Mat Hope and Richard Collett-White's blog

Analysis: Why Holding MPs to Account on Climate Change is Incredibly Important (And So Damn Difficult)

Read time: 8 mins
Mp voting records

Climate change is arguably the most significant issue facing the world right now. So you’d be forgiven for thinking this is an issue on which it would be easy to hold politicians to account. But you'd be wrong.

DeSmog collaborated with the Guardian to analyse which of the UK’s MPs have the best and worst records on climate change. We’re very pleased with the Guardian’s climate score league table, and think it offers a fair reflection of where most MPs sit on the issue — today and over the past decade. 

With Boris Johnson (who scores terribly, by the way) poised to call a general election as soon as Parliament will let him, and more people than ever caring deeply about climate change, now seemed like the perfect time to do the analysis.

Is Boris Johnson's Cabinet the Most Anti-Climate Action Ever?

Read time: 14 mins
Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson conducted an extraordinary cull of government ministers on his first day as Prime Minister. His mission was mainly to bring in new, more pro-Leave blood to replace the supposed Brexit balance of Theresa May’s cabinet. 

But as a consequence, the UK now finds itself governed by a collection of some of the UK’s most right-wing politicians, some of whom have promoted climate science denial and many of whom have ties to pro-deregulation campaign groups based in and around Westminster's 55 Tufton Street.

Boris Johnson — Where Does the UK's New Prime Minister Stand on Climate Change?

Read time: 3 mins
Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will be the UK’s next Prime Minister. While most of the chatter has been around what that means for Brexit, rather less attention has been paid to what it means for that other great global challenge — climate change.

Fortunately, DeSmog has been tracking BoJo’s views on the matter for years. For the increasing number of people loudly calling for climate action, it makes uncomfortable reading.

Investigation: Facebook Surveillance of Fracking Protesters — Background and Key Documents

Read time: 9 mins
Facebook surveillance of fracking protesters

The war on fracking’s frontlines has gone full Cyber.

Fracking companies INEOS, UK Oil and Gas (UKOG), and Europa Oil and Gas are all in the process of trying to obtain injunctions to restrict protest. An investigation published on Vice Motherboard, in cooperation with DeSmog UK, shows that to support their case, the companies have deployed a specialist security team to conduct, among other things, mass social media surveillance.

Mapped: How Brexit Lobbyists Give Climate Science Deniers Privileged Access to the UK Government

Read time: 4 mins
Map of how Shanker Singham and Legatum link to climate science deniers

Noone knows what’s going on with Brexit — but recent reports show that if you can pretend to, you could get some serious access to the UK government. And the panic around Brexit is affording a unique opportunity for a range nefarious lobbying interests, including climate science deniers.

One of the recently connected lobbyists is Shanker Singham, formerly of the flavour of the month Brexit thinktank, the Legatum Institute, and now of the more established establishment outfit, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Singham has strong ties to the US climate science denial lobby, and has slotted neatly into a network of transatlantic climate science deniers pushing for a hard Brexit.

Where Does Communities Secretary James Brokenshire Stand on Fracking, Climate Change, and Brexit?

Read time: 3 mins
James Brokenshire

Amber Rudd’s resignation as Home Secretary has catalysed a ministerial merry-go-round.

Taking Rudd’s place in the Home Office is Sajid Javid, who moves from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). During his time in the department, Javid pushed through shale gas plans in Lancashire, and blocked a coal mine in Northumbria.

His successor, Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire, now takes on the mantle as the Minister with the unenviable task of assuaging local concerns around major energy issues such as fracking, coal mines, and renewable energy developments.

The new minister's in-tray includes a legal challenge over Javid's decision to block a new coal mine near the Northumberland beauty spot of Druridge Bay, calls to immediately block a new coal mine at Pont Valley in County Durham, as well as ongoing disputes over local planning processes around fracking sites.

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