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.

European Parliament: Say No to Fossil Fuel Lobbying at International Climate Talks

EU Flag

The European Parliament has agreed to push to curb the access of fossil fuel lobbyists at international climate negotiations.

MEPs today voted for a motion that gives a European Parliament delegation to the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings license to encourage countries to limit the access of organisations that could dampen the ambition of the process.

Gove: Climate Policy Must Not Come ‘at the Expense of Economic Growth’

Michael Gove

Environment secretary Michael Gove said he is convinced “climate change is a danger” but that efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions must not come at the expense of economic growth.

He told the Conservative Party conference today that “climate change is one of the biggest challenges and threats to biodiversity in the UK”, but pursuing climate policy must not come “at the expense of the economic growth that we also need in order to make sure that our country and other countries are resilient and can deal with the consequences of climate change”.

Introducing the Institute for Free Trade: A New Pro-Brexit Thinktank tied to the UK’s Climate Science Denier Network

Daniel Hannan

A new thinktank pushing “the moral case for open commerce” that has close ties to a network of climate science deniers instrumental in pushing for Brexit is due to be launched by foreign secretary Boris Johnson inside the Foreign Office today.

The Institute for Free Trade (IFT) “sees Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union as a unique opportunity to revitalise the world trading system”, according to its website.

The IFT is based at 57 Tufton Street, sharing an office with the anti-renewables thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies, and next door to many of the organisations DeSmog UK previously revealed to be at the heart of a UK climate science denial network in 55 Tufton Street.

Fake News: Mail on Sunday Forced to Correct ‘Significantly Misleading’ Article on Global Warming ‘Pause’

Mail on Sunday headline and IPSO complaint confirmation

The Mail on Sunday has been forced to publish a 659-word correction to an article alleging a scientific study exaggerated the extent of global warming and was rushed in an attempt to influence the Paris Agreement negotiations.  

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