Friday, March 24, 2017 - 07:57 • Kyla Mandel
House of Lords

Questions about how the UK will set new environmental standards and effectively enforce these rules once the country leaves the European Union were raised this week by Lords on all sides of the House.

The House of Lords debated on Thursday 23 March the EU Select Committee report on Brexit and climate change. The Committee found there was little confidence in the UK government’s ability to hold itself to account without an independent domestic enforcement mechanism being set up.

The Committee was told that “there was a risk of legislation becoming ‘zombie legislation’,” said Baroness Sheehan of the Liberal Democrats, by “either [being] no longer enforced or no longer updated to the latest scientific understanding.”

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.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Big Ben
Big Ben

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a new website is being launched in Britain inspired by the rise of far right, climate science denying American sites the Drudge Report and Breitbart.

As the BBC’s new “fake news” watch team reported, the website, Westmonster, is being launched by UKIP’s millionaire backer Arron Banks who funded the Leave.EU campaign for Brexit and Nigel Farage’s former press adviser, the 27-year-old Michael Heaver.

Westmonster describes itself as “Pro-Brexit, pro-Farage, pro-Trump. Anti-establishment, anti-open borders, anti-corporatism.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
Donald Trump. Credit: Jamelle Bouie | Flickr
Donald Trump. Credit: Jamelle Bouie | Flickr

President-elect Trump’s new cabinet is full of people in the pocket of fossil fuel interests, who are set to bring their climate denial agenda to the White House. That was the core message of a Channel 4 documentary last night.

The Dispatches team travelled to the United States to investigate the controversial figures surrounding Trump in the lead up to his inauguration later this week.

And with the entire world watching Washington, these characters and controversies are no longer contained to the United States. Their actions will have international impact, and given Britain’s special relationship with America, it’s time to start taking a closer look at what’s going on Stateside.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 06:38 • Mat Hope
Alberta tar sands
Alberta tar sands

EU lawmakers today voted for the European Parliament to push ahead with a trade deal that could encourage Canadian tar sand oil imports and make it easier for energy companies to sue governments when environmental policies threaten their profits.

The UK’s international trade minister, Liam Fox, last year circumvented parliament to approve the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. The deal now has to be approved by European policymakers.

MEPs in the committee charged with overseeing environmental regulation today voted 40 to 24 for the European Parliament to back the deal, Reuters reports. A final decision is expected in February.

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