general election 2017

Queen’s Speech Reiterates Support for Paris Agreement, But Leaves Most Climate Policy Up-for-Grabs

Queen's speech

My government will continue to support international action against climate change, including the implementation of the Paris agreement.”

So said the Queen during her speech today introducing the start of the parliamentary year and the list of bills the government hopes to pass over the next 12 months.

Along with a brief note on affordable energy and electric cars, this was the only mention of anything related to climate change or the environment in the brief speech.

Despite dangerous air pollution levels across the UK and crucial environmental laws that need to be translated into British legislation as we leave the EU, the environment was notably missing as a policy priority.

Theresa May Appoints New Climate Minister As Wait for Policy ‘Stability’ Continues

Claire Perry

Prime minister Theresa May has had a busy few days. She continued to reshuffle her front-bench yesterday, moving a number of junior ministers into new roles.

One MP to find himself in a new job this morning is climate minister Nick Hurd, who has been moved to the Home Office.

He is replaced in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) by Claire Perry, the MP for Devizes in Wiltshire. She was previously assistant whip and a minister in the Department for Transport.

May’s Cabinet Reshuffle: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for Climate Change

Theresa May

After a tumultuous few days cobbling together a government with the DUP, and trying to persuade the country that she can continue to provide the “certainty” it needs going into Brexit negotiations, Theresa May on Sunday shuffled her cabinet.

So far it doesn't seem things are likely to change very much as most of the key players have kept their roles held prior to the election, perhaps showing the limited options available to the UK's severely bruised PM.

There were some significant changes on the environmental front, however.

Let's Take A Closer Look at the DUP's Climate Science Denial

DUP's Sammy Wilson

Theresa May’s general election gamble has seen a little-thought-of and highly controversial party thrust into the spotlight: Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Having failed to gain enough seats to form a majority the Conservative Party has turned to the DUP, which won 10 seats, to create an alliance and give the Tories the ability to govern as a minority.

While the two parties are said to still be “in discussions” over a possible agreement,  the decision to try and strike a deal has seen hundreds of protesters descend on Westminster due to the DUP’s stance on abortion, gay rights and climate change. Already more than 500,000 people have signed a petition condemning the Tory-DUP alliance.

Is There Hope for the Climate in Scotland After Election Shake-Up?

Scotland election 2017

For the UK Conservative party, Scotland will be seen as one of the few successes of an otherwise miserable 2017 general election campaign.

Despite the loss an overall parliamentary majority and Prime Minister Theresa May’s failed plan to transform her party’s huge poll lead to a domineering presence in Westminster, the Tories somersaulted their 2015 election win of a single Scottish seat, this time taking 13.

This is the biggest surge since the Tory’s Scottish collapse following the 1980s, and will leave many – in a country vastly proud of its anti-Tory stance – wondering what happened.

What Does a Hung Parliament Mean for Energy and Climate Change Issues?

10 Downing St door

Who saw that coming? Yeah, neither did we.

The Conservatives will return to parliament with the most MPs of any party, but without an overall majority. The next few hours will see Theresa May scramble to try and find the votes she needs to form a government.

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have already offered the support of their MPs. Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party have ruled out going into coalition with the Conservatives.

‘Now Fracking is Finally Here, It Can’t be Ignored’: An Interview with Green Party Candidate Tina Rothery

Tina Rotheray and Green party leader Caroline Lucas

Tina Rothery is standing as the Green party candidate in the Fylde, an area on the frontline of the UK's fledgling shale gas industry.

She is running against Conservative Mark Menzies, who won the seat by around 13,000 votes in 2015.

But a vote for her and the Green party is not just a vote against Menzies, she told me over the phone. It's also a statement: that local opposition to fracking can't be ignored.

General Election 2017: Which Seats Could be Decided by Energy and Climate Issues?

Map of south east England

While Brexit may be making the national headlines, some voters are looking for MPs that share their concerns on a range of local climate and energy issues — from fracking, to air pollution and airport expansion.

With the general election just over a week away, DeSmog UK runs through the constituencies where candidates’ positions on energy and climate change issues could be decisive.

Labour Accuses Tories of Using Brexit as Excuse to Undo Environmental Regulations

Greener Hustings

How do you squeeze environmental issues into an election campaign dominated by Brexit? Perhaps by making Brexit about environmental issues.

That’s what Labour’s shadow trade minister Barry Gardiner did Tuesday night, accusing the Conservatives of using Brexit as a “vehicle for deregulation”, and putting the UK’s environment at risk as a consequence.

Gardiner was speaking at the Greener UK hustings, organised by a wide-ranging coalition of environmental NGOs held at London’s Royal Society on 30 May. His comments were directed at the Conservatives’ representative on the panel, environment minister Thérèse Coffey.

General Election 2017: Conservatives Isolated as Only Major Party to Back Fracking

Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May, Tim Farron

Theresa May today launched the Conservative party manifesto, eager to differentiate her party from the Liberal Democrats that are making a land-grab for the anti-Brexit centre, and a Labour party swinging leftwards and away (or possibly slightly towards) Europe.

But among the Conservatives’ vague anti-immigration promises and plans to tie social care to the value of an individual's estate was a stark fact — the Tories are now the only major party in the UK that does not oppose fracking.

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