Guest's blog

Op-Ed: Glacial Progress at Bonn Climate Talks Shows Why we Need to Exclude Big Polluters From Negotiations

Bonn climate talks

When it comes to the fossil fuel industry participating in UN climate negotiations, it’s clear there is a conflict of interest – and demands for this to end are nothing new. But after fierce resistance to this idea during talks in Bonn last week from the EU, US and Australia, more needs to be done, argues Pascoe Sabido of Corporate Europe Observatory. With just six months to go before November’s COP23 climate negotiations, calls for big polluters to be excluded from the talks are growing.

Last May at the same ‘intersessional’ climate talks in Bonn, a group of countries representing more than 70 percent of the world's population insisted on adding a conflict of interest provision in the negotiating text. It almost made it, were it not for an underhand move by the European Union and the USA which saw it removed.

Pulling the strings behind such moves: the world’s largest fossil fuel companies.

What Does the Future Hold for UK-EU Energy Cooperation After Brexit?

power cables

The UK and EU will have much to discuss when it comes to country's future participation in the regional energy market. Strong cooperation makes sense for both sides, argues Antony Froggatt, senior research fellow for Chatham House, and co-author of a new report on energy policy after Brexit.

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) after 43 years of membership will fundamentally reshape the UK’s relations with the EU27, and negotiations are likely to be lengthy and complex. However, energy policy is one area where it may be politically easier to find common ground. 

Given the amount of existing energy trade between the UK and the EU, particularly for electricity, and further plans for decarbonisation and more interconnection across the European continent, it would be unrealistic to remove the UK completely from the EU energy market. If successful, a strong UK-EU27 energy cooperation could pave the way for a new partnership model for the EU, the UK and their neighbours.

French President Macron Has to Tackle Trump Over Climate Change

Emmanuel Macron

France's newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, promised to be a climate leader during his campaign. To fulfil that pledge, he must use his new status to persuade the United States to stay in the Paris Agreement, Andy Rowell writes for Oil Change International.

Donald Trump was quick to take to Twitter to congratulate the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron on his resounding victory against the far-right, Marine Le Pen, in the French presidential race.

On Monday, Trump said: “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!”

As usual with Trump, the tweet is a U-turn from his previous position which was qualified support for the far-right Le Pen. There is no doubt that Trump wanted Le Pen to win.

Clean Energy VS Clean Seabed: Should Oil and Gas Companies Have to Leave the North Sea as They Found It?

north sea oil rig

Op-Ed By Tom Baxter, a senior lecturer in chemical engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

The principle is simple – if oil and gas companies are going to put lots of steel and concrete in the ocean to extract fossil fuels from the seabed, they should return it to its initial state once they are done.

So it’s understandable and entirely predictable that Scotland’s environmental NGOs including WWF and Greenpeace disagreed with Shell’s current plans to decommission its Brent oilfield. Those plans include leaving large sections of the concrete bases of its platforms in place, instead of removing all the drilling equipment from the sea bed.

The comparative societal, environment and economic assessments undertaken by oil and gas companies to justify their decommissioning address options from full removal to leave in place. The requirements of the associated marine legislations are also a vital element of the analysis; particularly the OSPAR Directives.

Four Good Reasons to March for Science this Weekend (and One Bad Reason for Going)

Scientists march

On Saturday, thousands of people in over 500 hundred marches will take to the streets to call for governments to support and fund scientific enquiry. Dr Alice Bell — campaigner, writer and researcher in the public engagement with science and technology — outlines why it’s important for people to support the global March for Science.

Anti-Fracking Campaigners Lose Legal Challenge Over Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site

Cuadrilla protest sign

Protesters in Lancashire have finally found out the result of a judicial review into the government's decision to push ahead with shale gas exploration in Lancashire, despite the local council voting against it. Ruth Hayhurst from Drill or Drop has the story.

A community group and an anti-fracking campaigner have lost their legal challenge against the Communities’ Secretary over the way he granted permission for fracking at a site in Lancashire.

Sir Ian Dove, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning dismissed the case by Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman.

This clears the way for Cuadrilla to drill, frack and test up to four wells at its Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton near Blackpool.

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