Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 07:21 • Mat Hope

On an uncharacteristically sunny day in central London, thousands of smiling people in white lab coats holding placards adorned with Einstein’s equations and Neil DeGrasse Tyson quotations marched towards Parliament shouting “science not silence”.

The chant filtered back a half-mile or so down the road, and all of a sudden, thousands of similarly dressed, previously shy people had become vocal. It was a rare moment of activism from a group normally content to go under the radar, bunkering down in labs and libraries across the world.

The chant quickly became the impromptu slogan for London’s March for Science on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 00:00 • Guest
Work begins on Cuadrilla Lancashire fracking site
Work begins on Cuadrilla Lancashire fracking site

By Ruth Hayhurst, Drill or Drop.

Legal challenges to a ministerial ruling giving the go ahead to Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire will be heard next month (March).

An order issued today by the High Court has listed the case for three days, starting on 15 March 2017. The court had previously agreed to hear the case in Manchester.

The two challenges have been brought against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, by Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman.

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 23:01 • Mat Hope
windfarm in scrubland
windfarm in scrubland

The world’s cleanest energy companies took a hit when Donald Trump won the US presidential election in November. But their market value seems to have bounced back within a month of the famously fossil fuel friendly President taking office, new data shows.

The world’s top 200 clean energy companies offered around a one percent better total return on investment compared to a market benchmark between August and November last year, before Trump’s election victory hit the companies’ collective market value, according to data from clean capitalism company Corporate Knights and NGO As You Sow. But their latest report suggests the drop may have just been a blip.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 05:19 • Christine Ottery
CETA protest
CETA protest

European lawmakers today voted to approve a controversial Canada-EU trade deal called CETA in a move that could increase tar sands imports into the EU.

The trade deal could also facilitate energy companies suing Member State governments when environmental policies threaten their profits.

The European Parliament vote was passed 408 to 254 following a heated debate in Strasbourg, as protests went on outside.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 00:00 • Guest
Trump and Theresa May at the White House
Trump and Theresa May at the White House

By Stephen Devlin, senior economist at the New Economics Foundation

President Trump’s shocking travel ban may have dominated headlines, but another insidious executive order was slipped out under its covering fire – and one with major implications for the UK economy and climate action.

While many of us were on the streets protesting his offensive ban on refugees, the new president signed an executive order authorising a rule dubbed One In, Two Out.

What sounds like a nursery school game is actually the starting gun to a miserable race to the bottom for the USA and UK. It puts legal protections we all depend on – to be able to eat food safely, or go to work without fear of unfair dismissal – on the line.

Monday, February 13, 2017 - 14:18 • Chloe Farand
Henrique Lage oil refinery owned by Petrobras in Brazil
Henrique Lage oil refinery owned by Petrobras in Brazil

A government agency that recently had its budget doubled by Chancellor Phillip Hammond spent hundreds of millions supporting foreign fossil fuel extraction and petrochemical projects last year. That included large lines of credit to a Brazilian company embroiled in a corruption scandal, and support for a petrochemical run by India's richest man.

The investments were part of £1.8bn worth of loans and export credit guarantees that a small government department and credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), gave to British companies to help them export their goods and services abroad. The oil, gas and petrochemical sector accounted for the UKEF's second largest investment, after the aerospace sector.

Government data shows that, in total, UKEF gave more than £427 million to carbon intensive projects during the 2015-16 financial year. Depsite the UK's claim to be a low carbon leader, only £6m was invested to support equivalent clean energy projects.

Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 04:10 • Mat Hope
Windfarm in Texas
Windfarm in Texas

It would be fair to assume a husky-hugging environmentalist from Oxfordshire and a farmer from Wyoming’s agricultural heartland possibly wouldn’t have a lot in common. But new polling suggests they may have one shared trait: they probably both quite like renewable energy.

That’s partly because most people in both the US and UK support renewable energy these days, irrespective of their voting habits.

But the percentage of Trump voters who support renewable energy is still surprisingly close to the number of UK voters that are keen on the technology — almost 75 percent, according to two new polls.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 02:33 • Mat Hope
secret handshake
secret handshake

Three think tanks known for pushing for Brexit and spreading climate science misinformation spent over £3 million of ‘dark money’ influencing British politics last year, according to a new report.

The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), Civitas, and the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) all received the lowest score from independent watchdog Transparify in its latest transparency ratings. The three organisations were part of a list of seven ”highly opaque and deceptive think tanks in Britain that take money from hidden hands behind closed doors”, the report said.

All three were criticised as being “highly opaque”, while the International Institute for Strategic Studies was the only think tank Transparify assessed that was given a new 'deceptive' label.

DeSmog UK previously revealed how the CPS, IEA, and Civitas operate as part of a network of organisations based around Westminter's 55 Tufton Street that pushed for the UK to leave the EU while spreading climate science misinformation.

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