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.

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).

Norwegian Oil Giant Statoil is Sponsoring a New UK Science Museum Gallery for Kids

Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery at the Science Museum

The Science Museum will be launching a new ‘Wonderlab’ gallery in October sponsored by Norwegian oil giant Statoil.

The interactive gallery is targeted towards children between the ages of seven and 14 and aims to “inspire visitors… to wonder at the science and mathematics that shape the world around us.”

Campaigners, however, question whether Statoil is an appropriate sponsor for such an exhibit – this isn’t the first time the Science Museum has had an exhibit sponsored by an oil company.

Mapped: The Cosy Climate-Euro Sceptic Bubble Pushing for Brexit and Less Climate Action

Mapped: The Cosy Climate-Euro Sceptic Bubble Pushing for Brexit and Less Climate Action

There is a deep-rooted connection between UK climate science deniers and those campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, new mapping by DeSmogUK can reveal.

Tying together this close-knit network reveals how organisations residing behind the doors of Westminter's 55 Tufton Street share many of the same members and donors.

And the reach of this small group of Brexit climate deniers extends beyond this Westminster building to include prominent politicians such as former London Mayor Boris Johnson, Justice Secretary Michael Gove, and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom as well as traditional British media outlets.

Perhaps the epitome of this nexus between climate science deniers and Brexit campaigners came last week when former environment secretary Owen Paterson delivered a speech at this very same address.

Revealed: The Brussels Breakfast Lobby Group Exxon and BP Don’t Want You To Know They’re Part Of

Few people will have heard of AMISA2. And if you have, it's probably only because you're part of it.

The shadowy and little-known Brussels organisation doesn’t even have a website, yet it boasts the likes of Airbus, Google and Michelin as members.  Most corporations paying annual fees don’t declare they take part in the monthly “breakfast debates” that AMISA2 organises.

For 20 years the organisation has led a quiet existence, offering its select group of 18 corporate members direct access to EU decision-makers.

Among them are oil giants ExxonMobil, BP, and Total according to a June 2016 members list provided to DeSmog UK by AMISA2 president Georg Brodach.

UK Coal Industry Admits ‘Crisis’, Tells Government Coal Can Help Transition to Renewable Energy

UK coal companies have told key members of the UK Government that its industry is “currently in crisis” and that a policy that puts a rising price on carbon pollution was already forcing closures in its industry.

The admissions come in the minutes of the UK Coal Forum’s February meeting, quietly published a few days ago, where Department for Energy and Climate Change Minister of State Andrea Leadsom and Joanna Wain, policy adviser for energy and climate change tax at the Treasury, met with key coal and steel industry figures.

The minutes show that industry representatives criticised the carbon price floor and the government’s announcement to phase-out unabated coal by 2025, arguing that neither of these initiatives would help decarbonise the economy.

European Renewable Energy Investment Drops to Lowest Point in Nearly a Decade

Europe is losing its status as a renewable energy leader as investment in clean energy plummeted 21 percent in the region last year to $48.8 billion – the lowest total since 2006.

Globally, investment in renewable energy soared to a record $328.9bn in 2015, according to a new study released by REN21, an international coalition of governments, renewable energy trade associations, and financial institutions including the International Energy Agency and the World Bank.

Overall, however, investment in developed countries declined 8 percent last year to $130bn, with Europe seeing the most significant decrease as investment dropped $13.2bn between 2014 and 2015.

What Does the G7 Pledge to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies Mean for the UK?

How do you successfully phase out fossil fuel subsidies in less than 10 years? The first step would be identifying what a subsidy actually is.

And if you’re the British Government, you might be patting yourself on the back for a job well done because according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) “the UK has no fossil fuel subsidies.”

So it seems that when the G7 nations committed to the “elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025 at the summit in Japan last week, the UK had already achieved this goal.

Interview: Shell Must be ‘Held Accountable to the Future Now’ Says Indigenous Delegate from the Gulf of Mexico

It is time that Shell be held accountable for the damages it has done on our communities and environment,” says Monique Verdin, an indigenous resident of the Louisiana coast and member-elect of the United Houma Nation Council.

Verdin has travelled to the Netherlands to speak out on behalf of the coastal community against Shell’s offshore drilling at the oil giant’s annual general meeting (AGM) today.

The AGM comes less than two weeks after Shell spilled more than 88,000 gallons of oil from a group of four underwater oil wells located some 97 miles south of Port Fourchon in Louisiana and creating a 13 mile-wide slick on the water’s surface.