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WEEKLY MARKET ROUND-UP – 05/07/21

UK car production still on road to recovery

The number of cars produced in the UK rose significantly in May, up a whopping 934% compared with the previous year. Even so, UK production levels are still 52.6% below the pre-pandemic levels while the industry faces a number of ongoing challenges including the global shortage of semi-conductor chips.

Asian coal plants uneconomical and risk climate targets

Plans by five Asian countries to build around 600 new coal-based power plants in the coming years could waste around $150bn and endanger global climate targets.

Carbon Tracker’s latest report Do Not Revive Coal notes China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are responsible for 80% of the world’s planned new coal plants, with these same countries already operating nearly three-quarters of the current global coal fleet, despite the availability of renewable alternatives.

However, the report warned 92% of these planned projects would be uneconomical, wasting taxpayer money and requiring some form of subsidy or policy support. In addition, it claimed around 27% of existing capacity is already unprofitable and another 30% is close to breakeven.

Catharina Hillenbrand Von Der Neyen, Carbon Tracker’s head of power & utilities, warned: “Coal no longer makes sense financially or environmentally. These last bastions of coal power are swimming against the tide, when renewables offer a cheaper solution that supports global climate targets.”

Credit: Kleineolive/ wikimedia.org

United Airlines confirms $30bn plane order

US airline United Airlines confirmed on Tuesday (29 June) that it had ordered 270 new Boeing and Airbus aeroplanes as it expects a resurgence in air travel.

The $30bn order is the largest in its history and the largest by a single airline carrier in more than a decade. The deal aims to increase the number of seats per departure and lower carbon emissions per seat while offering an improved customer experience.

The 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8, 150 Boeing 737 MAX 10 and 70 Airbus A321neo, will come into use over the next few years while United Airlines plans to retrofit and upgrade all of its remaining narrow-body fleet to the same standard by 2025.

The company said the move would “accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel” adding that it also underscored the “critical role” the company plays in supporting the broader US economy in terms of job creation, traveller spending and commerce.

Credit: Raimond Spekking