.On the other hand, it does mean the federal government has formally abandoned, for now at least, President Obama’s goal of cutting emissions about 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.In reality, the United States under President Trump walked away from that target years ago. Right now, we’re about halfway to the Obama-era goal and not on track to meet it. So, while emissions probably won’t rise, they also won’t fall fast enough to avert the worst effects of climate change.Is the U.S. withdrawal final?No. Any future president could opt back in.Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has pledged that he will recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on Day 1. In practical terms that means on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, his administration would send a letter to the United Nations notifying it of America’s intention to rejoin. The American return would become official 30 days later. As of Wednesday, in addition to the United States, the countries that originally signed but not formally adopted the Paris Agreement are: Angola, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, South Sudan, Turkey and Yemen.So far, no other country has followed the United States in renouncing the Paris Agreement. At one point President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil threatened to do so but he later reversed course.Almost every country in the world. Of the 195 countries that signed the Paris Agreement, 189 have ratified the accord. Initially Nicaragua and Syria withheld their support from the pact but both eventually joined the agreement.As of Wednesday, in addition to the United States, the countries that originally signed but not completed the formal adoption process are: Angola, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, South Sudan, Turkey and Yemen.So far, no other country has followed the United States in formally quitting the Paris Agreement. At one point President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil threatened to do so but he later reversed course.In recent weeks there have been a spate of ambitious climate commitments from Europe and Asia. The European Parliament voted last month to cut emissions 60 percent by 2030, with the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. That measure will now be considered by the European Union’s council of ministers. China vowed to become carbon neutral by 2060. That pledge was followed by ones from South Korea and Japan, both of which vowed to zero out net emissions by 2050. The accord essentially ties together every nation’s voluntary emissions pledge in a single forum, with the understanding that countries will set even tougher targets over time over time. The United States under President Barack Obama promised to reduce its emissions about 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, but progress on that goal stopped under the Trump administration.There are some reporting requirements to ensure that countries are making progress, but the Trump administration flouted those and so far has suffered no consequences.Who’s still in, and what are they doing?Almost every country in the world. Of the 195 countries that signed the Paris Agreement, 189 went on to formally adopt the accord. Initially Nicaragua and Syria withheld their support from the pact but both eventually joined the agreement. – Advertisement – By the time the United States joins other countries at the next United Nations climate conference, scheduled for Glasgow in November next year, it would be expected to have an emissions-cutting target even more ambitious than the Obama-era one.If the United States stayed out of the agreement, it could still have a voice in United Nations climate negotiations. That’s because it would still be a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that created the Paris Agreement. America would, however, be reduced to observer status, which means its negotiators would be allowed to attend meetings and work with other countries to shape outcomes, but would not be allowed to vote on decisions.“They will still have influence, but nothing like they would as full players,” Mr. Meyer said. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Philips and KLM schemes achieve 10% gains in 2016

first_imgIts fixed income holdings and equity portfolio yielded 7.4% and 8.7% respectively last year, the scheme said, while its real estate assets – which make up roughly 10% of the total portfolio – gained 5.2%.The €8.3bn pension fund for KLM’s pilots reported an annual gain of 7.6%, following a 0.2% fourth-quarter return. Its most recent funding ratio was 119.7%. KLM’s €8bn pension fund for ground staff posted an annual profit of 9.3%, after a quarterly loss of 1%. Its coverage ratio was 108% at the end of December.The scheme’s board said it had decided to cease its tactical asset allocation “as this had delivered insufficient returns”.The assets of the three large KLM schemes are managed by Blue Sky Group. The €19bn Philips Pensioenfonds gained 10.2% on investments over the course of 2016, despite a 2.8% loss in the last quarter.The fund also recorded a combined loss of 0.4 percentage points on its inflation and interest rate hedges. At year-end, the pension fund’s coverage ratio stood at 108%.With a predominantly older population, the Philips scheme has divided its investments across a 40% securities portfolio and a 60% matching portfolio. The securites portfolio mainly comprises equity (29%) and property (10%), while the matching section includes government bonds (35%), credit (10%), mortgages (5%), and emerging market debt (5%).Elsewhere, Dutch airline KLM’s €2.8bn scheme for cabin staff generated a 10% return during the year but lost 1% in the fourth quarter, resulting in funding level of 105.7%.last_img read more

