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.
A British government-backed research project that coordinates data from tide gauges around the world has hit back at climate science deniers who wrongly accused their scientists of faking findings.
The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, based in Liverpool, UK, at the National Oceanography Center, dismissed the claims made by two Australia-based scientists who both reject the well-established links between greenhouse gas emissions from human activity and global warming.
The claims gained wider attention after Breitbart’s James Delingpole, a climate science denier, screamed it was certain evidence PSMSL had been “caught red-handed tampering with raw data in order to exaggerate sea level rise.”
PSMSL said despite the claims, tide gauges and satellites showed that sea levels around the globe were rising and the rate of rise had increased in recent decades. Recent adjustments to the tide gauge data under scrutiny, in Yemen, had actually resulted in a decrease in the rate of sea level change, a spokesperson said.
Op-ed by Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport
The New Year was marked, as in previous years, by rises in rail fares and lots of press coverage. Campaign for Better Transport has been using the coverage to make the case for simpler, fairer and cheaper rail fares with our Fair Fares Now campaign. This is important for rail users, for whom constant fares rises have immediate economic impacts. But as an environmental group, we’ve been making the case for fares policy to be looked at more broadly.
As 2017 came to a close, warnings of the catastrophic impact of climate change intensified. Devastating floods and hurricanes have highlighted the vulnerability of some communities around the world and the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmospheres shows efforts to tackle climate change urgently need to be ramped up.
In the UK, ongoing Brexit negotiations have brought no more certainty on the future of environmental regulation, while the government continues to support new and old fossil fuels industries.
From the endless stream of news surrounding Brexit and Trump to devastating extreme weather events across the globe, 2017 has been a monumental year.
So, as the final days of 2017 wrap up and everyone attempts to have a moment of brief relief before kicking off 2018, DeSmog UK takes a look back at the headlines and events that have streamed across everyone’s screens and impacted our everyday lives.
1. Theresa May
What a year the prime minister has had. An election she won but also basically lost, Brexit negotiations that she’s pretty much losing but claims she’ll ultimately win, and a climate action agenda that despite her recent strong words still seems pretty uncertain at best.
As May is keen to point out, on her watch the UK has reaffirmed a pledge to phase-out coal by 2025, the UK had a coal free day for the first time since the industrial revolution, and the government has made some positive noises about electric vehicles.
But at the same time, members of her party having been busy meeting with climate science deniers in the US, and continue to push disinformation about climate change in the national media. And that’s not to mention what Brexit could do to the UK’s environmental regulations.
It’s been a busy year. We’ve published roughly 230 stories, profiled 70 individuals and organisations operating in the climate science denial and lobbying world, and produced a whopping 15 different breakdowns and analyses on the general election.
We’ve written the words “climate change” more times than we can count, “Brexit” more times than we’d anticipated last June, and “science denial” more times than anyone wants.
Our reporting this year has taken us to local communities in the UK — from those facing new coal mines in Northumberland and Wales, to anti-fracking protests along a small stretch of road in Lancashire. It has taken us further afield, too — to Bonn in Germany to cover the international climate negotiations.
We’ve also continued to dig deep into the small but influential network of transatlantic Brexiteer climate science deniers — a network which continues to expand and strengthen through its connections to climate disinformation think tanks and Trump-influencers in the US.
Brexit cheerleader Daniel Hannan has been busy since last June’s referendum set the clock ticking on his current job as a Member of the European Parliament.
His latest venture is the Institute for Free Trade, a “private, not-for-profit, non-partisan research foundation”, launched at the Foreign Office no less. The group “sees Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union as a unique opportunity to revitalise the world trading system” – a somewhat optimistic outlook that goes against the grain of what most experts expect.
The IFT’s inaugural Global Trade Summit, held in the heart of London in October, brought together prominent government ministers, lobbyists, free market idealogues, and climate science deniers from both sides of the pond.