Boris Johnson

Mapped: A Who's Who of Brexit and Climate Science Denial

Read time: 20 mins

A network of lobbyists, politicians and campaign groups is pushing the UK towards a hard-Brexit, with the aim of axing environmental protection in the name of free-market ideology.

Powerful vested interests are at play, with a network of decision-makers and companies that profit from climate inaction overlapping with a cabal of climate science deniers eager to limit global action to cut emissions.

Over the past four years, DeSmog has been tracking this network. We’ve now mapped over 2,000 connections between its actors operating at the highest levels of political and corporate life in the UK, US and Europe.

Which Tory Leadership Candidates Have Connections to Climate Science Denial?

Read time: 9 mins

In a fiery exchange at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told the government it was “running down the clock on our planet”.

She said “three current cabinet ministers have denied the scientific consensus on climate change” and pointed out that several of those vying to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister have “close links with organisations and individuals promoting climate denial.”

So, who was Long-Bailey talking about?

Thinktank with Ties to Climate Science Denial Censured by Charity Commission for Hard Brexit Lobbying

Read time: 3 mins

A prominent London thinktank has been censured by the Charity Commission for explicitly lobbying for a hard Brexit.

The commission said the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) had breached rules regarding political activity, which are meant to prevent charities campaigning on issues outside of their charitable remit.

The IEA is officially registered as an educational charity. The commission ruled that the IEA's ‘Plan A+’ report was “calling for a change in government policy and for a particular approach to the UK’s exit from the European Union”, which “does not further educational purposes, and so constitutes a breach”.

‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’ — What You Need to Know About The Real People Leading the Leave Campaign

Read time: 9 mins
Brexit: The Uncivil war

How was the Brexit referendum won?

That’s the question at the core of Brexit: The Uncivil War, written by James Graham and aired for the first time on Monday, which presents a two-hour account of events leading to the Leave campaign's victory on the 23 June 2016.

The overwhelmingly male cast plays the string of ministers, political activists, businessmen and strategists involved in whipping up support for the Leave side. In the foreground of the story is Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings, played by Benedict Cumberbatch as the mastermind behind the campaign’s catchy slogan and the cunning strategist who understood the power of data in political campaigning.

Charitable Donor Pulls Funding for Climate Science Denying Global Warming Policy Foundation

Read time: 2 mins
Nigel Lawson

Climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has apparently been left with a hole in its finances after a major donor did not renew its funding.

The Atkin Charitable Foundation had given the GWPF £20,000 each year between 2012 and 2016. But the foundation pulled its funding in 2017, its latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission show.

Comment: The Fracked North has Already been Written Off as ‘Desolate’, Don’t let it Become Dehydrated Too

Read time: 3 mins

By John Hobson, chair of campaign group Defend Lytham

This year we have experienced the longest heat wave since 1976, and we learned this weekend that the North West of England is heading for a hosepipe ban in a couple of weeks. We also discovered recently that Cuadrilla has applied for the final consent from BEIS to start fracking.

For those of us who have been looking into the impacts of fracking over the years, the timing is striking.

Fracking is an extremely water-intensive process. So Cuadrilla could be set to frack it’s first well while the rest of us are looking at our yellow lawns and dirty cars.

From Donald Trump to Theresa May: How a US-UK Network Pushes Climate Science Denial and Lobbies for a Hard Brexit — Mapped

Read time: 7 mins
Network map of US-UK climate science deniers

Donald Trump has finally come to the UK, 20 months after he won the election to make him the 45th President of the United States.

During that time, a trans-Atlantic network of business people, think tank analysts, and lobbyists have grown in influence — pushing a free market ideology and spreading climate science denial on both sides of the Atlantic.

DeSmog UK first mapped the network when Trump was sworn into office in January 2017. Things have moved on a bit since then.

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.

Government Departments Help Launch Hard-Brexit Thinktank, Emails Show

Read time: 6 mins
Daniel Hannan

How cosy is the relationship between free market ideologues pushing for greater deregulation and the government? Very, it turns out.

The IFT (formerly the Institute for Free Trade), a hard-Brexit thinktank tied to the UK’s climate science denial network enjoyed strong support from two government departments ahead of its launch at the Foreign Office at the end of last year, internal emails show.

The IFT describes itself as a “private, not-for-profit, non-partisan research foundation” advocating “unrestricted commerce both with the EU and with the rest of the world”.

It is based at 57 Tufton Street, sharing an office with the anti-renewables thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies, and next door to organisations at the heart of a UK climate science denial network working out of 55 Tufton Street.

Trans-Atlantic Network of Hard Brexit Climate Science Deniers Plotting ‘Shadow’ US-UK Trade Talks

Read time: 6 mins
Brexit trade talks

Representatives from thinktanks on both sides of the Atlantic heavily involved in lobbying for Brexit and spreading disinformation on climate change are set to meet to formulate their vision for a UK-US trade deal.

The “shadow trade talks” will be hosted by London’s IFT (formerly the Institute for Free Trade), led by Conservative MEP and hard Brexit advocate Daniel Hannan. The group plans to reveal its version of an “ideal” trade agreement later this year.

According to documents originally uncovered by Greenpeace’s investigative unit, UnEarthed, the coalition will seek to significantly weaken existing regulations. This would allow for controversial changes, such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef imports to be sold in the UK for the first time.

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