Coal to rival oil as dominant energy source by 2017: IEA
Coal will nearly overtake oil as the dominant energy source by 2017, and only a drop in world gas prices could curb the use of the dirtier fossil fuel in the absence of high carbon prices, the International Energy Agency said. The IEA said earlier this year that without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change. China will use more coal than the rest of the world put together, while India will overtake the US as the world’s second-largest consumer and become the biggest global importer, the Paris-based IEA forecast in its annual Medium-Term Coal Market Report, released on Tuesday. “Coal’s share of the global energy mix continues to grow each year, and if no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade,” IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement.
US fines Toyota $17 m for delayed safety reports
The US government has hit Toyota Motor with a record $17.4-million fine for failing once again to quickly report problems to federal regulators and for delaying a safety recall. The fine against the world’s biggest automaker from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that monitors vehicle safety, is the maximum allowed by law. It’s the fourth fine levied against Toyota in the past two years for similar infractions, and it's the largest single fine ever assessed against a car company over safety defects. In 2010, Toyota paid a total of $48.8 million in fines for three violations.
Cerberus to sell stake in gunmaker after Newtown
US private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is selling its investment in gunmaker Freedom Group, whose AR 15 rifle was used in a US school massacre last week, following pressure from a major investor. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) said on Monday it was reviewing its investment with Cerberus in the wake of Friday's shooting in Newtown, Connecticut which claimed 27 lives, including 20 school children. CalSTRS, the second largest pension fund