Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 22:33 • Frances Rankin

Over the past two years, major oil companies in the UK have sponsored over 100 community activities, educational awards, and local events, DeSmog UK can reveal.

This allows the firms to greenwash their image and cheaply purchase a social license to operate within the communities.

DeSmog UK’s new database, launched today, tracks fossil fuel companies’ involvement in local communities through funding and sponsorship. It includes local level and educational sponsorship deals from five of the most prominent fossil fuel companies operating in the UK: BP, Shell, Exxon, Total, and Chevron.

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 09:23 • Guest

Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement – making America the only country on earth to opt out of the climate accord. Al Gore is captured in the new film An Inconvenient Sequel looking distressed at the election of Trump in 2016. Here, one of the film's directors tells The Ecologist’s Brendan Montague how Gore made it clear that he fears Trump is a danger to our planet.

Gore features in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – which is released on DVD on 11 December – and follows a decade after his Oscar winning blockbuster An Inconvenient Truth. The film shows Gore’s increasing despondency during 2016 as Trump successfully campaigns for the presidency.

The latest documentary is directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, who spent almost two years filming and speaking with Gore – including behind the scenes during the Conference of the Parties negotiations held in Paris at the end of 2015. 

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel

Former environment secretary Owen Paterson made the rounds with some of the top climate science deniers on a tour of the US this autumn to promote a “special relationship” post-Brexit.

The Shropshire MP travelled to Washington D.C. in October, DeSmog UK can reveal, where he met with infamous climate science deniers Lamar Smith, James Inhofe, and Myron Ebell. He also gave speeches at both the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Heritage Foundation – two libertarian think tanks known for promoting climate science denial and working against environmental regulations.

Paterson’s visits are the latest in a string of meetings between pro-Brexit UK politicians (such as international trade secretary Liam Fox) and US climate science denial groups.

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 07:01 • Guest

Shareholder intervention has helped to produce Shell’s green plan, a way to cut the energy giant’s climate impact. But questions remain, writes Mitchell Beer for The Energy Mix.

A leading producer of fossil fuels, which last month announced its intention to reduce its contribution to the global warming stoked by society’s prodigal consumption of its products, may now be feeling a little crestfallen. Shell’s green plan leaves some critics saying the group’s figures don’t add up very impressively.

Royal Dutch Shell pledged last month to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2035 and 50 percent by 2050, while investing US$1-2 billion per year in renewables, and electric vehicles between 2018 and 2020. 

The group said its announcement was a response to shareholder pressure and the targets in the Paris Agreement on cutting emissions. 

Tackling climate change is a cross-generational, global, and multi-faceted effort,” said CEO Ben van Beurden. “This is a challenge for the whole planet, for all of society, for customers, for governments, and indeed for businesses.

It will mean meeting increasing energy demand with an ever-lower carbon footprint. And it is critical that our ambition covers the full energy life cycle, from production to consumption. We are committed to play our part.’’

The announcement earned measured praise from environmental groups, and van Beurden said the commitment was just a first step.

But the cash infusion to Shell’s new energies division was still well below 10 percent of the company’s total annual investment, and the phrasing of the GHG promise suggested an intensity-based target – which would mean the 20 and 50 percent reductions will be calculated on fossil production levels that Shell will expect to increase year after year.

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 18:04 • Graham Readfearn

Australians have been keeping the London-based climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) busy in recent weeks.

After former Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave the group’s annual lecture in October, it was the turn of one of Australia’s longest-serving deniers to empty another bucket of bunkum.

Professor Ian Plimer, an Australian director of multiple mining companies, is featured in a new interview with the GWPF to promote his latest subtly titled denial tome: Climate Change Delusion and the Great Energy Rip-off.

When it comes to climate change science, Plimer can be placed very firmly in the file marked “denial.”

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 00:00 • Chloe Farand

BP has been accused of hypocrisy after new research reveals its Argentinian arm plans to drill and frack 37 wells in Patagonia’s “carbon bomb” province.

This is despite BP previously ruling out fracking in the UK because it would “attract the wrong kind of attention”.

Research by oil watchdog group Platform in London and Argentinian-based NGO Observatorio Petrolero Sur (OPSur) sheds light on the scale of BP-controlled Pan American Energy’s (PAE) activities in Argentina.

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 00:00 • Guest

An op-ed guest post by Sonia Hierzig, banking project manager at ShareAction

Banks are affected by climate change from all angles. As financial intermediaries with ties to every industry sector, they face both climate-related risks and opportunities.

On the one hand, they are exposed to the physical, transitional and liability risks linked to climate change via the clients they lend to and do business with. The ‘creditworthiness’ of banks' clients can, for example, be affected by droughts or floods, climate-related legislation, or climate-related lawsuits.

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 08:31 • Kyla Mandel

In an era of #fakenews, it can sometimes be tricky to work out what is legitimate scientific reporting, and what is, well, fake. New research suggests there's a handy rule of thumb for spotting the work of climate science deniers, however: look for the polar bears.

One of the most glaring differences between legitimate science-based blogs and those that deny the science on anthropogenic climate change is how they write about polar bears and Arctic sea ice.