Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 08:30 • Mat Hope

You’ve probably seen the startling headlines — “Air pollution linked to spikes in hospital and GP visits”,“Air pollution causes nearly 15,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in UK each year”, “Young girl's death first to be linked to illegal levels of air pollution”.

It’s obvious that the UK has a major air pollution problem.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 03:56 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By Oliver Heidrich and Diana Reckian, The Conversation

Around the world, cities endeavour to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while adapting to the threats – and opportunities – presented by climate change. It’s no easy task, but the first step is to make a plan outlining how to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, and help limit the world’s mean temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

About 74% of Europe’s population lives in cities, and urban settlements account for 60-80% of carbon emissions – so it makes sense to plan at an urban level. Working to meet carbon reduction targets can also reduce local pollution and increase energy efficiency – which benefits both businesses and residents.

But it’s just as important for cities to adapt to climate change – even if the human race were to cut emissions entirely, we would still be facing the extreme effects of climate change for decades to come, because of the increased carbon input that has already taken place since the industrial revolution.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 03:33 • Guest
Read time: 3 mins

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

Poland’s climate envoy dismissed calls to keep polluters out of UN talks, ahead of a controversial negotiation in Bonn on Thursday about widening participation.

Activists outside the talks put pressure on the EU to support a conflict of interest policy for businesses getting involved in the process. They argue that fossil fuel companies are a malign influence and weaken climate ambition to protect their profits.

But Tomasz Chruszczow, who has a leading role in this December’s Katowice climate summit, told Climate Home News in an interview he did not recognise that problem.

We want everybody in this action,” he said. “Even if they are now generating electricity from fossil fuels – the majority of electricity comes from fossil fuels – still it is changing, but it is a process.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 01:54 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network

The UK’s North Sea clean-up costs – the price to be paid for decommissioning its oil and gas industry – will probably more than double, a British group says.

The group is the Intergenerational Foundation (IF), an independent, non-party-political charity which works to protect the rights of younger and future generations in British policy-making.

It says British children will face a bill for decommissioning the North Sea fossil fuel industry that is likely to be double the government’s estimate – £80bn, not the official target of £39bn. In arriving at the lower figure, the Foundation says, the UK government ignored evidence from its own industry regulator of typical overspending, leading to a serious underestimate of the real costs.

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 06:21 • Guest
Read time: 7 mins

Jan Zeber, an analyst for right-leaning think tank and 55 Tufton St resident, TaxPayers Alliance, argued that divestment is ineffective and bad value for the taxpayer in an article for CapX, an outlet “founded to make the case for popular capitalism”.

Here, two campaigners involved in the divestment movement respond.

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 03:55 • Mat Hope and Ri...
Read time: 3 mins

Amber Rudd’s resignation as Home Secretary has catalysed a ministerial merry-go-round.

Taking Rudd’s place in the Home Office is Sajid Javid, who moves from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). During his time in the department, Javid pushed through shale gas plans in Lancashire, and blocked a coal mine in Northumbria.

His successor, Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire, now takes on the mantle as the Minister with the unenviable task of assuaging local concerns around major energy issues such as fracking, coal mines, and renewable energy developments.

The new minister's in-tray includes a legal challenge over Javid's decision to block a new coal mine near the Northumberland beauty spot of Druridge Bay, calls to immediately block a new coal mine at Pont Valley in County Durham, as well as ongoing disputes over local planning processes around fracking sites.

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 02:37 • Mike Small
Read time: 5 mins

This week at the U.N. climate treaty talks, governments are poised to hash out the details needed to bring the Paris Agreement from concept to reality. The meeting is about agreeing on the process, the detail and the rulebook.

One item high on their agenda will be how the UNFCCC and its member governments address the growing problem of the fossil fuel industry’s corrosive interference and disinformation in climate policymaking.

Growing pressure from a big coalition of civil society and environmental groups is mounting to make the process transparent and democratic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 09:36 • Mat Hope
Read time: 4 mins

A controversial new coal mine is just weeks away from opening - unless a small, spotty amphibian gets in the way, that is.

Protesters at the Pont Valley camp near Dipton in County Durham claim to have found one of the creatures. That could be very bad news for Banks Group, which is rushing to start extracting coal from the site.