News

European Lawmakers Vote to Pursue Tar Sands Oil Friendly Trade Deal with Canada

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.

New 'Meta' Study Confirms Consensus: 97% of Publishing Climate Scientists Agree We are Causing Global Warming

By John Cook, The University of Queensland

When we published a paper in 2013 finding 97% scientific consensus on human-caused global warming, what surprised me was how surprised everyone was.

Ours wasn’t the first study to find such a scientific consensus. Nor was it the second. Nor were we the last.

Nevertheless, no-one I spoke to was aware of the existing research into such a consensus. Rather, the public thought there was a 50:50 debate among scientists on the basic question of whether human activity was causing global warming.

$2.5 Trillion Worth of Global Financial Assets at Risk From Climate Change Impacts by End of Century, Study Warns

An average $2.5 trillion (£1.76trn) of the world’s financial assets would be at risk from climate change impacts if global temperatures are left to increase by 2.5°C by 2100, warns a new study by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first of its kind to produce a comprehensive estimate of the total value at risk from climate change impacts. So far most of the attention has focused on the risk of climate change to fossil fuel companies.

Under the Paris climate deal, nations have agreed to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C from pre-industrial levels. However, under business as usual emissions are set to increase global average temperatures by approximately 2.5°C.

Power Protesters Blockade Gas Power Station to Launch 'Groundswell' Climate Campaign

Protesters inspired by the success of the occupation of Lord Ridley’s opencast mine continued a wave of direct actions by storming the site of a new gas fired power station this morning.

The activists, from the campaign group Reclaim the Power, blockaded the construction site of the Carrington Gas Fired Power Station in Salford, to the north west of Manchester, from about 7am today.

The action is part of “Groundswell” - a year of protests planned by climate change activists to put pressure on government and industry “to keep fossil fuels in the ground in 2016.”

Climate Hustle Is the Deniers' Last Desperate Gamble

Surrealism reached a pitch this week in Paris that Salvador Dali could only dream about. The premier of the independent film Climate Hustle began in a maelstrom of the bizarre. But for me, a single moment seriously stress-tested my own sanity.

But first, the context. Delegates representing almost 200 countries are currently at the COP21 conference in Paris burning the midnight oil negotiating a new international agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions and preventing devastating climate change.

Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is heading the UK team and also the European Union block. Barack Obama, the US president; David Cameron, the UK prime minister and Francois Hollande, the French president, will return to Paris at the end of the week to announce the final agreement.

Matt Ridley Caught up in Dollars-for-Denial Scandal

Matt Ridley has become embroiled in the dollars-for-denial scandal currently engulfing a British climate denial think tank with his position on the advisory board of Sense About Science looking increasingly tenuous.

The Conservative member of the House of Lords and coal producer published articles in British and American publications ahead of the Paris climate negotiations aimed at challenging the science of climate change.

Viscount Ridley supported his arguments in at least one of these articles by referencing publications by Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

Lawson Stands By Academic William Happer Embroiled in Latest Oil Funded Denial Scandal

Lord Lawson has taken the extraordinary decision to stand by a “distinguished” academic advisor to his charity who has become embroiled in a new scandal about climate denier groups being secretly funded by oil companies.

The former chancellor and chairman-for-life of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has dug in his heels after a member of his Academic Advisory Council agreed to secretly channel oil money to another anti-science front group.

Professor William Happer, of Princeton University, was contacted by an undercover Greenpeace UK investigator posing as a representative of a fictional Middle East oil company.

Major Climate Science Denial Groups Offer to Hide Fossil Fuel Funding, Greenpeace Investigation Finds

An undercover investigation by environment group Greenpeace has found some of the world’s most vocal climate science denial groups were willing to accept cash from fossil fuel interests in return for writing articles and reports that reject the impacts of greenhouses gases.

Greenpeace operatives posing as representatives of coal and oil companies were told that while the reports could be produced, there were ways that the sources of funding could be hidden.

Academics affiliated with leading US academic institutions Princeton and Penn State universities are implicated in the Greenpeace research.

Exxon Under Pressure in Mock Trial in Paris

Blackmail. Deception. Public manipulation.

These are just some of the charges leveled against ExxonMobil at a mock trial that took place in Paris, Saturday to coincide with the ongoing international climate negotiations at COP21.

The trial, held in Paris, alleged Exxon’s work at funding climate science had put the planet, people’s health and communities from Texas to Nigeria at risk.

The trial was hosted by Canadian author Naomi Klein and climate change activist and author Bill McKibben and brought together key witnesses to discuss Exxon’s role in confusing the public about the dangers of human-caused climate change.

Two investigations by the LA Times and Inside Climate News revealed Exxon scientists warned the company about the impacts of burning fossil fuels in the 1970s.

But the trial heard how scientists were directed to keep that information secret from shareholders and the public.

Since the 70s Exxon was involved in trade organizations, think tanks and lobbying organizations that have misled the public about greenhouse gases, climate change and climate science.

The trial, titled Exxon vs. The People, was presided over by three judges including indigenous rights and 350.org campaigner Clayton Thomas-Muller, actor Peter Sarsgaard and Milañ Loeak, daughter of Christopher Loeak, president of the Marshall Islands.

How Amber Showed Red Light to Green Policies Ahead of COP21

BY BRENDAN MONTAGUE AND KYLA MANDEL IN PARIS

Amber Rudd is expected to arrive back in Paris today to lead Britain's negotiators at the climate COP21 talks as her own energy policy appeared to be in complete disarray.

The secretary of state for energy and climate change has attacked climate deniers and has favourably quoted Margaret Thatcher’s famous address to the United Nations in 1989 to assert a Conservative brand of environmentalism.

However, as she settled down to head the team of delegates from her department in negotiations with the United States, China and other leading emitters, her own house was very far from being in order.

Pages

Subscribe to News