Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 04:49 • Mike Small

The annual round of big corporate AGMs is upon us, with mining giant Rio Tinto and big oil companies BP, Shell, Exxon, Statoil and Total all having their meetings around this time of year. That creates an opportunity for shareholder activists that want the companies to clean up their act.

The oil and gas industry and its products account for half of global carbon dioxide emissions. So altering the course of the fossil fuel industry is the key to meeting global carbon targets.  

The NGO CDP offers a snapshot of how prepared the fossil fuel industry is for a major low carbon transition. The answer is: not very. It ranked 11 of the largest and highest-emitting global oil and gas companies. According to the report, four out of the eleven are graded ‘E’ for their climate governance and strategy.

This needs to change if the world is going to limit warming to the promised two degrees or lower. Shareholder activism is one strategy to push for that change.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 03:45 • Guest

By Alastair Lewis and Sarah Moller, The Conversation

The UK government has published a new clean air strategy for consultation. The document sets out plans to tackle emissions from a range of sources, including agriculture, industry and even wood-burning stoves. It all adds up to a subtle but important shift in emphasis away from simply meeting air quality targets to also reducing wider impacts on health and the environment.

Monday, May 21, 2018 - 14:07 • Chloe Farand

Climate change was the single biggest issue raised during oil giant BP’s annual general meeting, as both activists shareholders and institutional investors pushed the company to take more ambitious action to shift its business model away from fossil fuels.

Campaigners criticised BP senior executives for at times “dismissive” answers, which they say showed little willingness from the company to take into account some issues around emissions, social justice and human rights.  

Monday, May 21, 2018 - 06:49 • Mat Hope

In a bid to stop the Tory government repeatedly being defeated over Brexit laws, Prime Minister Theresa May is set to nominate nine new peers from her party. Among them are two familiar faces: Peter Lilley and Andrew Tyrie, who were two of only five MPs to oppose the UK’s landmark Climate Change Act.

May’s government has suffered 15 defeats in the House of Lords over Brexit, with between 30 and 100 Lords voting against the flagship EU Withdrawal Bill. She is appointing more Tory peers to try and increase her chances of pushing the law through the UK’s second chamber.

Former Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley is the most strident Brexiteer on a list of nine new potential appointments, reported by the BBC. He has also been one of the loudest critics of government action on tackling climate change.

Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 08:06 • Mat Hope

How friendly are BP and the UK government? Very, it seems.

Emails obtained through a freedom of information request by campaign group Culture Unstained show BP regularly meets with ministers, and uses its sponsorship of the UK’s public institutions to try and attract them to social events — with considerable success.

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 09:16 • Mike Small and ...

There can be no mistake: as early as 1981, big oil company Shell was aware of the causes and dangers of climate change.

These documents show Shell walking backwards. In the 1980s it was acknowledging anthropogenic global warming. Then, as the scientific consensus became more and more clear, it started introducing doubt and giving weight to a “significant minority” of “alternative viewpoints” as the full implications for the company's business model became clear.  

By trawling through a tranche of documents first uncovered by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent, published on Climate Files, DeSmog UK can chart 30 years of the company’s understanding of climate science.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 03:01 • Guest

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

The UK government has excluded climate change from a proposed post-Brexit green watchdog, raising concerns about enforcement of climate laws when the country leaves the EU.

In a consultation document, the department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) outlined plans to establish a body that could issue “advisory notices” if the government fell short of its duty to implement environmental law.

It would not be empowered to take the government to court, nor would it cover “matters related to climate change”, which Defra argued were covered by existing bodies, principally the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 03:00 • John Gibbons

Environmental groups have united in opposing a massive new terminal that would receive fracked gas from the US in a protected area on Ireland’s west coast. They fear the plan runs counter to Ireland’s newly agreed climate commitments and is contrary to the country’s decision to ban fracking.

The public consultation on the proposal closed yesterday.