Brexit

UK Climate Diplomacy Staff Cut Again as Post-Brexit Links to Trump and US Deniers Strengthen

Read time: 3 mins

With Donald Trump set to become the President of the United States, the international climate change political scenery has shifted.

The president-elect’s stance on “quitting” the Paris Agreement seems to have softened in recent days. But countries are still going to need strong diplomatic teams to shore-up the global commitment to tackling climate change, reiterated at the Marrakech climate talks last week.

So it’s notable that the UK’s climate diplomacy team appears to weakening.

For the second year in a row, the foreign office reduced the number of people working on climate change and energy, documents released by the government this week under a freedom of information request show.

James Bethell

James Bethell

Background

James Bethell, the 5th Baron Bethell, is a sitting Conservative hereditary peer and a co-founder of the lobbying consultancy Westbourne Communications where he serves as a “senior counsel”.

Read time: 4 mins

Kate Hoey

Kate Hoey 

Background

Kate Hoey is the MP for Vauxhall and the most prominent pro-Brexit Labour member.

Born in Northern Ireland, Hoey is a hardline unionist, a Eurosceptic and a libertarian who has at times voted against the Labour party whip.

Read time: 6 mins

Business for Britain

Business for Britain

Background

Read time: 3 mins

Fears UK Could 'Cheat' as Climate Change Excluded from Brexit Watchdog Remit

Read time: 3 mins

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).

Mapped: Cambridge Analytica’s Ties to the Fossil Fuel Industry

Read time: 3 mins
Network map

Revelations continue to emerge about Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has found itself embroiled in a scandal around data privacy and electoral manipulation.

Three whistleblowers have gone public in the Guardian and Observer to outline how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to influence the outcomes of the US presidential election and Brexit referendum.

DeSmog UK has previously mapped how the company ties to climate science denial through its Brexit and Trump connections. Now, Nafeez Ahmed over at Motherboard has outlined how Cambridge Analytica has ties to the fossil fuel industry.

‘It's a Very Male-Dominated Space’: Welcome to the Sexist World of Brexit and Climate Science Denial

Read time: 12 mins

Do Brexiters and climate science deniers have a problem with women?

DeSmog UK has previously drawn links between climate science denial outfits based out of offices at 55 Tufton St, just around the corner from parliament. And research has shown that the impacts of climate change and Brexit will both affect the UK’s women disproportionately.

Yet, there is only a small percentage of women in leadership roles at organisations pushing for Brexit and to dampen the UK’s climate commitments, a DeSmog UK investigation reveals — and women who do speak out against these agendas are often subjected to horrific sexist abuse.

One Year to Brexit: Here’s What to Look Out for on the Environment

Read time: 5 mins
Banksy does Brexit

It has been a long, drawn out, process since the 2016 referendum, but a year today the UK is due to leave the EU. Amidst ongoing negotiations, fears of weakened environmental regulation and reduced ambition on the UK’s climate change policy continue to cause concern.

In this last leg of negotiations, the UK and the EU are due to agree a framework for their future relationship — a crucial phase for Westminster, which will aim to show the UK can retain its foreign and economic influence post-Brexit.

Yet, hardline Brexiteers’ strong position in Theresa May’s cabinet have left the door open for free-market and pro-deregulation ideologues to influence government policy. As DeSmog UK has previously shown, there are deep-rooted connections between those advocating a hard Brexit and climate science deniers both in the UK and in the US.  

With the October 2018 deadline for a final Brexit deal looming, the fate of environmental regulation therefore deserves close attention.  

UK Efforts to Weaken EU Controls on Biomass Undermine Climate Change Efforts

Read time: 4 mins
Both Eggborough and Drax in the UK have converted their coal burners to biomass

By Arthur Neslen, Climate Home News

The British government pushed to weaken EU controls on biomass energy in December, even though the technology will undermine efforts to contain global warming for up to half a century, according to research released today.

Despite its imminent Brexit, the UK successfully rewrote a proposal to almost quadruple the potential size of wood burning plants before they had to meet efficiency criteria, according to documents obtained by Unearthed, and shared exclusively with Climate Home News.

These are the Climate Science Denier MPs Lobbying for a Hard Brexit

Read time: 4 mins
Jacob Rees Mogg

Almost 70 MPs have been identified as backing a shadowy parliamentary lobby group pushing for a hard Brexit. In keeping with ideological links previously identified by DeSmog UK, it’s perhaps no shock that there are a number of politicians known to spread disinformation on climate change on the list.

Described as “an aggressive, disciplined, and highly organised parliamentary and media operation”, the European Research Group (ERG) is lobbying for a hard Brexit. It hit headlines earlier this week after being accused of misusing public money.

Long operating in the shadows, Buzzfeed has published a long list of MPs it has identified as being members of the group.

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