Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 23:00 • Mat Hope

Fossil fuel companies have a long history of adopting public relations strategies straight from the tobacco industry's playbook. But a new analysis shows the two industries’ relationship goes much deeper — right down to funding the same organisations to do their dirty work.

MIT Associate Professor David Hsu analyzed organisations in DeSmog’s disinformation database and the Guardian’s tobacco database and found 35 thinktanks based in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that promote both the tobacco and fossil fuel industries’ interests.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 00:38 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

Opposition to fracking has risen to near record levels in the latest government public attitudes survey with a big increase in concern about earthquakes. Support for fracking fell to a joint record low.

The Wave tracker survey, conducted in December 2018, was the first to reflect reaction to fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road. By the end of the survey period, operations at the site near Blackpool had induced 57 seismic events.

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 03:42 • Mat Hope
Read time: 3 mins

Correction 11 February 2019: This article was amended to correct the statistics on populist parties and political polarisation. The headline was also amended.

Most Brits consider climate change to be the greatest threat to the UK. But not everyone is worried. As you may expect, there are some significant political and demographic differences between those who list 'climate change' as the biggest threat, and those that are more worried about North Korea or Isis.

If you’re on the left and identify as a woman, you’re much more likely to think climate change is a threat. But if you’re a politically right-wing or a man, you’re much less likely to be worrying about global warming, according to a new report from Pew Research Centre.

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 05:39 • Guest
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.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 22:29 • Mat Hope
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”.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 07:21 • Sophie Yeo
Read time: 3 mins

The UK’s use of export finance to fund overseas fossil fuel projects is “flatly inconsistent” with both domestic climate policy and efforts to meet the 1.5C warming limit, according to academics at a hearing in Westminster today.

UK export finance (UKEF) provides guarantees, insurance and reinsurance to shore up British investments overseas. Yet instead of supporting much-needed renewables infrastructure, some 99 percent of all energy-related support went to fossil fuels. Between 2014 and 2016, the UK spent £551 million per year to support fossil fuel production.

In December 2018, the government’s Environmental Audit Committee launched an enquiry into the state of UKEF. The first hearing took place today.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 04:27 • Mike Small
Read time: 5 mins

A row has broken out over the apparent lack of disclosure of a conflict of interest by Tory politician John Gummer, also known as Lord Deben, who heads government scientific advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

The Mail on Sunday fulminates: “Tory peer John Selwyn Gummer's private company has been paid more than £600,000 from 'green' businesses that stand to make millions from his advice to Ministers.” It then lists a number of alleged payments received by Gummer’s consultancy, Sancroft, by green-tinged companies. This is a huge conflict of interest, the article roars.

The issue will no doubt be investigated – and it's not up to anyone other than Gummer (who denies the allegations) to defend himself – but what’s behind this story is a climate science denial media network in action, and that’s the bigger story not being told.

Friday, February 1, 2019 - 01:08 • Guest
Read time: 3 mins

By Katja Garson, UK Youth Climate Coalition Campaigner

Not here, not anywhere’. The central slogan of the anti-fracking movement is a call to arms, a celebration of community within and across borders, and a direct challenge to fracking companies and the Governments that support their nefarious activities - including the UK Government.

I am a member of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, a UK-wide network of young people who campaign for action, ambition and accountability on the issue of climate change. This past weekend, UKYCC ended their call for people around the UK to add their names to a letter addressed to Energy Minister Claire Perry.

Pages