Mat Hope's blog

Shell and Exxon’s Brent Oilfield Decommission Shows How Industry Hits Communities and Environment to the Very End

A diagram of the Brent oil field infrastructure

The North Sea oil and gas industry is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to emitting dangerous greenhouse gases.

Shell and Exxon are packing up and moving out of the famous Brent oil and gas field in the North Sea. As a final hurrah, almost 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be emitted as four platforms are dismantled and parts are either left to erode in the ocean or moved onshore and recycled.

That’s equal to about five percent of the UK's North Sea industry’s annual emissions — from the start to very end, the Brent oil field continues to contribute to climate change.

But emitting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of dangerous greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, nitrous dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere is not the only environmental danger that comes with plugging and abandoning the wells.

UK Climate Diplomacy Staff Cut Again as Post-Brexit Links to Trump and US Deniers Strengthen

With Donald Trump set to become the President of the United States, the international climate change political scenery has shifted.

The president-elect’s stance on “quitting” the Paris Agreement seems to have softened in recent days. But countries are still going to need strong diplomatic teams to shore-up the global commitment to tackling climate change, reiterated at the Marrakech climate talks last week.

So it’s notable that the UK’s climate diplomacy team appears to weakening.

For the second year in a row, the foreign office reduced the number of people working on climate change and energy, documents released by the government this week under a freedom of information request show.

Exposed: Shell’s Cosy Corporate Relationship with the National Gallery

National Gallery at night

Fossil fuel company Shell receives special treatment from the publicly-funded National Gallery despite the oil major’s history of climate obstructionism, documents seen by DeSmog UK show.

The news comes as shareholders gather for Shell’s annual general meeting in The Hague today, with the board under pressure to agree to company-wide emissions reduction targets.

Revealed: Local Authorities Failing to Report on Air Pollution Due to 'Stretched Resources'

Air pollution protestors in Edinburgh

Air pollution in the UK has been described as a “public health crisis”. But many local authorities are failing to fulfil their legal requirements on air quality reporting due to a lack of resources, documents obtained by DeSmog UK show.

The information raises questions about the effectiveness of the government’s decision to continue to put responsibility for addressing air pollution on local authorities.

Documents and correspondence with officials in local authorities across the Midlands show reporting failures in many areas with illegal levels of air pollution. Almost all of the local authorities fall within areas that voted heavily for Brexit, putting air quality regulations further at risk.

General Election 2017: Conservatives Isolated as Only Major Party to Back Fracking

Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May, Tim Farron

Theresa May today launched the Conservative party manifesto, eager to differentiate her party from the Liberal Democrats that are making a land-grab for the anti-Brexit centre, and a Labour party swinging leftwards and away (or possibly slightly towards) Europe.

But among the Conservatives’ vague anti-immigration promises and plans to tie social care to the value of an individual's estate was a stark fact — the Tories are now the only major party in the UK that does not oppose fracking.

General Election 2017: Which Seats are Climate Science Deniers Trying to Win?

10 Downing Street front door

Climate change is unlikely to be a big-ticket item for any party this general election. But in some constituencies, voters have a stark choice between candidates that want to tackle climate change and those that deny the seriousness of the issue.

DeSmog UK outlines the key battlegrounds for voters that care about the representation of climate science in Westminster.

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