Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 22:01 • Mat Hope
City Hall London

The Mayor of London and the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) have agreed a strategy to “divest” assets worth around £10 billion from fossil fuel companies, DeSmog UK can reveal.

The agreement seemingly fulfills Mayor Sadiq Khan’s campaign promise to strip the fund “of its remaining investments in fossil-fuel industries”.

But campaigners have been quick to criticise the announcement, saying the pledge’s small print means it is unlikely to mean funds are actually removed from fossil fuel companies — the core aim of the divestment movement.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 09:00 • Kyla Mandel
Caroline Lucas

MPs are calling for a new Environmental Protection Bill to be added to the government’s list of policy priorities for the year ahead as laid out in last week’s Queen’s Speech.

Led by Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, the environment amendment has cross-party support from Labour MPs David Lammy and Kerry McCarthy, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, the Scottish National Democrat MP Chris Law, and Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts.

The amendment, which was introduced last week and will likely be voted for on Thursday June 29, states that “in negotiating our future relationship with the EU, the Government should opt for the most environmentally effective way forward.”

Monday, June 26, 2017 - 21:01 • Mat Hope
Cartoon image from a BP school resource

The methods may change from country to country, but it’s clear that fossil fuel companies are desperate to push their message onto kids.

US companies promote fossil fuels in schools through a weirdly sinister cast of characters including Petro Pete and Sammy Shale. And now BP has launched a new set of resources for primary school kids in the UK.

The “Science Explorers” series provides free online resources for children aged between 5 and 11 years old, and includes a few for investigating why the climate is changing. The resources are tuned towards one big question: “Why are living things the way they are?”

Saturday, June 24, 2017 - 01:47 • Guest
Preston new road action group

By Ruth Hayhurst, DrillorDrop.

The next stage in a legal battle over ministerial approval of fracking in Lancashire reaches the Court of Appeal in London in August.

The court has confirmed that separate challenges brought by campaigners, the Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman, will be heard over two days at the Royal Courts of Justice, starting on 30 August.

Both cases argue that the decision to grant planning permission for the Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site was unlawful. The approval, by the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, in October 2016 overturned the refusal by Lancashire County Council but followed the recommendation of an inspector at a public inquiry.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 22:01 • Mat Hope
Brexit artwork

On June 23 2016, 46 million voters merrily skipped to the polls to have their say about whether the UK should remain in the European Union. Early the following morning, it was revealed that 52 percent of the population had voted Leave.

Most were shocked, a small majority were joyous, the rest were dismayed — including many who were concerned Brexit would mean the UK’s climate policy and environmental regulation coming under attack.

One year on, the negotiations have formally started and things have progressed… a bit.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 05:18 • Kyla Mandel
Queen's speech

My government will continue to support international action against climate change, including the implementation of the Paris agreement.”

So said the Queen during her speech today introducing the start of the parliamentary year and the list of bills the government hopes to pass over the next 12 months.

Along with a brief note on affordable energy and electric cars, this was the only mention of anything related to climate change or the environment in the brief speech.

Despite dangerous air pollution levels across the UK and crucial environmental laws that need to be translated into British legislation as we leave the EU, the environment was notably missing as a policy priority.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 03:55 • Guest
Third Energy sign

By Ruth Hayhurst, DrillOrDrop

The shale gas company preparing to frack in North Yorkshire breached one of its environmental permits by failing to publish correct emissions data, it has emerged.

Third Energy received an official warning from the Environment Agency for the breach, which concerned air quality data at the Knapton Generating Station in the Vale of Pickering.

The company was also criticised for failing to use an agreed method to monitor groundwater quality at a nearby gas well.

Monday, June 19, 2017 - 17:01 • Mat Hope
BP's logo melting

BP’s relationship with the National Portrait Gallery is under scrutiny as the museum prepares to today announce the winner of an annual award sponsored by the oil giant.

Many fossil fuel companies operate in notoriously volatile states that hold an abundance of oil and gas. Campaigners Culture Unstained have lodged a 19-page complaint with the gallery, alleging that BP is an unfit sponsor due to the company’s “close association” with regimes “known or suspected to be in violation of human rights”.

The group said BP’s sponsorship of exhibitions and its annual portrait award violates the gallery’s “ethical fundraising policy”, obtained by Culture Unstained through a Freedom of Information request.

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