Kyla Mandel

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Kyla Mandel is Editor of DeSmog UK.

Kyla began working with DeSmog UK as deputy editor in November 2014 shortly after the project launched. During this time, she has broken numerous stories on energy policy, including one on the Koch Brothers’ European lobbying efforts. In March 2015 she was appointed DeSmog UK’s Editor.

She has also covered international climate science denial efforts in Rome and Washington D.C., and joined DeSmog’s reporting team in December 2015 at the Paris COP21 climate conference.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Kyla has been living in London for the past several years working for titles such as Green Futures Magazine, EnergyDesk and most recently The ENDS Report. Her work has also appeared on Forbes Online and The Guardian’s Sustainable Business channel. Kyla is currently researching climate refugees at Columbia University’s graduate journalism school.

Past research has also involved extensive content analysis examining British media coverage on shale gas exploration and investigating events involving police brutality on the McGill University campus in Montreal during the 2012 province-wide student tuition protests.

Kyla moved to the UK to pursue a master’s in journalism at the London College of Communication.  Bilingual in French and English, she has also lived in the US and Germany. Combined with a BA joint-honours degree in history, political science and environmental studies from McGill, she has a strong grasp on the dynamics between environmental issues and international politics.

Cheap Electric Cars and Solar Technology Could Stop Growth in Fossil Fuel Demand Starting in 2020

Electric car

In just three years the growth in global demand for fossil fuels could come to a halt and begin to decline in response to the falling cost of electric vehicles and solar technology a new report out today reveals.

New research published by Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London has found that from 2020 onwards the uptake in electric vehicles (EVs) and solar technology is expected to leave significant reserves of coal, oil, and gas stranded.

Within a decade fossil fuels could lose a 10 percent market share to solar and EVs, the study warns.

Brexit-Backer and Trump Ally Arron Banks Brings Breitbart, Drudge Report-Inspired News Site to the UK

Big Ben

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a new website is being launched in Britain inspired by the rise of far right, climate science denying American sites the Drudge Report and Breitbart.

As the BBC’s new “fake news” watch team reported, the website, Westmonster, is being launched by UKIP’s millionaire backer Arron Banks who funded the Leave.EU campaign for Brexit and Nigel Farage’s former press adviser, the 27-year-old Michael Heaver.

Westmonster describes itself as “Pro-Brexit, pro-Farage, pro-Trump. Anti-establishment, anti-open borders, anti-corporatism.”

A New Special Relationship for America and Britain Emerges with Climate Science Deniers Linked to Trump and Brexit

US-UK Climate Science Denier Network

On Friday, 20 January, fossil fuel lobbyists and climate science deniers from both sides of the Atlantic will step out of the shadows and into the White House as Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

DeSmog UK has mapped this new US-UK climate science denier network, held together in large part by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, to shed light on this growing group of influencers. 

Since November, the president-elect has been gathering his team together; the men that will form the top positions of influence and decision making within his government.

Rather than ‘draining the swamp’, Trump has chosen to surround himself with the same actors who have long been pushing climate misinformation and lobbying against environmental protection.

Front and centre are individuals linked to well known funders of climate science denial, the Kochs, the Mercers, and the Heritage Foundation. And as our new map shows, this isn’t limited to the United States.

Fracking Firm Cuadrilla Officially Begins Work at Lancashire Shale Gas Site

Cuadrilla Lancashire

UK energy company Cuadrilla has begun work on its controversial shale gas site in Lancashire it was announced on 5 January.

The fracking firm started building an entrance and access road at its Preston New Road site near Little Plumpton early Thursday morning following permission to start being given by the local council on Wednesday.

It is expected the construction work, which also includes a well pad, will take about three months to be completed before drilling can start according to Cuadrilla. Should everything move smoothly for the company, the UK will see its first fracking operations since 2011 start in the spring.

Covering Climate Change in 2017: Five New Years’ Resolutions for the Media

Iceberg

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.

The Top 12 DeSmog UK Investigative News Stories of 2016

From Exxon’s anti-EV lobbying to the web of Brexit climate deniers, 2016 has been dominated by behind the scenes influencing from industry and ideologues alike in attempt to weaken Britain’s efforts to tackle climate change and move towards cleaner forms of energy.

DeSmog UK remains dedicated to investigating the individuals and organisations that have helped to delay and distract the public and our elected leaders from taking needed action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and fight global warming (though sometimes those are our elected leaders).

We also work hard to uncovering the misinformation – and disinformation – clouding the national conversation on climate change. From those using renowned scientific institutions to bolster misleading claims about climate science to groups producing false reports about the cause of global warming, we help shine a light on what’s false.

Canada’s Costly Oilsands Loses Another Player as Norwegian Oil Giant Statoil Pulls Out

Statoil's oil sands operations

Norwegian oil major Statoil will be pulling out of its Canadian oilsands project after nearly a decade with an expected loss of at least USD$500 million.

In yet another sign that Canada’s oilsands – one of the most polluting fossil fuel projects on the planet – is becoming increasingly costly, Lars Christian Bacher, Statoil’s executive vice-president for international development and production, said in a statement: “This transaction corresponds with Statoil’s strategy of portfolio optimisation to enhance financial flexibility and focus capital on core activities globally.”

The 14 December announcement comes just weeks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in a move to facilitate growth in the oilsands and create jobs.

Millennials, Regulations Hamper Trade Deal Success Brexiteer Tells Climate Denying Heritage Foundation

Daniel Hannan

Spoiled millennials” and “global regulation” imposed by NGOs stand in the way of agreeing a bilateral US-UK trade deal, Brexit campaigner and climate science denier MEP Daniel Hannan told US think tank the Heritage Foundation this week.  Otherwise it would “take only five minutes” to agree and be done in “less than 500 words”, he claimed.

The neocon Heritage Foundation is known for opposing climate action and environmental regulations, and increasingly finds itself at the centre of president-elect Donald Trump's transition team. It has also long courted top Brexit campaigners.

Speaking at the think tank’s offices in Washington D.C., Hannan, a Conservative Party Member of the European Parliament, told the audience “If it’s good enough on your side of the Atlantic it’s good enough on ours”,  adding that “in reality of course the deal is unlikely to be done just by Heritage and me”, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Our state machines will get their hands into it and they of course will try to make it about everything except trade. They’ll make it about ecological standards, and women’s rights, and child labour, and everything except the free exchange of goods and services, and that’s what opens the door to the corporate capture”, he said.

Revealed: Liam Fox’s Post-Brexit Trade Talks with US Business Lobby and Climate Denying Think Tank the Heritage Foundation

Liam Fox

During his first trip to the United States, less than two weeks after being appointed International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox took the opportunity to meet with the climate science denying neoconservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

The details of Fox’s post-Brexit three-day tour of America in July have only just been released to DeSmog UK under a freedom of information request.  They show Fox also met with White House representatives, pro-business lobby group the US Chamber of Commerce, and some of its corporate members.

The documents reveal a close relationship between Fox and the Heritage Foundation, as well as the desire for a bilateral trade deal between the two countries. They also suggest concerns over the current “political discourse” in the US could hinder the deal, however.

How a Trump Presidency Will Impact UK Climate Action

With temperatures soaring above normal seasonal levels across most of America on 8 November, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump waited out the hours of nail-biting vote counting in their respective election night headquarters in midtown Manhattan, only about a mile and a half apart.

During the early hours of the UK's morning, the results were in and Donald Trump was announced to the world as the next president of the United States. 

The election results reverberated around the world, and with it a tsunami of questions, including: what does this mean for energy and climate change in the US and beyond?

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