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‘zombie legislation’,” said Baroness Sheehan of the Liberal Democrats, by “either [being] no longer enforced or no longer updated to the latest scientific understanding.”

Thursday, January 5, 2017 - 02:38 • Guest
Britain coastline
Britain coastline

Following yesterday's Environment Audit Committee Report on the future of Britain's environment post-Brexit, Viviane Gravey of Queen's University Belfast sets out four 'green lines' by which to judge the Brexiteers' true colours.

Brexit risks harming the UK’s environment unless the government passes stiff new legislation before it triggers Article 50. That’s the conclusion of a major new report by the Environment Audit Committee, a cross-bench group of 16 MPs.

In the run-up to the referendum, most experts were very worried about the environmental impact of Brexit and, since the vote, some of these concerns have been confirmed – think, for example, of Michael Gove and John Whittingdale inviting companies to draw a wish list for a bonfire of EU social and environmental legislation. On the other hand, some environmental NGOs have launched a campaign to achieve a “Greener UK” after the vote, seizing Brexit as an opportunity to increase, not decrease, environmental ambition.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 00:01 • Mat Hope
Theresa May
Theresa May

The UK ended 2016 with lots of new faces adorning the front pages, along with some more familiar ones.

DeSmog UK takes a look at the people behind the major climate and energy stories this year (in no particular order).

And wonders, what will they do in 2017?

Sunday, January 1, 2017 - 00:01 • Kyla Mandel

No, it wasn’t all a dream, 2016 really did happen. And for those who view tackling climate change as a priority in order to minimize its impact on people and the environment, it was a particularly overwhelming year. You’d be forgiven for simply wanting to go into hibernation mode and wait for it all to be over.  

For many, the scale and pace of change is unprecedented, and it’s coming at us from all angles: political, social, and environmental.

Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 00:01 • Frances Rankin
Offshore wind turbines
Offshore wind turbines

From Brexit to Trump, it may seem like 2016 was a bit of a disaster in the climate arena.

But look closely enough and you’ll see it wasn’t all bad news in Britain.

DeSmog UK takes you through five positive things that happened for clean energy and climate policy this year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 00:01 • Antoaneta Roussi
Sun setting on frozen water
Sun setting on frozen water

If you’re thinking it has been an abnormally warm December, you’re not alone.

This year has surpassed all modern records. You were more likely to have a BBQ in your backyard than snow angels on Christmas Day across many parts of Britain which experienced one of the warmest Christmasses on record.

And the UK’s Met office predicts that 2017 will keep in the trend of the last few years, with the global average temperature for next year expected to be between 0.63°C and 0.87°C above the long-term average.

Monday, December 26, 2016 - 05:58 • Guest

By Andrew King, University of Melbourne

For the Arctic, like the globe as a whole, 2016 has been exceptionally warm. For much of the year, Arctic temperatures have been much higher than normal, and sea ice concentrations have been at record low levels.

The Arctic’s seasonal cycle means that the lowest sea ice concentrations occur in September each year. But while September 2012 had less ice than September 2016, this year the ice coverage has not increased as expected as we moved into the northern winter. As a result, since late October, Arctic sea ice extent has been at record low levels for the time of year.

Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 02:27 • Mat Hope
Nigel Farage mask on a protester
Nigel Farage mask on a protester

So, 2016 happened.

Fair to say, it wasn’t exactly a vintage year for action on climate change.

Brace yourselves, here’s DeSmog UK’s review of the year. It wasn’t all bad! (But mainly it was, let’s be honest).