By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from...
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.
FIFA has been accused of double standards after it joined a UN Climate Change initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during this year’s football World Cup while continuing to receive lucrative sponsorship deals from big polluters.
Thirty years ago, oil company Shell was warned in private that its own products were responsible for climate change which in turn could lead to large scale climate migration.
Yet over the following decade, the company publicly justified the ongoing need for fossil fuels as the only realistic way to achieve sustainable development and lift vulnerable communities out of poverty.
Shell has repeatedly used the arguments of population growth and increasing energy demand at the heart of its public pronouncements about its role in driving economic and sustainable development.
But Shell also knew that burning fossil fuels would “alter the environment in such a way” that it would affect parts of the world’s “habitability” and could lead to new migration patterns.
The UK has been accused of trying to “fudge” how much money it spends on subsidising coal mining and fossil fuel use despite its pledge to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020.
The country ranked first on its commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies but last on transparency in a new study led by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) which ranks each G7 country on ending support for the production and use of oil, gas and coal ahead of a group meeting which starts in Canada on Friday.
The UK does not provide national reports on its fiscal support for fossil fuel production and consumption and the government has repeatedly denied providing fossil fuel subsidies. However, the report states that the UK is providing subsidies in the form of tax breaks for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and the decommissioning of oil.
Researchers also argue that the UK is using public finance through the UK Export Finance, a government agency which underwrites loans to boost British companies’ exports, to support fossil fuel projects abroad - a finance stream they say the government should be counting as a subsidy.
The UK Government has been urged to take action after a British mining and energy giant was accused of extensive human rights abuse and environmental damage in India.
Vedanta Resources, a British-registered company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), is under the spotlight after 13 protesters demanding the shutdown of India’s second largest copper plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu were shot dead by police. Dozens were injured.
The deadly mass protest is the latest major incident to engulf Vedanta, which has been accused of a series of human rights violations, with campaigners demanding the company be delisted from the LSE.
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News
Oil companies are under more pressure than ever to reckon with their climate impact, this AGM season.
Shareholder activists have moved on to target second-tier companies, winning resolutions to make Kinder Morgan and Anadarko follow suit. Several firms pre-empted a vote by agreeing to their demands.
In Europe, where most oil majors have already produced 2C scenarios, the conversation is turning from disclosure to action.
When you hit the switch on the kettle, what do you think about?
The lovely cup of tea that’s about to mask a myriad of office-based frustrations? The wonder of a modern power grid that means tea can go from concept to reality in under a minute? Probably, you think nothing at all.
And fair enough — you just wanted a cup of tea.
In the circumstances, pausing for respite in the two metres of linoleum and IKEA cupboards that pass for most office kitchenettes, it’s unlikely you would have thought about where the electricity to make that cup of tea has come from.
But perhaps we all should.
By Alastair Lewis and Sarah Moller, The Conversation
The UK government has published a new clean air strategy for consultation. The document sets out plans to tackle emissions from a range of sources, including agriculture, industry and even wood-burning stoves. It all adds up to a subtle but important shift in emphasis away from simply meeting air quality targets to also reducing wider impacts on health and the environment.