Revealed: UK Companies Opening Overseas Carbon Credit Accounts in Preparation for No-Deal Brexit

Read time: 4 mins
Power plant smoke stack

British companies are increasingly moving their carbon credits into new offshore accounts to get around punitive measures from the EU and in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, DeSmog can reveal. 

At least 35 companies have filed for EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) accounts in the Netherlands in recent months. Without these accounts, companies potentially face having millions of pounds’ worth of tradable carbon credits locked in the UK in the case of a no-deal Brexit, preventing companies from selling the permits. The new accounts brings the number of offshore carbon credit accounts traced by DeSmog up to 69.

Natascha Engel

Natascha Engel


  • B.A. German and Portugese, King's College, London. [1]
  • M.A. Technical and Specialised Translation, University of Westminster. [2]


Read time: 12 mins

Ineos Fracking Injunctions Having 'Chilling Effect' on Right to Protest, Court Told

Read time: 7 mins
Joe Corre outside the Court of Appeal

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

The injunction against anti-fracking protests granted to Ineos is already breaching rights to freedom of speech, the court of appeal heard today.

A challenge, brought by fashion designer Joe Corre and campaigner Joe Boyd, argued that the injunction against actions at Ineos sites and premises was “wide-ranging, unclear, unfair and based on exaggeration and untested evidence”.

Blow for UK Fracking Industry as Government Refuses Regulation Change

Read time: 2 mins

By Megan Darby for Climate Home News

The UK government has rejected calls from shale gas companies to loosen limits on earth tremors, in a potentially fatal blow to British fracking.

Ineos and Cuadrilla said the rules, which require drilling to be halted for 18 hours after any tremor exceeding 0.5 on the Richter scale, are “absurd” and “unworkable”. In the US, the limit is 4 magnitude.

In principle, the Conservative administration supports shale gas exploration. Climate minister Claire Perry said in October gas had a role in a low-carbon future and it was “pragmatic” to back fracking.

However in a statement on Thursday morning, the energy ministry said: “We set these regulations in consultation with the industry and we have no plans to review them.”

Dodgy Deals, Climate Denial, and People Power — DeSmog UK's 2018 Year in Review

Read time: 9 mins
DeSmog UK frontpages

It has been quite a year - Brexit (still), Trump (still), and the inevitable crescendo towards the annual climate talks (which delivered a deal many think falls way short of the necessary action to avoid catastrophic climate change).

With the jingle bells ringing, and everyone rushing to get the 5.01pm train home for Christmas, now seems a good time to reflect on the year that’s (almost) past.

Campaigners Call on World Sailing and Ben Ainslie to Oppose 'Shameful' INEOS America's Cup Greenwash

Read time: 4 mins
Ineos sailing

A group of campaigners and academics has called on World Sailing’s governing body to oppose US chemical giant INEOS’ sponsorship of the UK’s America’s Cup team due to the company’s fracking activity. An open letter to the body, delivered to World Sailing's London headquarters today, says the sponsorship deal goes against the “environmentally aware behaviour” that organsiation “claims to embody and promote”.

INEOS describes itself as “the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry”. It has licenses to explore for shale gas that cover more than one million acres of the UK.

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.

Shale Gas Mogul Tops UK Rich List Despite Fracking Fails

Read time: 2 mins
Jim Ratcliffe

The Sunday Times Rich List is often used as a barometer of a nation's economic dynamism. So news that this year's list is topped by fracking mogul Jim Ratcliffe may have come as a surprise given the inactivity of the UK fracking industry neutered by legal action, community resistance and sanction.

The founder of chemical giant INEOS is, we’re told, worth a whopping £21.05 billion. But be sure of two things: he neither makes his money nor pays his taxes in the UK. Latest accounts for INEOS Upstream (parent company of INEOS Shale) show a £12,000 loss.

INEOS Pitches Corporate Power Against Democracy with Challenge to Popular Fracking Ban

Read time: 5 mins

INEOS is today challenging  the Scottish Government over its decision to ban fracking. But much more is at stake than the status of the UK’s newest fossil fuel industry.

After introducing a moratorium in 2015, ministers announced the prohibition in October 2017 which was subsequently endorsed by a vote of MSPs. The company, which has faced local opposition in the rest of the UK is trying to overturn the Scottish ban which doesn’t involve legislation but is an instruction to local authorities not to consent planning for any fracking-related activities.

The case comes soon after the Scottish Government successfully faced-down a lengthy legal challenge to their Minimum Pricing for Alcohol legislation from the Scotch Whisky Association. It raises significant issues about the nature of power in democracy, the role and status of science, and the power of corporate lobbying.

Fracking Giant INEOS Rejected, Again

Read time: 7 mins
INEOS protesters in Woodsett

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

The UK’s biggest shale gas company, INEOS, has suffered another vote against its exploration plans.

A packed public gallery at Rotherham Town Hall this lunchtime watched as councillors unanimously opposed the company’s application for a vertical coring well in the village of Woodsetts. See DrillOrDrop live updates

This is the second unanimous vote against INEOS by Rotherham councillors in six weeks. It means that all the company’s schemes going through the planning system have now been opposed by local authorities. It brings to five the number of onshore gas applications rejected by planning authorities this year.


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