A new report by a British think tank estimates that since the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world’s five largest listed oil and gas companies spent more than $1 billion lobbying to prevent climate change regulations while also running public relations campaigns aimed at maintaining public support for climate action.
Combined, the companies spend roughly $200 million a year pushing to delay or alter climate and energy rules, particularly in the U.S. — while spending $195 million a year “on branding campaigns that suggest they support an ambitious climate agenda,” according to InfluenceMap, a UK-based non-profit that researches how corporations influence climate policy.
The UK is facing intensifying criticism over its continued funding of overseas fossil fuel projects.
At the latest hearing of the government’s enquiry into the UK’s export credit agency (UKEF), experts told MPs that the UK was missing out on an opportunity to push for more international action on climate change by continuing to support dirty energy projects overseas.
North East England is facing the threat of another opencast coal mine, which could extract up to 800,000 tonnes of coal from beneath agricultural land on the border between Newcastle and Northumberland.
Banks Group, a developer based in Durham, plans to submit a planning application for Dewley Hill mine in the coming weeks. The same company is behind the plans for two other coal mines in the North East: the Highthorn mine alongside Druridge Bay and the recently commenced Bradley mine in Dipton, south west of Newcastle.
While Banks submitted a preliminary planning notice to Newcastle Council in 2016, anti-coal campaigners say that the company’s decision to submit a full application came sooner than they had anticipated.
It was a crisp, bright day in February 2017 when politicians, academics and business figures came together to discuss the problems of the Scottish fossil fuel sector. A year before, world leaders had thrown their weight behind a clean energy transition with 195 countries signing the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.
Anti-fracking campaigners gathered in Windsor today to protest against Centrica’s investments in the fracking industry.
The demonstration was part of a UK-wide day of action targeting companies that support oil and gas production by providing finance, materials, and infrastructure to the industry.
“We are targeting companies such as Centrica, that are linked with Cuadrilla,” said Annabel Gregory, a member of Reclaim the Power, the anti-fossil fuel group that organised the protests. “This is a series of coordinated actions to expose the supply chains. Centrica is implicit in supporting fracking in the UK.”
Shortly before violent protests broke out in the oil-producing city of Basra in Iraq, British government representatives visited an oilfield partially operated by BP, and praised the company’s “impressive” social and environmental performance. Campaigners have criticised the visits for prioritising BP’s interests over those of local Iraqis.
According to documents seen by DeSmog, released in response to a Freedom of Information request from campaign group Culture Unstained, the British ambassador to Iraq, Jon Wilks, met with BP and Iraq’s Department for International Trade on 9 April 2018. The meeting took place at the Rumaila Oilfield, which is being developed by BP.
Filmmaker Adam Levy was commissioned by DeSmog UK to visit local residents living with the UK's newest coal mine in Pont Valley, County Durham. He reflects on his experience making the documentary.
As a climate and science journalist with a doctorate in atmospheric physics, I think about fossil fuels a lot. I think about the gases they release when burned and the impact this will have on the global climate. I think about fossil fuels in numbers: the gigatonnes that we continue to dig up today and the temperature rises that burning these fuels will lead to.
But I tend not to think about the actual physical fuels themselves.
Wearing black to mourn for “the hundreds of species that daily go extinct,” protesters from campaign group Extinction Rebellion swarmed roads leading to London’s Fashion Week on Sunday, creating traffic gridlock.
One protestor, known as Fox, said the fashion industry is only interested in sustainability when “it’s fashionable.”
“The sins of the fashion industry never end,” they said. “They hide behind the culture and the art.”