Stenson Beats Mickelson to Win at Royal Troon

first_imgHenrik Stenson carded a joint record eight-under-par 63 yesterday to win The Open by three shots after an enthralling final-round tussle with Phil Mickelson.The Swede, 40, birdied four of his final five holes to win his first major with an Open Championship record score of 20 under par at Royal Troon.Mickelson, 46, had an eagle and four birdies in a 65, while fellow American JB Holmes (69) was third on six under.They finished on the same mark as Spain’s Sergio Garcia (69), and one behind American Steve Stricker (69).Like McIlroy, Jordan Spieth saved his best round of the week for Sunday, the American’s 68 lifting him to two over.Crowd favourite Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston got to seven under before the 27-year-old Londoner faded to a final-day 73 and eighth on three under.Defending champion Zach Johnson (71) ended one under, alongside English duo Andy Sullivan and Matt Southgate, the Essex golfer who conquered testicular cancer.England’s Masters champion Danny Willett closed with a level-par 71 for seven over.Stenson becomes the first Scandinavian golfer to win a major with victory at Royal TroonHis 20-under total eclipsed Tiger Woods’ 19-under-par record total in winning The Open at St Andrews in 2000.The Swede’s 63 also beats two-time Open champion Greg Norman’s 64 at Royal St George’s in 1993 as the lowest final round by a champion, while his aggregate score of 264 beat the Australian’s four-round total of 267, set the same year.Stenson becomes the fourth man over 40 to win the Claret Jug in the last six years – following Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke (Sandwich, 2011), Ernie Els (Lytham, 2012) and Mickelson (Muirfield, 2013).The pairing of Stenson and Mickelson over the final 36 holes drew an obvious comparison with the 1977 Open on this same stretch of Ayrshire coast, when Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus fought their famous ‘Duel in the Sun’ over a red-hot two days at neighbouring Turnberry.At Royal Troon, Stenson began the day a shot ahead on 12 under, only to lose the lead by the end of the first hole, as he bogeyed and Mickelson birdied.Stenson responded by knocking in five birdies in his next seven holes to edge one clear of Mickelson who managed one birdie and eagle.They were level again when Stenson bogeyed the 11th but he was back in front with a birdie on the 14th and went two clear for first time when he rolled in a 45-foot putt across the 15th green.A third successive birdie on the 16th was matched by Mickelson and the American then rolled in an excellent par-saving putt on the 17th to stay two adrift going down the last.But the five-time major winner left his approach to the 18th 30 feet short of the cup while Stenson fired to 15 feet and rolled in to match the 63 Mickelson opened with on Thursday.The left-hander, who finished third the last time The Open was staged at Royal Troon in 2004, dropped just four shots in his four rounds and his 17-under total would have have won 140 of the previous 144 Championships.“I played well enough to win by a number of strokes and got beat,” said Mickelson who has now finished runner-up in a major on 11 occasions.“I’m happy with the way I played, but disappointed it wasn’t enough. I played a bogey-free round and shot 65 in the final round of a major, usually that’s good enough to do it. And I got beat.”World number four McIlroy started his final-day charge with a birdie at the second – and picked up three more, at the fifth, sixth and ninth holes.But a wayward drive down the right, which lead to a hack out of gorse, at the hardest hole of the week, the 11th, brought him his first bogey and another followed at the 12th. Birdies at the 13th and 17th holes saw him get back to four under.“I was hoping to play that back nine under par at least one day this week, but it was not quite to be,” said McIlroy.“If I could take anything back it would be the first nine holes on Saturday, but I’ve done pretty well, considering everything.”Spieth, 22, started the day on five over, 17 shots off the pace and the highlight of his round was an eagle three on the par-five fifth.“I’m going to spin it however I can,” said the two-time major winner. “In the half of the field we were in, what looks like a top-30 finish is a real positive.”Englishmen Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and David Howell all ended their weeks with sub-par rounds to create a trio on one over for the Championship.Westwood had four birdies in his front-nine 32 on the way to a three-under 68, while his former Ryder Cup team-mate Howell had just one bogey and two birdies in a 70 that was matched by Rose, whose three birdies were soured by bogeys at 5 and 15.Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie was the first player out on the course on Sundaymorning and he closed what he hopes will not be his final Open appearance with a five-over 76 to finish on 17 over.Wales’ Jamie Donaldson had a quadruple-bogey eight on the par-four 12th in an eight-over 79 and 13 over total.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more