Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
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.

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Electric car
Electric car

In just three years the growth in global demand for fossil fuels could come to a halt and begin to decline in response to the falling cost of electric vehicles and solar technology a new report out today reveals.

New research published by Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London has found that from 2020 onwards the uptake in electric vehicles (EVs) and solar technology is expected to leave significant reserves of coal, oil, and gas stranded.

Within a decade fossil fuels could lose a 10 percent market share to solar and EVs, the study warns.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 06:47 • Mat Hope

Figures at the heart of a cross-Atlantic climate science denier network today promoted their anti-expert agenda at a conference in Brussels.

But their views were resoundingly rejected by mainstream European conservative figures including former UK climate minister Lord Greg Barker who warned that encouraging distrust in experts “is an incredibly dangerous thing to do”.

Myron Ebell, the former head of President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team and a director of the libertarian US think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), was a keynote speaker at the Blue Green Summit taking place in the heart of Brussels on Wednesday.

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 08:01 • Mat Hope
Benny Peiser of the GWPF and Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute
Benny Peiser of the GWPF and Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Myron Ebell, the man at the vanguard of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle US climate policy, today told a London audience that Trump's election and the rejection of scientific experise was “not an isolated phenomenon”. 

The press conference, hosted by UK climate science denying think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and the Foreign Press Association, is the latest demonstration of how Trump’s newly-empowered network of climate science deniers is using its platform to promote the interests of the fossil fuel industry around the globe.

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Prime Minister Theresa May has the dubious honour of being the first foreign leader to meet the new President of the United States today.

Trump and May are meant to be talking trade. But senior figures have urged the prime minister to take the opportunity to remind the president that climate change is a serious problem while she’s there.

Trump’s cabinet full of climate science deniers has already set about tearing up the country’s climate regulations, talking about abandoning international efforts to cut emissions, and laying plans to interfere with scientific research.

And there are concerns that this anti-climate action agenda could spread to the UK through a network of key individuals in Trump’s circle of power linked to UK politicians at the forefront of the Brexit agenda.

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 07:38 • Chloe Farand
Ogoni region, Niger Delta
Ogoni region, Niger Delta

Oil giant Shell has won a major battle in the High Court today, after a judge ruled the company had no legal responsibility for the chronic pollution caused by its Nigerian subsidiary in the Niger Delta.

This comes after DeSmog UK revealed the UK foreign office (FCO) agreed to lobby the Nigerian Government on behalf of Shell to protect its oil interest in the Niger Delta.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 00:00 • Chloe Farand
Spill Sites in Kegbara-Dere (K-Dere) community in Gokana LGA Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria
Spill Sites in Kegbara-Dere (K-Dere) community in Gokana LGA Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Ministers from the UK’s Foreign Office (FCO) agreed to lobby the Nigerian Government to protect Shell’s oil interests in the Niger Delta despite the company’s poor human rights and environmental record in the region, official documents seen by DeSmog UK reveal.

Briefings and minutes from a series of meetings between government ministers and the oil giant between May 2013 and July 2015, attained through a freedom of information request, show a cosy relationship between Shell and the FCO, with ministers pledging the government’s “ongoing support and commitment” to Shell’s controversial activities.

The documents show Shell requested help to attain tougher regulations on oil theft, a weaker taxation regime favourable to its gas and offshore investments, and for the UK government to use its influence to ensure a peaceful transition during Nigeria’s general election.

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 07:37 • Mat Hope
Climate minister Nick Hurd speaking to the BEIS committee in Parliament
Climate minister Nick Hurd speaking to the BEIS committee in Parliament

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) appears to have pushed back the release date for a key document outlining its climate plans. Again.

BEIS initially promised the Emissions Reduction Plan would be delivered by the ‘end of 2016’. The BEIS minister for climate change, Nick Hurd, later revised that to the end of the first quarter of 2017.

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