Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 07:36 • Mat Hope

Representatives from thinktanks on both sides of the Atlantic heavily involved in lobbying for Brexit and spreading disinformation on climate change are set to meet to formulate their vision for a UK-US trade deal.

The “shadow trade talks” will be hosted by London’s IFT (formerly the Institute for Free Trade), led by Conservative MEP and hard Brexit advocate Daniel Hannan. The group plans to reveal its version of an “ideal” trade agreement later this year.

According to documents originally uncovered by Greenpeace’s investigative unit, UnEarthed, the coalition will seek to significantly weaken existing regulations. This would allow for controversial changes, such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef imports to be sold in the UK for the first time.

Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 18:57 • Graham Readfearn

President Donald Trump loves to accuse his detractors of producing “fake news” as a way to deflect from his own distortions and misrepresentations.

But in an interview screened in the UK in recent hours, Trump’s tired attack on climate science — itself a demonstrable twisting of the truth — was the epitome of the actual fakery pushed by climate science denial groups and conservative media outlets.

And Trump’s continued disregard for the authoritative positions of climate scientists and scientific institutions and academies across the globe echoed the platforms of groups supported by one of his key financial backers — the Mercer family.

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 16:07 • Christine Ottery

The World Economic Forum in Davos is a very weird event, with billionaire business leaders, heads of state and select policy wonks all mingling at a swanky Swiss resort.

But the chat isn’t just focused on how one percent of the world’s population can keep 82 percent of the world’s wealth — glasses of prosecco are occasionally downed to discuss technology, trade deals and gender inequality, with a smattering of talk about climate change and the fossil fuel industry thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 08:49 • Paul Seaman

This article originally appeared on Drill or Drop

The government is delaying a decision on Third Energy’s fracking plans at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire until the company has filed its latest accounts.

Under the Infrastructure Act, the Business Secretary has to give the final consent before hydraulic fracturing can go ahead.

In a written statement this afternoon, Greg Clark said the company must submit its accounts for the year ending 2016 before he would announce his decision. The accounts are nearly four months overdue.

He has also added two further financial checks before giving the company the final go-ahead.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 03:18 • Chloe Farand

The lush valleys of the Welsh countryside are not the typical landscape associated with the alarming issue of air pollution. And yet, a small town in south Wales has been named the worst pollution spot in the UK outside of London. In Wales, as in many other places in the UK, illegal levels of air pollution have been recorded since 2010.

On Thursday, the Welsh Government will appear in court as a defendant alongside the UK government in a case challenging the lack of plan to tackle illegal levels of air pollution across the country.

The case is part of legal firm ClientEarth’s third judicial review against the UK government over its failure to come up with an adequate and robust plan to improve air quality in compliance with existing EU laws.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 21:01 • Simon Roach

After global oil prices slumped dramatically in 2014, many energy giants such as Shell and BP decided to sell off their “mature assets” in the North Sea. 

Now, the operation of aging fossil fuel infrastructure in the once profitable region is increasingly being taken over by private companies, analysis by DeSmog UK shows — raising concerns over transparency and accountability in the region. 

Four of the five largest sales since 2015 have been to private companies, DeSmog UK has found, with three of those backed by money from US private equity firms. 

Whereas companies listed on public stock exchanges are accountable to their shareholders and the public – through legal requirements such as annual reports and corporate financial disclosure – privately held companies have fewer legal obligations and can aggressively pursue long-term profit. 

Friday, January 19, 2018 - 08:49 • Chloe Farand

Participants of the next UN climate talks in Poland could be banned from taking part in spontaneous demonstrations and have their personal data collected, stored and used by Polish police without their consent if a draft piece of legislation becomes law. 

The proposed measures are going through Poland’s legislative process as the southern city of Katowice — located in the country’s coal heartland — prepares to host the annual UN climate talks this December. 

The draft bill, which sets out specific regulations for this year’s climate talks, known as COP24, was passed by the lower house of the Polish Parliament on 10 January. On Friday, the Senate passed the bill almost unanimously with only three MPs abstaining. 

The text provides a raft of initiatives to “ensure safety and public order”. This includes a ban on all spontaneous gatherings in Katowice between 26 November and 16 December, spanning the entire period of the annual UN climate talks. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 16:01 • Chloe Farand

The UK government must urgently formulate new policies to bridge the “significant gaps” between its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its legally-binding targets to tackle climate change, a panel of experts has warned.