Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 16:01 • Chloe Farand

A pro-Brexit campaign group with ties to a neoliberal transatlantic network and climate science denial is emerging as a potentially influential player pushing for environmental deregulation and a “no deal” scenario.

Economists for Free Trade (EFT), formerly known as Economists for Brexit, has made the news recently following its report claiming that a cliff edge Brexit and adoption of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would be “the very best” option for the UK.

The group claims to be a coalition of independent economists, but it has strong ties to Brexiteer Conservative MPs, right-leaning mainstream media and some well-known climate science deniers.

The group has long been pushing for a full break-up with the EU and has accused the Treasury and civil servants of misleading the public on the costs of Brexit and staying in the customs union.

The group’s findings that “no deal would be better than a bad deal” have contradicted most other studies on the issue and have been widely criticised as “doubly misleading”.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 16:01 • Mat Hope
Read time: 7 mins

Shell, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has gained privileged access to the UN climate change negotiations while pushing the same unworkable solutions for almost 20 years, internal company documents reveal.

DeSmog UK has previously reported on a tranche of documents first unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent published on Climate Files, that reveal Shell knew about the causes and impacts of climate change since at least the 1980s.

Analysis of these documents, combined with new sources freshly uncovered by DeSmog UK, shows that while Shell’s understanding of the science developed, its proposed solution to the problem has remained remarkably static.

Monday, July 9, 2018 - 04:29 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 8 mins

Dominic Raab has been appointed Secretary of State for Brexit following David Davis’ resignation. He is a hardline Brexiteer with links to an extended network of individuals and organisations pushing deregulation and climate science denial.

A former solicitor, Raab worked as Davis’s chief of staff between 2006 and 2010. He was elected the MP for Esher and Walton in 2010.

Friday, July 6, 2018 - 07:19 • Mike Small
Read time: 5 mins

Make the Future - Shell’s festival of greenwash - kicks off this weekend. Over the next few days you can ‘close the gender gap in technology’, ‘make London buses run on coffee’, or ‘make gas cool’. You can even pretend that everything is totally fine, and Shell and Big Oil have a major role in the world’senergy future, while listening to Pixie Lott and other slick pop stars. You may even bump into London’s mayor while you’re there.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 08:40 • Mike Small
Read time: 5 mins

A group of leading climate scientists, academics and environmentalists have lodged a formal complaint with the Science Museum over their partnerships with big oil companies. They accuse the museum of “undermining its integrity as a scientific institution” by partnering with BP, Shell and Statoil despite their continued contribution to climate change.  

It’s a further PR blow to the oil industry, which is facing huge credibility problems as they refuse to adjust their business models in the face of the looming climate crisis.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 06:27 • Mat Hope and Ri...
Read time: 4 mins

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.

Monday, July 2, 2018 - 16:02 • Russell Scott
Read time: 8 mins

The legitimacy of the ‘Bradley’ opencast coal mine in Durham’s Pont Valley has been called into question after the operator, Banks Group, appeared to commence work before key planning conditions had been completed.  

Evidence gathered by DeSmog UK suggests that Banks group failed to follow the strict conditions agreed in a specific planning document —Section 106 — agreed between the contractor and Durham County council. The deadline for the mining work to have “commenced” was 3 June 2018, otherwise the mine’s planning permission would be void.

Monday, July 2, 2018 - 03:54 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 7 mins

The Church of England’s approach to climate action has come under the spotlight ahead of its general meeting as pressure mounts for it to divest from all fossil fuel companies.

The general Synod will vote on a motion to reaffirm the Church’s existing strategy to engage with oil and gas companies and urge them to take more ambitious climate action when it meets in York later this week.

But campaigners said the motion was not going far enough and tabled an amendment calling on the Church to threaten to divest from fossil fuel companies if they are not on “an unequivocal path” to align their business models to the Paris Agreement goals by 2020.

The call for the Church to strengthen its stance on fossil fuel investments comes after Pope Francis urged big oil including Exxonmobil, Eni, Shell and BP to make a faster transition to clean energy.

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