Monday, July 24, 2017 - 09:36 • Kyla Mandel

There are nearly two dozen PR companies representing various fossil fuel and energy companies in Britain according to a new DeSmog UK analysis.

Examining the most recent PR and lobby registry files up to May 2017 shows the scale of the industry’s efforts to influence opinion and policy through the many companies hired to represent corporate interests to both the public and to government.

As DeSmog UK’s map of this network reveals, global public relations firm Hill + Knowlton Strategies is the largest fossil fuel representative, counting oil giants Shell, Total and Statoil as well as fracking companies Cuadrilla, Ineos and IGas among its clients.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 05:16 • Mat Hope
UK coastal erosion

Rising temperatures can lead to rising seas, coral bleaching, fish migrations, and more acidic oceans. But public awareness of how climate change impacts oceans is still relatively limited.

A major new poll published today tried to assess how much citizens from 10 European countries including the UK know about climate change’s impact on the marine environment.

Overall, the answer is: not much. But a closer look reveals some interesting differences across people's’ views in each of the countries.

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 08:51 • Guest
fracking protest

By Laura Creighton, reporting from Lancashire

Two lorries attempting to make their way in and out of shale gas company Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site have been stopped in their tracks by protesters.

Two men managed to jump on top of the lorries after several people ran in front of them to slow them down. The first lorry was stopped at around 12.30pm, with the second vehicle mounted a couple of hours later.

Protesters said they expected them to remain on the lorries “for several hours”, disrupting supplies to and from the site.

Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 06:19 • Mat Hope
EU flag in front of Big Ben

Whatever deal Brexit secretary David Davis manages to strike with the EU, it could have a negative significant impact on climate policy both on the continent and in the UK, a new report has warned.

Dublin-based think tank the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) looked at four different Brexit scenarios, and found that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU would likely harm the region’s overall ambition to climate change.

In one scenario — an ultra-hard Brexit, where the UK uses its withdrawal as an excuse to roll back EU regulations to protect the environment — the country’s climate policy could be “radically altered” with the landmark Paris Agreement “threatened”, the report said.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 08:07 • Kyla Mandel
Kemper coal project

The concept of “clean coal” was dealt a significant blow as Southern Company announced last week that it was suspending its coal gasification project in Mississippi.

The project was meant to be America’s flagship example for commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. It was going to be a way to keep burning coal, except without the polluting carbon dioxide emissions.

The failure of this “clean coal” experiment has impacts beyond the US though as the world continues to wait for CCS technology to take off at scale.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 09:02 • Simon Roach
North Sea Oil

A section of offshore oil workers in the North Sea voted for industrial action this week following a protracted dispute over pay and working conditions, but recent union laws may mean the numbers aren’t enough to support a strike.

A large majority of GMB union members voted in favour of the strike motion in response to the last round of negotiations with the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) breaking down in April.

Declining profits in the North Sea have meant the offshore workforce has already suffered a number of redundancies and pay cuts in recent years. As jobs are increasingly threatened, union members working under the OCA have rejected a latest pay offer which would see their wages fall after inflation is accounted for.

The Conservative party has pledged to do all it can to keep the industry going as the oil fields dry up. But unionists and campaigners are concerned not enough is being done to help communities transition to greener jobs as the industry winds down and the UK progresses towards its low carbon goals.

Monday, July 3, 2017 - 03:12 • Mat Hope

The last few yards are always the toughest.

The UK has been making reasonable progress down a path towards its legally binding climate goals, but it currently has no plan on how to get over the line.

Such a plan is “urgently” needed, experts warned last week. And new data shows that any strategy must take regional differences into account, with emissions reductions being felt unevenly across the UK.

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 03:03 • Guest
Signs outside Westby weather station near the Preston New Road fracking site

In the 2017 general election, Theresa May's Conservatives were the only party to support fracking despite its unpopularity nationwide. Now a new poll shows local residents in Lancashire  an area on the frontline of fracking  are against having shale gas developments near their homes, as Ruth Hayhurst reports for Drill or Drop.

Two-thirds of people surveyed in Lancashire opposed fracking within five miles of their home, according to a new poll published today.

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