Monday, July 25, 2016 - 01:42 • Will Yeates
Whitehall and Downing Street signs

The UK’s largest pension company will call on the government to discuss legislative backing for clean energy investment later this year.

The University Superannuation Scheme’s (USS) co-head of responsible investment, David Russell, confirmed to DeSmog UK that it will be, through the Institutional Investors’ Group on Climate Change, “pursuing a meeting with new ministers after the summer recess to discuss legislative backing for clean energy investment.”

USS’s push for a more clean energy investment-friendly policy environment falls within its remit of “delivering the best retirement savings solutions for employers and members,” Russell added.

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Friday, July 22, 2016 - 04:46 • Kyla Mandel
Christopher Monckton giving a speech
Christopher Monckton giving a speech

The climate science denying Independent Committee on Geoethics (ICG) is continuing to associate its September “New Dawn of Truth” conference with the University College London (UCL) despite organisers no longer having a venue for the event, DeSmog UK has learned.

DeSmog UK understands that the ICG’s climate denial conference was originally advertised as being hosted by the University after a visiting professor was asked to book a room for an external event.

But as soon as the visiting professor was made aware of the content of the conference by their head of department, they cancelled the booking as they did not want to be associated with ICG's climate science denial and decided that it would be inappropriate for the conference to be hosted at UCL.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 00:01 • Victoria Seabrook
Windmills in the fog
Windmills in the fog

In the run up to the EU referendum, environmentalists issued gloomy warnings about the UK’s approach to tackling climate change should it choose to leave.

The days after the referendum saw a ruthless shake-up of the cabinet, with the new Prime Minister Theresa May scrapping the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), ousting major players and appointing new cabinet ministers to key departments including the Treasury, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the all-new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

But what climate change regulation will we have left once the dust has settled?

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Lord Deben speaking in the House of Lords
Lord Deben speaking in the House of Lords

In the span of just six minutes the government’s independent climate change advisor Lord Deben swiftly and eloquently burst the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s climate science denial bubble.

Speaking in the House of Lords on the UK’s fifth carbon budget last night, Deben dealt a decisive debunking of Lord Lawson and Matt Ridley’s claims that the country’s Climate Change Act – and the carbon budgets set under it – is a case of “economic” and “manifest self-harm”.

The GWPF has been doubling-down in its effort to call for the scrapping of the 2008 Climate Change Act ever since the Brexit vote to leave the European Union last month. But it doesn’t seem to be going very well.

First, they failed in their attempt to criticise the Paris Agreement when they couldn't figure out how to open the correct PDF, and now this scathing shut-down from Lord Deben.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 08:16 • Guest
Fracking protest against Ineos
Fracking protest against Ineos

It will become a defining battle of our times. A Brexit-supporting billionaire, who until recently lived as a tax-exile in Switzerland, versus the people of Britain, writes Andy Rowell at Oil Change International. And the battle will be over fracking.

Just as the shale industry has transformed the energy landscape of America, Jim Ratcliffe, who controls the $50 billion petrochemical giant, Ineos, is hoping he can do the same in the UK. And he is pouring millions of pounds into making it happen.

Whereas other fracking companies, such as Cuadrilla and Third Energy, have made the initial headlines with planning applications to frack in Lancashire and North Yorkshire respectively; Ineos has acquired the rights to frack over one million acres of land, mainly in Cheshire, the north Midlands and North Yorkshire.

And now it has been revealed that the company aims to lodge as many as 30 planning applications within the next six months. And that would just be the start.

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Friday, July 15, 2016 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Front Door of Number 10 Downing Street
Front Door of Number 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Theresa May has been in office for less than two days and already the impacts of the Brexit climate denier connection are being felt.

The Cabinet reshuffle dealt a series of surprises, from Boris Johnson becoming Foreign Secretary to the offices of the now former Department for Energy and Climate Change set to be occupied by the new ‘Brexit Department’.

One thing that remained consistent, however, was the presence of the close-knit 55 Tufton Street network of neoliberal think tanks and climate science deniers.

To highlight these changes, DeSmog UK has expanded its ‘Brexit climate denier’ map to include new connections which have come to light since the 23 June vote to leave the European Union.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 04:11 • Will Yeates
EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee meeting
EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee meeting

UK energy and climate policy could be more susceptible to industry lobbying and a lack of investor confidence should it leave EU energy market and state aid rules, experts told the EU Energy and Environment sub-committee meeting on the impacts of Brexit on energy and climate policy this week.

Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, Michael Grubb, professor of International Energy and Climate Change at UCL, outlined the consequences of a ‘full Brexit’, including leaving EU State aid rules. These rules generally prohibit any form of support by a government that might allow a company to gain an advantage on a competitor.

If the UK is no longer subject to the EU’s state aid rules then this could present new opportunities for lobbyists, Grubb explained.

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Monday, July 11, 2016 - 00:01 • Kyla Mandel
Michael Hintze next to UK and EU flags
Michael Hintze next to UK and EU flags

A significant financial boost was given to the Vote Leave campaign by climate science denial and Tory Party funder Michael Hintze the day before Britain headed to the polls to vote in the EU Referendum.

The Australian hedge fund manager donated £100,000 to the Vote Leave campaign group on 22 June, according to the most recent Electoral Commission July update.

On 23 June, the country successfully voted 52 to 48 percent for the UK to leave the European Union.

This was the first donation made by Hintze to the Vote Leave campaign group. But as DeSmog UK revealed last month, Hintze forms part of the close-knit ‘Brexit climate denier’ network operating out of 55 Tufton Street – his donation therefore serves to further entrench this connection.

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