Monday, January 16, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
US-UK Climate Science Denier Network

On Friday, 20 January, fossil fuel lobbyists and climate science deniers from both sides of the Atlantic will step out of the shadows and into the White House as Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

DeSmog UK has mapped this new US-UK climate science denier network, held together in large part by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, to shed light on this growing group of influencers. 

Since November, the president-elect has been gathering his team together; the men that will form the top positions of influence and decision making within his government.

Rather than ‘draining the swamp’, Trump has chosen to surround himself with the same actors who have long been pushing climate misinformation and lobbying against environmental protection.

Front and centre are individuals linked to well known funders of climate science denial, the Kochs, the Mercers, and the Heritage Foundation. And as our new map shows, this isn’t limited to the United States.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Big Ben
Big Ben

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a new website is being launched in Britain inspired by the rise of far right, climate science denying American sites the Drudge Report and Breitbart.

As the BBC’s new “fake news” watch team reported, the website, Westmonster, is being launched by UKIP’s millionaire backer Arron Banks who funded the Leave.EU campaign for Brexit and Nigel Farage’s former press adviser, the 27-year-old Michael Heaver.

Westmonster describes itself as “Pro-Brexit, pro-Farage, pro-Trump. Anti-establishment, anti-open borders, anti-corporatism.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
Donald Trump. Credit: Jamelle Bouie | Flickr
Donald Trump. Credit: Jamelle Bouie | Flickr

President-elect Trump’s new cabinet is full of people in the pocket of fossil fuel interests, who are set to bring their climate denial agenda to the White House. That was the core message of a Channel 4 documentary last night.

The Dispatches team travelled to the United States to investigate the controversial figures surrounding Trump in the lead up to his inauguration later this week.

And with the entire world watching Washington, these characters and controversies are no longer contained to the United States. Their actions will have international impact, and given Britain’s special relationship with America, it’s time to start taking a closer look at what’s going on Stateside.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 06:38 • Mat Hope
Alberta tar sands
Alberta tar sands

EU lawmakers today voted for the European Parliament to push ahead with a trade deal that could encourage Canadian tar sand oil imports and make it easier for energy companies to sue governments when environmental policies threaten their profits.

The UK’s international trade minister, Liam Fox, last year circumvented parliament to approve the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. The deal now has to be approved by European policymakers.

MEPs in the committee charged with overseeing environmental regulation today voted 40 to 24 for the European Parliament to back the deal, Reuters reports. A final decision is expected in February.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 02:54 • Mat Hope
UK climate minister Nick Hurd speaking to the BEIS select committee
UK climate minister Nick Hurd speaking to the BEIS select committee

The UK’s decision to leave the EU and the spectre of Donald Trump’s presidency will not stop the government delivering its emissions reduction plans, climate minister Nick Hurd today told MPs.

Speaking to the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee, he said the current political climate meant ministers would have to make many difficult policy decisions. But he maintained that the UK’s climate goals, entrenched in the Climate Change Act, remained unchanged.

Brexit is a complication in the sense that we’ve got issues to think through”, he said. These include whether the UK continues to negotiate as part of a European bloc in future negotiations, whether it continues with the EU’s struggling emissions trading scheme, and how the UK participates in a unified European energy market.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 00:00 • Christine Ottery
North sea oil rig
North sea oil rig

The recently culled Department of Energy and Climate Change was actively helping the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to achieve its seismic testing aims to increase oil extraction, according to new documents uncovered by DeSmog UK.

The cache of documents obtained through a freedom of information request reveal DECC – which has now been absorbed into the new Department Of Business, Energy and Industrial strategy – was actively involved in getting permits approved in time for seismic testing for oil and gas off the coast of Scotland and northeast England last autumn.

Seismic testing, which involves shooting air from an array of guns under water, is a way of surveying the geology of land under the sea and a precursor to oil exploration.

Monday, January 9, 2017 - 06:12 • Mat Hope
Petrol pumps
Petrol pumps

The government has pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and make clean transport a pillar of its climate action agenda. But new research shows that the UK has actually increased subsidies for petrol since 2003.

The transport sector is responsible for around 23 percent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Experts from the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change say that In order to meet the UK's 2050 climate change targets, 60 percent of new cars and vans need to be electric by 2030.

To make electric cars a viable proposition, the government needs to find ways to support the technology while cutting any additional help to fossil fuel powered cars, defying lobbying from big oil companies such as ExxonMobil.

Sunday, January 8, 2017 - 23:59 • Graham Readfearn

Fraser Nelson is the editor of the flagship conservative publication, The Spectator, and he’s not all that happy when scientists complain to the UK’s press “regulator” about articles printed in his magazine.

It’s odd that, in a nation which cherishes free speech, so many of those who disagree with articles feel the need to report an author to a regulator rather than write in and argue their own case,” Fraser told The Guardian.

Fraser was responding to scathing criticisms made by several scientists about an article he’d printed in April 2016 that unfairly disparaged the science of ocean acidification.

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