Monday, December 11, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope and Ky...
DeSmog UK climate disinformation database

This person has been in the press a lot but says some weird things about climate science – who are they, and what are their credentials?

This group seems very keen on fossil fuels, but their research looks legit – who are they, and who are they connected to?

This ‘global warming policy’ think tank is asking for a meeting, but I’ve never heard of them – who are they, and what is their agenda?

DeSmog UK’s Climate Disinformation Database, launched today, is a quick and easy tool for the public, policymakers, researchers, and journalists to check who they’re dealing with on climate science and policy.

Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
Ridley speaks at IFT Global Trade Summit

Brexit cheerleader Daniel Hannan has been busy since last June’s referendum set the clock ticking on his current job as a Member of the European Parliament.

His latest venture is the Institute for Free Trade, a “private, not-for-profit, non-partisan research foundation”, launched at the Foreign Office no less. The group “sees Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union as a unique opportunity to revitalise the world trading system” – a somewhat optimistic outlook that goes against the grain of what most experts expect.

The IFT’s inaugural Global Trade Summit, held in the heart of London in October, brought together prominent government ministers, lobbyists, free market idealogues, and climate science deniers from both sides of the pond.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
UK government advisors meet with the Cato Institute

Two of Prime Minister Theresa May’s special advisers met with a libertarian US think tank founded by climate science denial funder Charles Koch last winter, but Number 10 Downing Street will not say why.

The failure to disclose the details of the meetings with the Cato Institute raises questions about whether there is a loophole regarding disclosures under the Freedom of Information Act.

DeSmog UK can reveal that on February 16 special advisors Chris Brannigan and Jimmy McLoughlin attended a lunch hosted at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. According to the think tank, trade issues were discussed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Hull City of Culture

New documents detail how oil major BP worked with staff from the University of Hull and the Hull City of Culture, which coordinates cultural events in Hull, to limit the amount of criticism BP would receive in response to its sponsored lectures at the university.

The oil major has received criticism over the years for its attempts to greenwash its image through sponsoring art exhibits and other cultural events. The emails released under the Freedom of Information Act to campaign group Culture Unstained, and seen by DeSmog UK, now show attempts by BP, the University and the City of Culture to coordinate how they would handle activists or “awkward questions”.

Over the past year, BP has sponsored a “Cultural Visions” lecture series which hosted artists and cultural figures at the University of Hull. This news comes as the final lecture in the series is held on Wednesday December 13 with speaker Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
John Constable of GWPF

A leading lobbyist for a climate science denial campaign group has unfettered access to UK lawmakers by being registered as a “staff” member of an associated Lord, but does not declare his role in the official register of interest.

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Owen Paterson, Myron Ebell, and Jim Inhofe all meet in D.C.

Former environment secretary Owen Paterson made the rounds with some of the top climate science deniers on a tour of the US this autumn to promote a “special relationship” post-Brexit.

The Shropshire MP travelled to Washington D.C. in October, DeSmog UK can reveal, where he met with infamous climate science deniers Lamar Smith, James Inhofe, and Myron Ebell. He also gave speeches at both the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Heritage Foundation – two libertarian think tanks known for promoting climate science denial and working against environmental regulations.

Paterson’s visits are the latest in a string of meetings between pro-Brexit UK politicians (such as international trade secretary Liam Fox) and US climate science denial groups.

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 07:01 • Guest
Smoke stack

Shareholder intervention has helped to produce Shell’s green plan, a way to cut the energy giant’s climate impact. But questions remain, writes Mitchell Beer for The Energy Mix.

A leading producer of fossil fuels, which last month announced its intention to reduce its contribution to the global warming stoked by society’s prodigal consumption of its products, may now be feeling a little crestfallen. Shell’s green plan leaves some critics saying the group’s figures don’t add up very impressively.

Royal Dutch Shell pledged last month to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2035 and 50 percent by 2050, while investing US$1-2 billion per year in renewables, and electric vehicles between 2018 and 2020. 

The group said its announcement was a response to shareholder pressure and the targets in the Paris Agreement on cutting emissions. 

Tackling climate change is a cross-generational, global, and multi-faceted effort,” said CEO Ben van Beurden. “This is a challenge for the whole planet, for all of society, for customers, for governments, and indeed for businesses.

It will mean meeting increasing energy demand with an ever-lower carbon footprint. And it is critical that our ambition covers the full energy life cycle, from production to consumption. We are committed to play our part.’’

The announcement earned measured praise from environmental groups, and van Beurden said the commitment was just a first step.

But the cash infusion to Shell’s new energies division was still well below 10 percent of the company’s total annual investment, and the phrasing of the GHG promise suggested an intensity-based target – which would mean the 20 and 50 percent reductions will be calculated on fossil production levels that Shell will expect to increase year after year.

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 18:04 • Graham Readfearn
Ian Plimer

Australians have been keeping the London-based climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) busy in recent weeks.

After former Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave the group’s annual lecture in October, it was the turn of one of Australia’s longest-serving deniers to empty another bucket of bunkum.

Professor Ian Plimer, an Australian director of multiple mining companies, is featured in a new interview with the GWPF to promote his latest subtly titled denial tome: Climate Change Delusion and the Great Energy Rip-off.

When it comes to climate change science, Plimer can be placed very firmly in the file marked “denial.”

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