Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 06:00 • Guest
Hurricane flooding

Climate science denial is actually pretty rare, so why do we keep talking about it? asks Leo Barasi, author of the new book, The Climate Majority. Instead, he argues, let’s focus on a much more widespread problem: climate apathy.

We should stop talking so much about climate denial. That might seem a surprising message from the author of a book on public opinion about climate change, but I’m convinced it’s the right answer for those of us who want more action to cut emissions.

Look at the news and climate denial seems to be everywhere. It’s common in the media, as Newsweek readers and UK radio listeners have recently been reminded, while its grip on the White House seems stronger than ever.

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.

Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 03:37 • Kyla Mandel

The shipping industry counts for nearly three percent of the world’s emissions, and it continues to grow, yet there is still no climate target to cut pollution from global shipping.

And with industry sitting inside the negotiating room, progress on setting a climate target continues to stall.

The Paris Agreement – now almost two years old – does not directly include shipping. And after 20 years of negotiations at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) countries only expect to set some sort of climate target in 2020 at the earliest.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 22:01 • Mat Hope
City Hall London

The Mayor of London and the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) have agreed a strategy to “divest” assets worth around £10 billion from fossil fuel companies, DeSmog UK can reveal.

The agreement seemingly fulfills Mayor Sadiq Khan’s campaign promise to strip the fund “of its remaining investments in fossil-fuel industries”.

But campaigners have been quick to criticise the announcement, saying the pledge’s small print means it is unlikely to mean funds are actually removed from fossil fuel companies — the core aim of the divestment movement.