Kyla Mandel

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Kyla Mandel is Editor of DeSmog UK.

Kyla began working with DeSmog UK as deputy editor in November 2014 shortly after the project launched. During this time, she has broken numerous stories on energy policy, including one on the Koch Brothers’ European lobbying efforts. In March 2015 she was appointed DeSmog UK’s Editor.

She has also covered international climate science denial efforts in Rome and Washington D.C., and joined DeSmog’s reporting team in December 2015 at the Paris COP21 climate conference.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Kyla has been living in London for the past several years working for titles such as Green Futures Magazine, EnergyDesk and most recently The ENDS Report. Her work has also appeared on Forbes Online and The Guardian’s Sustainable Business channel.

Past research has also involved extensive content analysis examining British media coverage on shale gas exploration and investigating events involving police brutality on the McGill University campus in Montreal during the 2012 province-wide student tuition protests.

Kyla moved to the UK to pursue a master’s in journalism at the London College of Communication.  Bilingual in French and English, she has also lived in the US and Germany. Combined with a BA joint-honours degree in history, political science and environmental studies from McGill, she has a strong grasp on the dynamics between environmental issues and international politics.

Monckton’s Independent Committee on Geoethics’ Climate Science Denial Conference ‘Will Not Take Place at UCL’

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.

Lord Deben Busts Ridley and Lawson’s Climate Science Denial in an Epic Post-Brexit Speech

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.

The Koch and Exxon Funded Think Tanks Supporting, and Being Courted by, Britain’s Brexit Campaigners

Owen Paterson speaking at the Heritage Foundation

The Republican National Convention kicks off this week in Cleveland, Ohio and among the crowd clamouring to see Donald Trump will be one man who crossed the Atlantic to be there: Nigel Farage.

The former head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) helped lead Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) and is famous for saying last year “I haven’t got a clue whether climate change is being driven by carbon-dioxide emissions.”

But he’s made the trip this week to deliver a message to Republicans that the UK’s vote to leave the EU, or ‘Brexit’, holds lessons for America.

UPDATED: The Brexit Climate Deniers’ Network Expands With Theresa May's Cabinet Reshuffle

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.

Climate Denial Funder Michael Hintze Gave £100K to Vote Leave Campaign Day Before Brexit Vote

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.

Tory Leadership Race: The UKIP-ers and Climate Deniers Backing Gove and Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom speaking at a KPMG panel discussion

Whoever becomes Britain’s next prime minister will be tasked with many critical energy and climate policy decisions – from ratifying the Paris Agreement to phasing out coal.

Currently, in a surprise to many, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom is among the top three contenders along with Home Secretary Theresa May and Justice Secretary Michael Gove.

And perhaps one interesting indicator for how each candidate might approach energy and climate decisions as prime minister is to look at the those declaring their support for each of these individuals.

So, from Lord Lawson and Owen Paterson to Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd, who’s backing the top Tory leadership contenders?

Druridge Bay Coal Mine Plans ‘Undermine’ UK’s Coal Phase Out Target, Warns Labour Shadow Climate Secretary

Save Druridge Bay community banner

A new opencast coal mine at Druridge Bay, Northumberland, set to be approved on Tuesday will undermine the government’s plans to phase out unabated coal by 2025 warns newly appointed Labour Shadow Energy and Climate Secretary Barry Gardiner.

In a letter to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, seen by DeSmog UK, Gardiner asks that the planning decision be called in and resolved by central government as it “presents a concrete challenge to a cornerstone policy announcement made by the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change [DECC] last autumn.”

Should the Highthorn opencast mine be approved, this would see three million tonnes of coal extracted up to 2027. And with funding to carbon capture and storage cut last November, it’s unlikely any of this would be abated.

What Do Brexit Campaign Groups Have to Say on Energy and Climate Change Policy?

Boris Johnson

Many are trying to answer the question of what the UK’s energy and climate change policy might look like if we leave the EU. So, what do those behind the Brexit campaign have to say on this subject?

As it turns out, there appear to be only two relatively clear strategies on energy and climate policy put forward by the groups campaigning to leave the EU.

One of these was published in August 2014 by Business for Britain. However, this document has since quietly disappeared from the group’s website.

Meanwhile, the scenario proposed by Fresh Start, a group of about 100 Eurosceptic MPs, was published in 2012.

DECC Delays Release of Any Information on the CCC’s Independent Fracking and Climate Change Report

Fracking drilling rig hidden behind bushes

Suspicions and frustration are growing as the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) continues to delay the release of any information regarding the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) independent report on fracking and climate change.

Responding to a freedom of information request from shadow Labour climate minister Barry Gardiner on 16 June, DECC said they must extend the normal deadline 40 more days before releasing correspondence between DECC and the CCC about the report due to the “complexity and volume of the information requested”.

This follows previous requests by Gardiner last month for details on when the report will be released, to which DECC minister Andrea Leadsom replied on 25 May that the government is “considering the report and will lay it before Parliament with our response in due course.”

UK Banks Financing Fossil Fuels to the Tune of £115 Billion Over Last Three Years

The sun sets on a fossil fuel power plant

British banks have given more than £115 billion to support fossil fuel projects around the world over the last three years, according to new analysis of North American and European banks’ financing practices.

The report by the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, the Sierra Club and Oil Change International shows that in the UK, Barclays takes the lead with £47.8bn invested in coal, extreme oil (Arctic, tar sands, and ultra-deepwater), and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports between 2013 and 2015.

It’s followed by HSBC (£36bn), the Royal Bank of Scotland (£25bn) and Santander (£6.9bn).

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