Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
Kinder Morgan HQ

UK financial giants HSBC, Barclays, and Aviva all have significant financial stakes in the company behind a controversial tar sands oil pipeline approved by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week, new analysis reveals.

Financial data seen by DeSmog UK shows HSBC holds almost $118 million (£93.7m) worth of shares in Kinder Morgan, which owns the recently approved Trans Mountain pipeline.

Barclays’ shares are worth around $48 million (£38m), and Aviva holds $27 million (£21.4m) worth of stock.

Tar sands pipelines are bad news for indigenous communities and the climate, but they can be big business for investors based thousands of miles away from the environmental destruction they bring.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Daniel Hannan
Daniel Hannan

Spoiled millennials” and “global regulation” imposed by NGOs stand in the way of agreeing a bilateral US-UK trade deal, Brexit campaigner and climate science denier MEP Daniel Hannan told US think tank the Heritage Foundation this week.  Otherwise it would “take only five minutes” to agree and be done in “less than 500 words”, he claimed.

The neocon Heritage Foundation is known for opposing climate action and environmental regulations, and increasingly finds itself at the centre of president-elect Donald Trump's transition team. It has also long courted top Brexit campaigners.

Speaking at the think tank’s offices in Washington D.C., Hannan, a Conservative Party Member of the European Parliament, told the audience “If it’s good enough on your side of the Atlantic it’s good enough on ours”,  adding that “in reality of course the deal is unlikely to be done just by Heritage and me”, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Our state machines will get their hands into it and they of course will try to make it about everything except trade. They’ll make it about ecological standards, and women’s rights, and child labour, and everything except the free exchange of goods and services, and that’s what opens the door to the corporate capture”, he said.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 01:19 • Mat Hope
Electricity pylons in Shepway district, UK
Electricity pylons in Shepway district, UK

Diesel generators could make millions from subsidies and tax breaks, despite the government’s commitment to decarbonising the UK’s energy system.

The government handed out £176 million in subsidies to dirty small power generators over the past year through the capacity market scheme, according to a report released today by think tank InfluenceMap. Much of this went to diesel generators and inefficient gas plants.

These generators are set to receive even more funding when the government announces details of the latest round of hand-outs later this week.

This is despite the government’s pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 14:50 • Mat Hope
Coal power plant by a canal
Coal power plant by a canal

Many hoped the EU’s mammoth new energy regulations would crack down on dirty coal. Instead, the European Commission bowed to industry pressure and offered the world’s dirtiest power source a lifeline.

And Brexit means the UK could end up offering even more fossil fuel subsidies than its neighbours.

The commission on Wednesday released its 1000-page vision for the region’s energy system, known as the energy package.

Among the many new clauses and directives was the revelation that governments could continue to subsidise coal power for a further eight years through capacity mechanism schemes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 00:01 • Guest
Lancashire Fracking Opposition Sign
Lancashire Fracking Opposition Sign

Controversial links made by the police between anti-fracking campaigners and domestic extremism are coming under scrutiny and challenge. Ruth Hayhurst of DrillOrDrop investigates.

In the past month, a policing monitoring group, a peer and two opponents of shale gas operations have called for greater care and openness in the use of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent.

Over the past year, evidence has emerged of connections made by police between anti-fracking campaigns and radicalisation. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 05:58 • Graham Readfearn

The most popular climate change story across social media in the past six months used a debunked survey from the late 1990s to claim that “tens of thousands of scientists” had declared global warming a “hoax”, a DeSmog analysis has found.

Published on YourNewsWire, the story was shared, clicked or “liked” 557,000 times on social media, with 555,000 of those engagements from Facebook. The story's author worked for many years with UK conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Monday, November 28, 2016 - 03:00 • Will Yeates
Traffic contributes to air pollution in London
Traffic contributes to air pollution in London

Local authorities are unlikely to be able to tackle air pollution due to government cutbacks, as London continues to struggle to implement air quality controls.

Speaking at an event organized by the student-led Kings thinktank last week, IPPR research fellow Laurie Laybourn-Langton claimed “local authorities don’t have the money” to address air quality issues, as government has “hollowed out the middles of these organisations, leaving them without time and space to act”.

Monday, November 28, 2016 - 00:03 • Antoaneta Roussi
Activists in the British Museum protesting against BP sponsorship
Activists in the British Museum protesting against BP sponsorship

Oil giant BP has been criticized for its commitment to continuing exploitation of high carbon fossil fuels, keeping the world on a path to more warming and other impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels.

So it’s somewhat ironic that they are also sponsoring an exhibition about cities subsumed by rising seas.

This weekend, 40 self-styled “actor-vists” from theatrical group BP or not BP gathered in the British Museum’s Great Hall to highlight the hypocrisy.

BP is currently sponsoring an exhibition titled “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds.”