Monday, January 14, 2019 - 21:01 • Chloe Farand

The UK government has been boasting about its global climate leadership both at home and on the world stage for more than 25 years. But, for the first time, a trove of confidential government documents recently made public by the National Archives reveals how the Conservative government of John Major worked internally to cement the image of the UK as a global climate leader.

Friday, November 23, 2018 - 01:28 • Mat Hope
Read time: 3 mins

The UK’s premier climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), received hundreds of thousands of dollars of US donations in 2017, recently published tax returns show.

The money was received at a time when the GWPF was allegedly coordinating with eight other right-wing thinktanks based in and around offices at 55 Tufton Street to push for a hard Brexit.

Another of the groups, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, received at least $286,000 (£223,300) from US-based donors in the last five years, the Guardian recently revealed — raising concerns about the influence of foreign money at a time when lobby groups are pushing to cut regulation to secure trade deals with major polluters such as India, China and the US.

Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 05:33 • Chris Silver
Read time: 12 mins

In a speech in Glasgow on 24 Nov 1946, the renowned wartime Labour Secretary of State for Scotland, Tom Johnston, painted a vision of the future. In his new role as chairman of the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board, he anticipated a time when water power in Scotland would equal “the total amount of power at present produced from steam-coal stations, with a surplus enough left to electrify the railways and provide power to introduce any number of new industries in the Highlands.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 15:48 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 6 mins

The warning is clear and dire — and the source unexpected. “This report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action,” the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API) told an oil industry conference, as he described research into climate change caused by fossil fuels.

The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 03:44 • Mike Small
Read time: 6 mins

Scotland’s seabed ‘rainforests’ are under threat from industry dredging proposals, with potentially significant ramifications for climate change.

Kelp is the generic name for several species of large brown algae seaweed which grow in ‘kelp forests’ in Scotland’s coastal waters. Kelp forests have been widely compared to terrestrial rainforests because of the biodiversity and abundance of flora and fauna they support.

The kelp forests are due to be exploited by a company called Marine Biopolymers, from Ayr, in South West Scotland, which is benefitting from a grant from the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) that helps microenterprises specialising in industrial biotechnology “maximise the value of seaweed”.

But campaigners claim the process puts the marine environment under threat from the mechanical dredging of large parts of the seabed causing a threat to fish stocks such as Atlantic Cod, Pollock and Saithe (also known as Coley), as well as lobsters, crabs and a host of sealife.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 02:11 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 7 mins

More than 100 people were arrested during a week of action across the UK as protesters demanded the government treat the threats posed by climate change as a crisis and take drastic steps to cut emissions to net zero by 2025.

Thousands of people joined a mass protest that blocked roads and bridges in central London, with some gluing themselves to government buildings to draw attention to what they see as climate breakdown.

This was the birth of Extinction Rebellion, a movement that calls for mass economic disruption using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to halt the destruction of the planet and its wildlife and prevent catastrophic climate change.

Sunday, November 18, 2018 - 16:01 • Chloe Farand an...
Read time: 27 mins

If you have detected a distinctly American flavour to the rampant lobbying in Westminster corridors over a Brexit deal, there is a good reason why.

A close look at the transatlantic connections of the London-based groups pushing for the most deregulated form of Brexit reveals strong ties to major US libertarian influencers. These include fossil fuel magnates the Koch brothers — known for funding climate science denial around the world — and the man who bankrolled Donald Trump’s campaign, Robert Mercer.

At the heart of this network lies a little-known power couple, Matthew and Sarah Elliott. Together, the husband and wife team connect senior members of the Leave campaign and groups pushing a libertarian free-market ideology from offices in Westminster’s Tufton Street to major US libertarian lobbyists and funders.

Collectively, the network aims to use Brexit as an opportunity to slash regulations in the UK, paving the way for a wide-ranging US-UK free-trade deal that could have disastrous consequences for the environment.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 05:32 • Chris Silver
Read time: 8 mins

In a Scotland straining towards a two-thirds cut in emissions by 2030, the behemoth of Grangemouth represents by far the greatest single obstacle. In addition to the practical questions surrounding its future, it has become totemic for capital, unions, and the Scottish National Party. The prospect of an independent Scotland without a single oil refinery, compelled to re-import its own oil, would be politically unacceptable for Scottish nationalism.